AP 15 Court Cases
Terms in this set (33)
Marbury v. Madison background
Before TJ took office, Adams passed Judiciary Act of 1801 as an attempt to frustrate TJ from having a favorable court system. The appointees were approved by the Senate but not valid until Sec of State Madison delivered. Madison didn't deliver Marbury's commission; Marbury petitioned for a writ of mandamus
1. Do the plaintiffs have a right to receive their commissions?
2. Do the plaintiffs have standing to sue in court?
3. Does the SC have the authority to order the delivery of their commissions?
writ of mandamus
Order from the court to a government official ordering them to fulfill their duties/comply with legal obligations
Marbury v Madison decision
Unanimous for Marbury. Madison's refusal to deliver commission is illegal, but they didn't order Madison to hand it over b/c the provision of the Judiciary Act allowing Marbury to bring the claim to the SC is unconstitutional because it extended SC"s original jurisdiction beyond Article III. Also the Act violated the supremacy of the Const. If the SC issued a writ of mandamus, they'd be interfering with separation of powers.
Marbury v Madison effects
Established the power of judicial review by overturning the Federal Judiciary Act of 1789
Marbury never got the job
Reenforced the supremacy of the Const.
Engel v. Vitale background
NY State Board of Regents allowed a short, voluntary prayer at the beginning of the school day. Organizations joined to challenge the prayer claiming an Establishment Cl violation
Does reading a nondenominational prayer at the beginning of the school day violate the Estab Cl?
Engel v Vitale decision
6-1 for Engel. States cannot hold prayer in public schools even if nondenominational and voluntary b/c is breaches the wall of separation between church and state. The gov't has no business drafting formal prayers for students to recite in a gov't sponsored program
Engel v Vitale effects
Did NOT outlaw all prayer in public schools but DID prohibit schools from writing/choosing a specific prayer and requiring all students to say it
Wisconsin v. Yoder background
Members of the Old Order Amish religion and Conservative Amish Mennonite Church were prosecuted under a Wisconsin law requiring kids to attend public school until age 16. The parents refused to send their kids to HS bc it went against their religious beliefs.
Did the Wisconsin law violate the 1st A by criminalizing parents refusing to obey the law for religious reasons?
Wisconsin v Yoder decision
Unanimous for Yoder. Individual interests in free religious exercise outweigh state interest in compelling school attendance beyond 8th grade bc mandatory HS will likely damage the religious upbringing of Amish kids. The values/programs of HS are in conflict with Amish lifestyle and two more years of public education will not produce the benefits of public education claimed by Wisconsin.
Partial dissent- Kids should get a say in their education
Wisconsin v Yoder effects
Prioritized individual free exercise of religion over state interest
Tinker v. Des Moines background
Group of HS students in Des Moines decided to wear arm bands to school to support a truce in the Vietnam war. Principal heard about it and made a rule that students can't wear arm bands or will be suspended. Kids wearing arm bands were sent home and they sued the district for violating their free expression
Does the prohibition of armbands as symbolic speech in public schools violate students' 1st A free speech? What are the legal rights of schools?
Tinker v Des Moines decision
Majority- the rights of students were violated by the school; armbands represent pure speech separate from the actions of the wearers. To justify suppressed speech, the school must prove that students' conduct would interfere with the operation of the school day, but here, the school just feared possible disruption.
Dissenting- school officials have the right to maintain order if it stems from a legit school interest; kids are still learning impulse control and need to learn that the school rules are supreme over their potentially distracting actions
Tinker v Des Moines effects
Upheld free speech in schools, protecting student rights. The broad holding led to an extension of the rights to other areas like school papers.
NY Times v. US
Nixon Admin attempted to prevent NYT and Wash Post from publishing a classified Defense Dpt study on the history of US activities in Vietnam ("Pentagon Papers"). He argued that it was necessary to protect national security.
Did Nixon's efforts to prevent publication violate 1st A?
NY Times v. US
Decision in favor of NYT. Only a free/unrestricted press can effectively expose gov't deception. The gov't did not convince the courts that censorship was necessary here; claims of national security weren't sufficient.
Schenck v. US background
During WWI, socialists Charles Schenk and Elizabeth Baer distributed thousands of pamphlets declaring that the draft violates 13th A's ban of involuntary servitude and encouraged people to (peacefully)disobey it. He was charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 (made criticizing the gov't a crime; meant to stop opposition to the war) by obstructing recruitment.
Does the conviction violate 1st A free speech?
Section III of Espionage Act?
13th A's involuntary servitude?
Schenk v US opinion
Unanimous for US. Espionage Act didn't violate the 1st A because it was an appropriate exercise of Congress's wartime authority. The Cts should defer to the gov't more during war. The 1st A doesn't protect speech that creates preventable danger and the distribution of the pamphlets would disrupt conscription.
Schenk v US effects
"clear and present danger" test established
Gideon v. Wainwright background
Gideon was charged in Florida w/ breaking and entering... he requested that the court appoint a lawyer for him, but according to state law, an attorney can only be appointed in capital cases. Gideon represented himself and was found guilty. He filed a habeas corpus and argued that his constitutional right to counsel was violated. FL S.C. denied habeas corpus.
Does the 6th A's right to counsel in criminal cases extend to felony defendants in state courts?
order requiring a person who has been imprisoned to be brought to court in order to have it decided whether the imprisonment is legal
Gideon v Wainwright decision
Unanimous for Gideon- the right to assistance of counsel in all criminal prosecutions is a necessary right- the fact that the gov't hires lawyers to represent it in all prosecutions shows the necessity of lawyers; average people are unfamiliar with law and may be convicted wrongly w/o realizing
Gideon v Wainwright effects
It guaranteed the right to assistance of counsel to defendants of criminal prosecutions in all courts; created the Legal Defense Fund for people unable to afford lawyers
Overturned Betts v Brady (you dont have assistance to counsel in non capital cases if you can't afford a lawyer) and 20 years of people being unfairly imprisoned
Roe v. Wade background
Jane Roe sought an abortion but TX law prohibited abortions (prosecuted doctors) except to save women's lives
Roe sued the district attorney of Dallas County saying that the law violated personal liberty and right to privacy
Does the Const allow a woman's right to abortion?
Roe v Wade decision
Majority- a woman's right to an abortion falls within her right to privacy which is protected by the 14th A. During the 1st trimester, a woman's right to privacy outweighs state interests b/c the fetus is still undeveloped and having the abortion probably won't endanger the woman's life, so the state interest isn't compelling.
Roe v Wade effects
Protected a woman's right to privacy and gave them total control during the 1st trimester
McDonald v. Chicago background
Suits were filed against Chicago and Oak Park challenging their gun bans- McDonald felt as if he was under threat from drug gangs. Does the second amendment apply to the states by incorporation?
McDonald v Chicago decision
5-4 decision for Chicago.
Majority- rights deeply rooted in our history should be applied to the states. Alito recognized that the purpose of the second amendment was to protect militias but people have always been allowed to have guns for self-defense. The right to self defense is fundamental.
Dissenting- owning a personal firearm is not a fundamental right requiring incorporation
Effect of McDonald v Chicago
Incorporated 2nd A protections to states for defense purposes using due process clause
Brown vs. Board background
- AA students were denied admittance to certain public schools based on race
- They argued that segregation violates the 14 A's = protection clause
- Plaintiffs lost the cases in lower courts b/c of Plessy v Ferguson precedent
- Does the segregation of public education based solely on race violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th A?
Brown v Board decision
Unanimous for Brown. Separate but = is inherently unequal and racial segregation violates the 14th A. Segregation instills feelings of inferiority on AA children that has a negative effect on their education/personal growth (the reasoning was mainly based on social science)
Effects of Brown v Board
Overturned school segregation that was upheld by Plessy v Ferguson and implied that segregation isn't allowed in other public facilities
McCulloch v MD background
Congress chartered 2nd bank of US and state of MD passed law to tax it. State court said that Bank was unconst bc it was not stated in the constitution that Congress could make it
Did Congress have the authority to establish the bank?
Did the Maryland law unconstitutionally interfere with congressional powers?
McCulloch v MD decision
Congress has power to incorporate bank according to Necessary and Proper Cl.
States cannot tax national entitities bc they are supreme.