United States v. Aaron Burr


Equal Justice Under Law was a television series that first aired in 1976 and again in 1987, to mark the 200th anniversary of both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. A production of the Judicial Conference of the United States and WQED Pittsburgh, The programs were intended to inform the general public as well as educational and professional audience on the American constitutional heritage as exemplified in the major decisions of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Marshall1


The teaching guide is available at The videos are available on YouTube. Digitized here are the questions for United States v. Aaron Burr (The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr) because the case illustrates two very important constitutional principles that students need to understand. First, everyone, no matter how unpopular, is entitled to due process of law. Second, no one, no matter how powerful, is above the law.

While the video does a good job of explaining a complex legal issue, the background material in the teaching guide is missing some key elements. Those elements have been added in the files below. There are two files of questions

  1. Question Bank
  2. Selected Questions

These resources are an excellent supplement to any unit on The New Nation.


1 William F. Swindler, Justice Under Law, William and Mary Law School Scholarship Repository, Popular Media. Paper 264 (1977): 1099,


United States v. Aaron Burr