Brown v. Board of Education
1954 case that overturned Separate but Equal standard of discrimination in education.
Gideon v. Wainwright
1963 ruling that a defendant in a felony trial must be provided a lawyer free of charge if the defendant cannot afford one.
Griswold v. Connecticut
1965 decision that the Constitution implicitily guarantees citizens' right to privacy.
Miranda v. Arizona
1966 ruling that upon arrest, a suspect has the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer.
Plessy v. Ferguson
1896 ruling that separate but equal facilities for different races were not unconstitutional.
Schenck v. United States
1919--Case involving limits on free speech. Established the "clear and present danger" principle.
Miler v. California
1973 ruling that determined the obscenity clause to related to works that lack literary, artisitic, political or scientific value. (LAPS test)
Fletcher v. Peck
The decision stems from the Yazoo land cases, 1803, and upholds the sanctity of contracts.
McCulloch v. Maryland
1819--The Court ruled that states cannot tax the federal government, i.e. the Bank of the United States; the phrase "the power to tax is the power to destroy"; confirmed the constitutionality of the Bank of the United States.
Dartmouth College v. Woodward
1819--New Hampshire had attempted to take over Dartmouth College by revising its colonial charter. The Court ruled that the charter was protected under the contract clause of the U. S. Constitution; upholds the sanctity of contracts.
Gibbons v. Ogden
1824--Clarified the commerce clause and affirmed Congressional power over interstate commerce.
U. S. v. Richard Nixon
1974--The court rejected Richard Nixon's claim to an absolutely unqualified privilege against any judicial process.
Bakke v. Regents of the University of California
1978--Ambiguous ruling by a badly divided court that dealt with affirmative action programs that used race as a basis of selecting participants. The court general upheld affirmative action, but with a 4/4/1 split, it was a very weak decision.
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Established exclusionary rule; illegally obtained evidence cannot be used in court; Warren Court's judicial activism.
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; Warren Court's judicial activism.
Baker v. Carr (1962)
"One man, one vote." Ordered state legislative districts to be as near equal as possible in population; Warren Court's judicial activism.
Wesberry v. Sanders (1963)
Ordered House districts to be as near equal in population as possible (extension of Baker v. Carr to Congressional districts).
Furman v. Georgia (1972)
State death penalties (as then applied) are arbitrary and violate equal protection of 14th Amendment.
Texas v. Johnson (1989)
Flag-burning is symbolic speech with a political purpose and is protected by 1st Amendment.
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.
Planned Parenthood v Casey
states may regulate abortion as long as there is "no undue burden" on the mother; did not overturn Roe v. Wade but gave states mroe leeway in regulating abortion (parental consent for minors, 24 hour waiting period)
Grutter v Bollinger
affirmative action case (lost) ; race could be used as a factor in admissions as long as there was no point system and race was not a major factor; upheld Bakke case
Lemon v Kurtzman
Law must be clearly secular, not prohibiting or inhibiting religion, and there should be no excessive entanglement
Wisconsin v Yoder
Amish children do not have to go to school until they are 16---they may stop after the 8th grade