Architect of American Government

Book Jacket John Adams: Architect of American Government

Adams's extraordinarily influential pamphlet, Thoughts on Government, set forth a new framework for government.

Visit the exhibit, John Adams: Architect of American Government, at the John Adams Courthouse and learn about the essential role that John Adams played in the development of our government. Preview the exhibit

Adams & the Massachusetts Constitution

Massachusetts Constitution
Adams believed that a stable government required the consent of the governed and the separation of powers. Learn more about Adams's ideas that influenced the state constitution.

John Adams Courthouse

John Adams Courthouse

Teachers, students, and visitors of all ages are invited to visit the historic John Adams Courthouse. Court sessions are open to the public.

Find times, events, and general information for visiting. Take the online tour to view the courthouse.

Massachusetts Judicial System

Massachusetts Judicial System

Overview, brief history, role, and organization of the Massachusetts Court System.

Exhibits at the John Adams Courthouse

Visit the exhibits located in the Great Hall on the 1st floor of the John Adams Courthouse. Check here for hours, contact information, and current exhibits. Read more

Sacco and Vanzetti: Justice on Trial

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti

The 1920s trial and executions of Italian anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, trouble and intrigue us decades later.

Visit the Sacco and Vanzetti: Justice on Trial exhibit at the John Adams Courthouse. Learn about the importance of striving to be "a government of laws and not of men." Preview the exhibit

Judicial Review & the Abolition of Slavery

Mum Betts Gravesite
During the years 1781 to 1783, the SJC applied the principle of judicial review to abolish slavery. Learn about judicial review and the cases that led to the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts.

Oral Arguments

Full Bench

The Supreme Judicial Court hears oral arguments the first full week of every month from September through May and the proceedings are public.

Find calendars, times, and general information about the proceedings.

Massachusetts Jury System

Juror Box
Under our jury system, all eligible citizens must report for juror service. Learn about your responsibilities as a juror.

Additional Resources

Are you interested in learning more about the state and federal court systems? Here is a list of additional sources that can help. View sources