United States v. Burroughs
Difference between crack cocaine and powdered cocaine does not create an unfair situation
The sentencing scheme for cocaine offenses has the effect of incarcerating for lengthy periods young black men who distribute crack cocaine while white distributors of cocaine powder, the drug from which crack cocaine is derived, receive comparatively light sentences. Although this scheme might not be soft on crime, it has been soft on equality. The court's role, however, is to pass judgment on the constitutionality of the penalty provisions, not on their wisdom. Accordingly, the court finds that the 100:1 ratio between cocaine powder and crack cocaine in the cocaine sentencing scheme does not violate the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause.
Johnson v. California
the Court held that prison racial-segregation policies are subject to strict scrutiny. The Court rejected the claim that because the policy was "neutral" - because all prisoners were "equally" segregated - the policy was not subject to strict scrutiny. Racial classifications must receive strict scrutiny even when they may be said to affect the races equally. The Court remanded the case so that the Ninth Circuit could use strict scrutiny to review the policy.
Craig v. Boren
1976 Supreme Court case that established the "medium scrutiny" standard for determining gender discrimination, (1976) the Court ruled that keeping drunk drivers off the roads may be an impoprtmt governmental objective, but allowing women aged eighteen to twenty-one to drink alcoholic beverages while prohibiting men of the same age from drinking is not substantially related to that goal
Bowers v. Hardwick
In this case, a gay man from Georgia charged with committing sodomy in his own home with a consenting adult. The court ruled that the Constitution does not explicitly grant the right for homosexuals to practice their lifestyle and that laws against sodomy were Constitutional.
Lawrence v. Texas
A Texas law classifying consensual, adult homosexual intercourse as illegal sodomy violated the privacy and liberty of adults to engage in private intimate conduct under the 14th amendment.
Loving v. Virginia
14th amendment equal protection clause allows "freedom to marry" ends 17 state racial restrictions; U.S. supreme court declares "the freedom to marry... one of the basic civil rights of man"
Cohen v. California
1st amendment denies government the power to prohibit speech just because it is "offensive"
Texas v. Johnson
burning a flag is a form of symbolic speech, 1989; Supreme Ct struck down a law banning the burning of the American flag on the grounds that such action was symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment
Virginia v. Black
Virginia law - can't burn cross with intention of intimidation, court said we protect right for people to be ignorant - Defined True Threat
Ashcroft v. ACLU
• Congress passed an act called the Child Online Protection Act(COPA) to prevent minors from accessing porn. But the American Civil Liberties Union sued in federal court to stop the bill from passing, saying it violated the right to free speech. • The Supreme Court, at first said that COPA is not unconstitutional, but later said that the act can sometimes violate the right to free speech.
Roe v. Wade
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 or unborn child in 3rd. inferred from right of privacy established in griswald v. connecticut
Planned Parenthood v. Casey
Pennsylvania statute required a woman to notify her husband before getting an abortion. The Supreme Court overturned the law, but laws calling for parental consent for minors and the imposition of a 24 hour waiting period were upheld. The state can regulate abortion but not with regulations that impose an "undue burden" upon women.
Hollis v. Commonwealth
recognizes that a fetus is not a person until it is born alive
Court decided that the fetus was not a person for purposes of the murder statute (Kentucky)
Hughes v. State
Court said that the definition of a human life includes a viable human fetus.Whether or nor the fetus is born alive, an unborn fetus that is viable at the time of injury is a human being which may be the victim of a homicide. (Oklahoma)
State v. Merrill
...transferable intent. upheld fetal homicide statute even 28 day old fetus (Minnesota)
State v. Gray
plain language of the statute nor Ohio's common law permitted the state's construction of the statute. Furthermore, the court stated that the legislature, rather than the judiciary, would be the appropriate forum to address proposed changes. A parent may not be prosecuted for child endangerment for substance abuse occurring before the birth of the child. (Ohio)
Gregg v. Georgia
made capital punishment constitutional; overturned Furman v. Georgia (1972) which stated that capital punishment was unconstitutional, death penalty laws are constitutional if they require the judge and jury to consider certain mitigating and aggravating circumstances in deciding which convicted murderers should be sentence to death. proceedings must also be divided into a trial phase and a punishment phase, and there must be opportunities for appeal
Coker v. Georgia
Held that the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution forbade the death penalty for the crime of rape of a woman. Capital punishment for rape of an adult woman is disproportionate.
Roper v. Simmons
It is unconstitutional to impose capital punishment for crimes committed while under the age of 18.
Graham v. Florida
Court ruled that sentences for life in prison without the possibility of parole for juveniles was cruel and unusual punishment
State v. Forrest
Court ruled that it is never constitutional for a person to involuntarily end another person's life. There was in fact premeditation and deliberation
Washington v. Glucksberg
1997 Rehnquist. Court upholds prohibition against "causing or aiding suicide." Suicide not a fundamental liberty interest so rational basis applied. Distinguishes Cruzan: decision to commit suicide, unlike right to refuse treatment, has never enjoyed due process. argues that there was a due process issue
Vacco v. Quill
a New York ban on physician-assisted suicide was constitutional, and preventing doctors from assisting their patients, even those terminally ill and/or in great pain, was a legitimate state interest and was well within the authority of the state to regulate. (there is no constitutional right to die) argued that there was an equal protection issue