Welcome to "Connections: You, Your Courts, Your Democracy," the civics and outreach site of the federal courts of the Sixth Circuit. Civics is the study of the rights and duties of citizens and of the workings of government. Our goal for this site is to make it easier for you to learn about the role of the federal courts in the democracy we all share, as well as the role of every citizen in the operation of the courts. We also hope it helps you connect with your federal courts on matters of civics education.

Welcome Video from Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr.



February is Black History Month.  In previous years, we have honored Black History Month by highlighting important African American legal figures, many of whom were the first in their respective positions.  However, this year, we will use cases to point out some of the ways African American history is inextricably intertwined with American legal history.  This small sample of Supreme Court cases demonstrates the ebb and flow of American legal sentiment towards its Black constituency.

Chief Justice John Roberts recently issued his 2023 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary. In his report he discussed ways the federal judiciary has adapted to ever changing technology and is using modern technology. Chief Justice Roberts began his report by stating “the arrival of new technology can dramatically change work and life for the better.” He then discussed how the rural electrification program dramatically improved lives.


Distance Learning Resources

For teachers, homeschoolers, parents, and other adults who work with high school students, the federal courts’ Law Day resources are designed for the distance learning space to engage students in thoughtful discussion on the fundamentals of a society based on the rule of law. More...

In communities forced to quarantine because of the coronavirus (COVID-19), social studies teachers are venturing into the distance learning space and parents are seeking ways to keep homebound teenagers constructively occupied. More...

Civics Education

 Civics Education

Citizens' understanding of the fundamentals of civic rights and responsibilities of individuals and the history and functions of our government, including the role of the courts, helps to strengthen our democracy and the rule of law.

Courthouse Visits

 Civics Education

We encourage school groups and community organizations to visit our courthouses to learn firsthand about the work of the court from the judges and staff of the courts. Listen to our judges discuss their vital role in our government.

Civics Ceremonies

 Civics Education

At the recommendation of the Sixth Circuit Civics and Outreach Committee that all district courts in the circuit establish Civics and Outreach committees, the Eastern District of Tennessee established its Civics and Outreach Committee.

Court Shorts

 Civics Education

Video series explaining the United States Court system.