United States Government & Court Cases

This chapter includes united states government & court cases and supreme court cases.

Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Established judicial review; midnight judges; John Marshall; power of the Supreme Court.

McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

Established national supremacy; established implied powers; use of elastic clause; state unable to tax federal institution; John Marshall; the power to tax involves the power to destroy.

Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

Established a broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause; determined Congress power encompassed virtually every form of commercial activity. The Commerce Clause has been the constitutional basis for much of Congress regulation of the economy.

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

Established separate by equal. Gave Supreme Court approval to Jim Crow laws.

Schenck v. U.S. (1919)

Oliver Wendell Holmes; clear and present danger test; shouting fire in a crowded theatre; limits on speech, esp. in wartime.

Gitlow v. New York (1925)

Established precedent of federalizing Bill of Rights (applying them to the states); states cannot deny freedom of speech protected through due process clause of Amendment 14.

Near v. Minnesota (1931)

Held that the 1st Amendment protects newspapers from prior restraint.

Palko v. Connecticut (1937)

Provided test for determining which parts of Bill of Rights should be federalized those which are implicitly or explicitly necessary for liberty to exist.

Korematsu v. U.S. (1944)

Upheld as constitutional the internment of Americans with Japanese descent during WWII.

Brown v. Board, 1st (1954)

School segregation unconstitutional; segregation psychologically damaging to blacks; overturned separate but equal; use of 14th Amendment; judicial activism ofWarren Court; unanimous decision.

Brown v. Board, 2nd (1955)

Ordered schools to desegregate with all due and deliberate speed.

Roth v. United States (1957)

Established that obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press.

Mapp v. Ohio (1961)

Established exclusionary rule; illegally obtained evidence cannot be used in court; Warren Courts judicial activism in criminal rights.

Engel v. Vitale (1962)

Prohibited state-sponsored recitation of prayer in public schools by virtue of the 1st Amendments establishment clause and the 14th Amendments due process clause; Warren Courts judicial activism.

Abbington v. Schempp (1963)

Prohibited devotional Bible reading in public schools by virtue of establishment clause & 14th Amendments due process clause. Warren Courts judicial activism.

Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)

Ordered states to provide lawyers for those unable to afford them in criminal proceedings. Warren Courts judicial activism in criminal rights.

Wesberry v. Sanders (1963)

Ordered House districts to be as near equal in population as possible.

NY Times v. Sullivan (1964)

Held that statements about public figures are libelous only if made with malice and reckless disregard for the truth.

Griswald v. Connecticut(1965)

Established right of privacy through 4th & 9thAmendments. Set a precedent for Roe v. Wade.

Miranda v. Arizona (1965)

Established Miranda warnings of counsel and silence. Must be given before questioning. Warren Courts judicial activism in criminal rights.

Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)

Established 3-part test to determine if establishment clause is violated: nonsecular purpose, advances/inhibits religion, excessive entanglement with government.

Miller v. California (1973)

Established that community standards be used in determining whether material is obscene in terms of appealing to prurient interest, being patently offensive, and lacking in value.

Roe v. Wade (1973)

Established national abortion guidelines; trimester guidelines; no state interference in 1st; state may regulate to protect health of mother in 2nd; state may regulate to protect health of unborn child in 3rd. Inferred from right of privacy established in Griswald v. Connecticut.

U.S. v. Nixon (1974)

Allowed for executive privilege, but not in criminal cases; Even the President is not above the law; Watergate.

Buckley v. Valeo (1976)

1st Amendment protects campaign spending; legislatures can limit contributions, but not how much one spends of his own money on campaigns. The decision opened the door for PACs to spend unlimited amounts of money for campaigning activities so long as they’re not directly coordinated with a particular campaign.

Gregg v. Georgia (1976)

Upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty; death penalty does not constitute cruel & unusual punishment; overturned Furman v. Georgia (1972).

U.C. Regents v. Bakke (1978)

Bakke & UC Davis Med School; declared strict quotas unconstitutional but states may allow race to be taken into account as ONE factor in admissions decisions. Bakke was admitted; affirmative action.

Texas v. Johnson (1989)

Struck down a law banning the burning of the American flag on the grounds that such action was symbolic speech protected by the 1st Amendment.

Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)

States can regulate abortion, but not with regulations that impose undue burden upon women; did not overturn Roe, but gave state more leeway in regulating abortion (e.g., 24-hour waiting period, parental consent for minors)

Shaw v. Reno (1993)

No racial gerrymandering; race cannot be the sole or predominant factor in redrawing legislative boundaries; majority-minority districts.

Bush v. Gore (2000)

Use of 14th Amendments equal protection clause to stop the Florida recount in the 2000 election.

Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002)

Public money can be used to send disadvantaged children to religious schools in tuition voucher programs.

Ashcroft v. ACLU (2002)

Struck down a federal ban on virtual child pornography.

Lawrence v. Texas (2003)

Using right of privacy, struck down Texas law banning sodomy.

Gratz v. Bollinger (2003)

Struck down use of bonus points for race in undergrad admissions at University of Michigan; affirmative action

Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)

Allowed the use of race as a general factor in law school admissions at University of Michigan; affirmative action.