McCulloch V. Maryland:
Chief Justice Marshall said, "The states have no power, by taxation or otherwise, to retard, impede, burden, or in any manner control, the operations of the constitutional laws enacted by congress..."
Gibbons V. Ogden:
(1824), the court ruled that the Interstate Commerce Clause of Article I gave Congressional power over commerce should extend to the regulation of all aspects of commercial interaction between the states, overriding the state law to the contrary on the basis of the Article VI Supremacy Clause. The decision favored Gibbons.
Us V. Lopez:
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals. It held that while Congress had broad lawmaking authority under the Commerce Clause, the power was limited, and did not extend so far from "commerce" as to authorize the regulation of the carrying of handguns, especially when there was no evidence that carrying them affected the economy on a massive scale.
Buckley V. Valeo:
The Court sustained the Act's limits on individual contributions, as well as the disclosure and reporting provisions and the public financing scheme. However, the limitations on campaign expenditures, on independent expenditures by individuals and groups, and on expenditures by a candidate from personal funds were struck down. The Court also held that the method for appointments to the Federal Election Commission was an unconstitutional violation of Separation of Powers.
Bush V. Gore:
The Supreme Court, in a per curiam opinion, ruled that the Florida Supreme Court's decision, calling for a statewide recount, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling was by a 7-2 vote, but (as discussed more fully in the next subsection below) two of the seven disagreed with the Court's remedy for the Equal Protection violation. The Court held that the Equal Protection Clause guarantees to individuals that their ballots cannot be devalued by "later arbitrary and disparate treatment".
Citizens United V. FEC:
Was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that the First Amendment prohibits government from placing limits on independent spending for political purposes by corporations and unions.
Baker V. Carr:
Ruling that Baker's case was justifiable, producing, in addition to the opinion of the Court by Justice William J. Brennan, three concurring opinions and two dissenting opinions. Brennan reformulated the political question doctrine, identifying six factors to help in determining which questions were "political" in nature. Cases that are political in nature are marked.
Shaw V. Reno:
The court ruled in a 5-4 decision that redistricting based on race must be held to a standard of strict scrutiny under the equal protection clause. On the other hand, bodies doing redistricting must be conscious of race to the extent that they must ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act.
Clinton V. New York:
Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the line-item veto as granted in the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 violated the Presentment Clause of the United States Constitution because it impermissibly gave the President of the United States the power to unilaterally amend or repeal parts of statutes that had been duly passed by the United States Congress.
US V. Nixon:
The Court rejected Nixon's claim to "an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances."
Marbury v. Madison:
(1803), The Court held that William Marbury and his co-plaintiffs had a right to their commissions, but that the Supreme Court did not have authority to issue a writ of mandamus under original (trial) jurisdiction compelling Secretary of State Madison to deliver the necessary paperwork. Marbury, et al., must first file their case in a lower court.
Barron V. Baltimore:
Ruling yes, the Bill of Rights only applies to the national government.
Gitlow V. NY:
Bill of Rights does apply to all states.
Near V. Minnesota:
That a state could not punish a newspaper by forcing it to stop publication.
Engle; V. Vitale:
(1962), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that determined that it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools.
Lemon V. Kurtzman:
(1971) Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Pennsylvania's 1968 Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which allowed the state Superintendent of Public Instruction to reimburse nonpublic schools (most of which were Catholic) for the salaries of teachers who taught secular material in these nonpublic schools, secular textbooks and secular instructional materials, violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The decision also upheld a decision of the First Circuit, which had struck down the Rhode Island Salary Supplement Act providing state funds to supplement salaries at nonpublic elementary schools by 15%. As in Pennsylvania, most of these funds were spent on Catholic schools.
Oregon V. Smith:
(1990), is a United States Supreme Court case that determined that the state could deny unemployment benefits to a person fired for violating a state prohibition on the use of peyote, even though the use of the drug was part of a religious ritual. Although states have the power to accommodate otherwise illegal acts done in pursuit of religious beliefs, they are not required to do so.
Reynolds V. U.S.:
(1878), was a Supreme Court of the United States case that held that religious duty was not a suitable defense to a criminal indictment.
US V. Playboy Entertainment Group:
(2000), is a case in which the United States Supreme Court struck down a portion of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) which required that cable television operators who offered channels "primarily dedicated to sexually-oriented programming" must scramble completely or fully block such material.
Schenk V. US:
(1919), was a United States Supreme Court decision that upheld the Espionage Act of 1917 and concluded that a defendant did not have a First Amendment right to express freedom of speech against the draft during World War I.
Tinker V. Des Moines Independent:
Supreme Court rules that as long as you do not disrupt the school's operations you have the right to wear an armband as a protest.
Texas V. Johnson:
(1989), the US Supreme Court found in favor of Johnson, the respondent (like a defendant) by a vote of 5-4 and overturned the Texas Venerated Objects law on the grounds that an individual's right to protected First Amendment political speech supersedes the state's interest in protecting the flag.
Reno V. ACLU:
(1997), is a United States Supreme Court case, in which all nine Justices of the Court voted to strike down anti-indecency provisions of the Communications Decency Act (the CDA), finding they violated the freedom of speech provisions of the First Amendment. Two Justices concurred in part and dissented in part to the decision.
NAACP V. Alabama:
government may not force even a controversial group to identify its members, absent establishing a compelling state interest in disclosure. The right of private free association belongs to all who respect the rights of others. It belongs to those who are for racial equality or against it.
Mapp V. Ohio:
(1961), was a landmark case in criminal procedure, in which the United States Supreme Court decided that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against "unreasonable searches and seizures," may not be used in criminal prosecutions in state courts, as well as federal courts.
Gideon V. Wainwright:
(1963), the Supreme Court unanimously decided that states had to provide free legal counsel to indigent criminal defendants. The Court held that poor people were being deprived of their Sixth Amendment constitutional right to an attorney, which applied to the states under the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause.
**Miranda V. Arizona:
(1966), was a landmark 5-4 decision of the United States Supreme Court. The Court held that both exculpatory and exculpatory statements made in response to interrogation by a defendant in police custody will be admissible at trial only if the prosecution can show that the defendant was informed of the right to consult with an attorney before and during questioning and of the right against self-incrimination prior to questioning by police, and that the defendant not only understood these rights, but voluntarily waived them. (Miranda Rights)
Plessy V. Ferguson:
The Supreme Court decided "separate but equal" (i.e., segregation) was constitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment, as long as the facilities or accommodations were equal.
Koremastsu V. US:
The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of a Japanese American citizen who violated an exclusion order that barred all persons of Japanese ancestry from designated military areas during World War Two.
Brown V. Board of Education:
(1954), was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional.
Regents of the University of California V. Bakke:
(1978) was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that ruled unconstitutional the admission process of the Medical School at the University of California at Davis, which set aside 16 of the 100 seats for African American students.
Lawrence V. Texas:
(2003), is a landmark United States Supreme Court case. In the 6-3 ruling, the Court struck down the sodomy law in Texas and, by proxy, invalidated sodomy laws in the thirteen other states where they remained in existence, thereby making same-sex sexual activity legal in every state and territory of the nation. The court had previously addressed the same issue in 1986 in Bowers v. Hardwick, where it upheld a challenged Georgia statute, not finding a constitutional protection of sexual privacy.
Grutter V. Bollinger:
(2003), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court upheld the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School. Justice O'Connor, writing for the majority in a 5-4 decision, ruled that the University of Michigan Law School had a compelling interest in promoting class diversity and that its "plus" system did not amount to a quota system that would have been unconstitutional under Regents of the University of California v. Bakke.
Griswold V. Connecticut:
(1965) the US Supreme Court ruled that there exists a Right to Privacy, despite not being specifically mentioned in the Bill of Rights. The justices acknowledged penumbra rights, logical conclusions from those enunciated in the Constitution.
District of Columbia V. Heller:
(2008), was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes in federal enclaves, such as self-defense within the home.