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Supreme Court Cases


Court Case Practice

1Baker v. Carr (1962) _____14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause; World War II; internment; Korematsu – Japanese-American citizen; “strict scrutiny” test unconstitutional unless there is a “compelling” public interest
2Korematsu v. United States (1944) _____Upholds the constitutionality of capital punishment.
3New York Times v. The United States (1971) _____School segregation unconstitutional; segregation psychologically damaging to blacks; overturned separate but equal; use of 14th Amendment; “Judicial Activism” of Warren Court; unanimous decision; overturned Plessy’s “separate but equal” doctrine
4Buckley v. Valeo (1976) _____Role of government toward religion under the First Amendment; New York State public school prayer; Establishment Clause vs. Free Exercise Clause; 14th Amendment – Incorporation or Nationalization (applying the Bill of Rights to the States as well as the Federal Gov.); Struck down school prayer as a violation of the Establishment Clause; Warren Court’s judicial activism.
5Mapp v. Ohio (1961) _____The Court faced the question of whether to incorporate the Second Amendment. The Court asked if the right to keep arms for self-defense was fundamental or, deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition. The Court decided self-defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present. Complete bans on handguns is therefore unconstitutional.
6Dred Scott v. Standford (1857) _____Established Judicial Review; “midnight judges”; John Marshall; power of the Supreme Court
7U.C. Regents v. Bakke (1978) _____Oliver Wendell Holmes; “clear and present danger” test; shouting “fire” in a crowded theater; limits on free speech, especially in wartime
8U.S. v. Nixon (1974) _____Declares “prior restraint” (censorship) unconstitutional; that is, governments cannot suppress or regulate speech before it is given.
9Barron v. Baltimore (1833) _____The Court held that the Equal Protection Clause does not prohibit the Law School's narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.
10Near v. Minnesota (1931) _____Declares U.S. court system has jurisdiction to consider legal appeals by foreign nationals (non-citizens) imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.
11Virgina v. Black (2003) _____Upholds the authority of public school administrators to suspend students for promoting illegal drugs at a school event (“Bong Hits for Jesus”).
12Bethel v. Fraser (1988) _____Established three part test to determine if Establishment Clause is violated: non-secular purpose, advances/inhibits religion, or excessive entanglement with government
13Rasul v. Bush (2002) _____States can regulate abortion, but not with regulations that impose “undue burden” upon women; did not overturn Roe v. Wade, 1973, but gave states more leeway in regulating abortion (e.g., 24 hour waiting period, parental consent for minors).
14Elk Grove School District v. Newdow (2003) _____Established Miranda warnings of counsel and silence; must be given before questioning suspect; Warren Court’s judicial activism in criminal rights.
15Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) _____Declares cross burning is protected by the First Amendment as long as the act does not have the intent to intimidate.
16Marbury v. Madison (1803) _____The Supreme Court upheld the right of corporations to spend money influencing political campaigns, ruling that these entities ought to have the same First Amendment rights as individuals to engage in "political speech."
17Miranda v. Arizona (1966) _____Requires proof of “malicious intent to harm” in order to prove libel against news organizations.
18Roe v. Wade (1973) _____Upholds the authority of public school administrators to censor student newspapers since they are tools for learning – not forums of free expression.
19McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) _____1st Amendment - Freedom of the Press; Pentagon Papers; Prior Restraint – Censorship; Government cannot stop publication unless “justification for the imposition of such restraint” is conclusively proven – e.g. national security – “clear and present danger”.
20Gitlow v. New York (1925) _____Established broad definition of “commerce” as more than buying and selling goods; The Commerce Clause; John Marshall; Congress regulates trade between states; Supremacy of National Gov. over States
21Griswold v. New York (1965) _____Permits school officials to search student property with standard of “reasonable suspicion.”
22Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) _____Established national abortion guidelines; trimester guidelines: no state interference in 1st trimester, state may regulate to protect health of mother in 2nd trimester, state may regulate to protect health of unborn child in 3rd trimester; inferred from right to privacy established in Griswald v. Connecticut, 1965 via 4th and 9th Amendments.
23Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) _____“Political questions”; 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause; “one man, one vote”; ordered state legislative districts to be as near equal as possible in population; reapportionment; example of Warren Court’s judicial activism
24Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) _____Established national supremacy; established implied powers; use of elastic clause; state unable to tax fed. Institution; John Marshall; “the power to tax the power to destroy”
25Texas v. Johnson (1989) _____Prohibited states from banning the teaching of evolution in public schools.
26U.S. v. Lopez (1995) _____No racial gerrymandering; race cannot be the sole or predominant factor in redrawing legislative boundaries; majority-minority districts.
27District of Colombia v. Heller (2008) _____Alan Bakke and UC Davis Medical School; strict quotas (affirmative action) ruled unconstitutional in this instance, but states may allow race to be taken into account as ONE of several factors in admissions decisions; Bakke admitted to medical school; link to Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger, 2003 – University of Michigan admissions standards: Gratz – undergraduate admissions standards too dependent of race = unconstitutional & Grutter – graduate admissions standards more equitable with race being one of many factors considered.
28Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1987) _____Dismissed a case challenging the constitutionality of the phrase “One Nation Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
29Shaw v. Reno (1993) _____More leeway for states in regulating abortion, though no overturning Roe v. Wade, 1973.
30Schenck v. United States (1919) _____Allowed for executive privilege, but not in criminal cases; “Even the President is not above the law”; re. Watergate; led to Nixon’s resignation.
31Webserry(grey) v. Sanders (1963) _____The Ohio Pilot Project Scholarship Program gives tuition money (known as vouchers) to parents in the Cleveland City School District to allow them to send their children to public or private schools of their choice. The money, which is provided by taxpayers, could therefore go to religious as well as non-religious schools. In the 2000 school year, 96 percent of those using vouchers chose religious schools. In a 5-4 opinion, the Court held that the program does not violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
32Brown v. Board of Education 2nd (1955) _____This case struck down an Alabama law that allowed teachers to conduct religious prayer services and activities during the school day.
33Gideon v. Wainright (1963) _____Ordered states to provide lawyers for those unable to afford them in criminal proceedings; nationalized the 6th Amendment via the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment; example of Warren Court’s judicial activism in criminal cases
34New Jersey v. TLO (1984) _____The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) withholds federal funding from schools if education records maintained by the school are released without parents’ written consent. The Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the practice of peer-grading did not violate FERPA. “[S]tudent graders only handle assignments for a few moments as the teacher calls out the answers. It is fanciful to say they maintain the papers in the same way the registrar maintains a student’s folder in a permanent file.”
35The Cvil Rights Cases (1883) _____Upholds the constitutionality of capital punishment for minors.
36Abbington v. Schempp (1963) _____Gun Free School Zones Act exceeded Congress’ authority to regulate interstate commerce.
37Epperson v. Arkansas (1968) _____Upholds the Boy Scouts authority as a private institution to exclude Dale on the basis of his homosexuality (ignoring New Jersey public accommodation law).
38Palko v. Connecticut (1937) _____Private discrimination allowed; began “Jim Crow” era 1880s – 1950s; businesses free to discriminate; Congress can prevent states from enacting discriminatory laws, but my not prevent private discrimination
39New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) _____Struck down the University of Michigan’s heavy use of racial preferences in undergraduate admissions.
40Engel v. Vitale (1962) _____In a split decision, the often conservative-leaning Roberts court concluded that the Second Amendment does protect an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.
41Reynolds v. US (1878) _____Provided test for determining which parts of the Bill of Rights should be nationalized – those which are implicitly or explicitly necessary for liberty to exist
42Brown v. Board of Education 1st (1954) _____4th Amendment and 14th Amendment; established the exclusionary rule in state courts (Weeks, 1914 est. federal courts); “exclusionary rule”: illegally obtained evidence cannot be used in court; example of Warren Court’s judicial activism
43Planned PArenthood v. Casey (1992) _____Rules that religious duty is not sufficient defense against criminal charges of polygamy (First Amendment does not protect polygamy as a religious practice).
44Gratz v. Bollinger (2003) _____Established right of privacy through 4th and 9th Amendments; Connecticut law banning contraceptives; set a precedent for Roe v. Wade, 1973.
45McDonald v. Chicago (2010) _____Ordered schools to desegregate “with all due and deliberate speed”
46Pottawatomie v. Earls (2002) _____Prohibited devotional Bible reading in public schools by virtue of the 1st Amendment’s Establishment Clause and the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause; Warren Court’s judicial activism.
47Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) _____The Supreme Court rejected the position of the Bush Administration that they can hold terrorists without due process and without the protection of the Geneva Accords.
48F.E.C. v. Wisconsin Right to Life (2207) _____Use of 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause to stop the Florida recount in the election of 2000; example of Supreme Court dealing with a “political question”.
49Owasso v. Falvo (2001) _____Declares student speech is NOT protected by the First Amendment if it lacks value and is “disruptive of learning.”
50Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002) _____1st Amendment protects campaign spending; legislature can limit contributions, but not how much a person spends of his/her own money on their own campaign.
51Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006) _____The Court has ruled that the random drug tests were constitutional. Though the Fourth Amendment requires “probable cause,” the Court has long held that school officials need only “reasonable suspicion” in order to conduct a search. Additionally, in this case the Supreme Court held that even suspicion-less searches were allowed given the “special needs” of the school environment.
52Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) _____Ordered House of Representative legislative districts to be as near in population as possible; extended Baker v. Carr (1962) to the national government
53Wallace v. Jaffree (1985) _____Established the 1st Amendment protections of symbolic free speech – conduct that expresses an idea; students wore black armbands to school to protest the war in Vietnam; symbolic speech in public schools could be punished, but only if it disrupts the educational process.
54Veronia School District v. Acton (1995) _____Established separate but equal doctrine; discrimination would be allowed until the 1960s.
55Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1987) _____Flag burning; 1st Amendment Free Speech (Symbolic Free Speech); this form of free speech is constitutionally protected; link to Tinker v. Des Moines, 1969; “Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea [because it is] offensive”.
56Morse v. Frederick (2007) _____Claims that the Bill of Rights protections DO NOT apply to intrusions by state governments.
57Boy Scourts of America et al v. Dale (2000) _____Established precedent of nationalizing the Bill of Rights (applying them to states); states cannot deny freedom of speech – protected through Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment
58Stanford v. Kentcuky (1989) _____The Court reasoned that ads by corporations in support of a particular candidate were needed to reduce political corruption and public cynicism; “Issue ads which do not endorse a political candidate did not meet this criteria: an ad is the functional equivalent of express advocacy only if the ad is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate.”
59Greg v. Georgia (1976) _____African Americans could not sue in federal court – none of the “rights & privileges” of citizens; 5th Amendment = slave owners can not be deprived of “property” w/o “due process of law”; invalidated Missouri Compromise; contributed to Civil War
60Bush v. Gore (2000) _____Upholds right of public school administrators to conduct random drug tests (urinalysis) to student athletes.

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