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Famous Court Cases
Terms in this set (29)
Marbury v. Madison (1803,Marshall)
The court established its role as the arbiter of the constitutionality of federal laws, the principle is known as judicial review.
Fletcher v Peck ( 1810, Marshall)
the decision stemmed from the Yazoo land cases, 1803, and upheld the sanctity of contracts
McCulloch v Maryland (1819, Marshall)
The court ruled that states cannot tax the federal government (i.e. the Bank of the United States); used the phrase "the power to tax is the power to destroy", confirmed the constitutionality of the Bank of the United States
gibbons v Ogden (1824, Marshall)
clarified the commerce clause and affirmed congressional power over interstate commerce
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831, Marshall)
"The conditions of the Indians in relation to the United States is
perhaps unlike that of any two people in existence," Chief Justice John Marshall wrote. "Their relation to the
United States resembles that of a ward to his guardian... (they are a) domestic dependent nation."
Established a "trust relationship" with the tribes directly under federal authority.
Worcester v. Georgia (1832, Marshall)
Established tribal autonomy within their boundaries (the tribes were "distinct
political communities, having territorial boundaries within which their authority is exclusive").
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837, Taney)
- Declared that the interests of the community are more
important than the interests of business.
Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842, Taney)
Said that labor unions were lawful and that the strike was a lawful weapon.
Scott v. Sanford (1857, Taney)
Speaking for a widely divided court, Chief Justice Taney ruled that the slave Dred
Scott was not a citizen and had no standing in court; Scott's residence in a free state had not made him free;
Congress had no power to prohibit slavery in a territory (based on the 5th Amendment right of a person to
be secure from seizure of property); effectively voided the Missouri Compromise of 1820
Ex Parte Milligan (1866)
Ruled that a civilian cannot be tried in military courts when civil courts are available.
Civil Rights Cases of 1883 (single decision on a group of similar case)
Legalized segregation in regard to private
Wabash, St. Louis, and Pacific Railway Co. v. Illinois (1886)
Declared that state-passed Granger laws regulating
interstate commerce were unconstitutional.
Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad Co. v. Minnesota (1890)
Found that Granger law regulations were
violations of the 5th Amendment right to property
Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust (1895)
- Declared income taxes unconstitutional.
U. S. v. E. C. Knight Co. (1895)
Due to a narrow interpretation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, undermined the
authority of the federal government to act against monopolies.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Legalized segregation in publicly owned facilities on the basis of "separate but equal."
Northern Securities Co. v. U. S. (1904)
Re-established the authority of the federal government to fight monopolies
under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
Lochner v. New York (1905)
Declared unconstitutional a New York act limiting the working hours of bakers on the
basis of 14th Amendment rights.
Muller v. Oregon (1908)
Recognized a 10-hour workday for women laundry workers on the grounds of health and
Schenck v. U. S. (1919)
Unanimously upheld the Espionage Act of 1917, which declared that people who interfered
with the war effort were subject to imprisonment; declared that the 1st Amendment right to freedom of
speech was not absolute; free speech could be limited if its exercise presented a "clear and present danger."
Schechter v. U. S. (1936)
Unanimously declared the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) unconstitutional on
three grounds: that the act delegated legislative power to the executive; that there was a lack of
constitutional authority for such legislation; and that it sought to regulate businesses that were wholly
intrastate in character.
Korematsu v. U. S. (1941)
Upheld the constitutionality of detention camps for Japanese-Americans during WWII.
Ex Parte Endo (1944)
Forbade the internment of Japanese-Americans born in the U. S.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954, Warren)
- Unanimous decision declaring "separate but equal"
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
- Extended to the defendant the right of counsel in all state and federal criminal trials,
regardless of ability to pay.
Escobedo v. Illinois (1964)
- Ruled that a defendant must be allowed access to a lawyer before questioning by police.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
The court ruled that those subjected to in-custody interrogation must be advised of their
right to an attorney and their right to remain silent.
Roe v. Wade (1973)
The court legalized abortion by ruling that state laws could not restrict access to it during the
first three months of pregnancy. Based on 4th Amendment rights of a person to be secure in their persons
U. S. v. Richard Nixon (1974)
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