Study sets, textbooks, questions
Upgrade to remove ads
Politics of the United States
Supreme Court Case Flashcards
Terms in this set (26)
Baker v. Carr
Date: Argued: April 19-20, 1961 --- Decided: March 26, 1962
Petitioner: Charles Baker
Respondent: Joe Carr, The secretary of State of Tennessee.
Question:Did the Supreme Court have jurisdiction over questions of legislative apportionment?
Summary:That voting districts drawn in a way that produces unequal political representation violates the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.
Ruling: Ruled in favor of Baker by finding that constitutional challenges to apportionment could be addressed by federal courts.
Significance: This decision opened the door for under represented voters to have their voting districts redrawn under the direction of federal courts. The ruling initiated a decade of lawsuits eventually resulting in a redrawing of the nation's political map. The decision represented a major shift in the Court's position on the relationship of voting districts and constitutional protections.
Barron V. Baltimore
February 16, 1833
Respondent: The Mayor and city council of Baltimore, Maryland
Question:Does the Fifth Amendment deny the states as well as the national government the right to take private property for public use without justly compensating the property's owner?
Summary:John Brown argued that Baltimore's city improvements severely damaged his harbor business constituting a taking of property without just compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment.
Decision:Ruled in favor of Baltimore by finding that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction in the case because the Fifth Amendment only applies to federal government actions and not state disputes.
Significance:The ruling legally established the principle that the first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, apply to and restrain the federal government's powers but do not apply to state governments. This legal doctrine was not reversed until the twentieth century when the Supreme Court gradually included the Bill of Rights into the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees.
Brown v. Board of Education
May 17, 1954
Petitioner: Oliver Brown and parents of other black schoolchildren.
Respondent:Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
Question: Does the segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race deprive the minority children of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment?
Summary: The case argued that racial segregation of public schools denied black schoolchildren equal protection of the law as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Decision:Ruled in favor of Brown by finding that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.
Significance:the decision overturned Plessy's "separate but equal" doctrine and paved the way for desegregation of other types of public places in the next two decades.
Brown v. Board of Education 2
Date: May 31,1995
Petitioner: Board of Education of Topeka
Question:What means should be used to implement the principles announced in Brown I?
Summary:This case acted as a judicial follow-up to Brown I, and further delegated and delineated the responsibilities of implementing Brown
Decision:The Court held that the problems identified in Brown I required varied local solutions. Chief Justice Warren conferred much responsibility on local school authorities and the courts which originally heard school segregation cases. They were to implement the principles which the Supreme Court embraced in its first Brown decision.
Question: What means should be used to implement the principles announced in Brown I?
Engel v. Vitale
Date of Decision: June 25, 1962
Petitioner: Steven L. Engel,
Respondent: William J. Vitale, .
Question:Does the reading of a nondenominational prayer at the start of the school day violate the "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment?
Summary: Engel argued that a New York school district violated the First Amendment by requiring a short prayer to be read before class each morning.
Decision: Official prayers in public schools are unconstitutional because they violate the separation of church and state.
Significance: The decision prevents public school teachers from leading their students in any religious activity.
Employment Division of Ohio v. Smith
April 17, 1990
Petitioner: Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of the State of Oregon,
Respondent: Alfred L. Smith, Galen W. Black
Question: Can a state deny unemployment benefits to a worker fired for using illegal drugs for religious purposes?
Summary: The petitioner argued that members of the Employment Division, under an Oregon statute disqualifying employees discharged for work-connected misconduct, are not eligible for unemployment benefits.
Decision: 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.
Everson v. Board of Education
February 10, 1947
Petitioner: Arch R. Everson
Respondent: Board of Education of Ewing Township
Question:Did the New Jersey statute violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment as made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment?
Summary: The Petitioner argued that a New Jersey law allowing school boards to pay parents for transporting their children to schools, both public and religious, violated the constitutional separation of church and state.
Decision: The New Jersey law was constitutional. It treated all children equally, and it served the general welfare of society by supporting education, not religion.
Significance: The Court's decision defined the meaning of the First Amendment separation of church and state.
Gideon v. Wainright
March 18, 1963
Petitioner: Clarence Earl Gideon
Respondent: Louie L. Wainwright
Question :Did the state court's failure to appoint counsel for Gideon violate his right to a fair trial and due process of law as protected by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments?
Summary: The Petitioner argued that the Sixth Amendment right to legal counsel for defendants unable to afford an attorney should apply equally to the states.
Decision: The Sixth Amendment applies to the states and they are required to provide defendants charged with serious crimes and unable to afford an attorney with legal counsel.
Significance: It changed how criminal trials are conducted. state courts only appointed attorneys for capital cases. Now all defendants charged with felony crimes that cannot afford to pay for an attorney are entitled to court-appointed legal representation.
Gitlow v. New York
June 8, 1925
Petitioner: Benjamin Gitlow, publisher of The Revolutionary Age newspaper
Respondent: State of New York
Question: Is the New York law punishing advocacy to overthrow the government by force an unconstitutional violation of the free speech clause of the First Amendment?
Summary:The Petitioner claimed that a statute making a crime of anarchy violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Decision: ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution had extended the reach of certain limitations on federal government authority set forth in the First Amendment to the governments of the individual states.
Significance: It was one of a series of Supreme Court cases that defined the scope of the First Amendment's protection of free speech and established the standard to which a state or the federal government would be held when it criminalized speech or writing.
Griswold v. Connecticut
May 11, 1964
Petitioner: Charles Lee Buxton and Estelle T. Griswold
Respondent: State of Connecticut
Question: Does the Constitution protect the right of marital privacy against state restrictions on a couple's ability to be counseled in the use of contraceptives?
Summary: The petitioner argued that Connecticut's birth control law violated the U.S. Constitution.
Decision: Laws that prevent married couples from using birth control violate marital privacy.
Significance: Showed that the Constitution protects a right to privacy.
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. US
Date: Announced on December 14, 1964
Petitioner: Moreton Rolleston, Jr., owner, Heart of Atlanta Motel
Respondent:United States, (argued by Archibald Cox, US Solicitor General)
Constitutional Question: the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as applied to these facts. The legislative history of the Act indicates that Congress based the Act on the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as its power to regulate interstate commerce under Art. I, section 8, cl. 3, of the Constitution.
Summary: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited places of "public accommodation" from discrimination based on customers' race, sex, color, religion, or national origin. The Heart of Atlanta Motel challenged the constitutionality of this provision and, after losing before a three-judge federal court, appealed to the Supreme Court.
Decision: Justice Clark a found that the Act did not deprive the motel owner of liberty or property under the Fifth Amendment. Because Congress has the right to prohibit discrimination in accommodations under the Interstate Commerce Act, the motel "has no 'right' to select its guests as it sees fit, free from governmental regulation."
SIgnificance: The decision greatly aided black Americans in their civil rights struggle. The Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution proved to be a powerful tool in the battle to end racial discrimination.
Lemon v. Kurtman
Date: Argued on Wednesday, March 3, 1971
Respondent: Alton Lemon
Constitutional Question: Did the Rhode Island and Pennsylvania statutes violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause by making state financial aid available to "church- related educational institutions"?
Summary: The case involved controversies over laws in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Alton Lemon believed that preferential treatment of services that are rooted in religion is a direct violation of the Separation between Church and State. Alton Lemon's main argument was that the state law was a direct violation of the United States Constitution which did not allow religions from benefitting from state laws.
Decision: the Supreme Court of the United States found that the passing of any state laws that establish a religious body is a direct violation of the United States Constitution. Therefore, in Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of Alton Lemon.
SIgnificance: The verdict in Lemon v. Kurtzman led to the creation of the Lemon Test. This test is a classification system that is used to see whether or not state laws regarding funding or creating religious institutions with public money violate the United States constitution. The Lemon test ensures that the general population's interests take priority within public institutions and settings. The Lemon test also prohibits the Federal Government from becoming overly religious or involved with a particular religious institution.
Mapp v. Ohio
Date: Argued on March 29, 1961
Petitioner: Ms. Dollree Mapp
Constitutional Question: Were the confiscated materials protected by the First Amendment? (May evidence obtained through a search in violation of the Fourth Amendment be admitted in a state criminal proceeding?)
Summary: Dollree Mapp was convicted of possessing obscene materials after an admittedly illegal police search of her home for a fugitive. She appealed her conviction on the basis of freedom of expression.
Decision: The Court declared that "all evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution is, by the Fourth Amendment, inadmissible in a state court." Mapp had been convicted on the basis of illegally obtained evidence
SIgnificance: The case placed the requirement of excluding illegally obtained evidence from court at all levels of the government. The decision launched the Court on a troubled course of determining how and when to apply the exclusionary rule.
Marbury v. Madison
Date: March 2, 1801
Constitutional Questions: Is Marbury entitled to his appointment? Is his lawsuit the correct way to get it? And, is the Supreme Court the place for Marbury to get the relief he requests?
Summary: An obscure Federalist, William Marbury, was designated as a justice of the peace in the District of Columbia. Marbury and several others were appointed to government posts created by Congress in the last days of John Adams's presidency, but these last-minute appointments were never fully finalized. The disgruntled appointees invoked an act of Congress and sued for their jobs in the Supreme Court.
Decision: when the Constitution conflicts with an act of the legislature, that act is invalid.
Significance:This case establishes the Supreme Court's power of judicial review.
McCulloch v. Maryland
McCulloch v. Maryland
Date: Argued on February 22, 1819
Petitioner: James W. McCulloch
Constitutional Questions: Did Congress have the authority to establish the bank? Did the Maryland law unconstitutionally interfere with congressional powers?
Summary: In 1816, Congress chartered The Second Bank of the United States. In 1818, the state of Maryland passed legislation to impose taxes on the bank. James W. McCulloch, the cashier of the Baltimore branch of the bank, refused to pay the tax.
Decision: In a unanimous decision,
the Court decided that the Second Bank of the United States was "necessary and proper" for the federal government to exercise its duties. Therefore, the bank was constitutional and the state of Maryland could not tax its activities.
Significance: This landmark case declared that the United States government had implied powers as well as those specifically listed in the Constitution. The decision provided the avenue for the federal government to expand or evolve its powers to meet an ever-changing world.
Miller v. California
Date: Argued on January 18-19, 1972
Petitioner: Marvin Miller
Constitutional Question: Is the sale and distribution of obscene materials by mail protected under the First Amendment's freedom of speech guarantee?
Summary: Miller, after conducting a mass mailing campaign to advertise the sale of "adult" material, was convicted of violating a California statute prohibiting the distribution of obscene material. Some unwilling recipients of Miller's brochures complained to the police, initiating the legal proceedings.
Decision: For speech to be banned as obscene, it had to have no "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value" Local judges and juries could apply local community standards; the definition of obscenity in Salt Lake City could be different than in New York
Significance: established new standard for obscenity cases
Miranda v. Arizona
Date: February 28-March 2, 1966
Constitutional Question: Does the police practice of interrogating individuals without notifying them of their right to counsel and their protection against self-incrimination violate the Fifth Amendment?
Summary: The Court was called upon to consider the constitutionality of a number of instances, ruled on jointly, in which defendants were questioned "while in custody or otherwise deprived of [their] freedom in any significant way." The suspects weren't suspects given warnings of their rights at the outset of their interrogation.
Decision: The Court held that prosecutors could not use statements stemming from custodial interrogation of defendants unless they demonstrated the use of procedural safeguards "effective to secure the privilege against self- incrimination."
Significance: The Court specifically outlined the necessary aspects of police warnings to suspects, including warnings of the right to remain silent and the right to have counsel present during interrogations.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey
Date: Argued on April 22, 1992
Petitioner: Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Respondent: Casey, Governor of Pennsylvania
Constitutional Question: Can a state require women who want an abortion to obtain informed consent, wait 24 hours, and, if minors, obtain parental consent, without violating their right to abortions as guaranteed by Roe v. Wade?
Summary: The Pennsylvania legislature amended its abortion control law in 1988 and 1989. Among the new provisions, the law required informed consent and a 24 hour waiting period prior to the procedure. A minor seeking an abortion required the consent of one parent (the law allows for a judicial bypass procedure). A married woman seeking an abortion had to indicate that she notified her husband of her intention to abort the fetus. These provisions were challenged by several abortion clinics and physicians. A federal appeals court upheld all the provisions except for the husband notification requirement
Decision: While reaffirming the earlier Roe v. Wade decision, the Court also declared Pennsylvania's Abortion Control Act law largely constitutional with some exceptions.
Significance: The decision resolved a national dispute over abortion by upholding the essentials of Roe v. Wade while permitting Pennsylvania to regulate abortions so long as the state did not place an undue burden on women.
Plessy v. Fergeson
Date: Argued on April 13, 1896
Petitioner: Adolph Plessy
Constitutional Question: Is Louisiana's law mandating racial segregation on its trains an unconstitutional infringement on both the privileges and immunities and the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment?
Summary: The state of Louisiana enacted a law that required separate railway cars for blacks and whites. In 1892, Homer Adolph Plessy--who was seven-eighths Caucasian--took a seat in a "whites only" car of a Louisiana train. He refused to move to the car reserved for blacks and was arrested.
Decision: No, the state law is within constitutional boundaries. The majority, in an opinion authored by Justice Henry Billings Brown, upheld state-imposed racial segregation. The justices based their decision on the separate-but-equal doctrine, that separate facilities for blacks and whites satisfied the Fourteenth Amendment so long as they were equal
Significance: determined that segregation does not in itself constitute unlawful discrimination.
Roe v. Wade
Date: Argued on December 13, 1971
Petitioner: Jane Roe
Respondent: Henry Wade
Constitutional Question: Does the Constitution embrace a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy by abortion?
Summary: Roe, a Texas resident, sought to terminate her pregnancy by abortion. Texas law prohibited abortions except to save the pregnant woman's life.
Decision: The Court held that a woman's right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy (recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut) protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision gave a woman total autonomy over the pregnancy during the first trimester and defined different levels of state interest for the second and third trimesters
Significance: As a result of this ruling the laws of 46 states were affected.
Schenk v. US:
-Schenck was indicted and convicted of violating the Espionage Act of 1917, which prohibited any attempt to interfere with military operations
-Declared his crime was constitutional
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenberg
-Dealt with busing of students to promote racial integration.
University of California Regents v. Bakke
- 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 "Blacks," "Chicanos," "Asians," and "American Indians" (and established a separate admissions process for those 16 spaces).
Texas v. Johnson
- invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag enforced in 48 of the 50 states.
- "Under the circumstances, Johnson's burning of the flag constituted expressive conduct, permitting him to invoke the First Amendment... Occurring as it did at the end of a demonstration coinciding with the Republican National Convention, the expressive, overtly political nature of the conduct was both intentional and overwhelmingly apparent." The court concluded that, while "the government generally has a freer hand in restricting expressive conduct than it has in restricting the written or spoken word," it may not "proscribe particular conduct because it has expressive elements."
Tinker v. DesMoines
- The First Amendment, as applied through the Fourteenth, did not permit a public school to punish a student for wearing a black armband as an anti-war protest, absent any evidence that the rule was necessary to avoid substantial interference with school discipline or the rights of others.
US v. Nixon
-Released tapes of Nixon
Sets with similar terms
Supreme Court Cases
Precedent Court Cases
Supreme Court Cases
Sets found in the same folder
Government Ch. 9- Interest Groups
Government Unit 4
ap gov summer constitution packet (articles 1-6)
History Chapter 3 Section 3
Other sets by this creator
phil E 1
Identify Steps in a Process How does the Supreme Court reach decisions in its cases?
Why do you think the bureaucracy has shrunk in recent years?
Which criticisms of the Constitution do you agree with, and which do you disagree with?
Compare the U.S. Constitutional Republic to Historical Forms of Government Create a written or oral presentation comparing the U.S. constit utional republic to historical forms of government such as monarch y. Create a written or oral presentation comparing how the Magna Carta influenced the U.S. constitutional republic and the British monarchy. When writing the paragraph , answer the following questions: How did the Magna Carta democratize the British government? How did the Magna Carta influence the U.S. constitutional republic? Why is the Magna Carta an important document?
Recommended textbook solutions
Criminal Justice in America
Christina Dejong, Christopher E. Smith, George F Cole
Michael D. Reisig, Todd R. Clear
Government in America: Elections and Updates Edition
George C. Edwards III, Martin P. Wattenberg, Robert L. Lineberry
Other Quizlet sets
AP United States Government Important Court Cases…
What powers does the President have to convene or dismiss Congress?
Prior to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, literacy tests were used by some southern states to . . .
What does the sec of state do?
6. What is the significance of Sir William Blackstone relative to Anglo-American jurisprudence? What famous legal volumes did he write?