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AP US Government and Politics Supreme Court Cases
Terms in this set (77)
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
William Marbury was appointed as a justice by President John Adams as part of his "midnight appointments;" Marbury never received the appointment because James Madison didn't sign the papers. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that even though Marbury should have been appointed, the Supreme Court didn't have the power to make that decision because due to the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional. As a result of this case, the Supreme Court assumed the power of judicial review that gave the courts the power to rule laws unconstitutional.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
The court ruled that the states didn't have the power to tax the national bank and federal government. The issue revolved around the right of Maryland to tax paper currency needed by a bank of US National Bank located in that state. The court reasoned that the US had the right to coin and regulate money and set up a National Bank under the necessary and proper clause. The decision reinforced the Supremacy clause of the Constitution which states, " law of the US which shall be made in pursuance there of...shall be the Supreme law of the land; judges in every state shall be anything to contrary not with standing.
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Congress awarded a navigation contract to Gibbons to operate a ferry service between New York and New Jersey. New York awarded an exclusive contract to Ogden to run a ferry service between New York and New Jersey. Ogden claimed that since he was given a monopoly he had the right to run the service. Court decided that Congress has the authority using the interstate commerce clause, to regulate interstate commerce and awarded rights to Gibbons. This landmark case established Congressional authority in the area of interstate commerce.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Homer Plessy challenged a Louisiana state law that banned blacks from the first-class section in a train. Even though Plessy had only 10% African-American ancestry, he was denied a first-class ticket. Court ruled that the law was valid because the law didn't violate the equal protection clause since Louisiana was providing separate, but equal accommodations. The 'separate but equal" doctrine became the acceptable treatment for African-Americans.
Weeks v. U.S (1914)
Weeks was arrested for sending lottery tickets through the mail. There was no warrant issued for searches or for Week's arrest. Weeks was denied his request for his papers and they were used in court where he was found guilty. The court decided that weeks' 4th amendment rights were violated. The exclusionary rule was made applicable to the states. The court said it violated the rights of Weeks. The decision held that if such evidence were to be admitted at trial, the court would become as guilty as the police who seized the evidence, and the integrity of the entire judicial process would be threatened.
Schenck vs. U.S (1919)
Schenck violated the Espionage Act, which makes insubordination and draft resistance illegal, by mailing flyers to potential draftees urging them to defy the draft during WWI. He traveled around the country speaking out against the war and urged people to oppose the draft. The Supreme Court upheld Schenck's conviction. Justice Holmes equated Schenck's actions to yelling fire in a movie theater. The court ruled he created, " a clear and present danger," by advocating his position. The doctrine gives the government the right to prosecute individuals who through expressive or symbolic speech create a "clear and present danger."
Gitlow v. New York (1925)
Gitlow (socialist) who advocated through speech and pamphlets strikes and other civil actions that would accomplish his goals. New York State had an anti anarchy law and Gitlow was arrested and convicted for his actions. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction, creating a "dangerous tendency" test. The decision ruled that the 1st Amendment applied to the states by virtue of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. This was the 1st time selective incorporation was used by the court.
Near v. Minnesota (1931)
Near established the state injunctions to prevent publication violate the free press provision on the 1st Amendment and are unconstitutiona;. Minnesota passed a law that sought to prevent newspapers, magazines, and other publications from printing obscene, malicious, scandalous, and defamatory material. The Saturday Press published by Near articles that wrote about public officials doing illegal things. They got a junction went to court. This case selectively incorporates freedom of the press and prevents prior restraint. The court sided 5-4 with Near. This was the first case in which state law was held unconstitutional for violating the freedom of process by the due process clause.
Palko v. Connecticut (1937)
Frank Palko was charged with 1st degree murder and later convicted of 2nd degree and sentenced to life in prison. Connecticut won a re-trial which found Palko guilty of 1st degree and sentenced to death. The Court upheld Palko's second conviction and he died in the electric chair. Connecticut was given the right to try an individual a second time. Protection against double jeopardy is not a fundamental right and falls out of the constitution.
Korematsu v. U.S (1944)
A few months after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order (national security) authorizing the evacuation of Japanese Americans. Mitsuye Endo filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in a federal district court. The court ruled they had exceeded its authority detaining loyal Americans indefinitely. The Court said that no US citizen should be discriminated or segregated because of race. The court ruled that American citizens of Japanese descent could be interned and deprived of basic constitutional rights due to executive order.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Linda Brown was refused admission to all-white school because Topeka Board of Education made the case that the school had separate, but equal facilities. Marshall from the NAACP argued the case. In a landmark unanimous decision, the Court ruled "separate but equal was inherently unequal." It ordered an end to school segregation "with all delibrate speed." Even though the court ordered an end to school segregation, the change to integration took decades.
Roth v. United States (1957)
Roth operated a book selling business in New York and was convicted of mailing obscene circulars and an obscene book in violation of a federal obscenity statue. Roth's case was combined with Albert's v. California. There was a test to determine obscenity. The court ruled that obscenity was not an area constitutionally protected speech or press. The 1st Amendment doesn't protect every form of utterance.
Mapp v. Ohio (1969)
This case overturned Wolf v. Colorado. Dolree Mapp accused police of obtaining evidence used against her without a valid search warrant. This case established the exclusionary rule: if the police obtained evidence without a valid search warrant it wouldn't be admissible in court characterized illegal evidence as "fruit of a Poisonous Tree."
Engel v. Vitale (1992)
New York State had a mandatory requirement that all students must recite a nondenominational prayer that started with "Almighty God we acknowledge our dependence on thee..." Each day along with the Pledge. The Court struck down the prayer, ruling that it violated the 1st Amendment's separation of church and state. Schools could not include a daily prayer as a part of a formal daily activity.
Baker v. Carr (1962)
Charles Baker challenged Tennessee's legislative district apportionment, claiming that the districts drawn by the Tennessee legislative favored rural areas over urban areas resulting in under representation for people living in cities, court ruled that equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment guarantees the citizens of every state what they called "one man, one vote." The impact was every state had to draw its legislative districts guaranteeing equal representation in legislative districts. This decision led to the guarantee of equal representation in congressional districts.
Barron v. Baltimore (1833)
The court turned down Barron's argument that the city of Baltimore had deprived him of just compensation of property under the 5th Amendment. It created the concept of dual citizenship, where a citizen was under jurisdiction of national and state governments. Barron wrote that states needed their own "Constitution." The Court ruled that the Bill of Rights limited only the national governments, not the states. The decision established the nature of judicial federalism regarding extension of the Bill of Rights to citizens.
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1856)
Dred Scott was a slave who was taken to a free state (Missouri Compromise). He claimed he was no longer a slave. Roger Taney ruled that Scott was a slave because he didn't enjoy protections guaranteed to citizens in Article III of the Constitution and that slaves were property. The Court ruled that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. Ruling was a catalyst for start of Civil War. Taney ruled Scott a slave because he didn't enjoy protections guaranteed to citizens in Article III.
Slaughterhouse Cases (1873)
The Louisiana government granted the Crescent City Stock Landing and Slaughterhouse Company a monopoly on licensed butchering in New Orleans on the grounds that the action protected public health. Local butchers opposed and lost in state courts. They argued that they had been deprived of their livelihood. The Court argued the monopoly did not break the 13th Amendment. They believed their rights were taken away. The states were given the power of basic civil liberties. The state determined the privileges and immunities of its citizens such immunities shall not be argued by state legislation.
Reynolds v. U.S (1878)
Reynolds (Mormon) was a polygamist and was arrested and convicted for violating a Utah law making polygamy illegal. Reynolds challenged the law based on the free exercise clause. The case dealt with the practice of polygamy in the territory that would become Utah. The Supreme Court ruled that the law was constitutional and the practice of polygamy was not a violation of the free exercise clause.
Powell v. Alabama (1932)
There was a fight between 7 white and 7 black on a train. One white boy was thrown off. The girls on the train later claimed that they were sexually assaulted by the black boys. The boys were indicted for rape. They received no counsel and were given the death penalty. A new trial was ordered. The Court ruled the boys had a right to a counsel. The court ruled that state governments must provide counsel in cases involving the death penalty to those who can't afford it.
West Virginia v. Barnett (1943)
West Virginia instituted a compulsory flag salute in public schools. Disobedience was punishable by expulsion. Barnett children refused because they were Jehovah witnesses. State threatened to send the kids to jail. The court ruled 6 to 3 that it violated their rights. The court ruled it was unconstitutional to force children to do it. Forcing children to salute the flag violates their 1st Amendment rights because it forces them to accept the teachings with it.
Everson v. Board of Education (1947)
New Jersey law gave school districts the authority to provide transportation for children to and from private, parochial, and public schools. The Board of Education in Ewig, New Jersey established a plan to reimburse parents for the transportation to and from schools. A citizen refused to pay taxes to take students to religious schools. The court ruled it was constitutional. The court got rid of unlawful taxation in support of religion hampering with free exercise of religion. State power is no more to be used so as to handicap religions than it is to favor them. The New Jersey law was valid since the 1st Amendment requires the state to be neutral in its relations with groups of religious and doesn't require advisory.
Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)
Same sex couples sued their state agencies to challenge the constitutionality of the bans on same sex marriage. They argued that it violated the equal protection clause. The court found it in their favor. The court ruled that the marriages did not violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The court ruled that the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment required that states must issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Gay marriage was legalized.
Yates v. U.S (1957)
14 leaders of a Communist party were charged under the Smith Act with conspiracy to teach and advocate the overthrow of the government. The court reversed the original conviction. The court said to organize meant to form an organization not to act on behalf of one. to violate the Smith Act must involve active attempts to overthrow the government. The 1st Amendment protected radical and reactionary speech, unless it posed a "clear and present danger."
Gideon v. Wainwright (1964)
Earl Gideon was accused and convicted of robbery, a felony under Florida law. He could not afford a lawyer and was forced to defend himself. Court ruled Florida had to provide Gideon with an attorney. While in prison Gideon did legal research and submitted to court a "pauper's brief," an appeal written by a person who could not afford a lawyer. As a result of this case, the accused were guaranteed the right to an attorney. Miranda Rights.
NY Times v. Sullivan (1964)
There was a full-page ad in the NY Times which alleged to amest Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for perjury. Established the "actual malice" standard. In cases of libel or slander, public figures must prove that the author had "knowledge of falsity and reckless disregard for the truth." This decision of what constitutes libel-material that is written with malice and reckless disregard for the truth. The 1st Amendment protects false statements.
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)
Griswold, the executive director of Planned Parenthood of Connecticut, was convicted for violating a Connecticut law that made it illegal to give information to married couples regarding birth control. The Supreme Court ruled that the law prohibiting obtaining information about birth control was illegal under the 4th Amendment. Court ruled that there was an interfered privacy rights given in the 4th.
Miranda v. Arizona (1964)
Ernesto Miranda was charged and convicted of rape and kidnapping. During his interrogation he was not told what the consequences would be if he answered questions. He was never told he could ask for a lawyer during questioning. ultimately he signed a confession. The court ruled Miranda's confession was illegally obtained. Court ruled the police had to inform individuals at the time of arrest the rights (5th Amendment) including the right to remain silent, anything can be used in a court of law, the right to consult an attorney, and a lawyer provided if one can't be afforded.
Loving v. Virginia (1967)
Mildred Jeter (black) and Richard Loving (white) were married in DC. The couple returned to Virginia where they were charged with violated the State's antimiscegration statue banning inter-racial marriages. They were found guilty and sentences to a year in jail. Sentence was suspended if they agreed to leave Virginia for 25 years. The Court ruled that the law violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)
Mary Beth Tinker was suspended from school for wearing a black armband protesting the Vietnam War. Court ruled suspension unjustified and that the black armband represented symbolic speech that was protected by the 1st Amendment. Court ruled that students' rights "don't stop at the schoolhouse gates," but also recognized that schools had the right to intervene if there was a "material and substantial disruption to the school environment." This was the 1st in a number of cases that raised the issue of whether students attending public schools were protected by the Bill of Rights.
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)
Pennsylvania law allowed state financial support, such as textbooks and teacher salaries, for secular subjects tauht in parochial schools. The court ruled that the state violated the separation of church and state by providing aid to parochial schools. Purpose of legislation must be secular, not religious. Primary effect of legislation must neither advance nor inhibit religion. Must avoid an excessive entanglement of government with religion. The court also developed a three-prong test as criteria for determining whether the establishment clause has been violated.
NY Times v. U.S (1971)
Daniel Ellsberg leaked a secret Pentagon study of the Vietnam War that was published by the NY Times and Washington Post. President Nixon obtained an injunction against both papers that forced the papers to stop publication of the material. Nixon claimed that the release of the Pentagon Papers would hurt National Security during the Vietnam War. Court ruled the papers had the right to publish the Pentagon Papers and that the government misused its authority of "prior restraint" when it asked the courts to censor the publications.
Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972)
This case dealt with the Amish community's desire to pull their children from public school before the age of 16 so that they could help with farm and domestic work. The court ruled 6-3 with the Amish. The decision was based on the religious provisions of the 1st Amendment. The court sided with the Amish and held that parents may remove children from public school for religious reasons.
Miller v. California (1973)
Miller was conducting a mass mailing campaign to advertise the sale of adult material and was later convicted of violating a California statue prohibiting the distribution of obscene material. Some people who received the mail complained and legal proceeding began. Court established a three-part obscenity test.
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Norma McCorvey, using Roe as a pseudonym, violated Texas state law that banned all abortions. Court ruled women had the constitutional; right (under 4th) to abortion. Court determined that in the 1st trimester, women have the right on demand. 2nd trimester, state placed restrictions. 3rd trimester, more restrictions could be placed on women's decisions. Abortions were legalized. Future decisions by the Court gave state more authority to place restrictions on abortions. Congress passed a law banning "partial birth abortions." The Supreme Court upheld it.
Stanton v. Stanton (1975)
The law had a 21 year age of majority for males and an 18 year age of majority for females. This based the thought that females matured quicker, while men needed more time to educate themselves. A divorced father stopped paying child support for his daughter once she was 18. The mom argued he pay until she was 21 like her brother. In an 8 to 1 ruling that used a rational basis to strike down a Utah age of majority laws as an unconstitutional violation of the equal protection clause.
Craig v. Boren (1976)
An Oklahoma prohibited the sale of "nonintoxicating" 3.2 percent beer to males under the age of 21 and to females under the age of 18. Curtis Craig was a licensed vendor and he challenged this law as discriminatory. This violated the Equal Protection Clause. A medium scrutiny standard was established. Court ruled that if discrimination was apparent, aimed at men or women, i would be illegal.
Gregg v. Georgia (1976)
Tony Gregg was convicted of armed robbery and murder and sentenced to death by a Georgia jury. Georgia's death penalty was previously ruled unconstitutional; by the Supreme Court in Furman v. Georgia in 1972. The court ruled that the death penalty did not represent cruel and unusual punishment. Also declared that the jury procedure that imposed the sentence was constitutional because the trial and the sentencing were conducted separately.
California v. Bakke (1978)
Alan Bakke (white) applied to University Medical School. His scores were not high enough for California to get admitted but higher than the standard used by the school to accept the quota of minority students. Bakke claimed that there was reverse discrimination. The Supreme Court ruled that Bakke should have been admitted to the school. Supreme Court decided that quotas were unconstitutional but that race could be used as a factor for admission to colleges and universities.
Roster v. Goldberg (1981)
The USSR invaded Afghanistan and then President=nt Carter reactivated the draft registration process. Congress agreed to Carter's decision, but didn't enact his recommendation that the Military Selective Service Act amended to include registration of females. It was said that women couldn't handle combat like men. Women were exempt from registration and it didn't violate the Due Process Clause women were given non combat roles.
U.S v. Lee (1982)
Edwin Lee employed several Amish workers and he didn't pay quarterly social security taxes. The Internal Revenue Service assessed $27,000 in unpaid taxes. Lee paid a portion and then sued for a refund. He said it violated his 1st Amendment rights. The Court said you were only exempt with self-employed individuals, not employees and employers. The Social Security Tax was not unconstitutional. By becoming an employer in commercial activities he accepted limits to his beliefs.
Bob Jones University v. U.S (1983)
Bob Jones University was indicated to "fundamentalist Christian" beliefs which included prohibition against interracial relationships. The IRS changed its policy which now adopted a court decision that prohibited a tax on private schools engaging in racial discrimination. They withdrew taxes from the school. The racial discrimination in education violated the fundamental national public policy. The IRS was correct to revoke the taxes, but not because of racial discrimination.
New Jersey v. TLO (1984)
A 14 year old minor was accused of violating a school policy that policy that prohibited smoking in bathrooms. The principal searched her pocketbook for evidence without a search warrant and found illegal drug paraphernalia. (Policy issues regarding the 4th Amendment) The Supreme Court ruled that the principal had the authority to conduct the search warrant because there was reasonable domain.
Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)
Alabama had a law that authorized a 1 minute of silence for meditation and voluntary prayer. Jaffree challenged the state's moment saying it violated the 1st Amendment prohibition against the establishment of religion. The justices said that the moment of silence was not inherently religious, but that the law was unconstitutional because it was inherently religious. The endorsement of religion in the public schools violated the 1st Amendment rights.
Bethel v. Fraser (1986)
Matthew Fraser gave a speech at school nominating a fellow student to elective office where he used an elaborate, graphic, explicit sexual metaphor. He informed teachers of his plans and they told him not to do it. Fraser was suspended for 3 days. Fraser claimed the school violated his 1st Amendment rights. The court ruled that Fraser was a disruption to the school environment and they had a right to punish him. This case gave public school officials the authority to suspend students for speech considered to be lewd or indecent. They are preparing students for citizenship.
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1988)
The principal of Hazelwood East High School ordered two pages of the school paper to be deleted. They were about pregnancy and divorce. The students claimed it violated their 1st Amendment rights. Multiple courts disagreed on whether it was allowed or not. The Court stated that student rights were not the same as adult rights and he had a right to step in. The Court held that school officials have sweeping authority to regulate free speech in student-run newspapers.
Texas v. Johnson (1989)
Gregory Lee Johnson was arrested for burning a US flag protesting Ronald Reagan's policies and his nomination for a second term outside the Republican National Convention in Dallas. He was accused and convicted of breaking a law that prohibited the "desecration of a venerated object."Court ruled 5-4 that burning the flag for the purpose of political protest was symbolic speech and constitutional. Congress failed to pass a constitutional amendment banning flag burning after a national law that prohibited flag burning also was ruled unconstitutional.
Webster v. Planned Parenthood (1992)
Missouri passed a law that babies were a human being from conception. It required fetuses to receive the same rights as adults, prohibited government- employed from aborting a fetus. prohibited the use of state employees and facilities to perform abortions, prohibited use of public funds for abortions. The Court upheld the Missouri state ban on public employees and facilities for abortions. The State didn't have to supply resources.
Employment Division v. Smith (1990)
The case dealt with the practice by Native American Indians of using peyote as part of their religious ritual. Oregon refused to grant unemployment benefits because the Native Americans used illegal drugs and were dismissed from drug counseling jobs. The Supreme Court upheld Oregon's decision stating that there was a compelling governmental interest in regulating drugs.
Osborne v. Ohio (1990)
Ohio police found child pornography in Osborne's home which violated the state statue prohibiting these things. The state law prohibited these things. The state law prohibited the possession of "any material or performance showing a minor who is not his child or is indecent." The Court upheld his conviction. Court ruled that states could outlaw the possession of child pornography in the home.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)
Pennsylvania law required that women seeking abortions had to wait 24 hours, that minors had to get consent from their parents, and that a married woman had to notify her husband that she was going to have an abortion. This case was a new precedent for this issue. The court upheld the 24 hour waiting period and parental approval (with judicial bypass if challenged), but struck down spousal approval.
Buckley v. Valco (1976)
Case-reviewed campaign finance law setup as a result of the Federal Campaign Act of 1971 that instituted limits on hard money donations and no limits for soft money decisions. The court held that hard money donation restrictions did not violate free speech because the intent of that provision was to protect the electoral system from corruption. Court held that any limits on soft money donations through independent expenditures were unconstitutional and did violate the 1st Amendment free speech provision.
U.S v. Virginia (1996)
The Virginia Military Institute had a male only admissions policy. The US, on behalf of women applicants, brought suit against Virginia because women were forced to attend all-female school. Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership. Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the majority decision ruling that the school's all-female policy was discriminatory and VMI had to accept women. The decision further broadened the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.
Romer v. Evans (1992)
People of Colorado adopted a statewide initiative known as Amendment 2. This provision provided that the state could not adopt any laws providing protected status for homosexuals. It was later ruled to be unconstitutional based on the fact that a specific group of people denied the "equal protection of the laws' because being precluded from seeking protection under law against discrimination based on a defining characteristic.
Reno v. ACLU (1997)
The Communications Decency Act was challenged. It intended to prevent minors from unsuitable internet material and anything deemed offensive by community standards. The act failed to clearly define indecent. The Act violated the 1st Amendment. The Act did not specifically limit anything. F
Bush v. Gore (2000)
Florida's electoral votes were disputed in the 2000 election as a result of the closeness of the cote and reports of voting irregularities. After George W. Bush was certified as the winner, Al Gore challenged the results. The Florida State Supreme Court ordered a recount of contested votes in every Florida County. Bush appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court. Bush won. The Supreme Court ruled that sine the recount would be handled differently in every county, it violated the equal protection clause. The ruling had the effect of ending any chance of review for disputed ballots.
Clinton v. Jones (1997)
Paula Jones said she suffered several sexual advances from Clinton. Clinton sought to completely dismiss the suit against him. It would be an unlawful grant of immunity. The president was not immune from civil litigation except under highly unusual cases. The court said there is no sitting presidential immunity.
Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
Lawrence overruled Bowers saying that consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected under the 14th Amendment. It ruled that the Texas sodomy law was unconstitutional. The Court struck down a sodomy law that had criminalized homosexual sex in Texas.
Gratz v. Bollinger (2004)
The University of Michigan undergraduate school's admission practice was unconstitutional because it relied too much on a quota system. Affirmed the Bakke case. Gratz qualified, but was denied. They argued that it violated the equal protection clause of the 14th and Title IV. It was unconstitutional to accept students to meet a quote system and not by grades.
Grutter v. Bollinger (2004)
The University of Michigan's law school's admission system was constitutional because it relied on a broad based policy of using race as a basis for admissions. This Affirmed the Bakke Case. Grutter was denied because of her race (white). The court ruled admissions aren't solely based on race. The Equal Protection Clause doesn't limit Law School's narrowly tailored use of race in admissions.
Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood (2007)
Congress passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Act. Planned Parenthood sued arguing that the Act was unconstitutional. The court agreed and stopped the act. They argued that the Act's lack of an exception for abortions necessary for health made it unconstitutional. It is left open to use a Partial-Birth Abortion if the mother's life is at stake. The Court ruled Congress's ban on partial-ban abortion was not unconstitutionally vague.
Morse v. Frederick (2007)
Also known as "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" The justices ruled that Fredrick's free speech rights weren't violated his suspension over what the majority's written opinion called a "sophomoric" banner. Fredrick claimed his 1st Amendment rights were violated. The court limited student's free speech rights. Schools can limit student's ability to display messages that promote illegal drug use.
DC v. Heller (2008)
The 1st federal case since 1939 that ruled on the question of whether the 2nd Amendment's guarantee of the rights to bear arms constitutionally protected individuals. The case challenged a Washington DC gun control law that banned guns in the district and required any legal guns to be unloaded.
Citizens United v. FEC (2010)
Citizens United released a movie that questioned HIllary Clinton's fitness to be president during the 2008 primary campaign using the corporation's general funds. Federal Election Commission ruled that the film violated the McCainFeingold Act's prohibition of using independent expenditures to fund this kind of political advertising against a candidate. Court ruled 5-4 decision that CU had the constitutional right to fund the movie and show it during the campaigns. The court equated the use of these funds as free speech. Therefore, it gave corporations and other independent groups the right to raise unlimited campaign funds that could be used in political campiagns fort against candidates.
McDonald v. Chicago (2010)
The court ruled that Chicago's law that banned most handguns was unconstitutional. The Court also ruled that the federal government and states could still pass gun control legislation such as outlawing certain types of weapons and ammunition. This extended the 2nd Amendments right to bear arms to state laws.
U.S v. Winsor (2013)
The Defense Marriage Act states that for the purposes of federal law, marriage is between a man and a woman. Some states have legalized gay marriage. Edith Winsor is a window from her spouse Thea Clara who died. Winsor received taxes on the estate because federal law didn't approve their marriage. The court ruled that states have the right to define martial status. They found the DOMA to be unconstitutional and marriage had to be treated equally.
Hollingsworth v. Perry (2013)
Proposition 22 which affirmed a legal marriage is between a man and a woman was passed. It was later decided that the California constitution must include same sex marriages. The state wouldn't allow it and two gay couples sued. They claimed that it violated their 14th Amendment rights. Proposal 8 was ruled unconstitutional and gay marriage was legalized in the state of California.
Wolf v. Colorado (1949)
Key incorporation case that made the 14th Amendment applicable to the states through the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. The decision allowed illegally obtained evidence to be used in state courts.
Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)
Brandenburg was a leader of the KKK and he made a speech at a Klan rally and was later convicted under an Ohio criminal syndicalism law. The law made it illegal to advocate "crime, sabotage, violence, or unlawful methods of terrorism." The court sided with Brandenburg. The Court ruled that the law violated Brandenburg's 1st Amendment rights. The law didn't cleanly state the distinction and was too broad which made it a violation of the Constitution.
U.S v. Nixon (1974)
After a grand jury learned that tapes of conversations existed between President Nixon and his closet aids relating to the Watergate break-in, the independent counsel ordered that the taped be turned over. Nixon refused claiming executive privilege. Court ruled unanimously that Nixon had to release the tapes. stating that Nixon's claim to executive privilege violated the separation of powers doctrine. Nixon released the tapes and resigned. The court ruled that executive privilege claims generally apply only to national security issues, not a generalized need for privacy.
Boy Scouts of America v. Dale
Dale's membership of Boy Scouts of America was revoked because of his homosexuality. The court ruled that the organization has the right to prevent homosexual individuals from being troop leaders because it goes against your values. It violates their right of expressive association.
California v Greenwood
Police found evidence of drugs in Greenwood's trash without a search warrant. The court ruled that the trash is not protected by the fourth amendment. The trash can be searched.
Buckley v. Valeo
Individual limits to campaign financing does not violate the first amendment, but individual and campaign expenditures did violate it. The court ruled there was not enough benefit to restrict the contributions.
Vernonia v Vermont
Vernonia School District began a drug testing policy and a student was denied entry to the football team because his parents refused to make him take the drug test. The court ruled the school had the right to give the test because it was not an unreasonable search or seizure.
Dennis v US
Dennis and other members of the communist party were advocating for their beliefs, but the district court ruled that their speech was undermining the American government. The Supreme Court overturned the decision.
Board of Education v Earls
A drug test was required to participate in extracurricular. The court ruled in favor of the testing because it was minimally intrusive and for the good of the school and students.
Sternberg v Carhart
Nebraska law prohibited partial birth abortions unless it was to save the life of a mother. The court overturned it based on Casey and Wade. It was ruled that the law put an undue burden on the mother.
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