51 terms

SCOTUS Rulings


Terms in this set (...)

Warren Court (1953-1969)
the Supreme Court during the era in which Earl Warren served as Chief Justice, best remembered for expanding the rights of minorities and the rights of the accused
writ of certiorari
An order by a higher court directing a lower court to send up a case for review
stare decisis
A Latin phrase meaning "let the decision stand." Most cases reaching appellate courts are settled on this principle.
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Established judicial review; "midnight judges;" John Marshall; power of the Supreme Court.
McCulloch v. Maryland
1819, Cheif justice john marshall limits of the US constitution and of the authority of the federal and state govts. one side was opposed to establishment of a national bank and challenged the authority of federal govt to establish one. supreme court ruled that power of federal govt was supreme that of the states fed govt. had implied powers
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
The Supreme Court upheld broad congressional power to regulate interstate commerce. The Court's broad interpretation of the Constitution's commerce clause paved the way for later rulings upholding expansive federal powers.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Legalized segregation in publicly owned facilities on the basis of "separate but equal."
Schenck v. United States
A 1919 decision upholding the conviction of a socialist who had urged young men to resist the draft during World War I. Justice Holmes declared that government can limit speech if the speech provokes a "clear and present danger" of substantive evils.
Gitlow v. New York
The 1925 Supreme Court decision holding that freedoms of press and speech are "fundamental personal rights and liberties protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment from impairment by the states" as well as by the federal government. Established the incorporation doctrine
incorporation doctrine
The legal concept under which the Supreme Court has nationalized the Bill of Rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.
Palko v. Connecticut
Provided test for determining which parts of Bill of Rights should be federalized - those which are implicitly or explicitly necessary for liberty to exist.
Brown v. Board of Education
1954 - The Supreme Court overruled Plessy v. Ferguson, declared that racially segregated facilities are inherently unequal and ordered all public schools desegregated.
Brown v. Board II (1955)
The Supreme Court ruled that schools should desegregate "with all deliberate speed." Southern states fought this.
Mapp v. Ohio
Established the exclusionary rule was applicable to the states (evidence seized illegally cannot be used in court)
Engel v. Vitale
The 1962 Supreme Court decision holding that state officials violated the First Amendment when they wrote a prayer to be recited by New York's schoolchildren.
Baker v. Carr
case that est. one man one vote. this decision created guidelines for drawing up congressional districts and guaranteed a more equitable system of representation to the citizens of each state
Gideon v. Wainwright
a landmark case in United States Supreme Court history. In the case, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state courts are required under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants unable to afford their own attorneys.
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)
Supreme Court decision in which the Court ruled that the Constitution implicitly guarantees citizens' right to privacy.
Judicially created rights based on various guarantees of the Bill of Rights. The right to privacy is not explicitly stated in the Constitution, but the Supreme Court has argued that this right is implicit in various clauses found throughout the Bill of Rights.
Miranda v. Arizona
1966 Supreme Court decision that sets guidelines for police questioning of accused persons to protect them against self-incrimination and to protect their right to counsel.
Epperson v. Arkansas (1968)
Prohibited states form banning the teaching of evolution in public schools (since such bans were religiously motivated)
Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)
Public school students may wear armbands to class protesting against America's war in Vietnam when such display does not disrupt classes
Lemon v. Kurtzman
The 1971 Supreme Court decision that established that aid to church-related schools must (1) have a secular legislative purpose; (2) have a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion; and (3) not foster excessive government entanglement with religion.
Furman v. Georgia (1972)
Found that the imposition of capital punishment was often racist and arbitrary. Court ordered a halt to all death penalty punishments in the nation until a less arbitrary method of sentencing was found
Gregg v. Georgia (1976)
Upheld new Georgia death penalty laws requiring dual-phase trial and special circumstances; capital punishment does not constitute cruel & unusual punishment of 8th Amendment.
Buckley v. Valeo (1976)
1st Amendment protects campaign spending; legislatures can limit contributions, but not how much one spends of his own money on campaigns.
Bakke v. UC Regents
1978 Supreme Court case made racial quotas illegal, but schools could use race to enhance a person's chance of admission.
Texas v. Johnson (1989)
Flag-burning is symbolic speech with a political purpose and is protected by 1st Amendment.
Shaw v. Reno (1993)
The Court ruled that although it was a legitimate goal for state legislatures to take race into account when they draw electoral districts in order to increase the voting strength of minorities, they may not make race the sole reason for drawing district lines.
U.S. v. Lopez (1995)
Supreme Court declared Gun Free School Zones Act exceeded Congress's Interstate Commerce Clause power and was therefore unconstitutional. First federal law declared to exceed commerce clause since the 1930s (Devolution Revolution?)
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)
upheld the affirmative action policy of the university of michigan law school. Upheld bakke ruling that race could be a consideration in admissions policy but that quotas are illegal. Said that using race to achieve diverse learning environment was ok
Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)
States can regulate abortion, but not with regulations that impose "undue burden" upon women; did not overturn Roe v. Wade, but gave states more leeway in regulating abortion (e.g., 24-hour waiting period, parental consent for minors)
Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
State laws making sodomy (gay sex) a crime violate equal protection clause (fails rational basis test because only possible reason for law is homophobia)
Bush v. Gore
5-4 Supreme Court declared that Florida vote recount violated equal protection clause (some votes would be examined more closely than others); ended Gore's challenge to 2000 election results. Power of judicial review (effectively decided 2000 election).
senatorial courtesy
Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.
dissenting opinion
A statement written by a justice who disagrees with the majority opinion, presenting his or her opinion
judicial branch checks on other branches
May interpret laws, may declare laws unconstitutional(Checks legislative branch). May interpret treaties, may declare executive acts unconstitutional(Checks executive branch)
Checks on Judiciary
president appoints judges but the senate confirms all judges and justices, no enforcement mechanisms, congress can over rule rulings with new laws or amendments, impeachment and threat of impeachment, congress can change the number of justices by law
U.S. v. Nixon (1974)
Allowed for executive privilege, but not in criminal cases; "Even the President is not above the law;" Watergate.
NY Times v. Sullivan (1964)
Held that statements about public figures are libelous only if made with malice and reckless disregard for the truth.
US v. NY Times
The New York Times published classified documents that had been leaked from the pentagon on the grounds that it was freedom of the press . The Supreme Court ruled that this was acceptable. No prior restraint
prior restraint
government censorship of information before it is published or broadcast
Reynolds v. US (1879)
Court ruled that one cannot use religion as a defense to the crime of polygamy. Court ruled that religious practices that impair the public interest do not fall under the First Amendment.
Oregon v. Smith (1990)
declared that free exercise of religion does not include illegal drug use
Roth v. United States
A 1957 Supreme Court decision ruling that "obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press." Difficult to define, lead to more pornography
Miller v. California
A 1973 Supreme Court decision that avoided defining obscenity by holding that community standards be used to determine whether material is obscene in terms of appealing to a "prurient interest" and being "patently offensive" and lacking in value.
Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)
1st and 14th Amendments protected speech advocating violence at KKK rally unless it directed or produced "imminent lawless action" (Warren Court)
Procedural Due Process
Constitutional requirement that governments proceed by proper methods; limits how government may exercise power.
substantive due process
Constitutional requirement that governments act reasonably and that the substance of the laws themselves be fair and reasonable; limits what a government may do.
Roe v. Wade (1973)
(Burger) Certain state criminal abortion laws violate the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment, which protects against state action the (implied) right to privacy in the Bill of Rights (9th amendment). Abortion cannot be banned in the 1st trimester (1st 3 months), states can regulate the 2nd trimester, 3rd trimester - abortion is illegal except to save the life of the mother
Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)
The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State.