Gideon v. wainwright
Was criminals' right to a fair trial and due process of law violated under the protection of the 6th and 14th after the court failed to appoint counsel?
Court Decided that people had the right to be represented by a court-appointed attorney if he/she could not afford his/her own in a unanimous decision.
McCullock v. Maryland
Did congress have the authority to establish a bank? do states' laws interfere with congressional powers?
The court decided in a unanimous decision that congress had implied powers and supremacy over state governments. Therefore, the states did not have the right to tax the Second Bank of the U.S. (Marshall Court)
Rasul v. Bush
Do the U.S. Courts have jurisdiction to consider appeals filed on behalf of foreign citizens held in the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base?
The Court ruled that the jurisdiction exercised by the U.S. over the territory of the of the Guantanamo Bay Base was sufficient enough to guarantee habeas corpus rights to foreign nationals located there.
Gibbons v. Ogden
Was Fulton and Livingston's NY" steamboat licensing monopoly legal? which is supreme in matters affecting interstate commerce, the states or the national government?
The Court unanimously sided with gibbons. The decisions was based on Article I of the constitution:" the congress shall have Power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several Staes, and with the Indian tribes. the court declared people's federal license a legitimate exercise of commerce and that the state-licensed monopolies were void because they conflicted wit the regulatory powers of the Federal Government.
Plessy v. Ferguson
Does the idea of separate but equal infringe on the rights granted to African-Americans in the 14th amendment?
Courts cited that the Separate Car Law complies with constitutional boundaries. Deemed Separate but equal accommodations constitutional.
Olmstead v. United States
Does the evidence obtained from wiretapping violate the recorded party's 4th and 5th Amendments?
Court stated that because there was no actual search or seizure involved, there was no violation of the search and seizure rights in the 4th amendment. the conversations between the two parties and their associates were voluntary, not forced. it was also not self-incriminating, so wiretapping did not violate the 5th amendment.
Roe v. Wade
Does the constitution embrace a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy by abortion?
the court held that the woman's right to abortion was found in the 14th amendment under the right to privacy. the majority agreed that women had total control over there pregnancy with the first trimester of their pregnancy.
Marbury v. Madison
Does the Supreme court have the authority to review acts of Congress and determine whether they are unconstitutional and therefore void?
The Court ruled that courts have the authority to review the acts of congress and determine whether they were unconstitutional and therefore void-- established Judicial Review.
Ex Parte Milligan
does a military judge have jurisdiction over a civilian court?
Ther Court held that trials of citizens by military commissions are unconstitutional, and especially in areas that upheld the Constitution and where civil courts were operating.
Schenk v. United States
Can a person who mails pamphlets to prospective military draftees suggesting that he draft was monstrous, wrong, and motivated by the capitalist system be charged with conspiracy and violation of the espionage act? Does it violate the 1st amendment?
The Court ruled that the character of the act depends on each situation individually. it was declared that he issue addressed was whether or not the words used were used in a manner causing negative thoughts or evils that will provoke danger to the people.it was established that Congress has the right to protect itself as well as the national from clear and present danger.it was from there on a test given i every case to determine whether or not the issue was unconstitutional.
Betts v. Brady
Is the denial of counsel to the poor a violation of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment which embraces the defendants right to counsel granted to hm by the 6th Amendment?
The Court ruled against the defendant. The majority's opinion asserted that the right to counsel merely prevented the state from interfering in a defendant's request for representation rather than requiring a state to offer counsel.
Wisconsin v. Yoder
Was states' policy that all children attend school until the age of 16 a violation of the Freedom of Religion clause of the first amendment?
The Court ruled that the states could not force children to attend school if it conflicted with their religion (freedom of religion)
Island Trees School District v. Pico
Did the decision to ban certain books from a junior high and high school libraries, based on their content, violate the 1st Amendment's freedom of speech protections?
Although school boards have an interest in promoting respect for social, moral and political community values, their discretionary power is secondary to the power of the 1st Amendment.
Griswold v. Connecticut
Does the state have the right to invade marital privacy and restrict married couples access to contraceptives?
The Court agreed that the bill of Rights created the right of marital privacy, even if not directly stated as unspoken rights are protected in the 9th amendment.
Walz v. Tax Commission
Does the 1st Amendment's establishment-of-religion clause allow tax exemptions to religious organizations while preserving the separation of Church and State?
the Court ruled that many exemptions are granted to a broad range of nonprofit, quasi-public corporations and that he fiscal separation of church and state help dissolve their interactions, thus taking religion out of government. in addition, they believed that there are impartial exemptions for all organizations.
Abington v. Schempp
Is the state violating the student's religious freedom that is protected by the 1st and 14th Amendments by requiring them to participate in religious exercises?
The Court ruled that public schools could use the bible and religious readings in their curriculum if and only if it was used for informative and not religious purposes.
Sheppard v. Maxwell
Which is more important, a person's right to a fair trial or the press's right to cover the trial?What threshold must be crossed before a trial is said to be so prejudicial, due to context and publicity, as to interfere with a defendant's Fifth Amendment due process right to a fair trial?
the Court ruled that the publicity of a case can influence a jury's opinion. The Court found that Sheppard did not receive a fair trial. Noting that although freedom of expression should be given great latitude, the Court held that it must not be so broad as to divert the trial away from its primary purpose: adjudicating both criminal and civil matters in an objective, calm, and solemn courtroom setting
U.S. v. Leon
Should the evidence that is presented in a trial be permitted if it violates the 4th Amendment's exclusionary rule.
The Supreme Court ruled that there was an exception to the exclusionary rule presented in the 4th Amendment as the police acted in good faith with search warrant. (The exclusionary rule is a legal principle in the United States, under constitutional law, which holds that evidence collected or analyzed in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights is sometimes inadmissible for a criminal prosecution in a court of law).
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services
do state restrictions unconstitutionally infringe upon the right to privacy or the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment?
The Supreme Court ruled that the preamble provided by the state was not referring to any instances of restricting abortions and thus did not allocate for a constitutional question. Second the Court defined that he Due Process Clause did not require states to enter into the business of abortions, and did not created an affirmative right to governmental aid in the pursuit of constitutional rights. Third the Court found no fault in the counseling provision of the law. Finally the court upheld the viability testing requirements, stating the States motivation to protect potential life could come into existence before the point of viability.
Lawrence v. Texas
The Court ruled that the Texas law that forbids sexual intimacy between two partners of the same sex did violate the Due Process Clause.
Dredd Scott v. Sanford
The Court ruled that no one who was not a citizen of the U.S. could be a citizen of a state and that only congress could declare national citizenship. the Court decided that no slave or anyone of slave descent had ever been a citizen.
Emerson v. Board of Education
Did the New Jersey law that allowed the reimbursements of money to parents who sent their children to school, including children who attended Catholic schools, with public transportation buses violate the concept of separation of Church and State?
the Court ruled that the statute that New Jersey has put forth is expectable because the appropriation of funds is for a public, not a private purpose, namely the promotion of education and the majority accept in the conclusion that all we have here is public welfare legislation.
Mapp v. Ohio
The Court was dealing with an issue that involved unreasonable searches and seizures protection of the 4th Amendment and the nationalization of the bill of rights under the 14th Amendment. If the criminal procedure code of the State did not prohibit the evidence gathered in this way as having been illegally gained, did the law in Ohio fail to provide people the 4th Amendment protection of no unreasonable searches and seizures?
The Court Found that the states were bound to the 4th Amendment and any evidence gained by an illegal search is inadmissible in state courts just as the federal court in unable to use this kind of evidence. this rule or the exclusionary rule had been applied to the federal courts for years so the rule of evidence being inadmissible if obtained in an unreasonable search or seizure was simply being passed down.
Texas v. Johnson
Can a person desecrate an American Symbol in protest?
Does burning the American Flag fall within a person's first amendment rights?
The Court found that although society may find an idea to be disagreeable or offensive, the government may not prohibit the idea form being expressed as it would violate tat person's first amendment right.
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
Did a University violate the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act by not allowing admission of a white person into the University. Should the University be able to set aside open spots for minority applicants if there are applicants of a different race that are more deserving of admission into the college.
the Court stated that not allowing a white person into the University violated the Civil Rights Act, while four justices stated that race could be used as a remedy to help fix under representation in the medical field. The Court ruled that a white person should be allowed admission because of the statement that a candidate may never be excluded based solely on the basis of race. This decision disallowed quota systems set by universities for minorities, but approved of using race as a plus factor in admitting students. however, quota systems may be allowed if there is a compelling state interest. For example, a university has discriminated against a race fora n extended period of time.
Dennis v. U.S.
Did the restrictions of the Smith Act (made it illegal to conspire to advocate the overthrowing or destruction of the U.S. form of gov) violate the freedom of speech rights?
The Court found that the Smith Act did not essentially violate the first amendment.
Baker v. Carr
Is it in the Supreme Court's jurisdiction to cover issues of legislative apportionment.
The Supreme Court decided that the federal courts do have the power to determine the constitutionality of a state's voting district. the majority opinion stated that the courts could determine the constitutionality of a state's apportionment decisions, without necessarily interfering with the legislature's political judgments.
Reed v. Reed
Did the Idaho probate code (males must be preferred to females in appointing administrators of estates) violate the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment?
The Court ruled In a unanimous decision that the law's dissimilar treatment of men and women was unconstitutional, and violated the 14th amendment.
Missouri v. cruzan
did the due Process clause of the 14th Amendment permit parents to refuse life-sustaining treatment on their child's behalf?
The Court held that while individuals enjoyed the right to refuse medical treatment under the Due Process Clause, incompetent persons (parents) were not able to exercise such rights. The state, however, was constitutionally allowed to preserve human life.
Weeks v. U.S.
Can illegally obtained evidence be used in a federal court? at the time that the process by which evidence was obtained had very little to do with the permissibility of it uses in court. also, does the 4th amendment protect citizens against unreasonable search and seizures?
the court held that the seizure of the items from a person's residence directly violated his constitutional rights. Also, the government's refusal to return a person's possessions violated the 4th Amendment.to allow private documents to be seized and then held as evidence against citizens would have meant that he protection of the 4th amendment declaring he right to be secure against such searches and seizures would be of no value whatsoever. this was the first application of what eventually became known as the "exclusionary rule."
Powell v. Alabama
9 black youths were accused of raping two white women. Alabama officials sprinted through the legal proceedings: a total of 3 trials took one day and all nine were sentenced to death.
did the trials violate the due Process of the fourteenth amendment?
escobedo v. illinois
A man was arrested and taken to a police station for questioning. Over several hours, the police refused his repeated requests to see his lawyer. this man's lawyer sought unsuccessfully to consult with his client. He subsequently confessed to murder.
Was he denied the right to counsel as guarunteed by the 6th Amendment?
The Supreme Court rule that the man was not appropriately informed about his right to remain silent during a police interrogation, and it was viewed as an interrogation of a specific suspect rather than general questioning of witnesses.
Kats v. U.S.
Does the 4th Amendment's right to the protection of privacy against unreasonable searches and seizures require police to obtain a search warrant in order to wiretap a public pay phone and other public places?
The court ruled that the rights of the 4th amendment were substantial enough to protect the privacy of conversations. It was concluded that the 4th Amendment protects people, not places and that shutting he door in a public phone booth entails private conversations in a public setting. Lastly, any government agency who plans on tapping phones must first obtain a warrant and without doing so the agents violated the 4th Amendment.
Bethel v. Fraser
Is it with in the rights of a school or school district to punish a student who used inappropriate language while exercising their freedom of speech right of the 1st Amendment?
The Supreme Court ruled that it was appropriate for a school district to prohibit the use of vulgar and offensive language in order to keep with the fundamental values of a public school education. the majority ruling was that this did not violate the 1st Amendment because the 1st Amendment applies to political speech rather than vulgar language in a public setting.
Furman v. Georgia
Does the Death penalty in this case (a burglar accidentally killing the person whose house he was robbing) violate the14th Amendment and 8th Amendment, which protects citizens against cruel and unusual punishment?
the Court ruled that the death penalty i this situation constituted cruel and unusual punishment, and therefore violated the constitution. The Court's decision forced stated and the national legislature to rethink their statutes for capital offenses to assure that the death penalty would not be administered in a discriminatory manner.
Goss v. Lopez
do suspensions without preliminary hearings violate the students' Due Process rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment?
the Court ruled that because the state had chosen to extend the right to an education to its citizens, it could not withdraw the right "on grounds of misconduct absent fundamentally fair procedure to determine whether the misconduct had occurred." the Court held that the state was constrained to recognize students' entitlements to education as property interests protected by the due Process Clause that could not be taken away without minimum procedures required by the Clause.The Court found that students facing suspensions should at a minimum be given notice and afforded some kind of hearing.
miller v. California
Is selling and distributing sexual and adult material through mail order against the right to the 1st Amendment?
The Court decided that the distribution and advertisement of obscene materials through the mail was not supported under the rights to free speech in the 1st Amendment. It was because the adult materials lacked real artistic or secular value that it was deemed obscene.
Bob Jones University v. U.S.
Can the government exercise its power by taking away something's tax exempt status because of racial discrimination under the expense of violating the 1st Amendment?
the Court decided the the IRS was right in taking away the tax exempt status of the school because the school did not meet "beneficial and stabilizing influences in community life."
Miranda v. Arizona
Does the police practice of interrogating individuals without notifying them of their right to counsel and their protection against self-incrimination violate the 5th Amendment?
The Court ruled that detained criminal suspects, prior to police questioning, must be informed of their constitutional right to an attorney and against self-incrimination. the police duty to give these warnings is compelled by the Constitution's 5th Amendment, which gibes a criminal suspect the right to refuse "to be a witness against himself," and the 6th Amendment, which guarantees criminal defendants the right to a n attorney. to protect these rights, the Court devised statements that the police are required to tell a defendant who is being detained and interrogated, known as, Miranda Rights."
Lemon v. Kurtzman
did states' statutes violate the 1st Amendment by making state financial aid available to "church-related educational institutions?
The Courts decisions in this case established the "Lemon Test," which details the requirements for legislation concerning religion. it consists of three points: the government's action must have a secular legislative purpose; the government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion; the government's action must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion. if any of these 3 points are violated, the government's action is deemed unconstitutional under the establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment to the U.S.
Roth v. U.S.
Did either the federal or California's obscenity restrictions, prohibiting the sale or transfer of obscene materials through the mail, impinge upon the freedom of expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment?
the Court held that obscenity was not "within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press." The Court noted that the First Amendment was not intended to protect every utterance or form of expression, such as materials that were "utterly without redeeming social importance." The Court held that the test to determine obscenity was "whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest."
Edwards v. South Carolina
Did the arrests and convictions of the peaceful marchers violate their freedom of speech, assembly, and petition for redress of their grievances as protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments?
The Court held that the arrests and convictions violated the rights of the marchers. They were convicted of an offense which the South Carolina Supreme Court, in upholding the convictions, described as "not susceptible of exact definition."
Reynolds v. U.S.
Can religious beliefs and a sense of religious "duty" concerning polygamy and bigamy be accepted as a justification for knowingly disobeying the law of the land?
The Court decided that religious duty is not a justifiable excuse for a criminal indictment. Freedom of religion is a freedom that we enjoy i U.S., but a practicing region in something that is regulated because it sometimes goes against the individual rights of groups of people.
Gitlow v. New York
Does the state law violate the freedom of speech clause by restricting what people say it it involves a threat to the establishment of the government or public peace?
The rationale of the majority has sometimes been called the "dangerous tendency" test. The legislature may decide that an entire class of speech is so dangerous that it should be prohibited. Court upheld conviction.
Thompson v. Oklahoma
Would the execution of a 15 year old violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishments"?
After noting that the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishments" applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court held that the execution of a person under the age of 16 was unconstitutional.
Westside community Schools v. Mergens
Was a school's prohibition against the formation of a Christian club consistent with the Establishment Clause, thereby rendering the Equal Access Act, which required schools in receipt of federal funds provide "equal access" to student groups seeking to express "religious, political, philosophical, or other content" messages" unconstitutional?
the Court held that since the school permitted other noncurricular clubs, it was prohibited under the Equal Access Act from denying equal access to any after-school club based on the content of its speech. The proposed Christian club would be a noncurriculum group since no other course required students to become its members, its subject matter would not actually be taught in classes, it did not concern the school's cumulative body of courses, and its members would not receive academic credit for their participation. The Court added that the Equal Access Act was constitutional because it served an overriding secular purpose by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of philosophical, political, or other types of speech. As such, the Act protected the Christian club's formation even if its members engaged in religious discussions.
Massachusetts v. Sheppard
If police officers mistakenly believe they have obtained a valid warrant, can a trial court use the evidence they obtained? (Good Faith Rule)
The court declared that if the police believe that it is a valid warrant and does it in "good faith" trying not to infringe upon anyone's rights.
Garcia v. San Antonio MTA
Can the federal government force the state government to abide by the minimum wage rules?
The Court found that rules based on the subjective determination of "integral" or "traditional" governmental functions provided little or no guidance in determining the boundaries of federal and state power. The Court argued that the structure of the federal system itself, rather than any "discrete limitations" on federal authority, protected state sovereignty.
Wallace v. Jaffree
Does the 1st Amendment require that a statute be invalidated if it is entirely motivated by a purpose to advance religion? Did Alabama law violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause?
The statute clearly did not hold any secular purpose because it only wanted to establish religion in public schools, which violated the 1st Amendment's Establishment.
California v. Greenwood
did the warrant-less search and seizure of a person's garbage violate the 4th Amendments search ad seizure guarantee?
the court ruled that garbage placed curbside s unprotected by the 4th Amendment. the court argued that there was no reasonable expectation of privacy for trash on public streets "readily accessible to animals, children, scavengers, snoops and other members of the public."
Brown v. Board of Education
does the segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race deprive the minority children of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the14th Amendment?
the court ruled that "segregation in public education is a denial of the equal protection of the laws...to separate some children form others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone."
Engel v. Vitale
does the reading of a nondenominational prayer at he start of the school day violate the "establishment of religion" clause of the 1st Amendment?
the court found the prayer to be unconstitutional because no state could prescribe by law any form of prayer to be used officially in any environmentally sponsored program.
Nix v. Williams
Should evidence resulting in an arrest be excluded from trial because it was obtained from the defendant whose Miranda rights were not read?
The Courts ruled that the evidence should not be excluded because they relied on the "inevitable discovery doctrine," saying that the searchers would have found the girl's body anyway and that the exclusionary rule did not apply to the body.