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Supreme Court Cases

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Marbury v. Madison (1803, Marshall)
The 1803 case in which Chief Justice John Marshall and his associates first asserted the right of the Supreme Court to determine the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. The decision established the Court's power of judicial review over acts of Congress, (the Judiciary Act of 1789).
Fletcher v. Peck (1810, Marshall)
Supreme Court case which protected property rights and asserted the right to invalidate state laws in conflict with the Constitution
Muculloch v. Maryland(1819, Marshall)
A state cannot tax a federal institution.
The Bank of the United States was Constitutional.
Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819, Marshall)
This 1819 Marshall Court decision was one of the earliest and most important U.S. Supreme Court decisions to interpret the contracts clause in Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution. The case arose from a dispute in New Hampshire over the state's attempt to take over Dartmouth College. By construing the Contract Clause as a means of protecting corporate charters from state interventions, Marshall derived a significant constitutional limitation on state authority. As a result, various forms of private economic and social activity would enjoy security from state regulatory policy. Marshall thus encouraged the emergence of the relatively unregulated private economic actor as the major participant in a growing national economy.
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824, Marshall)
"Steamboat Case." Regulating interstate commerce is a power reserved to the federal government
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831, Marshall)
Marshall ruled that the Cherokee had "an unquestionable right" to their lands, but they were "not a foreign state, in the sense of the Constitution" but rather a "domestic, dependent nation" and so could not sue in a United States court over Georgia's voiding their right to self-rule. Was a blow to the Cherokee case, it cast doubt on the constitutionality of Indian Removal Act.
Worcester v. Georgia (1832, Marshall)
Supreme Court Decision - Cherokee Indians were entitled to federal protection from the actions of state governments which would infringe on the tribe's sovereignty - Jackson ignored it
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837, Taney)
interest of community are above corporate rights case settled a dispute over the constitutional clause regarding obligation of contract
Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842)
a landmark ruling of the MA Supreme Court establishing the legality of labor unions and the legality of union workers striking if an employer hired non-union workers.
Scott v. Stanford (1857, Taney)
Supreme Court decision ruling that a slave who had escaped to a free state enjoyed no rights as a citizen and that Congress had no authority to ban slavery in the territories. (Black man was considered "chattel")
Ex parte Milligan (1866)
Supreme Court decided that the suspension of habeas corpus was unconstitutional because civilian courts were still operating, and the Constitution of the United States (according to the Court) only provided for suspension of habeas corpus if these courts are actually forced closed. In essence, the court ruled that military tribunals could not try civilians in areas where civil courts were open, even during wartime.
Civil Rights Cases of 1883
(A single decision on a group of cases with similar legal problems). Legalized segregation with regard to private property.
Wabash, St. Louis, and Pacific Railway Co. v. Illinois (1886)
Declared state-passed Granger laws that regulated interstate commerce unconstitutional.
U.S. v. E.C. Knight Co. (1895)
Due to a narrow interpretation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the Court undermined the authority of the federal government to act against monopolies.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Separate but equal facilities based upon race is constitutional
"Insular Cases" / Downes v. Bidwell (1901)
constituional rights in territories
confirmed the right of the federal government to place tariffs on goods entering the US from US territories.
Northern Securities Co. v. U.S. (1904)
Re-established the authority of the federal government to fight monopolies under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
Lochner v. New York (1905)
Declared unconstitutional a New York act limiting the working hours of bakers due to a denial of the 14th Amendment rights.
Muller v. Oregon (1908)
First case to use the "Brandeis brief"; recognized a 10-hour work day for women laundry workers on the grounds of health and community concerns.
Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918)
Declared the Keating-Owen Act (a child labor act) unconstitutional on the grounds that it was an invasion of state authority.
Schenk v. U.S. (1919)
Unanimously upheld the Espionage Act of 1917 which declared people who interfered with the war effort were subject to imprisonment; declared that the 1st Amend. right to freedom of speech was not absolute; free speech could be limited if its exercise presented a "clear and present danger."
Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1923)
Supreme Court case that invalidated Muller v. Oregon, declaring that since women now had the vote, they were equal to men and undeserving of special protection
Schechter v. U.S. (1936)
Sometimes called "the sick chicken case." Unanimously declared the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) unconstitutional on three grounds: that the act delegated legislative power to the executive; that there was a lack of constitutional authority for such legislation; and that it sought to regulate businesses that were wholly intrastate in character.
Koremastu v. U.S (1941)
1944 was a landmark United States Supreme Court case concerning the constitutionality of the ruling that the exclusion order of Americans of Japanese descent was constitutional
Ex parte Endo (1944)
The court forbade the internment of Japanese-Americans born in the U. S. (Nisei)
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954, Warren)
Unanimous decision declaring "separate but equal" unconstitutional.
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
Extends to the defendant the right of counsel in all state and federal criminal trials regardless of their ability to pay.
Escobedo v. Illinois (1964)
Ruled that a defendant must be allowed access to a lawyer before questioning by police.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
The court ruled that those subjected to in-custody interrogation be advised of their constitutional right to an attorney and their right to remain silent.
Roe v. Wade (1973)
The court legalized abortion by ruling that state laws could not restrict it during the first three months of pregnancy. Based on 4th Amendment rights of a person to be secure in their persons.
U.S. v Richard Nixon (1974)
The court rejected Richard Nixon's claim to an absolutely unqualified privilege against any judicial process.
Bakke v. Regents of the University of California (1978)
Ambiguous ruling by a badly divided court that dealt with affirmative action programs that used race as a basis of selecting participants. The court general upheld affirmative action, but with a 4/4/1 split, it was a very weak decision.