Supreme Court Cases

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Gideon v. Wainwright
A person who cannot afford an attorney may have one appointed by the government
Escobedo v. Illanois
Holds that criminal suspects have a right to counsel during police interrogations under the Sixth Amendment
Miranda v. Arizona
The accused must be notified of their rights before being questioned by the police
New Jersey v. T.L.O.
A student may be searched if there is "reasonable ground" for doing so.
Plessy v. Ferguson
Segregation public places facilities were legal as long as the facilites were equal
Brown v. Board of Topeka Kansas
Overruled Plessy v. Ferguson, declared that racially segregated facilities are inherently unequal and ordered all public schools desegregated.
Baker v. Carr
"one man, one vote," prohibited racial gerrymandering; ordered state legislative districs to be near equal in population as possible
Bob Jones University v. United States
Entities with tax exempt status may not violate the U.S. Constitution and maintain that status.
Schenck v. United States
Government can limit speech if it evokes a "clear and present danger."
Texas v. Johnson
Flag burning is symbolic speech, protected by the 1st Amendment.
Griswald v. Connecticut
Established right of privacy through 4th and 9th amendments. Set a precedent for Roe v. Wade. Struck down laws making birth control illegal
Roe v. Wade
established national abortion guidelines; trimester guidelines; no state interference in 1st; state may regulate to protect health of mother in 2nd; state may regulate to protect health or unborn child in 3rd.
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services
Gave more abortion regulation power to states. Allowed states to ban abortions from public hospitals and permitted doctors to test to see if fetuses were viable
Engel v. Vitale
banned formal prayer in schools, government would not make any religion the 'official' religion.
School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp
Held that a Pennsylvania law requiring Bible reading in schools violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
Lemon v. Kurtzman
Federal funding to religious schools must (1) have a secular legislative purpose (2) primarily not effect religion and (3) not get the government involved with religion
Wallace v. Jaffree
Moments of silent prayer at school are unconstitutional---moments of silence are not.
Sheppard v. Maxwell
Ruled that restrictions can be placed on the press in order to give someone the right to a fair trial (Came about after homicide case that was put all over media that infringed upon the fair trial)
New York Times Co. v. U.S.
Protects the freedom of the press by allowing the New York Times to publish the "Pentagon Papers" despite the Justice Department's order to restrict it
Weeks v. United States
Evidence obtained through an unreasonable search and seizure cannot be used in federal trials. (exclusionary rule)
Mapp v. Ohio
Established the exclusionary rule was applicable to the states as well as in federal courts (evidence seized illegally cannot be used in court)
Furman v. Georgia
8th Amendment Capital punishment. It raised the question of racial imbalances in the use of the death penaltyby state courts. Many states rewrote the death penalty statutes.
Gregg v. Georgia
upheld the death penalty was NOT cruel and unusual punishment
Gomillion v. Lightfoot
Racial gerrymandering ruled unconstitutional
Gray v. Sanders
Dealt with equal representation in regard to the American election system and formulated the famous "one person, one vote" standard for legislative districting.
Wesberry v. Sanders
Requires each state to draw its U.S. Congressional districts so that they are approximately equal in population
University of California Regents v. Bakke
Ruling on affirmative action declared the use of QUOTAS to be unconstitutional.
Adarand Constructors v. Pena
Quotas and ethnicity percentage requirement for government jobs are unconsitutional
Gibbons v. Ogden
Regulating interstate commerce is a power reserved to the federal government
U.S. v. Lopez
The Court held that Congress had exceeded its commerce clause power by prohibiting guns in a school zone, and that gun prohibition was up to the states
Marbury v. Madison
Establishes the Supreme Court's power of Judicial Review
United States v. Nixon
Executive privilege does not give one the authority to hide documents.
Gitlow v. New York
First case that incorporated the First Amendment into the 14th Amendment; held that freedom of speech is a basic right that no state may deny
Miller v. California
Gave local communities the authority to determine obscenity. To qualify as obscene, speech must be considered obscene by the "average" person, depict or describe material that is against state or federal law, and lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
Wisconsin v. Yoder
Amish do not have to attend school after 8th grade - right to freedom of religion