Marbury entitled to his appointment to the federal bench? Was his
lawsuit the correct way to get it? And, was the Supreme Court the
place for Marbury to get the relief he requested?
case presented two questions: Did Congress have the authority to
establish the Bank of the United States? Did the Maryland law unconstitutionally
interfere with congressional powers?
v. Ogden - 1824
Did the State
of New York exercise authority in a realm reserved exclusively to
Congress, namely, the regulation of interstate commerce?
- Humphrey's Executor v. United
States – 1935
section 1 of the Federal Trade Commission Act unconstitutionally
interfere with the executive power of the President?
the President's right to safeguard certain information, using his
"executive privilege" confidentiality power, entirely
immune from judicial review?
Term Limits v. Thornton - 1995
states alter those qualifications for the U.S. Congress that
are specifically enumerated in the Constitution? Are states
qualified to set term limits on members of the United States
- Clinton v. Jones
a serving President, for separation of powers reasons, entitled
to absolute immunity from civil litigation arising out of events
which transpired prior to his taking office?
- Printz v. United States
the Necessary and Proper Clause of Article I as justification, can
Congress temporarily require state law enforcement officials to
regulate handgun purchases by performing those duties called for
by the Brady Bill's handgun applicant background-checks?
Court ruled all school-sanctioned prayer in public schools unconstitutional.
Court overturned a state law setting aside a minute for “voluntary
prayer” in public schools.
Michael Newdow have standing to challenge as unconstitutional a
public school district policy that requires teachers to lead willing
students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance? Does a public school
district policy that requires teachers to lead willing students
in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, which includes the words "under
God," violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?
Religious Freedom: Free Exercise Clause
The Court ruled that Amish adolescents could be exempt from a state
law compelling school attendance
The Court found laws passed by four Florida cities banning animal
sacrifice were targeted at the Santeria religion, which employs
animal sacrifice in prayer, and as such the laws were unconstitutional.
Court began applying the Free Exercise Clause to the states and
recognized an absolute freedom of belief.
a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of a state capitol building
violate the First Amendment's establishment clause, which barred
the government from passing laws "respecting an establishment
Freedom of Expression – General
World War I, Mr. Schenck mailed fliers to draftees urging them to
peacefully protest the draft. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote
that the First Amendment did not protect Schenck since, during wartime,
such expression would create a clear and present danger.
Supreme Court applied protection of free speech to the states (incorporation).
Court ruled the West Virginia School Board’s policy requiring students
and teachers to recite the pledge of allegiance unconstitutional.
Supreme Court ruled that wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam
War was “pure speech,” or symbolic speech, thus protected by the
First Amendment. The principal’s right to forbid conduct that substantially
interfered with school discipline was outweighed by the students’
right to free expression.
Supreme Court held that the First Amendment protected Mr. Brandenburg’s
speech advocating violence at a Ku Klux Klan rally.
case set forth rules for obscenity prosecutions, but also gave states
and localities flexibility in determining what is obscene. The four
dissenters argued even the most general attempt to define obscenity
for the entire nation was outside the scope of the Court’s power.
Supreme Court protected flag-burning as symbolic speech: “Government
may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society
finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”
Supreme Court held that the 1996 Communications Decency Act was
unconstitutional, since it was overly broad and vague in its regulation
of speech on the internet, and it attempted to regulate indecent
speech, which is protected.
of Expression – Campaign Finance
campaign finance case disallowed limits on campaign expenditures,
but permitted “reasonable restrictions” on individual, corporate
and group contributions to candidates. The Supreme Court recently
upheld the $1,000 limit.
Supreme Court ruled that campaign spending by political parties
on behalf of congressional candidates may not be limited, as long
as the parties work independently of the candidates.
Freedom of the
was a printer, publisher, editor and journalist whose indictment,
trial and acquittal on sedition and libel charges was an important
contributing factor to the development of the freedom of the press
in America. Although this court case occurred during the colonial
period of American history, it remains one of the landmark cases
in our nation’s legal history.
case struck down a statute authorizing the state to seek injunctions
against routine publishers of malicious or defamatory information,
extending protection of freedom of the press to the states (incorporation).
The Court stated that the First Amendment protected all statements
about public officials, unless the speaker lies with the intent
to defame. This case overturned a judgment awarding damages to an
Alabama policeman after the New York Times ran a critical
This case lifted a temporary injunction against publication of leaked
information, since such publication would not cause an “inevitable,
direct and immediate” event imperiling the safety of American forces;
often referred to as the Pentagon Papers case.
the First Amendment prohibits public figures from recovering damages
for intentional infliction of emotional harm, without showing the
publication contained a false statement of fact made with actual
v. Kuhlmeier - 1988
Did a high school principal's deletion of the articles from
the school newspaper violate the students' rights under the First
to Assemble and Petition the Government
a Massachusetts State Court's mandate to Boston's Veterans' Council,
requiring it to include GLIB members in its parade, violate the
Council's free speech rights as protected by the First and Fourteenth
the application of New Jersey's public accommodations law violate
the Boy Scouts' First Amendment right of expressive association
to bar homosexuals from serving as troop leaders?
case extended to the states the federal protection of the right
to peaceably assemble for lawful discussion.
Supreme Court ruled that the National Socialist (Nazi) Party could
not be prohibited from marching peacefully, simply because of the
content of their message.
Supreme Court overturned a fifteen-foot “floating buffer” around
patients leaving or entering an abortion clinic; though, “fixed
buffers” were permitted since they protected the government’s interest
in public safety.
Scott v. Sandford - 1857
After residing in a “free” state for ten years, then returning to
Missouri with his owner, was Dred Scott free or slave?
v. Ferguson - 1896
Was Louisiana's law mandating racial segregation on its trains an
unconstitutional infringement on both the privileges and immunities
and the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment?
v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas - 1954
Did the segregation of children in public schools solely on the
basis of race deprive the minority children of the equal protection
of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment?
v. United States - 1944
Did the President and Congress go beyond their war powers by implementing
exclusion and restricting the rights of Americans of Japanese descent?
Based on Gender
v. Boren – 1976
Did an Oklahoma statute violate the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal
Protection Clause by establishing different drinking ages for men
States v. Virginia - 1996
Does Virginia's creation of a women's-only academy, as a comparable
program to a male-only academy, satisfy the Fourteenth Amendment's
Equal Protection Clause?
v. Richardson - 1973
Did a federal law, requiring different qualification criteria for
male and female military spousal dependency, unconstitutionally
discriminate against women thereby violating the Fifth Amendment's
Due Process Clause?
of the University of California v. Bakke - 1978
Did the University of California violate the Fourteenth Amendment's
equal protection clause, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, by practicing
an affirmative action policy that resulted in the repeated rejection
of Bakke's application for admission to its medical school?
Constructors v. Pena - 1995
Is the presumption of disadvantage based on race alone, and consequent
allocation of favored treatment, a discriminatory practice that
violates the Fifth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause?
v. Bollinger - 2003
Did the University of Michigan Law School's use of racial preferences
in student admissions violate the Equal Protection Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment or Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
Based On Sexual Orientation
v. Hardwick - 1986
Does the Constitution confer a fundamental right upon homosexuals
to engage in consensual sodomy, thereby invalidating the laws of
many states which make such conduct illegal?
v. Evans - 1996
Did Amendment 2 of Colorado's State Constitution, forbidding
the extension of official protections to those who suffer discrimination
due to their sexual orientation, violate the Fourteenth Amendment's
Equal Protection Clause?
v. Texas - 2003
Did the criminal convictions of John Lawrence and Tyron Garner under
the Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law, which criminalizes
sexual intimacy by same-sex couples, but not identical behavior
by different-sex couples, violate the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee
of equal protection of laws? Did their criminal convictions for
adult consensual sexual intimacy in the home violate their vital
interests in liberty and privacy protected by the Due Process Clause
of the Fourteenth Amendment? Should Bowers v. Hardwick
(1986) be overruled?
Control And Abortion
v. Connecticut - 1965
Does the Constitution protect the right of marital privacy against
state restrictions on a couple's ability to be counseled in the
use of contraceptives?
v. Wade - 1973
Does the Constitution embrace a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy
Parenthood v. Casey - 1992
Can a state require women who want an abortion to obtain informed
consent, wait 24 hours, and, if minors, obtain parental consent,
without violating their right to abortions as guaranteed by Roe
v. Quill - 1997
Did New York's ban on physician-assisted suicide violate the Fourteenth
Amendment's Equal Protection Clause by allowing competent terminally
ill adults to withdraw their own lifesaving treatment, but denying
the same right to patients who could not withdraw their own treatment
and could only hope that a physician would do so for them?
v. Glucksberg - 1997
Did Washington's ban on physician assisted-suicide violate the Fourteenth
Amendment's Due Process Clause by denying competent terminally ill
adults the liberty to choose death over life?
v. Oregon - 2006
Did the Controlled Substances Act authorize the attorney general
to ban the use of controlled substances for physician-assisted suicide
Of Congress To Enforce Civil Rights
of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States - 1964
Did Congress, in passing Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act,
exceed its Commerce Clause powers by depriving motels, such as the
Heart of Atlanta, of the right to choose their own customers?
the procedures used to commit 15-year-old Gerald Francis Gault to
a prison facility constitutionally legitimate under the Due Process
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
was a fourteen-year-old girl accused of smoking in the girls' bathroom
of her high school. A principal at the school questioned her and
searched her purse, yielding a bag of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia.
Did the search violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments?
From Unreasonable Search And Seizure
the confiscated materials protected by the First Amendment? (May
evidence obtained through a search in violation of the Fourth Amendment
be admitted in a state criminal proceeding?)
the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and
seizures require the police to obtain a search warrant in order
to wiretap a public pay phone?
random drug testing of high school athletes violate the reasonable
search and seizure clause of the Fourth Amendment?
the Student Activities Drug Testing Policy, adopted by the Tecumseh,
Oklahoma School District,, which required all students who participate
in competitive extracurricular activities to submit to drug testing,
consistent with the Fourth Amendment?
the state court's failure to appoint counsel for Gideon violate
his right to a fair trial and due process of law as protected by
the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments?
Escobedo denied the right to counsel as guaranteed by the Sixth
the police practice of interrogating individuals without notifiying
them of their right to counsel and their protection against self-incrimination
violate the Fifth Amendment?
the imposition and carrying out of the death penalty in these cases
– Furman v. Georgia, Jackson v. Georgia and Branch v. Texas - constitute
cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth
the imposition of the death sentence prohibited under the Eighth
and Fourteenth Amendments as "cruel and unusual" punishment?
a Texas trial court's supplemental instruction on mitigating evidence
of mental retardation under the state's "special circumstances"
for sentencing in capital murder cases to a jury constitutionally
adequate? Does the admission into evidence of statements from a
psychiatric report based on an uncounseled interview with the defendant
violate the Fifth Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination?
v. Simmons - 2005
the execution of minors violate the prohibition of "cruel and
unusual punishment" found in the Eighth Amendment and applied
to the states through the incorporation doctrine of the 14th Amendment?
Unusual Punishment in Non-Capital Cases
Jury Influences, Pretrial Publicity
Supreme Court ruled that the indigent of society, when charged with
a capital crime, must be given competent counsel, at the expense
of the citizens.
was indicted for robbery and detained in a Maryland jail. Prior
to his trial, he asked for counsel to represent him. This request
was denied and he was soon convicted. While incarcerated, Betts
filed a habeas corpus petition in the lower courts. After they rejected
his petitions, he filed a certiorari petition with the Supreme Court,
which agreed to hear his case. Bett argued that his 6th Amendment
right to a fair trial was violated because of his lack of counsel.
The State of Maryland held that most states did not require the
appointment of counsel in non-capital cases and the circumstances
of this particular case did not require it. Although the Court found
in favor of Betts, it decided that the right to counsel must be
decided on a case- by-case basis. This ruling was upheld for 20
years until it was overturned by Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963.
Supreme Court ruled that all evidence obtained by searches and seizures,
in violation of the Constitution, is inadmissible in a state court.
This is known as the “exclusionary rule.”
Supreme Court overturned Betts v. Brady and required
that any indigent, accused of a felony must be given an attorney
at the public’s expense.
Supreme Court extended the “exclusionary rule,” to also include
any unconstitutionally obtained confessions. The Court said that
once questioning reaches past a “general inquiry” the suspect has
the right to have an attorney present.
Supreme Court ruled that since the police had not informed Mr. Miranda
of his Constitutional rights, Miranda’s conviction must be overturned.
Supreme Court ruled that Congress could not pass a law that would
contradict a Supreme Court ruling. They cited Marbury v.
Madison, as the source of their power. Judicial Review gave
the Supreme Court final say on an act’s constitutionality. Justices
writing in dissent called the ruling the “ . . . Pyramid of judicial
marijuana case: Does a medical necessity exception to the Controlled
Substances Act's prohibition on the manufacture and distribution
of various drugs, including marijuana, exist?
a fact (other than a prior conviction) necessary to increase a sentence
beyond the statutory standard range need to be proved by a jury
and beyond a reasonable doubt?
United States courts have jurisdiction to consider legal appeals
filed on behalf of foreign citizens held by the United States military
in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba?
the government violate Hamdi's Fifth Amendment right to Due Process
by holding him indefinitely, without access to an attorney, based
solely on an Executive Branch declaration that he was an "enemy
combatant" who fought against the United States? Does the separation
of powers doctrine require federal courts to defer to Executive
Branch determinations that an American citizen is an "enemy
v. Gonzales - 2005
the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801) exceed Congress' power
under the commerce clause as applied to the intrastate cultivation
and possession of marijuana for medical use?
this case, the Supreme Court recognized the right of the people
to keep and bear arms.
case determined whether the provision of the Omnibus Crime Control
and Safe Streets Act of 1968 that prohibits the possession of firearms
by convicted felons (codified in 18 U.S.C. 922(g) in 1986) violated
the Second Amendment The Court acknowledged that among the rights
denied to convicted felons was the right to bear arms.
Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the phrase “the people” means
the same in the Second Amendment as it does in the First, Fourth,
Ninth amendments, and as it does in the Preamble of the U. S. Constitution.
The reference to “the people" means all citizens and legal
aliens while in the United States.
of Columbia v. Heller (2008)
In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that the Second Amendment
protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with
in a militia, and to use that firearm for traditionally lawful
purposes, such as self-defense within the home. The Court based
its holding on the text of the Second Amendment, as well as applicable
language in state constitutions adopted soon after the Second Amendment.
Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court. Justices
John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer filed dissenting opinions,
each joined by the other as well as Justices David Souter and Ruth
Bader Ginsburg. Justice Stevens argued that the Second Amendment
only protects the rights of individuals to bear arms as part of
a well-regulated state militia, not for other purposes even if
they are lawful. Justice Breyer agreed with Stevens' argument but
also stated that even if possession were to be allowed for other
reasons, any law regulating the use of firearms would have to be "unreasonable
or inappropriate" to violate the Second Amendment. In Breyer's
view, the D.C. laws at issue in this case were both reasonable
v. Chicago (2010) - oral arguments on Tuesday, March 2, 2010
a moratorium on development imposed during the process of devising
a comprehensive land-use plan constitutes a per se taking of property
requiring compensation under the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause?
a city violate the Fifth Amendment's takings clause if the city
takes private property and sells it for private development, with
the hopes the development will help the city's bad economy? By
“takings,” this generally refers to “eminent domain.” Eminent domain
is the right of a government or municipal quasi-public body to acquire
private property for public use. Property is acquired through a
court action called condemnation, in which the court determines
the use is a public use and decides the price or compensation to
be paid to the owner.
INCORPORATION COURT CASES
following portions of the Bill of Rights have been incorporated against
© Debbie Twyman and Craig Whitney