Flashcards in 100 Court Cases Deck (164):
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
the court established its role as the arbiter of the consitutionality of federal laws, the principle is known as judicial review
Fletcher v. Peck (1810)
the decision stems from the Yazoo land cases, 1803, and upholds the sanctity of contracts
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
the court ruled that states cannot tax the federal government
Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)
New Hampshire had attempted to take over Dartmouth College by revising its colonial charter.
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
clarified the commerce clause and affirmed Congressional power over interstate commerce
Johnson v. McIntosh (1823)
established the Indian tribes had rights to tribal lands that preceded all other American law
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831)
established a "trust relationship" with the tribes directly under federal authority
Worcester v. Georgia (1832)
Established tribal autonomy within their boundaries
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837)
the interests of the community are more important than the interests of business
Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842)
declared that labor unions were lawful organizations and that the strike was a lawful weapon
Scott v. Sanford (1857)
speaking for a widely divided court, Chief Justice Taney ruled that Dred Scott was not a citizen and had no standing in court
Ex parte Milligan (1866)
Ruled that a civilian cannot be tried in military courts while civil courts are available
Civil Rights Cases of 1883
Legalized segregation with regard to private property
Wabash, St. Louis, and Pacific Railway Co. v. Illinois (1886)
declared state passed Granger laws that regulated interstate commerce unconstitutional
Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad Co. v. Minnesota (1890)
found that Granger law regulations were violations of the 5th Amendment right to property
Pollock v. The Farmers Loan and Trust Co. (1895)
Declared the income tax under the Wilson-Gorman Tariff to be unconstitutional
U.S v. E.C. Knight Co. (1895)
due to a narrow interpretation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the Court undermined the authority of the federal government to act against monopolies
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
legalized segregation in publicly owned facilities on the basis of "separate but equal"
"Insular Cases"/Downes v. Bidwell (1901)
confirmed the right of the federal government to place tariffs on good entering the U.S. from U.S. territories on the grounds that "the Constitution does not follow the flag"
Northern Securities Co. v. U.S. (1904)
re-established the authority of the federal government to fight monopolies under the Sherman Anti0Trust act
Lochner v. New York (1905)
declared unconstitutional a New York act limiting the working hours of bakers due to a denial of the 14th Amendment rights
Muller v. Oregon (1908)
First case to use the "Brandeis brief"; recognized a 10-hour work day for women laundry workers on the grounds of health and community concerns
Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918)
declared the Keating-Owen Act unconstitutional on the grounds that it was an invasion of state authority
Schenck v. U.S. (1919)
unanimously upheld the Espionage Act of 1917 which declared that people who interfered with the war effort were subject to imprisonment; declared that the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech was not absolute
Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1923)
Declared unconstitutional a minimum wage law for women on the grounds that it denied women freedom of contract
Schenchter v. U.S. (1936)
sometimes called the "sick chicken case." Unanimously declared the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) unconstitutional on three grounds: that the act delegated legislative power to the executive; that there was a lack of constitutional authority for delegated legislative power to the executive; that it sought to regulate businesses that were wholly intrastate in character
Korematsu v. U.S. (1941)
the court upheld the constitutionality of detention camps for Japanese-Americans during World War 2
Ex parte Endo (1944)
the court forbade the internment of Japanese-Americans born in the U.S.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954)
unanimous decision declaring "separate but equal" unconstitutional
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
extends to the defendant the right of counsel in all state and federal criminal trials regardless of their ability to pay
Escobedo v. Illinois (1964)
ruled that a defendant must be allowed access to a lawyer before questioning by police
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
the court ruled that those subjected to in-custody interrogation be advised of their constitutional right to an attorney and their right to remain silent
Roe v. Wade (1973)
the court legalized abortion by ruling that state laws could not restrict it during the first three months of pregnancy. Based on 4th Amendment rights of a person to be secure in their persons
U.S. v. Richard Nixon (1974)
the court rejected Richard Nixon's claim to an absolutely unqualified privilege against any judicial process
Bakke v. Regents of the University of California (1978)
ambiguous ruling by a badly divided court that dealt with affirmative action programs that used race as a basis of selecting participants. the court general upheld affirmative action, but with a 4/4/1 split, it was a very weak decision
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Establishment of judicial review
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
National supremacy, elastic clause
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Barron v. Baltimore (1833)
States can take property without compensating owner
Plessy v. Ferguson
"Separate but equal" doctrine
Schenck v. US (1919)
Speech may be limited when there is a "clear and present danger"
Gitlow v. New York (1925)
States cannot deny free speech --> beginning of the incorporation of the Bill of Rights
Near v. Minnesota (1931)
Freedom of the press from prior restraint
Korematsu v. US (1944)
Internment of Japanese was acceptable to protect the nation
Brown v. Board of Education (1st and 2nd) (1954-1955)
Segregation is unconstitutional
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Engel v. Vitale (1962)
School-sponsored prayer is unconstitutional
Baker v. Carr (1962)
Redistricting is not a political question. One person, one vote
Abington School District v. Schempp (1963)
No school-sponsored devotional bible reading in public schools
Gideon v. Wainright (1963)
Right to counsel must be respected by the states
Wesberry v. Sanders (1963)
House of Representatives districts must be equal in population
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)
Married couples have the right to a "zone of privacy"
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
People must be made aware of their right to counsel and right to remain silent at the time of arrest, protection against self-incrimination
Tinker v. Des Moines (1964)
Symbolic speech is protected in schools
NY Times v. US (1971)
No prior restraint of the press without immediate imperiling of American forces
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)
Lemon test: legislation must have secular legislative purpose, must neither promote nor inhibit religion, and must not create "excessive entanglement"
Miller v. California (1972)
Defined obscenity (something that has no purpose other than obscenity, depicts sexual acts/body parts in a way that would be offensive to the "average person")
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Women have the right to an abortion in the 1st trimester
US v. Nixon (1974)
President does have executive privilege but not in a criminal trial
Buckley v. Valeo (1976)
A candidate's self-contributions are symbolic speech
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)
Racial quotas are unconstitutional (but race can be a factor in admissions)
New Jersey v. TLO (1985)
Schools only need "reasonable suspicion" to search students
Bethel v. Frasier (1986)
Student speech (verbal) can be limited in a school environment when it does not contribute to education
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988)
Prior restraint of the press exists in a school environment (because school newspapers are not a public forum)
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989)
States can place regulations on abortion
Texas v. Johnson (1989)
Flag burning is protected as a form of symbolic speech
Employment Division of Oregon v. Smith (1990)
States can restrain religious practice
Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)
States can regulate abortion as long as they don't create an "undue burden"
Shaw v. Reno (1993)
No racial gerrymandering - race cannot be a predominant factor
US v. Lopez (1995)
Gun Free School Zones Act exceeded Congress's authority to regulate interstate commerce
Reno v. ACLU (1997)
Regulating obscene speech on the internet is unconstitutional
Clinton v. New York (1998)
A line-item veto is an unconstitutional violation of separation of powers
Bush v. Gore (2000)
Halted the recount of ballots in Florida based on the equal protection clause
Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002)
Vouchers for private school tuition are constitutional even though they are predominantly used for religious schools
Ashcroft v. ACLU (2002)
An act intended to prevent minors from accessing pornography on the internet was struck down because it was not the least restrictive method, it was "overbroad"
Gratz v. Bollinger (2003)
Struck down the use of "bonus points" given to minorities when considering students for undergraduate admission
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)
Race can be used as a complex factor for admission - University of Michigan did not violate the 14th amendment
Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
Struck down Texas anti-sodomy law on the grounds that it violated the right to privacy
Kelo v. New London (2005)
Eminent domain can be used to force property owners to sell property for private economic development, as long as it benefits the public
Gonzales v. Oregon (2006)
Death with Dignity Act was upheld as a constitutional use of state power
Gonzales v. Carhart (2007)
Upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003
DC v. Heller (2008)
Struck down a WA, D.C. ordinance that banned handguns
Marbury v Madison 1803
John Adam's midnight appointments = William Marbury. Madison withheld the papers. Marbury request an Act of Congress to get papers. Result: Supreme Court strikes this down claiming that this act is unconstitutional. = judicial review
McCulloch v Maryland 1819
Maryland imposes taxes on Second Bank of the United States. Cashier of bank (McCulloch) refuses to pay. Result: Congress has power to incorporate bank and Maryland cannot tax instruments of the fed. Gov. necessary and proper clause
Gibbons v Ogden 1824
Special permits giving rights to operate steamboats on New York waters exclusively were given. Gibbons was told he had to pay a fee to travel in New York. Result: New York cannot require licensing from other states. Only national government has that power - Supremacy clause
Barron v Baltimore 1833
Barron was owner of a profitable wharf in the harbor. As the city expanded sand accumulated in the harbor and deprived Barron of deep waters essential to his business so he demands compensation from the state. Result: SC does not have jurisdiction because the 5th Amendment only covers the national gov. not states
Dred Scott v Sandford 1857
Scott was a slave in Missouri and lived in a free state. When he returned to the state he tried to sue saying that he was free since he lived in a free state. Result: Only Congress may confer citizenship and only a citizen of the U.S. may be a citizen of a state.
Ex parte Milligan 1866
Milligan sentenced to death by military commission for acts of disloyalty. Milligan sought release for habeas corpus. Result: Civil courts do not have jurisdiction over military tribunals.
Hirabayashi v US 1943
President Roosevelt sets out an executive order for the relocation of aliens to camps during WWII. Hirabayashi was a student who violated curfew and relocation order. Result: The Court ruled that these camps and rules were necessary for developing weapons on the West Coast and war is a time of crisis.
Reynolds v US 1878
Reynolds challenged the anti-bigamy law by taking on another wife in Utah but was convicted. Result: The anti-bigamy statue does not violate the 1st Amendment free exercise because the statute may punish without regard to religious belief.
Hall v DeCuir 1878
Mrs. DeCuir sought passage on a steamboat. Benson would not admit her due to her color. Result: SC ruled that Benson has no right to "regulate commerce" by not allowing DeCuir on the boat. Additionally, he must obey the 14th Amendment. - civil rights
Civil Rights Cases 1883
In several cases, a black person was denied the same accommodations as a white person in violation of the 1875 Civil Rights Act. Result: Congress may only restrain state action due to the 14th amendment. The 10th A. only calls for state actions and not specific events.
Yickwo v Hipkins 1886
All laundries in wooden buildings were required to have permits. Being Chinese, Yick Wo was denied a permit. Result: SC ruled that the ordinance violated the Equal Protection Clause. On its face the ordinance said equal protection for all although vague.
Plessy v Ferguson 1896
A train segregated blacks from whites. Plessy being 7/8 white would not move to the black car and was arrested. Result: SC ruled that the separation is constitutional - "separate but equal"
Swift v US 1905
Monopoly formed in Chicago for meat. Result: Congress has the right to break up monopolies under the Commerce Clause.
Weeks v US 1914
Police took papers which proved he had engaged in illegally mailing lottery tickets without a warrant. Result: SC ruled that this is a direct violation of the 4th A
Schenck v US 1919
Schenck sent out circulars encouraging men to peacefully protest the draft. Convicted of violating the Espionage Act. Result: Schenck's actions are not protected under free speech in the 1st A.
Gitlow v New York 1925
Gitlow publishes manifesto advocating socialism. Result: SC rules that arresting him is a violation of free speech but if that speech leads to dangerous actions then the legislative branch may decide what is or isn't safe to say.
Near v Minnesota 1931
Near published a newspaper indicating that public officials were gangsters. The state ordered him to stop publishing such newspapers. Result: SC ruled that this directly violates Free Press in 1st A.
Schechter Poultry Corp. v US 1935
Congress gives the President the power to regulate industry under National Industry Recovery Act. Result: Congress does not have the authority to delegate such powers to the President.
DeJonge v Oregon 1937
DeJonge assembled to have a meeting with the communist party about protesting and was arrested under a syndicalism statute. Result: SC rules that syndicalism statute violates the due process clause and freedom of assembly.
Palko v Connecticut 1937
Palko tried and convicted of second degree murder although he committed first degree. Tried again later for first degree murder and sentenced to death. Result: Double Jeopardy is not a fundamental right under the 14th A. and therefore is not applied to the states
West Coast Hotel Comp. v Parrish 1937
Parrish received lower wages than the minimum wage at the hotel. Result: the establishment of minimum wages is constitutionally legitimate. This does not violate the liberty of contract under the 14th A.
Minersville School District v Gobitis 1940
Two children were expelled for not saluting the American flag at school due to being Jehovah's Witnesses. Result: SC ruled that the salute does infringe on liberties protected by the 1st and 14th. National unity
Cantwell v State of Connecticut
Jehovah's Witnesses went door to door advertising their religion. Arrested for violating a local ordinance for solicitation and inciting a breach in the peace. Result: the state does not have the power to put out an ordinance to limit freedom of religion.
Cox v New Hampshire 1941
Jehovah's witnesses assembled to march on public streets and interfere with normal foot travel. Marchers arrested for violating a state statute that required a license to parade on public grounds. Result: The government cannot place regulations on content of speech but on the time, place, and manner on speech for public safety. = content neutral License required
Betts v Brady 1942
Betts was arrested for robbery and requested a lawyer. The state refused to provide him one so he went to trial and argued his own case while also arguing the right to an attorney. Result: The state does not have to provide a citizen with an attorney but merely cannot deny if requested.
West Virginia State Board of Ed. v Barnette 1943
West Virginia Board of Education required all pupils and teachers to salute the flag each day. Any who did not were expelled. Result: Requiring public school children to salute the flag is unconstitutional.
Korematsu v US 1944
Japanese Americans were put into internment camps during WWII. Result: The need to protect the safety of the U.S. outweighed any single person's rights. Internment= necessary during wartime
Morgan v Virginia 1946
Irene Morgan was ordered to sit in the back of the bus. She argued that since it was an interstate bus that the law did not apply. Result: SC rules that the segregation on an interstate bus is unconstitutional. A state can neither require nor forbid segregation.
Terminiello v Chicago 1949
Terminiello charged with inciting a riot because of his controversial speech which upset many and caused fights to break out. Result: SC rules that the breach of peace ordinance is unconstitutional and that free speech may only be limited when there is clear and present danger that rises above public annoyance or unrest.
Feiner v New York 1951
After being asked to end a speech twice with the threat of violence, Feiner was arrested. Result: Feiner's arrest was constitutional because of the clear and present danger principle. His arrest maintained peace.
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v Sawyer 1952
President Truman issues executive order to have Sawyer seize all steel mills to avert suspected strikes. Result: The President does not have the power to do this because he does not have the power to seize private property.
Sweatt v Painter 1950
Sweatt was denied admittance to Texas Law School because of his race. Result: SC ruled that the school had to let him in because the separate facility for negroes was not even close to equal.
Brown v Board of Education 1954
Black children were denied admittance to a white school. Result: Although the separate but equal doctrine should provide for equal facilities, the separation in public education maintains inequality.
Trop v Dulles 1958
Trop deserted the army and denied doing so. He was then convicted and stripped of his citizenship under an act of Congress. Result: SC rules that stripping a citizen of citizenship is cruel and unusual punishment and unconstitutional by the 8th A.
Mapp v Ohio 1961
Obscene materials were obtained illegally from Mapp's home. Police tried to use the materials in criminal proceedings. Result: SC ruled that any evidence illegally obtained may not be used in a state court. Exclusionary rule
Hoyt v Florida 1961
Hoyt was convicted of murdering her husband by an all-male jury when women were exempted from jury duty but could still volunteer. Result: The state statute was upheld, reasoning that women were still the center of the home and could be exempt from such distractions.
Engel v Vitale 1962
A nondenominational prayer was authorized to be said at the start of each day at local public schools. Result: The prayer violated the establishment clause.
Baker v Carr 1962
A law that was designed to apportion seats of the Tennessee General Assembly was ignored. Result: Legislative apportionments are under the Supreme Court's jurisdiction.
Gideon v Wainwright 1963
Gideon was charged with breaking and entering in Florida and could not afford an attorney. When he asked to be appointed one, the state said they only had to appoint one to indigenous citizens for capital offenses. Result: SC rules that Gideon has a right to an attorney through the Bill of Rights. Overturned Betts v. Brady.
Katzenbach v McClung 1964
Owner of a restaurant refused to seat blacks in violation of the Civil Rights Act. Result: Discrimination in restaurants posed significant burdens on interstate flow of food and movement of products.
Escobedo v Illinois 1964
Escobedo was arrested for murder and was denied a lawyer after request. His lawyer could not consult with him and he confessed to murder. Result: Escobedo was denied rights given by the 5th A. and not properly informed of them.
Griswold v Connecticut 1965
Mrs. Griswold gave counsel to marital couples that wished to use birth control that was apparently against a Connecticut statute. Result: Marital couples have the right to privacy implied by a few amendments of the Bill of Rights.
Miranda v Arizona 1966
In a number of cases, defendants were not informed of their rights under the 5th A. Miranda raped a woman and admitted to it after not being informed of the right to not self-incriminate. Result: The Court cannot use any statements obtained without the statement of "Miranda" rights. Guidelines to police interrogation
Terry v Ohio 1968
A policeman had been undercover observing Terry and three other men who were suspected in carrying concealed weapons. Terry was arrested. Result: The search and seizure was perfectly legal because the policeman had more than a hunch. The search was limited and the purpose was for the officer's safety in the investigation.
Tinker v DesMoines 1969
Tinker siblings wore armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War and were suspended after refusing to remove them. Result: Symbolic speech is protected under the first A. The armbands caused no disturbance.
Graham v Richardson 1971
PA and AZ denied welfare benefits to aliens or those citizens who had not lived in the US for a certain amount of years. Result: SC rules that this is a direct violation of the 14th A. Aliens pay taxes too.
New York Times v US 1971
The President argues that the publication of the Pentagon Papers is in violation of prior restraint. Result: The barring of the publication of these papers is in violation of the 1st A. Publication does not imperial the public.
Lemon v Kurtzman 1971
Two state statutes provided funds to non-public schools for textbooks and teacher salaries of secular subjects. Result: The statutes violate the establishment clause of the 1st A. A three part test was created to determine if non-public schools could receive aid from the government. Must be secular legislative purpose.
Wisconsin v Yoder 1972
Amish people refused to send their children to school past the 8th grade when the state required public schooling for all children until age16. Result: This law is in conflict with the Free Exercise clause. The statute is in direct conflict with Amish beliefs.
Furman v Georgia 1972
Furman was robbing a home when a resident came home. He ran, tripped, fell, and his gun went off and killed the resident. Furman was given the death penalty. Result: In these instances, this is cruel and unusual punishment and in violation of the 8th A.
Lloyd Corp. v Tanner 1972
Tanner was distributing anti-war handbills in a privately-owned mall. Owner of Lloyd Corp ordered him out. Result: Tanner's 1st A rights are not protected because the material was not related to the mall and he had the option of handing out materials on the public sidewalk outside and not on private property.
Miller v California 1973
Miller started a mass-mailing campaign of obscene materials and was convicted by a California statute forbidding the mailings. Result: The obscene materials do not enjoy the protection of the 1st A. due to the three prong test established in Roth v. United States.
Roe v Wade 1973
Roe wished to terminate her pregnancy in Texas where law forbids it unless the woman's life is in danger. Result: A woman's right to an abortion falls under right to privacy protected by the Bill of Rights.
US v Nixon 1974
President Nixon claimed executive privilege when he withheld certain incriminating tapes from the Court involving the Watergate scandal. Result: The executive branch is not immune from the Court. The executive privilege is limited.
Taylor v Louisiana 1975
Taylor was convicted of murder by a jury of all men. Result: The ruling of Hoyt v Florida was overturned. Women cannot be excluded from the jury pool.
Gregg v Georgia 1976
Gregg was charged and found guilty of robbery and murder and sentenced to death. Result: The death sentence is not cruel and unusual punishment if the crime is a severe criminal case.
Regents of the University of California v Bakke 1978
Bakke was denied both times that he applied to Univ. of CA when the college only had 16 spots available for minorities due to affirmative action. Bakke was more qualified than all of the students admitted in those two years. Result: SC was split. Any racial quota system supported by the government violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Others held that race may be a criterion in admissions to higher education.
Plyer v Doe 1982
Some Texas education laws allowed for the withholding of state funds to educate children of illegal aliens. Result: The law violates the 14th A. because, although illegal aliens, are people and enjoy such protections.
United States v Leon 1984
Policemen monitored drug dealings at a home and deduced from the cars going to and from the house that this was true. They requested a search warrant and found evidence on Leon. However, the warrant was invalid because of lack of probable cause. Result: The officers acted on good faith thinking the warrant was valid so the evidence could be used.
Hudson v Palmer 1984
Palmer was a prisoner in a Virginia prison and Hudson found destroyed private property which Palmer had to pay for. Hudson searched his locker without a warrant. Result: The right to privacy does not exist in a prison due to security requirements.
Wallace v Jaffree 1985
Alabama law allowed teachers to conduct regular religious services at school. Jaffree's three children attended public school in Mobile. Result: The law directly violated the Establishment clause and in fact endorsed religion = unconstitutional
New Jersey v T.L.O. 1985
A teen was suspected of having drugs in her purse and belongings at school. A search was conducted in her locker and drugs were found and she was sent to a juvenile hall. Result: The search does not violate the 4th A. because the school had reasonable suspicion and the search was conducted to keep order and discipline.
Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier 1988
The principal of a school would not permit the publication of an issue of the school paper because it contained inappropriate material written by students. Result: This does not violate the 1st A. because a school has the right to promote particular types of student speech and set standards within reason.
Texas v Johnson 1989
Johnson burned an American flag in front of Dallas City Hall to protest the Reagan administration and was arrested. Result: Under the 1st A., Johnson has the right to burn the flag in protest. It cannot be prohibited just because most find it offensive.
Stanford v Kentucky 1989
A 17 year old was charged with murder, sodomy, and robbery and given the death penalty and the state had a death penalty for juveniles that committed Class A capital crimes. Result: This does not violate the 8th A. due to decency standards. It is also up to the states to determine the cut off age for the death penalty.
Cruzan v Missouri 1990
Mary Beth Cruzan went into a coma after being involved in a car accident. When her parents wished to take her off of life support, the state prevented them from doing so without court approval. Result: While individuals may refuse medical treatment, one may not refuse for another on the basis of bad judgment. The state's attempt to save human life is constitutional. There is no guarantee that family members would act in the best interest of a patient.
US v Eichman 1990
Congress passed the Flag Protection Act in response to Texas v. Johnson. Eichman burned a flag on the steps of the US Capitol in protest of domestic and foreign policy. Result: Similar to Texas v Johnson, the law violates free expression. Allowing a flag to be disposed of but to not be burned in protest is unconstitutional.
US v Lopez 1995
Lopez was arrested for carrying a concealed firearm into school under a law made by Congress which prohibits concealed weapons in school zones in relation to the Commerce Clause. Result: Gun possession does not have a significant economic effect on interstate commerce and therefore the law is unconstitutional.
Reno v ACLU 1997
The Communications Decency Act was created to protest minors from obscene material on the internet. Result: The Act violates the 1st A. because of its broad definition of obscene material which bars free speech. The 1st A only protects from indecent material. Such material must be more specifically defined.
Boy Scouts of America v Dale 2000
Dale, an adult homosexual and gay-rights activist, was excluded from Boy Scouts after the troop learned of this. A law in New Jersey stated that a citizen cannot be excluded from public accommodations based on sexual orientation or race. Boy Scouts is a private, non-profit organization. Result: The New Jersey law violates the Boy Scouts' right of association which includes barring homosexuals as part of their values.
Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v Doe 2000
A school in the Santa Fe School District permitted student-led, student initiated prayer before each home football game. Result: The student led prayer violates the Establishment clause as the public speech takes place on government property and government-endorsed events which means the prayer would also have to be promoted. This is unconstitutional.
US v Morrison 2000
A woman attending Virginia Tech was allegedly raped by two men, Crawford and Morrison. Morrison was found guilty but then appealed to the school board and his sentence was lessened. Brzonkala, the woman who was raped, appealed her case under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Result: Congress does not have the power to pass such an act under the Commerce Clause or the 14th A. because the statute did not actually affect interstate commerce nor redress harm caused by the state.
Bush v Gore 2000
Because of the closeness in the election of 2000, Gore ordered that ballots be recounted in Florida because of a potential mistake. The Florida Supreme Court authorized a recount in all counties. Result: Such a recount is unconstitutional because there is no standard set in the Constitution to do such nor does the state of Florida have the right to set up a new election law.
PGA Tour v Martin 2001
During the PGA tour, Martin requested to ride in a golf cart during the qualifying round due to a degenerative circulatory disorder. The cart was denied to him. Result: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 does require that the PGA give Martin a cart because it would not significantly "alter the nature" of the game.
Watchtower v Stratton 2002
The Village of Stratton requires that anyone wishing to advocate religious material on private property must get a permit to do so or be arrested for misdemeanor. Result: This ordinance is unconstitutional due to the 1st A. and anonymous political speech. Receiving a permit would require that people would have to put their names on them.
Lawrence v Texas 2003
Policemen, entering a private home to follow through with a weapon tip, discovered two men, Lawrence and Garner, engaging in consensual sex. According to the Homosexual Conduct law, the two men were placed under arrest for engaging in homosexual relations. Result: The Texas law violates both of the men's 14th A. rights to engage in private conduct without intervention from the government.
Roper v Simmons 2005
Christopher Simmons was convicted at 17 years old and sentenced to death in 1993. The state found that this was unconstitutional since the public today found that sentencing minors to death was cruel and unusual punishment. Result: The Court ruled that evolving standards have indicated that sentencing minors to death is both cruel and unusual under the 8th A.
Cutter v Wilkinson 2005
A government act authorized the religious practices of inmates at a prison. Prison officials prohibited practices of certain inmates claiming it violated the Establishment Clause. Result: The act does not violate the 1st A. The act was designed to alleviate "government-created burden" on the religious exercise of prisoners.
Gonzales v Oregon 2006
In Oregon, a law was enacted that allowed physicians to legally euthanize terminally ill patients. The Attorney General ordered that under the Controlled Substances Act that physicians were prohibited from this practice. Result: The Supreme Court ruled that the Controlled Substance Act cannot prohibit physicians from this practice. The act was designed to punish illicit drug use. Additionally the Attorney General cannot dictate the practices that are authorized under state law.
Morse v Frederick 2007
A student at a local high school hung up a banner saying "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" which advertises the use of marijuana. The principal ordered that the banner be taken down and the student be suspended. Result: School officials can prohibit students from promoting the use of drugs and does not violate the student's 1st A rights. A decision was not reached about whether Morse was immune to being sued, being a school official.
Medellin v Texas 2008
Mendellin was accused and sentenced to death for participating in the gang rape and murder of two teenage girls. Under the Vienna Convention, Mendellin said that he had a right to contact his consulate. The President upheld that states must comply with the U.S treaty obligation under the Vienna Convention. Result: The Court upheld Mendellin's sentencing because the Vienna Convention was self-executed and did not have the force of law from Congress which means it may not be applied to the states. Also, the President cannot require the states to obey the treaty when such is a congressional power.