Historic Supreme Court Cases

  1. Led to the enactment of the 11th (1798), which established that federal courts have no authority in suits by citizens against a state, thus preventing a citizen of another state from suing a state
    1793....Chisholm v. Georgia
  2. Declared the Judiciary Act of 1789 unconstitutional and void. The principle of "judicial review" was first asserted and established with this desicion, although the Court first excercised the power of judicial review in Hylton v. United States in 1796 when it upheld the constitutionality of a Congressional tax
    1803....Marbury v. Madison
  3. First found a state law to be unconstitutional
    1810....Fletcher v. Peck
  4. Established the Court's appellate power when "federal questions" are involved (see Cohens v. Virginia)
    1816....Martin v. Hunter's Lessee
  5. Upheld the doctrine of implied powers of the Constitution and allowed for a liberal interpretation by Congress
    1819....McCulloch v. Maryland
  6. Ruled that a charter is a contract, which the Constitution protects against state legislative interference
    1819....Dartmouth College v. Woodward
  7. Along with Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, established that a uniform interpretation applied for "federal questions" and that the court's escape scope of juridisction was founded on the doctrine of national supremacy
    1821....Cohens v. Virginia
  8. Established the basis for federal regulatory powers in the area of interstate commerce— It also established the precedent that Congress can invalidate contradictory laws of the states especially concerning the granting of monopoly privileges
    1824....Gibbons v. Ogden
  9. Established the "original package" doctrine of goods if the "original package" were imports and subject to congressional and not state regulation
    1827....Brown v. Maryland
  10. Ruled that it had no jurisdiction since the Cherokee Nation was a "domestic dependent nation" with no standing in court either as citizens or as a foreign nation, thus upholding Georgia's laws over the territory it claimed as its own
    1831....Cherokee Nation v. Georgia
  11. Declared a Georgia law to be unconstitutional by ruling that Georgia laws were not applicable within the territory of the Cherokee nation and that Federal jurisdiction over the Cherokee was exclusive
    Worcester v. Georgia
  12. Declared Congressional act unconstitutional; Congress couldn't pass a law to deprive citizens of property w/o due process.
    Dred Scott v. Sanford
  13. Neither Congress nor President could institute military tribunals to try civilians during wartime in areas where civil courts were available.
    Ex Parte Milligan
  14. 5 cases in which the Court restricted scope of federal authority by holding that 14th amendment didn't protect invasion of civil rights by individuals. i.e. the court allowed discrimination of blacks by private persons.
    Civil rights cases
  15. Separate but equal doctrine in upholding Louisiana law requiring segregated railroad facilities since both sets of facilities were equal.
    Plessy v. Fergueson
  16. 10-hour day for bakers unconstitutional because it violated employer-employee freedom of contract.
    Lochner v. New York
  17. Upheld dissolution of namesake company as it applied the rule of reason to Sherman Antitrust of 1890.
    Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. U.S.
  18. Ordered reorganization rather than dissolution of the company based on rule of reason.
    U.S. v. American Tobacco Co.
  19. Government can't restrict freedom of speech unless speech creates clear and present danger.
    Schenck v. U.S.
  20. Established that most of guarantees in Bill of Rights were applicable to states.
    Gitlow v. New York
  21. "sick chicken case"; invalidated NIRA by ruling that Congress couldn't delegate leislative powers to the executive and could not regulate wholly interstate business.
    Schechter Poultry Co. v. U.S.
  22. Federal Government is empowered to regulate local labor union activities, upholding Wayne Act.
    NLRB v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp.
  23. Truman's seizure of steel mills to prevent strike unconstitutional (first time).
    Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer
  24. Revesed Plessy v. Fergueson. Segregation is now unconstitutional.
    Brown v. Board of Edu.
  25. Defined obscenity and ruled 1st amendment does not protect publication of obscene materials.
    Roth v. U.S.
  26. Eliminated the use of evidence obtained by illegal means in criminal trials.
    Mapp v. Ohio
  27. Ended reapportionment of pol. districts in favor of rural areas; made decisions on "1 man 1 vote" basis
    Baker v. Carr
  28. Nondenominational prayer by N.Y. board of regence unconstitutional.
    Engel v. Vitale
  29. Ended state-mandated bible reading and recitation of Lord's Prayer.
    Abington Twp. School District v. Schempp
  30. Indigent defendants get court-appointed counsel.
    Gideon v. Wainwright
  31. State legislators must be elected by "1 person 1 vote"; districts must be approx. equal in population.
    Reynolds v. Simms
  32. Prohibited confession from being used as evidence if accused has been denied lawyer.
    Escobedo v. Illinois
  33. Suspects must be informed of rights.
    Miranda v. Arizona
  34. Pentagon Papers case; prior censorship by g'vt unconstitutional, and attempt to block publication violates 1st amendment.
    New York Times Co. v. U.S.
  35. Death penalty unconstitutional b/c it violates 8th and 14th amendments.
    Furman v. Georgia
  36. Reporters not constitutionally privelaged under 1st amendment to refuse to reveal sources to jury.
    Branzburg v. Hayes
  37. Abortion.
    Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton
  38. Established detailed set of standards for evaluating obscenity. Gave more power to state/local g'vt to determine what is obscene.
    Miller v. California
  39. Supreme Court, not President, is final judge of Constitution.
    U.S. v. Nixon
  40. Prohibited specific quotas for university admissions programs to achieve racial balance.
    Regence of U. of California v. Allan Bakke
  41. Upheld patent of creating new life forms from man made microbes.
    Diamond v. Chakrabarty
  42. Refused to extend any constitutional right of privacy to homosexual activity.
    Bowers v. Hardwick
  43. Sexual harrassment = discrimination; prohibited under Civil Rights Act 1964.
    Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson
  44. States can't limit # of terms Congressmen can serve.
    U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton
  45. Ended Colorado constitutional provision that barred legislation protecting homosexuals from discrimination.
    Romer v. Evans
  46. Sitting president doesn't have temporary immunity from lawsuit for actions outside official duties.
    Clinton v. Jones
  47. Florida election recounts couldn't continue; gave election to Bush.
    Bush v. Gore
  48. U of M case whereby colleges can't use point systems blindly in favoring minorities
    Gratz v. Bollinger
  49. Michigan law school case; colleges may favor minority applicants as long as each background is fully assessed.
    Gruttner v. Bollinger
  50. Homosexuals entitled to right of privacy and that private conduct is not a crime.
    Lawrence v. Texas
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Historic Supreme Court Cases