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WGU American Politics & The US Constitution- Court Cases
Terms in this set (34)
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
established the principle of judicial review—the power of the federal courts to declare legislative and executive acts unconstitutional
The ruling determined that the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional. The ruling determined that the Supreme Court should not hear Marbury's case.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
1) Can congress create a national bank?
2) Can states tax that bank
1-Supreme Court says YES, Congress can have national bank...The Necessary and Proper Clause's (elastic clause) tells us that Congress can have the powers necessary to carry out enumerated powers...congress needs a national back so that it can carry out it's enumerated power of coining money, regulating currency, collecting taxes
2- Supreme Court says NO, Maryland can not tax the bank...too much power for a state to have over a federal agency...the power to tax is the power to destroy.
***loose constructionist interpretation of the Proper Clause (elastic clause)
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Did the federal government have the sole authority to regulate licenses for steamboats that traveled between the states (NY and NJ)
The Supreme Court sided with Gibbons who had a federal shipping license (Ogden had a state license from New York State)
**Supremacy Clause...Federal trumps state
**Commerce Clause Power to regulate interstate commerce (trade that passes state lines or US with other nations
Barron v. Baltimore (1833)
The Supreme Court ruled that the Bill of Rights did not apply to state or city government laws and actions. Therefore, the civil liberties and civil rights listed in the Bill of Rights were only protected under the Federal Government's laws and actions; not by state governments
Because of this; the 14th amendment was later passed so that the constitution did apply standards of equal protection and due process to state government; and the American people regardless of where they live.
Sherbert v. Verner (1963)
Women who had very strong religious beliefs...she worked M-F for years on end. Her work tried to change her schedule and told her that she had to work on Saturdays...which was the day she goes to church, she told them that she couldn't because she goes to church on Saturday, and they told her too bad and scheduled her for Saturdays anyway. She did not show up to work on Saturday and was fired. She tried to look for another job that would let her have Saturdays off, but couldn't find another job that would let her have Saturdays off. She decided to apply for unemployment benefits, the government employee named Verner told her that she did not qualify; and said that many jobs that would not make her work on Saturdays....she feels like she is being forced to work instead of being able to follow her freedom of conscious/ religion so she sewed the government because of the laws for the unemployment...the lower court says no- just get a job, you don't qualify for unemployment...when all the way to the supreme court:
Supreme Court ruled -Government Laws CANNOT take away free exercise of religion- they would giver her unemployment benefits until she can find a job that does not require her to work on her church day.
-This began the Strict Scrutiny Test- a process to see if she had truly been discriminated against.
è The court also established the 4 prong test to help determine when a law violates "the free exercise of religion
1). Does the person have a claim involving a sincere religious belief? and
2). Does the government law cause a substantial burden on the person's ability to act on that sincere religious belief? If the answer to #1 and #2 is "yes", then the Court requires the government to demonstrate that
3). It is acting to further a compelling government interest with its law; and
4). It is using the least restrictive means to pursue that compelling government interest.
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)
Lemon is sewing state government because it was giving tax payer $$ to private religious schools.... saying they were establishing religion. The lower court said they weren't, so Lemon appealed all the way up to the supreme court...
The Supreme Court Ruled- government CANNOT give taxpayer $$ to private religious schools.
**They set up a Lemon test: SNNEEZE- Secular (all government laws must be secular- nonreligious, must apply to everyone equally), Neutral (all government laws must be neutral towards religion), No Excessive Entanglement (government cannot be excessively entangled in telling a church or religion what to do.) These are a set of legal standards...if all the states can follow these legal standards in the lemon test, then all of the laws will not establish religion.... standards to make sure no government law establishes religion.
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014)
Obama Health Care act- when the law was passed for all businesses to provide health insurance and birth control for their employees...Hobby Lobby said "we DON'T want to provide birth control for our employees because that is against our religious beliefs...
Supreme Court ruled- companies can exercise religious freedoms, and did not have to provide birth control for their employees because of their religion.
Gillette v. United States (1971)
Gillette did not want to be drafted into the Vietnam War because of his religion...he sewed and it went to the Supreme Court....who said he did not have to be drafted into the war because of his religion
Supreme Court ruled- Can be a 'conscientious objector' against military drafts and all wars
Tinker v. Des Moines (1971)
1969- 2 students (Brother & sister) were suspended from high school for wearing arm bands to protest the war in Vietnam, they sued saying it violated their first amendment right to freedom of speech
The Supreme Court ruled- in favor of Mary Beth and John Tinker saying that "Students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate" freedom of speech includes symbolic speech or nonverbal communication.
Cohen v. California (1971)
Cohen is living in California, and had a jacket that was against the Vietnam war, and was arrested for what his jacket said
Supreme Court Ruled- freedom of speech includes symbolic speech or nonverbal communication.
Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)
Brandenburg was speaking at a KKK speech in meeting with terrible, hateful remarks. He got arrested for all the threats that he made during his speech...he says he has freedom of speech...case goes to the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court ruled- No- you cannot make threats, you cannot promote illegal actions and activities of murder and burning houses...***There is a limit on your freedom of speech. You can be fined/punished and arrested for your words if you are promoting illegal or imminent lawless actions.... robbing a bank, hurting someone, threats of any kind.
Texas v. Johnson (1989)
Johnson burned an American Flag in a disrespectful way as a protest against the government and was arrested. The case went to the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court Ruled- You CAN burn a flag as part of your symbolic freedom of speech
New York Times Co. v. The United States (1971)
This case centered on whether the US government can use prior restraint to prevent news media from publishing classified gov. information.
The Pentagon papers- a 7,000 page collection of papers on our nations involvement with the Vietnam War that were top secret (and may have been misleading?)
Prior Restraint limits on freedom of press (can happen only because of national security or classified information) Government Censorship.
-The Supreme Court Ruled- in favor of the New York times & Washington post.... government cannot limit freedom of speech only on a vague idea of "national security interests"
-If the press will publish anything that would cause Immediate, Inevitable, or Irreparable harm to our national security; then it can be stopped, and the government can limit the freedom of the press.
Branzburg v. Hayes (1972)
Freedom of speech/ press (but this is not absolute...there are circumstances when they have to share/ or are not allowed to share)
- 1972 the Supreme Court says the 1st amendment does not give blanket protection reporters from testifying about criminal activity that they witnessed while reporting on a story
Miller v. California (1973)
California had laws against pornography...Miller had pornography and was arrested. He appeals to the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court ruled- pornography is protected as freedom of speech. Pornography was not accepted at this time, so the Supreme Court set up a MILLER TEST- every single state/community can use their own standards on how much pornography they would allow and how bad/indecent they wanted to allow. IF it was really bad, you could say it was obscene, and you could ban it...indecent pornography was legal, and obscene pornography was illegal.... every community could decide for their own. CHILD POROGRPHY is obscene and illegal everywhere.
The rise of the internet in the 90s did kind of change this because a city/state cannot control the internet. This is why pornography has become so popular. Congress stepped in to try to limit access to pornography, but the Supreme Court blocked them.
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Mapp was in Ohio in her home, the police wanted to search her house for her friend, she said not without a search warrant; police went away and came back with a search warrant- she asked to see it, and they show her a paper...she grabs it to look at it, and they grab it back and search her house...they don't find her friend BUT, they found pornography (when it was illegal), and arrested her for that...she goes to the trial , and says that it is not hers....the judge says she was guilty....she also found out that the police did not really have a search warrant (they had lied)...she appeals.
The supreme court ruled- they applied the "exclusionary rule" - if the search warrant is incorrect, then the evidence gathered is EXCLUDED...so she was not guilty
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
The Supreme Court Ruled- if you are Indigent (too poor) to get your own attorney, then the government will give you one. You are guaranteed an attorney in trials.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Miranda v. Arizona case, 1966- Miranda was arrested for a crime; and confessed to a crime when the police interrogated him. After being convicted, he appealed his case to the supreme court saying:
-I did not know I had a right to a lawyer first
-I didn't know that I didn't have to answer their questions while being interrogated
-They should have told me these things
-Argued he had not been informed of his constitutional rights to remain silent or have a lawyer present
The supreme court ruled- they AGREEED and ordered police to tell all accused persons of their rights when they are arrested. (now called the Miranda Rights or Miranda Warnings)
This is part of Due Process
(The liberty is you get to decide whether to incriminate yourself or not)
Furman v. Georgia (1972)
The Supreme Court Ruled- set up guidelines for death penalty, allowing lethal injections, no hangings ect.
Heller v. District of Columbia (2008
The District of Columbia had a law that had a ban registering handguns, and prohibited carrying handguns; and legal provisions that required unregistered handguns be kept disassembled or nonfunction able with a trigger lock mechanism
-The supreme court ruled that this law was unconstitutional and against the 2nd amendment
McDonald v. Chicago (2010)
McDonald sued the city of Chicago to try to get rid of hand guns
The Supreme Court ruled- The government can NOT ban handguns
US vs. Miller (1939)
This case dealt with the legal interpretation of the 2nd amendment; and the amendments "militia clause"
The court ruled and unanimously upheld the constitutionality of that law; and said that modified shotgun was not related to the promotion of a "well regulated militia"....federal law and state laws can regulate & prohibit weapons that did not serve that purpose
Dred Scott v. Sandford (1856)
Mr. Dred Scott was an enslaved man who was taken by his slave holder into Illinois (free state) for 10 years, and then taken back to Missouri...he sued for his freedom saying that his 10 years in Illinois made him a free man.
The Supreme Court ruled with a 7-2 majority that
1. The Missouri Compromise was an unconstitutional overreach by congress.
2. Mr. Scott was a descendant of slaves imported to the US, and could NOT become a US CITIZEN, and could not sue in federal court.
3. Slaves were considered property under the 5th amendment, and that ANY law that attempts to deprive slave owners of property is unconstitutional
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
-1896)- started legalized racial segregation or de jure segregation (government is discriminating against race)
-Established the 'separate but equal doctrine
Weakened the 14th amendment
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS (1954)
Reversed Plessy v. Ferguson case. Stopped legalized racial discrimination; said no more 'separate but equal'....just because the supreme court said it; nothing really happened for a while...it took the Civil Rights movement (it took another decade of fighting)
This case centered on redistricting of Georgia congressional districts; and weather the districts were drawn in violation of the principle that districts should be compact, of equal proportion, and as competitive as possible (they had done racial gerrymandering)
-The supreme Court ruled- Georgia's congressional house districts DID violate the 14th amendment...since their odd, non-compact boundaries undermined the concept of "one vote, one person" by giving some voters more influence than others in an intentional way.
Korematsu v. United States (1944)
During WWII; citizens of Japanese decent who were living on the West Coast, weather they were naturalized citizens, or had even been born in the US, were subjected to the indignity of being removed from their communities and interned under Executive Order 9066
The Supreme Court ruled- and upheld the actions of the government as a necessary precaution in a time of war.
Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)
(2015)- Referred to the 14th Amendment; and legalized same- sex marriage. Requires all states to issue marriage licenses and to recognize all valid same-sex marriages as legal under the 5th amendment, and the equal protection clause.
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)
1965 The Supreme Court Ruled- created a new (previously unlisted) liberty called the 'right to privacy'
-You get to make your own choices on your intimate behavior...weather married couples could use birth control.
Roe v. Wade (1973)
1973 The Supreme Court increased 'privacy' to include the right to an abortion in the first 3 months of pregnancy.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)
This case challenged the abortion restrictions in Pennsylvania Law that required women to
1. Have a 24 hr. waiting period
2. Grant informed consent
3. A married women had to indicate she had informed her husband of the intent for her abortion
4. Required a minor seeking an abortion had to have consent of one parent (with limited exceptions
--A divided court upheld Pennsylvania law with the exception for a married women to inform her husband of the abortion....
**it violated the 14th amendment due process; and broke Roe vs.. Wade precedent that created different rules for 2st 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy; and held strict scrutiny standard for judicial review.
Buckley v. Valeo (1976)
This case considered weather spending money was a form of protected free "political speech"
Stemmed from the limits on the total value of individual campaign contributions to candidates for elected office
The Supreme Court decided:
1- Individual restrictions on campaign donations do not violate the 1st amendment
2- Government limits on total campaign expenditures and limits on candidates use of personal and family money ARE unconstitutional- since those things do not cause the same threat of corruption that unlimited campaign contribution from other people do.
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)
1st amendment free speech question was at the heart of this supreme court ruling. The case centered on a challenge from Citizens United, a nonprofit corporation who in 2008 had mad a film that was critical of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Lower courts ruled that Citizens United had violated the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act prohibition on corporations, labor unions, nonprofit corporations and associations from making election-related communications within a certain period before the election. The 2010 Citizens United vs. FEC
Supreme Court-- opinion overturned key parts of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act...The door was open for the creation of what we now call Super- PACS (organizations that are established to directly collect contributions from corporations, labor unions, nonprofit organizations and associations in order to make unlimited, direct "independent expenditure" contributions....the only restriction- these corporations ect could not give money or other assistance directly to a candidate's campaign and could not coordinatein any way with that candidate.
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978
A white male's application to the University of California Medical School was denied twice because they reserve 16 spots for minorities as part of the Affirmative Action Program to correct decades of minority exclusion...
This case challenged the use of government-supported racial quota systems that reserved opportunities for certain individuals solely on account of their race saying that it violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and violated the 14th amendment's equal protection clause
The Supreme Court was torn...they concurred that race could be used as one of the several factors; but not as the single, defining factor when making university and admissions decisions.
The balanced decision allowed for affirmation action programs to continue nations wide; but also to ensure that all Americans rights were protected
Lawrence v. Texas
A Texas couple was convicted under the Texas stature "Homosexual Conduct Law" and sewed challenging the constitutionality of the law
The Supreme Court- reinforced the idea that private, intimate, sexual conduct between 2 consenting adults was a protected liberty; and that the government had no basis for intervention...and that their law was unconstitutional.
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