Civil Rights and Liberties Cases

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These are the cases included in Mr. Merrill's AP US Government and Politics unit on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Included are the facts and decision by the courts, and, if applicable, anything that resulted from the case.

Schenck v. US (1919)

concluded that a defendant did not have a First Amendment right to free speech against the draft during World War I. Charles Schenck was the Secretary of the Socialist party and was responsible for printing, distributing, and mailing 15,000 leaflets to men eligible for the draft that advocated opposition to the draft. Founding of CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER [free speech]

Barron v. Baltimore (1833)

the guarantee in the 5th Amendment that private property shall not be taken "for public use, without just compensation" is not applicable to state governments as well as the federal government

Gitlow v. New York (1925)

established selective incorporation of the Bill of rights; states cannot deny freedom of speech; protected through the 14th amendment

Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)

the Supreme Court held that the First and Fourteenth Amendments protected speech advocating violence at a Ku Klux Klan rally because the speech did not call for "imminent lawless action"

Snyder v. Phelps (2011)

the ruling of this case supported the freedom of speech and the right to protest that are given in the Constitution after the Westboro Baptist Church protested at a soldier's funeral

Miller v. California (1973)

Supreme Court decision that avoided defining obscenity by holding that community standards be used to determine whether material is obscene in terms of appealing to a "prurient interest" and being "patently offensive" and lacking in value

Reno v. ACLU (1997)

the 1996 Communications Decency Act was ruled unconstitutional since it was overly broad and vague in its regulation of speech on the Internet, and since it attempted to regulate indecent speech, which the First Amendment protects

Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)

3 students protested the vietnam war by wearing black arm bands; school decided that if they didn't remove the bands, they would be suspended until after new years, which they were; courts held that wearing black armbands by students in protest against the Vietnam War was a form of speech protected by the First Amendment

Texas v. Johnson (1989)

struck down Texas law that banned flag burning, which is a protected form of symbolic speech after Johnson burned a flag outside of the 1988 RNC

Nazi Party v. Skokie (1977)

the Nazi Party applied for a permit to protest but were told that the fee they would have to pay would be 100x higher than others' fee and the Court ruled that unconstitutional

McCollum v. Board of Education (1948)

Court held that the use of tax-supported property for religious instruction and the close cooperation between the school authorities and the religious council violated the Establishment clause. Because pupils were required to attend school and were released in part from this legal duty if they attended the religious classes, the Court found that the Champaign system was "beyond question a utilization of the tax-established and tax-supported public school system to aid religious groups and to spread the faith."

Engel v. Vitale (1962)

prohibited state-sponsored recitation of prayer in public schools by virtue of 1st Amendment's establishment clause and the 14th Amendment's due process clause

Abington School District v. Schempp (1963)

this decision ruled that a PA state law that allowed a Bible passage to be read at the start of the school day was unconstitutional

Epperson v. Arkansas (1968)

prohibited states from banning teaching of evolution in public schools

Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)

created a 3-part "test." Laws which aid religion must 1) have a "secular purpose", 2) neither advance nor inhibit religion, 3) avoid "excessive government entanglement with religion"

Reynolds v. US (1878)

rules that religious duty is not sufficient defense against criminal charges of polygamy (First Amendment does not protect polygamy as a religious practice).

West Virginia v. Barnette (1943)

a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that held that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protected students from being forced to salute the American flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance in school; won by Jehovah's Witnesses, whose religion forbade them from saluting or pledging to political institutions or symbols

Wisconsin v. Yoder (1970)

Amish religion based on traditional living values so that when a boy reaches 12, he should learn to farm and drop out of school but that violates the Anti-Truency Act which requires students to stay in school until they are 16; Court said that the Amish dropping out does not pose a threat

Oregon v. Smith (1990)

Court ruled that the state of Oregon could deny unemploymeny benefits to two drug counselors who had been fired for using peyote, an illegal drug in their Native American religious services; demonstrated the government regulation of the free exercise clause

NY Times v. US (1971)

the Pentagon Papers Case that demonstrated that government will not allow censorship unless it poses a national security threat

Mapp v. Ohio (1966)

Mapp was suspected of running a house of ill-repute so the police lied about having a warrant so they could search her house; only found obscene material so she was arrested and convicted even though there was no warrant; Courts ruled that searches and seizures without warrants are unreasonable

Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

Supreme Court held that criminal suspects must be informed of their right to consult with an attorney and of their right against self-incrimination prior to questioning by police.

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 because Gideon was denied a counsel since the police said it could "only be awarded for capital offenses"

Furman v. Georgia (1972)

State death penalties (as then applied) are arbitrary and violate equal protection of 14th Amendment

Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)

Supreme Court decision in which the Court ruled that the Constitution implicitly guarantees citizens' right to privacy.

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

Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)

Court ruled that Scott was the property of Sanford and, as a slave, was prohibited from suing in court

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

legalized segregation in publicly owned facilities on the basis of "separate but equal"

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

decision holding that school segregation was inherently unconstitutional because it violated the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection; marked the end of legal segregation in the United States.

Brown v. Board of Education II (1955)

desegregation plans to be developed by local school boards with oversight by federal district courts; desegregation to proceed with 'all deliberate speed'

Heart of Atlanta Motel v. US (1964)

FCRA mandated that places of public accommodation are prohibited from discrimination against blacks

Green v. County School Board (1968)

banned a freedon-of-choice plan for integrating schools, suggesting that blacks and whites must actually attend racially mixed schools

Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenberg (1971)

Supreme Court ruled that busing of students was appropriate to equalize the racial imbalances caused by geographic proximity to the schools; done to ensure that schools were properly integrated and that every student received an equal education, regardless of race

University of California v. Bake (1978)

the case of "reverse discrimination"; Court ruled that Bakke's rights to attend the Berkley School of Medicine were violated because affirmative action quotas were unconstitutional

Baker v. Carr (1962)

"One man, one vote" that ordered state legislative districts to be as near equal as possible in population

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