A list of important Supreme Court cases in U.S. history.
Marbury vs. Madison
1801 Established judicial review
McCulloch vs. Maryland
1818 The Constitution was meant to be a guideline; Congress could use the necessary and proper clause to start the Bank; federal instruments can't be taxed by states.
Gibbons vs. Ogden
1824 According to the Supremacy Clause, a federal law will always trump a state law.
Barron vs. Baltimore
1833. Amendments do not apply to the states unless specified. (Fifth amendment/personal property)
Reynolds vs. US
1879. Criminal punishment does not depend on religious beliefs; anti-polygamy laws did not violate the first amendment.
Plessy vs. Ferguson
1892. Established separate but equal doctrine.
Schenck vs. US
1919. The Espionage Act was a reasonable limitation of freedom of speech during wartime (Were Schenck's political statements protected? No.)
Gitlow vs. New York
1925. Does the New York law punishing the advocacy of overthrowing the government an unconstitutional violation of the free speech clause of the First Amendment? No.
Near vs. Minnesota
1931 A Minnesota law prohibiting the publication of scandalous newspapers was struck down as a violation of free speech.
Korematsu vs. US
1944. Supported the internment of Japanese Americans as a necessary and constitutional measure.
Brown vs. Board/Brown II
1954. Overturned separate but equal; later stated that schools must be integrated "with all deliberate speed".
Mapp vs. Ohio
1961. Evidence obtained by an illegal search was no longer allowed in state courts.
Baker vs. Carr
1960. Federal courts have jurisdiction over legislative reapportionment because it is a constitutional violation to not reapportion seats.
Engel vs. Vitale
1962. It is unconstitutional for public schools to encourage prayer or other religious activity because such action violates the separation of church and state.
Gideon vs. Wainwright
1962. A fair trial requires lawyers, therefore the state must provide a lawyer for the defendant if need be.
Heart of Atlanta vs. US
Places of public accommodation do not have the right to choose their guests; Commerce Clause/Civil Rights act.
New York Times vs. Sullivan
1964. Factual error and injury to reputation, whether intentional or not, are not justifications for the limitation of free speech.
Griswold vs. Connecticut
1965. We have an implied right to privacy; Connecticut's anti-contraceptive law violated the right to marital privacy. 1/3/4/9th amendments.
Miranda vs. Arizona
1966. The police must notify a person of their constitutional rights when making an arrest.
Tinker vs. De Moines School District
1969. The First Amendment, as applied through the Fourteenth: a school can't punish students for peaceful symbolic speech.
New York Times vs. US
1971. "Security" should not be used to limit freedom of speech/press.
Lemon vs. Kurtzman
1971. State financial aid was not allowed for church-related schools.
Wisconsin vs. Yoder
1972. Free exercise of religion is more important than the state's demand that children go to school until they are 16.
Furman vs. Georgia
1972. Death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment.
Gregg vs. Georgia
1976. The death penalty is ok in certain circumstances.
Miller vs. CA
Obscene material is not protected by the first amendment.
Roe vs. Wade
Abortion rights were protected under the 14th amendment and Griswold vs. CT.
Buckley vs. Valeo
It is constitutional to limit campaign contributions but not constitutional to limit campaign spending or personal contributions.
Regents vs. Bakke
Racial quotas used at schools violated the 14th amendment.
Texas vs. Johnson
1984. Burning the flag is protected under the first amendment.
Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeir
1983. The first amendment does not require schools to protect certain kinds of student speech.
Webster vs. Reproductive Health
1989. Viability tests/no informed counsel requirements for an abortion were not unconstitutional.