Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Established precedent of judicial review in the Supreme Court
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Bank of the United States was confirmed constitutional, and states did not have the power to end federal institutions (foundation for future expansions of government power)
Cohens v. Virginia (1821)
Supreme Court has jurisdiction over any national court ruling of constitutionality, and state laws that oppose the Constitution are void
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Federal government has power over both interstate commmerce and state to state commerce. When federal and state laws conflict, the federal law overrides the state's.
Fletcher v. Peck (1810)
State legislatures cannot repeal legislation (Yazoo Land Act), it was binding under the Constitution's Contract Clause.
Dartmouth v. Woodward (1819)
The charter of a college, even if granted before the Constitution, is still protected under the contract clause.
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
Because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. Obiter Dictum: The Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional -- slaves are property, and under the Constitution the government has no right to confiscate property without due process, therefore the Missouri Comromise was overturned.
Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954)
Segregated schools were inherently unequal and did not uphold the 13th or 14th Ammendments, because they deprived children of equal protection under the laws
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Abortion ruled legal throughout nation in the 1st trimester for any reason, the 2nd with certain justification, and the 3rd only with a signed court order
Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)
Four of the original five conditions on abortions upheld -- Informed consent, 24 hour waiting period, parental consent for a minor, and the imposition of certain reporting info from abortion facilities. Spousal notification was overturned.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Supreme Court ruled that Lousisiana's Act Three did not force inferiority of blacks and therefore did not violate the 13th Ammendment. Essentially legalized segregation -- the 'separate but equal' case
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
Defendants are entitled to a lawyer in any trial, even non-capital cases. Courts are required to provide a lawyer if the defendant cannot. The only way a defendant cannot have a counsel is if they knowingly waive their right.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Suspects must be informed of their rights to legal counsel and silence upon their arrest, and if they decide to remain silent or do not waive their rights, the interrogation must cease. No confession can be admissable under the 5th or 6th Ammendments unless a suspect has been made aware of their rights and has waived them.
Engle v. Vitale (1962)
Ruled unconstitutional to have prayers in schools on 1st Ammendment grounds
Rosenberg Trial (1951)
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg convicted of treason, spying for the Soviets and sharing American and British nuclear secrets during the Cold War (arms race and Red Scare), and were sentenced to death under the Espionage Act of 1917
Lindbergh Kidnapping Case (1932)
Bruno Hauptman convicted of kidnapping and murdering Charles Lindbergh, Jr. Resulted in the Federal Kidnapping Act -- if a kidnapper takes the victim across state lines, the case is under Federal jurisdiction, and if a kidnappee is harmed or killed, it is a capital offense.
The Trial of Eddie Slovik (1944)
Of the 49 American soldiers sentenced to death for desertion during World War II, this man was the only one executed
Trial of Tokyo Rose (1949)
Iva Ikuko Toguri charged with treason for broadcasting on Japanese radio, for "adhereing to and giving aid and comfort to the Imperial government of Japan"
Korematsu v. United States (1942)
When he refused to enter the internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor, citing the 5th Ammendment, Fred Korematsu was jailed for forty years. The Supreme Court under Harlan Stone ruled that it was not unconstitutional to require the internment, because the country was at war and needed to protect against espionage