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NOTABLE SUPREME COURT CASES

The United States Supreme Court has played a large role in U.S. history. Here are some of the most importat U.S Supreme Court decisions.

Marbury v. Madison

The Court decides that it is the ultimate arbiter of the U.S. Constitution.

McCulloch v. Maryland

The federal government has implied power -- and the states cant interfere with it.

Gibbons v. Ogden

The Court makes the Commerce Clause very broad indeed.

Dred Scott v. Sandford

In perhaps the worst decision in its history, the Court sides with slavery and declares that blacks cannot be citizens of the United States.

Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad

An offhand remark creates the doctrine that corporations have rights just like people.

Plessy v. Ferguson

The Court embarks on an era of separate but equal, allowing segregation in public places.

Lochner v. New York

The Court rules against a group of bakers -- and begins an era in which it strikes down progressive laws seeking to regulate working conditions.

Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States

The Court strikes a blow for competition -- and a blow against John D. Rockefeller.

Schecter Poultry Corp v. United States

The Court makes an enemy of President Roosevelt by striking down a key provision of the New Deal.

Korematsu v. United States

The Court allows the internment of Japanese Americans in camps during World War II.

Shelley v. Kraemer

The Court invalidates restrictions on the ownership of property by non-whites.

Brown v. Board of Education

The Court says separate is not equal -- and begins the end of segregation in public life.

Mapp v. Ohio

The Court says police must follow the Fourth Amendment -- or have any evidence they find excluded from trial.

Baker v. Carr

The Court enters the debate over voting districts -- and reshapes the political landscape.

Engel v. Vitale

Prayer in public schools violates the separation of church and state.

Gideon v. Wainright

Criminal defendants have the right to an attorney, even if they cant afford to pay for one.

Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States

The Court sides with Congress in the major constitutional challenge to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

New York Times v. Sullivan

The New York Times runs an advertisement with factual errors -- and gets First Amendment protection anyway.

Reynolds v. Sims

Voting districts must be roughly equal in population.

Griswold v. Connecticut

The Court rules that the First Amendment guarantees a right to privacy, even though it doesnt explicitly say so.

Miranda v. Arizona

Miranda rights are born.

Frontiero v. Richardson

The Supreme Court justices decide that discrimination based on gender is unconstitutional --  but dont agree on much else.

In Re Gault

Even juvenile defendants get certain constitutional rights when they are charged with a crime.

Loving v. Virginia

The Court strikes down laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

Griggs v. Duke Power Co.

The Court fashions the concept of disparate impact, meaning an employer can be guilty of discrimination even without proof of intent.

Lemon v. Kurtzman

The Court creates the Lemon test for deciding cases involving the separation of church and state.

Roe v. Wade

Women have the constitutional right to terminate pregnancy.

United States v. Nixon

The Court rejects Nixons assertion of unqualified executive privilege and orders the release of the Watergate tapes, ultimately toppling his presidency.

Gregg v. Georgia

The Court finds that the death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment.

Regents of the University of California v. Bakke

Affirmative action is okay, but quotas aren’t.

Texas v. Johnson

Flag burning is a form of expressive speech protected by the First Amendment.

Cruzan v. Missouri Department of Health

There needs to be clear and convincing evidence of a patient’s wishes before ending life-sustaining medical treatment.

Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey

A woman has the right to terminate her pregnancy, but the government can put a lot of restrictions on that right.

United States v. Lopez

The Court curbs the Commerce Clause and strikes down a school gun ban.

Reno v. ACLU

The Court gives Internet content the highest level of First Amendment protection.

Boy Scouts of America v. Dale

The Court allows the Boy Scouts to bar gays from becoming troop leaders.

Bush v. Gore

The justices end the Florida recount and put George W. Bush in the White House.

Lawrence v. Texas

The Court strikes down laws prohibiting sexual acts between consenting adults.

District of Columbia v. Heller

The Second Amendment guarantees an individuals right to bear arms, at least in ones home.

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

The Court uses the First Amendment to strike down limits on corporate campaign contributions.


 

 

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