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Flashcards in The Supreme Court (Facts) Deck (35)
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Which Act established a system of lower federal courts?

Judiciary Act (1789)


Which Justice resigned in 1968 over the threat of impeachment?

Abe Fortas


How many Supreme Court Justices have been impeached?



Current membership of Supreme Court (and which party nominated them)?

John Roberts (R-2005), Anthony Kennedy (R-1988), Clarence Thomas (R-1991), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (D-1993), Stephen Breyer (D-1994), Samuel Alito (R-2006), Sonia Sotomayor (D-2009), Elena Kagan (D-2010) and Neil Gorsuch (R-2017)


Examples of Judicial Activism

Warren Court
Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
Miranda vs Arizona (1966)


Justices who have served long after 'their' President

William J Brennan - until 1990, Eisenhower left 1961
William Rehnquist - until 2005, Nixon left 1974


Last Justice not to receive a 'well qualified' rating from the American Bar Association

Clarence Thomas (1991)


Senate vote on rejected candidate

Robert Bork (1987) lost Committee vote 5-9
Lost Senate vote 42-58


Senate vote on confirmed candidate

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1993) won Committee vote 18-0
Won Senate vote 96-3


Example of politicisation in a case

Obergefell vs Hodges (2015) - Fundamental right of same-sex marriage
For: Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan
Against: Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas


How did pressure groups thwart Robert Bork's nomination in 1987?

National Abortion Rights Action League and National Organization for Women funded $15 million advertising campaign against Bork


How was Gorsuch's 2017 nomination politicised?

Republicans had to use 'nuclear option' to break Democrat filibuster. Only 3 Democrats joined Republicans in a 54-45 vote


Which case established judicial review?

Marbury vs Madison (1803)


When has the Supreme Court intervened in an election?

George W. Bush vs Albert Gore Jr (2000)
Court ruled that the recount scheme in Florida was unconstitutional as it varied from district to district; Equal Protection Clause of 14th Amendment cited


Which case declared that the recitation of state-written prayers at schools were unconstitutional?

Engel vs Vitale (1962)


Which case declared recitation of the lord's prayer and bible passages in public schools unconstitutional?

School District of Abington Township vs Schempp (1963)


Which case upheld the Ohio law that gave students financial aid to attend religious or private schools?

Zelman vs Simmons-Harris (2002)


Which case declared parts of the Federal Election Campaign Act (1974) unconstitutional?

Buckley vs Valeo (1976)
Limiting expenditure seen to limit freedom of speech


Which case declared the Communications Decency Act (1996) unconstitutional?

Reno vs American Civil Liberties Union (1997)
Act had made it illegal to expose children to 'indecent' or 'offensive' material online


Which case declared state laws banning flag desecration as unconstitutional?

Texas vs Johnson (1989)


Which case declared the Gun-Free School Zones Act (1990) unconstitutional?

United States vs Lopez (1995)


Which case declared a 1976 DC law banning handguns unconstitutional?

District of Columbia vs Heller (2008)


Which case extended the right to remain silent in trial to the moment of arrest?

Miranda vs Arizona (1966)


Which case declared all death penalty procedures unconstitutional?

Furman vs Georgia (1972)
Death penalties were brought back by many states, but had to appease the 8th Amendment (ie lethal injection)


Which case declared the use of the death penalty on minors as unconstitutional?

Roper vs Simmons (2005)


Which case established lethal injection as constitutional as it is not 'cruel' or 'unusual'?

Baze vs Rees (2008)


Which case declared that public services could not be segregated by race?

Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka (1954)


Which case made it unconstitutional to give contractors bonuses for hiring minorities?

Adarand Constructors vs Peña (1995)


Which court made racial quotas for university places unconstitutional?

Regents of the University of California vs Bakke (1978)


Which case upheld a woman's right to an abortion?

Roe vs Wade (1973)


Which cases have 'chipped away' at the 1973 abortion decision?

Webster vs Reproductive Health Services (1989)
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania vs Casey (1992)
Gonzales vs Carhart (2003)


Example of Supreme Court checking Presidential power?

United States vs Richard Nixon (1974)
Supreme Court denied Nixon 'executive privilege' and made him hand over taped conversations about Watergate Affair


When has Congress overruled the Supreme Court by initiating a constitutional amendment?

16th Amendment (1913) - federal income tax
Overruled Pollock vs Farmers' Loan and Trust Company (1895)


Which case upheld the right of government to enact the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010)?

National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012)


Which Act can the Supreme Court not strike down as they have no power of initiation?

War Powers Act (1973)