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.



Juror Appreciation Week is observed in the month of May. Jury service is among the nation’s most important civic duties, and the people who serve on juries certainly deserve appreciation for their service to our country.

We are all familiar with the phrase, the rule of law.  We tend to think of those words more in connection with the judiciary than the other two branches of government.  However, the concept of the rule of law has a long heritage in the United States.  Founding Father John Adams articulated the concept when he famously called a republic “a government of laws, not of men.”  John Adams’ cousin and fellow Founding Father, Samuel Adams, observed that the rule of law means that “There shall be one


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.