Supreme Court

  1. Marbury v. Madison
    Established judicial review for federal laws by declaring section 13 of the Federal Judiciary Act of 1789 unconstitutional, to the extent that it purports to enlarge the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
  2. Plessy v. Ferguson
    The "separate but equal" provision of public accomidations by state governments is constitutional under the equal protection clause.
  3. R.A.V. v City of Saint Paul
    Supreme Court ruled a state ordinance which made illegal symbols or objects known to arouse anger or alarm on the basis of color, race, religion or gender constitutionally unacceptable protecting symbolic hate speech under the 1st Amendment.
  4. Cooper v. Aaron
    The court held that since the Supremacy Clause of Article VI made the U.S. constitution the supreme law of the land, and because Marbury vs Madison gave the supreme court the power of judicial review, the precedent set forth in Brown vs Board of Education is the supreme law of the land and is therefore binding on all the states, regardless of any state law contradicting it.
  5. Escobedo v. Illinois
    The court found that where a police investigation begins to focus on a particular suspect who has been refused counsel, his/her statements to police are excluded.
  6. Gibbons v. Ogden
    The Supreme Court held that the power to regulate interstate navigation was granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause of the constitution and went on to conclude that Congressional power over commerce should extend to the regulation of all aspects of it, overriding state law to the contrary.
  7. Schenck v U.S.
    In this case, the court stated, "the question in every case is whether words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about substantive evils that congress has the right to prevent."
  8. Dred Scott v Sanford
    Africans residing in America, whether slaves or free, could not become US citizens and the plaintiff therefore lacked the capacity to file a lawsuit. Furthermore, the parts of the Missouri Compromise creating free territories were unconstitutional because congress had no authority to abolish slavery in federal territories.
  9. U.S. v Nixon
    The Supreme Court does have the final voice in determining constitutional questions; no person, not even the Persident of the United States, is completely above the law; and the president cannot use executive privilege as an excuse to withold evidence that is demonstrably relevant in a criminal trial.
  10. Palko v Connecticut
    Here, the court stated the5th Amendment right to protection against double jeopardy is not a fundamental right incorporated by the 14th Amendment to the individual states. The court eventually reversed course and incorporated the protection against double jeopardy with it's ruling in Barron vs Baltimore.
  11. New York Times v Sullivan
    Here, the Supreme Court established the actual malice standard before press reports could be considered to be defamation and libel.
  12. Mapp v Ohio
    The court stated that the exclusionary rule, banning unconstitutionally obtained evidence from use in criminal prosecutions also applies to the states, meaning that states can't use evidence gained by illegal means to convict someone.
  13. Gideon v Wainwright
    Court decided the 6th Amendment right to counsel is a fundamental right applied to the states through the 14th Amendment, and requires that indigent criminal defendants be provided counsel at trial. Modified a previous supreme court decision (Betts 42') that looked to appoint counsel on a case by case basis.
  14. Miranda v Arizona
    A landmark decision mandating that a person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he/she has the right to not incriminate themselves, and that he/she must be clearly informed that they have the right to consult with a lawyer and to have a lawyer with them during interrogation.
  15. Roe v Wade
    A US Supreme Court case that resulted in a landmark judicial opinion about privacy being implied not enumerated in the constitution as well as abortion in the United States. Court found a Texas law making it a crime to assist a women to get an abortion violated her due process rights.
  16. McCulloch v Maryland
    Although the constitution does not specifically give congress the power to establish a bank, it does delegate the ability to tax and spend, and a bank is a proper and suitable instrument to assist the operations of the government in the collection and disbursement of the revenue.
  17. US v Lopez
    The supreme court held that while congress had broad lawmaking authority under the commerce clause, it was not unlimited, and did not apply to things far from commerce as carrying handguns, especially when there was no evidence that carrying them affected the economy on a massive scale.
  18. Barron v Baltimore
    State governments are not bound by the 5th Amendments requirement, specifically the 5th Amendment's guarantee that government taking of private property for public use require just compensation, in cases of eminent domain.
  19. Gitlow v New York
    Though the 14th Amendment prohibits stars from infringing free speech, the defendant was properly convicted under NewYork's criminal anarchy law for advocating the violent overthrow of the government through the dissemination of Communist pamphlets. The case partially reversed Barron v Baltimore.
  20. Weeks v U.S.
    The warrentless seizure of documents from a private home violated the 4th Amendment prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure, and evidence obtained in this manner is excluded from use in federal criminal prosecution.
  21. Near v Minnesota
    A Minnesota law that imposed permanent injunctions against the pulication of newspapers with "malicious, scandalous and defamatory content" violated the 1st Amendment , as applied to the states by the 14th.
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Supreme Court