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APUSH Supreme Court Cases

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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
Dartmouth College v. Woodward
(1819, Marshall) 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. Upheld the sanctity of contracts
Johnson v. McIntosh
(1823, Marshall) Established that Indian tribes had rights to tribal lands that preceded all other American law; only the federal government could take land from the tribes
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
Legalized segregation in regard to private
property
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."
"Insular Cases" / Downes v. Bidwell
(1901) Confirmed the right of the federal government to place tariffs on goods entering the U.S. From U.S. territories on the grounds that "the Constitution does not follow the flag."
Northern Securities Co. v. US
(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 community concerns.
Hammer v. Dagenhart
(1918) Declared the Keating-Owen Act (a child labor act) unconstitutional on the grounds that it was an invasion of state authority
Schenck v. US
(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."
Adkins v. Children's Hospital
(1923) Declared unconstitutional a minimum wage law for women on the grounds that it denied women freedom of contract.
Schechter v. US
(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. US
(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 US
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
(1954, Warren) Unanimous decision declaring "separate but equal" unconstitutional
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
US v. Richard Nixon
(1974) The court rejected Richard Nixon's claim to an absolute "executive 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 using race as a basis for selecting participants. The court in general upheld affirmative action, but with a 4/4/1 split, it was a very weak decision.
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