Engle v. Vitale (1962) (1st Amend-Est. Clause)
No child could be compelled to participate in school prayer because it was against the establishment clause.
Wallace v. Jaffree (1985) (1st Amend-Est. Clause)
Struck down moment of silent prayer.
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) (1st Amend-Est. Clause)
When a law or state action involves religion, it must have a secular (worldly) purpose; it cannot advance or inhibit religion, or excessively entangle the government w/ religion; Lemon Test.
Employment Division v. Smih (1991) (1st Amend-Free Exercise Clause)
general applicability of law to religious practice (ex. illegal drugs in religion is still illegal in government)
Bethel School District v. Fraser (1986) (1st Amend-Freedom of Speech)
Vulgarity & vulgar language can be prohibited by schools if a schools mission is to promote socially appropriate behavior.
Regina v. Hicklin (1868) (1st Amend-Obscenity)
Established Victorian standards of morality. Anything is obscene which tends to deprave & corrupt the mind or exposes the mind to such immortal influences.
Near v. Minnesota (1931) (1st Amend-Freedom of the Press)
States cannot ban offensive publications; 1st Amendment freedom-of-the-press protections apply to the states.
Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) (1st Amend-Freedom of Speech)
SC ruled that the symbolic speech of wearing an armband to protest the Vietnam conflict was not prohibited to school if it did not cause a disturbance & was linked to freedom of speech.
Presser v. U.S. (1886) (2nd Amend.)
2nd amendment applies only to Federal government.
U.S. v. Miller (1939) (2nd Amend.)
Allowed federal law to prevent shotguns from being sent through the mails. Upheld federal Firearms Act of 1938.
DC v. Heller (2nd Amend.)
Court declared there's an individual right to bear arms; Court allows gun control laws; regulation of federal arms
Grutter v. Bollinger & Gratz v. Bollinger (2003) (14th Amend.)
2 "affirmative action" cases involving the University of Michigan's law school & undergrad admissions. The law school program that used an individualized approach considering race as a factor was upheld. The undergraduate policy of granting points for race was ruled unconstitutional. Somewhat like the Bakke base, these 2 cases, when taken together, narrow the scope of affirmative action programs, while not striking down the concept entirely.
Bakke v. University of California Regents (1978) (14th Amend-Affirmative Action)
Ruled that fixed quotas under an affirmative action program may not be set aside for minority students in medical school if white applicants are denied the right to compete for the positions.
Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg (1971) (14th Amend-School Busing)
Ruled that busing of students can be used as a means of removing de facto segregation of public schools.
Bunn v. North Carolina (1948) (1st Amend.)
Snake handling endangers health & safety
Schenck v. U.S. (1919) (1st Amend.)
SC established "clear & present danger" as far as free speech goes; upheld the Espionage Act. (Basically restricts free speech; ex. can't say "fire" in a public place)
Gitlow v. New York (1925) (1st Amend-Freedom of Speech)
Applied 1st amendment Free Speech guarantees to states.
Miller v. California (1973) (1st Amend-Freedom of Speech & Press)
Three part obscenity test-average person find that the material arouses them sexually, material shows sexual conduct specifically defined as obscene by law, and is totally without literary, artistic, political, or scientific value (LAPS).
New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1983) (4th Amend.)
Court upheld the right of a school to search students & their property at any time. The SC ruled that the 14th amendment's protections against search & seizure did not apply to students at a school.
Presser v. Illinois (1886) (2nd Amend.)
Federal government controls the militia, arms, not the states.
Brown v. Board of Education [Topeka] (1954) (14th Amend-De Jure Segregation)
Declared de jure segregation of public schools unconstitutional.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) (14th Amend.)
SC declared segregation in public places was unconstitutional if "separate but equal" facilities were available.
Weeks v. U.S. (1914) (4th Amend-Exclusionary Rule)
Evidence seized in an improper search cannot be used to obtain a conviction (exclusionary rule: applied only to federal government. (Basically, evidence taken illegally can't used in court)
Mapp v. Ohio (1961) (4th Amend-Exclusionary Rule)
Required that illegally obtained evidence be excluded from criminal trials. The Court has since modified its views on this issue; applied exclusionary rule to states.
Burdeau v. McDowell (1921) (4th Amend.)
4th amendment guarantees apply only to government searches & seizures, NOT to searches by private individuals.
Sibron v. New York (1968) (4th Amend.)
Limits on "stop & frisk." It is illegal to thrust hands inside suspect's jacket, coat, etc., without a "pat down" first. (police must pat before squeezing)
Escobedo v. Illinois (1964) (5th Amend-Confessions)
Reinforced protection against self-incrimination & marked the beginning of judicial regulation of police interrogations. (Remember that this lead up to the Miranda Rights!)
Miranda v. Arizona (1966) (5th Amend-Confessions)
Ruled that a suspect must be informed of his right to remain silent & to have an attorney present during questioning & must be warned that any statement made may be used against him in court. (Miranda Rights)
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) (6th Amend.)
Established the right of the poor to free legal counsel when facing trial for a felony. (right of poor to a lawyer)
Furman v. Georgia (1972) (8th Amend.)
Ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional because of the arbitrary way in which it was applied.
Gregg v. Georgia (1876) (8th Amend.)
Set the standard for the two-stage trial rule: one for the verdict & the other for sentencing. Allowed states to reintroduce the death penalty.
Roe v. Wade (1973) (9th Amend-Right to Privacy)
Overruled state restrictions on voluntary abortions during the first 3 months of pregnancy. (allows abortion for 1st & 2nd trimesters, NOT 3rd)
Planned parenthood v. Casey (1992) (9th Amend-Right of Privacy).
States can regulate abortion as long as an "undue burden" is not placed on women. A 24-hour waiting period, counseling on alternatives to abortion, & parental consent for minors were constitutional restrictions on the right to an abortion.
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Marshall avoided a confrontation with President Jefferson and, by ruling a provision of the Judiciary Act of 1789 to be unconstitutional, established the Court's power of Judicial Review.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
settled 2 questions-1) Could Congress charter a national bank? (Yes, because it is "necessary & proper") 2) Could states tax such a bank? (No, because national powers are supreme)
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
conflict over national license vs. a state license to operate a steamboat in the waters between New York & New Jersey