An Annotated List of Important Supreme Court Decisions
This annotated list provides citations and brief descriptions of important Supreme Court decisions, presented in an A–Z format. Most of the cases are related in some way to the topics and cases treated in the chapters of this book. In addition, this list includes every case—except those already emphasized in the chapters— mentioned in the social studies standards of the state departments of education throughout the United States. This appendix is a supplement to the chapters, so the major cases treated centrally in the book’s chapters are not included here. Minimal information is provided about each case, just enough to help readers decide whether they want to learn more about it from another source. If so, they can use the citation of the case to look it up on one or more of the websites listed in the section of this book called Websites, or in another reference source. Each citation includes the name of the parties to the case: for example, Abington School District v. Schempp. The citation also includes numbers in the following format: 374 U.S. 203 (1963). The numbers mean that the opinion in this case is published in volume 374 of United States Reports, beginning on page 203. The year the case was decided follows in parentheses. During most of the first one hundred years of Supreme Court history, official reports of the cases were published under the names of the Court reporters. Thus, these names (full or abbreviated) appear in the citations of the Court’s decisions. For example, the citation for Barron v. Baltimore (1833) includes this information: 7 Pet. 243. This citation indicates that the case can be found in the seventh volume compiled by Richard Peters (Pet.), and that it begins on page 243. Some of the annotated websites present unofficial copies of the records about the Supreme Court cases that appear officially in the bound volumes of United States Reports.
Abington School District v. Schempp
374 U.S. 203 (1963)
The Schempp family challenged a Pennsylvania law requiring public school students to read from the Bible at the start of the school day. The Supreme Court overturned the law because it violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which was applied against the state through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The establishment clause was originally incorporated under the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause in Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township (1947).
Adderly v. Florida
385 U.S. 39 (1966)
More than two hundred students assembled in front of a prison to protest the arrests of their schoolmates and the racial segregation policies of Florida’s state prison system. During their boisterous demonstration, they blocked access to a prison driveway. The sheriff told the demonstrators to disperse, because they were violating a state law against “trespass with a malicious and mischievous intent.” More than half the students departed, but others who continued to protest were arrested and convicted of violating a state law, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld. The Court concluded that the state had not violated the protesters’ rights to freedom of speech, assembly, and petition, because the state had the authority to maintain order on its own property in a manner that was lawful and nondiscriminatory. The protesters were free to assemble in other places to express their dissent against state and county prison policies. But they were restricted from demonstrating in the place and manner they had chosen, which violated a clearly defined and constitutionally applied state law.
Adkins v. Children’s Hospital
261 U.S. 525 (1923)
The Court overturned a 1918 federal minimum wage law for working women in the District of Columbia because the law violated the liberty of contract guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause. The Court’s decision followed the liberty of contract principle established in Lochner v. New York (1907). The Adkins decision, however, disregarded the Court’s 1908 ruling in Muller v. Oregon that had recognized the need for state governments to protect certain vulnerable groups of people, such as women, through workplace regulations. Chief Justice Taft and Associate Justice Holmes wrote stinging dissents that presaged the Court’s overruling of the Adkins decision in West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937).
Agostini v. Felton
521 U.S. 203 (1997)
The Court ruled that New York City could use public funds granted by the federal government to support remedial programs that directly aid students in church-run schools, if the programs are secular. The establishment clause of the Constitution’s First Amendment, applied to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, is not violated as long as the government-funded program neither advances nor obstructs the religious mission of the private school. This decision overturned the Court’s ruling in Aguilar v. Felton (1985).
Aguilar v. Felton
473 U.S. 402 (1985)
The Court struck down a New York City program that used federal funds, granted through the Title I Elementary and Secondary Education Act, to pay public school employees who provided remedial education to students in private, church-run schools. The Court ruled that the New York City program violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause, because it involved an excessive entanglement of church and state, the third prong of the Lemon test from Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971). In 1997, the Court modified its interpretation of the Lemon test in Agostini v. Felton.
Alden v. Maine
527 U.S. 706 (1999)
Probation officers in Maine sued the state to collect overtime pay under the terms of a federal law, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The Court ruled that private parties seeking damages resulting from a state’s violation of a federal statute cannot sue the state for monetary damages in its own state courts or in a federal court. The Court held that the states have sovereign immunity from such private lawsuits under the Constitution’s principle of federalism.
Aptheker v. Secretary of State
378 U.S. 500 (1964)
Herbert Aptheker, chairman of the Communist Party of the United States, sued to have Section 6 of the Subversive Activities Control Act declared unconstitutional. This federal law prohibited him from obtaining a passport in order to travel outside the United States, because he belonged to an organization that the U.S. Department of State identified as a threat to the security and safety of the nation. However, the Supreme Court ruled that the liberty interest of the due process clause in the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment protects a U.S. citizen’s right to travel internationally. Therefore, a citizen cannot be denied a passport and deprived of his or her liberty to travel abroad solely because of membership in a so-called subversive political organization, in this instance the Communist Party of the United States.
Barron v. Baltimore
32 U.S. 243 [7 Pet. 243] (1833)
Prior to the enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, the Bill of Rights restrained only the federal government. Thus, the Court did not recognize the claim of John Barron, the owner of docks and warehouses, against the city of Baltimore, which had damaged his property through public works projects. Barron claimed that the city had violated the portion of the Fifth Amendment that states “private property” shall not “be taken without just compensation,” but the Court determined that the amendment only applied to the actions of the federal government.
Benton v. Maryland
395 U.S. 784 (1969)
The state of Maryland charged John Dalmer Benton with two crimes, larceny and burglary; he was acquitted of the first charge but found guilty of the second. When he appealed his burglary conviction, his larceny case was reopened and he was found guilty of both crimes. When his case came before the Supreme Court, the Court ruled that the Fifth Amendment protection against “double jeopardy” could be applied against state governments through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling overturned the Court’s decision in Palko v. Connecticut (1937).
Bethel District No. 403 v. Fraser
478 U.S. 675 (1986)
In a school assembly speech, Matthew Fraser made sexually suggestive comments and gestures, which amused some students and shocked others. Fraser, after being suspended, sued the school district for violating his First Amendment right to free speech. The Court ruled that school officials may limit the free speech rights of students in a public school in order to prevent disruptions of the school’s educational mission.
Board of Education of Central School District No. 1 v. Allen
392 U.S.236 (1968)
A New York State law required the state to loan textbooks on secular subjects to all school children in grades seven through twelve in public and private schools, including church-run schools. The Court ruled that this law was not a violation of the First Amendment’s prohibition of an establishment of religion primarily because the funds were not used to advance the religious mission of the private, church-run schools, and the students and their parents were the beneficiaries, not the schools themselves.
Bradwell v. Illinois
83 U.S. 130 [16 Wall. 130] (1873)
Myra Bradwell was well qualified to be a lawyer, but Illinois denied her the right to practice law solely because of her gender. She based her appeal of the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision on the “privileges and immunities” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the state court’s ruling against her. In a concurring opinion, Justice Joseph P. Bradley argued that women in general were by nature unfit to perform the public duties of professional occupations. By the early years of the twentieth century, most states had permitted women to practice law. However, not until Reed v. Reed (1971) did the Court interpret the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment to protect the rights of women against sex-based discrimination.
Brandenburg v. Ohio
395 U.S. 444 (1969)
Clarence Bradenburg, a Ku Klux Klan leader, was convicted of violating an Ohio state law banning speech that advocated violence as a means of bringing about social reform. The Court ruled that the content of speech can be restricted only when the speech can be directly and immediately linked to specific actions that could result in lawless behavior, such as harm to persons or property. The Court defined the right to free speech so broadly that even hateful speech by a despicable person is permitted, unless it can be linked to imminent lawless behavior.
Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board
531 U.S. 70 (2000)
The 2000 Presidential election remained in doubt on November 8, the day after voters throughout the United States had cast their ballots. The outcome of this very close election hinged on the resolution of disputes about the counting of votes cast in Florida. The official count favored the Republican candidate George W. Bush by a very slim margin over the Democrat Al Gore, who filed suit in a Florida court to force a manual recount of votes in certain counties, including Palm Beach County. The state supreme court ruled in favor of Gore, but Bush challenged the decision, and the issue went on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. On December 4, the Court decided unanimously to vacate the state supreme court’s decision and remanded (returned) it to the state court for clarification. The issue of a contested election and how to resolve it constitutionally came back to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled on December 12, in Bush v. Gore, to immediately end the recount of ballots that the state supreme court had once again approved in the contested counties. The U.S. Supreme Court held in a narrow decision that the recount procedures were being conducted unconstitutionally, ordered an immediate halt to the recounting of ballots, and once again remanded the case to the state supreme court. This time, however, the state court did not take further action, and Al Gore publicly conceded the election to George Bush.
Cantwell v. Connecticut
310 U.S. 296 (1940)
Newton Cantwell was arrested and convicted because of his intrusive and offensive door-to-door soliciting on behalf of his religious group, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He had not obtained from the state the necessary permit to conduct his activities, which included distributing reading material and audio records considered derogatory to the Roman Catholic Church. The Court ruled that a state may regulate the time, manner, and place of speech by members of a religious organization seeking support for or converts to their religion. The opinion also stated, however, that if the state comprehensively prohibits such proselytizing actions or censors the content of the speech associated with them, then the state violates one’s First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion and free speech, which are applied to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This was the first time that the Court incorporated the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion under the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause in order to apply this right against a state.
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge
36 U.S. 420 [11 Pet. 420] (1837)
In 1828, when Massachusetts granted a permit for the Warren Bridge to be built across the Charles River in Boston, the owners of the Charles River Bridge, who had an earlier charter, objected on the grounds that the new permit violated the contract clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 10). The Court ruled that a state may interpret public charters for the benefit of the public and to meet community needs. According to this ruling, the state government of Massachusetts did not violate the contract clause when it chartered the new bridge.
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad v. Chicago
166 U.S. 226 (1897)
The city of Chicago took private property of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad in order to build a street for public use and compensated the railroad company with the nominal sum of one dollar. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Chicago. Through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment the Court incorporated the Fifth Amendment right of “just compensation” and thereby required the city, an agent of the state government of Illinois, to make an equitable payment to the railroad company because its private property had been taken for public use without an equitable payment.
City of Boerne, Texas v. Flores
521 U.S. 507 (1997)
Archbishop P. F. Flores of San Antonio sued the small Texas city of Boerne when the city refused to grant Catholic Church officials a permit to expand the building that housed St. Peter’s Church, located in the city’s historic district, where construction was severely restricted. Flores argued that the city was violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which limited government from enforcing laws that “substantially burden” the free exercise of religion. The Court struck down this federal statute, holding that Congress had violated the Constitution’s separation of powers and federalism principles. By enacting this law, Congress had usurped the Court’s power, under the separation of powers principle, to decide what is or is not a violation of religious liberty guarantees in the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Further, the Court also ruled that Congress’s enactment of the RFRA had infringed upon the traditional authority of a state government, under the constitutional principle of federalism, to regulate matters pertaining to the general welfare of the state’s people.
Civil Rights Cases
109 U.S. 3 (1883)
In these five cases that were decided as a group, the Court considered whether federal government, under the Civil Rights Act of 1875, had the right to force private facilities to provide blacks the same access as whites. The Court decided was the act was unconstitutional because it regulated the private conduct of individuals with regard to racial discrimination—an action beyond the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment only banned the state governments’ violation of individual rights and had nothing to do with racial discrimination by owners of private hotels, restaurants, theaters, and so forth. This type of discrimination would be illegal today under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Clinton v. City of New York
524 U.S. 417 (1998)
In 1986, Congress passed the Line Item Veto Act, giving the President the power to veto particular items in a bill, rather than the bill as a whole. President Clinton used this new power to reject items in the budget that benefited hospitals and healthcare workers in New York City, and representatives of these groups filed suit. The Court found that the President cannot constitutionally veto part of a bill Congress sends him for his signature, and the line-item veto power was nullified.
Clinton v. Jones
520 U.S. 681 (1997)
The Court unanimously decided that the U.S. President does not have a constitutionally based immunity from civil litigation. Thus, a civil suit brought by Paula Jones against President William J. Clinton was allowed to proceed. Clinton settled the suit in 1998 by agreeing to pay Jones $850,000.
Cohens v. Virginia
19 U.S. 264 [6 Wheat. 264] (1821)
Philip and Mendes Cohen were convicted of selling lottery tickets in Virginia, in violation of state law. The brothers claimed that their lottery had been incorporated in Washington, D.C., and was therefore conducted under federal law, which takes precedence over state law. The Supreme Court asserted its jurisdiction and authority to review decisions of state courts when they involve issues about federal law or the U.S. Constitution, but upheld the Cohens’ conviction.
Colegrove v. Green
328 U.S. 549 (1946)
In this case involving voting districts in Illinois, the Court held that districting issues were political questions and therefore beyond the jurisdiction of the judicial branch of government. This decision was overturned in Baker v. Carr (1962).
Cooper v. Aaron
358 U.S. 1 (1958)
In 1958, the Arkansas legislature enacted measures to postpone the desegregation of the state’s public schools, in defiance of the Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. The NAACP filed suit against William Cooper, president of the Little Rock school board, on behalf of John Aaron and twelve other black students. The Court affirmed its 1954 decision in Brown, declaring that a state government could not ignore or oppose a Supreme Court decision and asserting its primacy as the final interpreter of the Constitution.
Craig v. Boren
429 U.S. 190 (1976)
The Court ruled that a government classification that discriminates against a female would have to serve an important government interest for the public good in order to be judged constitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. Thus, the Court expressed for the first time its doctrine of “intermediate scrutiny.” Henceforth, gender-based discrimination in government classifications would be held to a higher standard of justification than any other kind except that based on race, which is always subject to “strict scrutiny” and thereby practically disallowed.
Dartmouth College v. Woodward
17 U.S. 518 [4 Wheat. 518] (1819)
New Hampshire’s state legislature passed several amendments to the charter of Dartmouth College, effectively changing the private institution into a state college. The lawyer and politician Daniel Webster, a graduate of Dartmouth, represented his alma mater before the Supreme Court, arguing that the charter of a private corporation (in this case, Dartmouth College) is a contract, which a state government is prohibited from abridging by the contract clause of the U.S. Constitution’s Article 1, Section 10. The Court sided with Dartmouth, and the state of New Hampshire was prevented from violating the original charter of the private educational institution.
DeJonge v. Oregon
299 U.S. 353 (1937)
Dirk DeJonge, a member of the Communist Party, was prevented by Oregon state law from advertising and conducting public meetings to promote his party’s agenda of revolution against the U.S. government. The Court struck down the Oregon law, because it deprived certain individuals of their rights to freedom of speech and assembly under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. For the first time, the Court incorporated the First Amendment right to assembly under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applied it against a state government.
Dennis v. United States
341 U.S. 494 (1951)
The Court upheld the convictions of eleven members of the U.S. Communist Party for violating the Smith Act. This act, a response to national security concerns during the Cold War era, made it a crime for anyone to form or participate in a political party or other organization with the publicly expressed mission of violently overthrowing the U.S. government. Dissenting opinions by Justices Hugo Black and William O. Douglas argued that the Court’s ruling contradicted First Amendment guarantees of free speech and assembly, including by implication, the right of association. A few years later, in Yates v. United States (1957), the Court declined to uphold convictions of Communist Party members for violations of the Smith Act. And in Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), the Court set forth the precedent that the government may not constitutionally restrict speech unless it is connected immediately and directly to lawless behavior that threatens public safety and property.
Dickerson v. United States
530 U.S. 428 (2000)
In 1968, Congress attempted to weaken the protections of the Miranda warnings, established in Miranda v. Arizona (1966), by enacting a law to provide that a voluntarily made confession is admissible in federal court. In the case of Charles Dickerson, an alleged bank robber, his purported confession of criminal behavior was used to convict him under the terms of the 1968 federal law, even though he had not been read the Miranda warnings. However, the Supreme Court held that Congress cannot enact legislation to overrule or modify the long-standing Miranda warnings, which protect a suspect against infringement of her or his Fifth Amendment right to protection against self-incrimination and which are applied against a state government through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Edwards v. Aguillard
482 U.S. 578 (1987)
A Louisiana state law that required science teachers in the public schools to teach creationism, a religious doctrine, was ruled to be an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause, applied against a state government through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Eisenstadt v. Baird
405 U.S. 438 (1972)
At issue was a Massachusetts law that prohibited the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried men or women. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the state law because it violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. Under the Court’s Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) decision, married couples could legally obtain contraceptive devices. The Court held that withholding this right from unmarried persons without a rational basis violated the constitutional provision for equal protection of the laws. This decision buttressed the right to privacy established in Griswold.
Engel v. Vitale
370 U.S. 421 (1962)
The Court ruled that an official prayer prescribed by an agency of the New York State government for students in public schools to recite daily was an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause, applied against a state government through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Escobedo v. Illinois
378 U.S. 478 (1964)
Danny Escobedo was detained and questioned by police about the fatal shooting of his brother-in-law. Escobedo repeatedly asked to see his attorney during the interrogation, but the police refused this request. Thus, Escobedo gave answers to police questions that incriminated him in the shooting. After Escobedo had incriminated himself, he was allowed to see his lawyer. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the police had treated Escobedo unconstitutionally. The Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel applies not only to the trial of a person accused of a crime but also during the interrogation phase of an investigation of criminal behavior.
Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township
330 U.S. 1 (1947)
Arch Everson sued the Ewing, New Jersey, board of education claiming that a state law that allowed school boards to use state funds to transport students to parochial schools violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The Court decided for the first time to apply the establishment clause against a state through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. While the Court asserted the constitutional principle of church-state separation, it permitted the use of public funds for transporting private, religious school students on equal terms with public school students.
Frontiero v. Richardson
411 U.S. 677 (1973)
Sharon Frontiero, an officer in the U.S. Air Force, challenged a federal law that provided lesser benefits to married women in the armed services than to their married male counterparts. The Supreme Court ruled that the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause protects women from discrimination by the federal government based solely on gender. Thus, married women in the armed forces are entitled to the same medical benefits and housing allowances provided to married men.
Gault, In re
387 U.S. 1 (1967)
Gerald Gault, a fifteen-year-old boy, made obscene telephone calls to a neighbor. At the time, he was on court-ordered probation for a different act of juvenile delinquency, and was given a rather severe punishment for his errant behavior. As a juvenile, Gault did not have the standard constitutional guarantees of due process of law, and his father hired counsel that appealed Gault’s conviction. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Gault and held that constitutional rights of due process of law are guaranteed to juveniles accused of criminal behavior. Prior to the Gault decision, the state courts treated juvenile offenders differently from adults accused of crime. The juvenile justice system—although it provided special, benevolent consideration for minors—withheld constitutional protections normally afforded adults.
Gideon v. Wainwright
372 U.S. 335 (1963)
When a Florida drifter named Clarence Earl Gideon was arrested for robbing a pool hall, he requested that the court appoint a lawyer for his defense. The court refused his request and Gideon was found guilty. Gideon appealed to the Supreme Court and the Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel applies to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Prior to the Gideon decision, states were required to provide counsel only when the accused faced the death sentence or in special cases such as youth or mental incompetence. Gideon ensured that any person accused of a crime is entitled to legal representation, and if they cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed and paid for by the government.
Gitlow v. New York
268 U.S. 652 (1925)
Benjamin Gitlow, a member of the Communist Labor Party, wrote a pamphlet that encouraged Americans to overthrow the U.S. government, and he was convicted for violating the state of New York’s Criminal Anarchy Law. The Court upheld his conviction. However, the majority opinion said that in principle the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of free speech is applicable to state governments through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This was the Court’s first formal acknowledgment that the First Amendment’s protection of free speech could be applied against a state.
Goss v. Lopez
419 U.S. 565 (1975)
Dwight Lopez and other students of public schools in Columbus, Ohio, sued because they were suspended from school without due process of law protections normally extended to adults accused of wrongful behavior. The U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of Lopez and held that students in public schools must be afforded rights to due process of law when they are accused of violating rules that could bring a suspension from school.
Gratz v. Bollinger
539 U.S. 244 (2003)
The Court struck down an affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, because it involved group-based considerations that broadly and unfairly discriminated against individuals outside the preferred racial or ethnic categories and thereby violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.
Gray v. Sanders
372 U.S. 368 (1963)
The Court struck down the state of Georgia’s system of apportionment for representation of districts in the state legislature, because it heavily favored residents of rural counties relative to those in urban counties. Thus, the Court decided the state law at issue violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. Writing for the Court, Justice William O. Douglas stated, for the first time, the principle of “one person, one vote” that governed decisions in subsequent cases about apportionment and representation of voters.
Grutter v. Bollinger
539 U.S. 306 (2003)
The Court upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s affirmative action policy, because racial or ethnic identity was only one among several factors considered for admission to the school. Thus, this narrowly designed policy to achieve diversity among the students did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.
Hague v. Committee for Industrial Organization
307 U.S. 496 (1939)
The Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) distributed pamphlets and conducted meetings in Jersey City, New Jersey, to promote the unionization of workers. The local government stopped the CIO’s activities as a violation of its law prohibiting public assemblies without a permit from the city. In response to the CIO’s appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protections of rights to free speech, petition, and assembly are applicable to the states and the local governments within them through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Further, these First Amendment rights cannot be denied to members of a labor union seeking to advance their economic interests through freedom of association and expression in public places.
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier
484 U.S. 260 (1988)
When a high school principal deleted two pages from a student newspaper because they contained stories about a student pregnancy, birth control, and the divorce of a student’s parents, the student journalists claimed that their First Amendment right to freedom of the press was denied. The Court ruled that students in a public high school do not have the same First Amendment protections as individuals in the community outside the school. For example, public school administrators and teachers may restrict the content of a school newspaper in order to serve a valid educational purpose.
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States
179 U.S. 241 (1964)
The owner of the Heart of Atlanta motel refused to rent rooms to blacks, claiming that Congress had overstepped its authority when it passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made such discrimination by private businesses illegal. The Court ruled that Congress has the power under the commerce clause in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution to prohibit racial discrimination in privately owned accommodations, such as hotels and restaurants within a state, which are involved with interstate travel or trade.
Helvering v. Davis
301 U.S. 619 (1937)
George P. Davis, a shareholder in Edison Illuminating Company, challenged the constitutionality of the Social Security Act on the grounds that the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly grant the federal government the power to tax a private business in order to fund a public pension plan for its employees. However, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Social Security Act, ruling that Congress’s power to regulate commerce and provide for the general welfare provided a constitutional basis for the tax.
Herndon v. Lowry
301 U.S. 242 (1937)
Angelo Herndon was an organizer and promoter of the Communist Party of the United States, who traveled throughout the country distributing his party’s literature and conducting meetings to recruit new members. While in Georgia, he was arrested and convicted for attempting to incite an uprising against the government in violation of the state’s anti-insurrection law. He appealed his conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court, which applied the First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment against the state government. Thus, a state government cannot deprive an individual of these rights merely due to his expression of offensive ideas or his membership in a reviled political party.
Humphrey’s Executor v. United States
295 U.S. 602 (1935)
President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to dismiss William Humphrey from his position on the Federal Trade Commission, an independent regulatory agency within the executive branch, because he disagreed with the commissioner’s conservative political philosophy. However, the Federal Trade Commission Act only permitted the President to remove a commissioner for “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.” The President relied on the Court’s 1926 decision in Myers v. United States, which permitted the President to remove one of his appointees to the executive department position of postmaster. The Court prohibited President Roosevelt from dismissing Humphrey, holding that an official working purely within the executive branch of government, such as the post office, was not the same as one within an independent regulatory agency, such as the FTC, which has quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial functions, established by federal law, and therefore is not wholly under the authority of the chief executive.
Hylton v. United States
3 U.S.171 [3 Dall.171] (1796)
A Virginia man, Daniel Hylton, refused to pay a federal tax on horse-drawn carriages that were used as passenger vehicles, claiming that, as a direct tax, it was prohibited under Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution. For the first time, the Court considered the constitutionality of a federal statute, and upheld the tax. In the opinion, however, the justices recognized that they had the authority to declare a federal law invalid if it violated any part of the U.S. Constitution.
Johnson v. Transportation Agency of Santa Clara
480 U.S. 616 (1987)
Paul Johnson and Diane Joyce were the two lead candidates for a skilled position with the Transportation Agency of Santa Clara, California. Although Johnson scored slightly higher in his interview, Joyce was given the job. Santa Clara had an affirmative action plan that recognized gender as one of several factors to be considered in the hiring of employees, in order to overcome past discrimination against female applicants for jobs. The Court ruled that the plan was legal under the terms of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Katz v. United States
389 U.S. 347 (1967)
The FBI placed electronic surveillance equipment outside a telephone booth regularly used by Charlie Katz, whom the agents suspected of illegal gambling activity. Katz claimed that the FBI had violated his Fourth Amendment right “to be secure” with respect to his person, papers, and belongings from “unreasonable search and seizure.” The Court expanded its interpretation of the Fourth Amendment to include protection against certain kinds of electronic invasions in places open to the public, where someone might expect a certain degree of privacy.
Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents
528 U.S. 62 (2000)
Professor J. Daniel Kimel was one of several state university employees in Florida who claimed age-based discrimination and sued the state for compensation. The Court ruled that a federal law, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, cannot be the basis for a private lawsuit seeking damages against a state government. In this decision, the Court acknowledged the power reserved to the states according to the constitutional principle of federalism.
Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District
508 U.S. 384 (1993)
Lamb’s Chapel, an evangelical Christian church asked the town government of Center Moriches for permission to use public school buildings, after hours, to show films that promoted their religious values in family life and child raising. The local school board rejected the request. The Supreme Court, however, ruled that a public school district that permitted various kinds of community groups to use its buildings after school hours for meetings could not deny the same access to a religious organization for sectarian purposes. The justices held that discrimination against religious groups in the use of school district facilities on equal terms with other community groups was a violation of rights to freedom of speech and free exercise of religion. Granting permission to use facilities on equal terms with others does not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
Lawrence v. Texas
539 U.S. 558 (2003)
The Court ruled that a Texas law criminalizing homosexual behavior between two consenting adults in a private residence was an unconstitutional violation of the rights to privacy and liberty under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Lee v. Weisman
505 U.S. 577 (1992)
The principal of a public middle school in Providence, Rhode Island, invited a Jewish religious leader, Rabbi Leslie Gutterman, to offer benediction at the school’s annual graduation ceremony. The father of a graduating student, Daniel Weisman, brought suit against the principal for violating of the First Amendment’s establishment clause. The Supreme Court decided that the First Amendment’s establishment clause, applied to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits clergy from saying prayers as part of an official public school ceremony, such as graduation.
Loving v. Virginia
388 U.S. 1 (1967)
The Court ruled that a Virginia law prohibiting marriage between persons of different races was unconstitutional, because such a racial classification violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Lynch v. Donnelly
465 U.S. 668 (1984)
The Court ruled that the display of a Christian nativity scene on public property during the Christmas season does not violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause, if it is placed within a context of secular or nonreligious objects.
Malloy v. Hogan
378 U.S. 1 (1964)
When William Malloy was called to be a witness in a Connecticut state government investigation of illegal gambling, he refused to answers questions on grounds of the constitutional protection against self-incrimination. The Supreme Court agreed with Malloy and decided, for the first time, that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates through its due process clause the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and applies this right against the state governments.
Mapp v. Ohio
367 U.S. 643 (1961)
In 1957 police searched the home of Dollree Mapp without a warrant, and seized incriminating evidence that resulted in her imprisonment. The Court ruled that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unlawful searches and seizures must be excluded from use in state as well as federal criminal trials.
Marsh v. Chambers
463 U.S. 783 (1983)
The Nebraska legislature traditionally opened its sessions with a prayer recited by a Protestant chaplain, whose services were paid for by the state government. The Court ruled that this practice did not violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause, even though it clearly violated precedents in constitutional law, including the Lemon test, established in Lemon v. Kurzman (1971). The Court considered this decision to be an acceptable exception to the Lemon test, because the practice at issue was a deeply rooted historical tradition.
Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee
14 U.S. 304 [1 Wheat. 304] (1816)
When a Virginia judge refused to carry out the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in a dispute about the ownership of a large tract of land in the state, the Court asserted the supremacy of its decisions over the states in cases pertaining to the U.S. Constitution, federal laws, and treaties.
McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Board of Regents
339 U.S. 637 (1950)
George McLaurin, a nonwhite resident and citizen of Oklahoma, was denied admission to the University of Oklahoma on the basis of his skin color. A state court ordered his admission to the university. However, while attending the university as a fully admitted student, he was forced to sit apart from the white students in the classroom and the lunchroom. McLaurin appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided unanimously against the personal segregation imposed upon him, because it violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment.
Meyer v. Nebraska
262 U.S. 390 (1923)
The Court struck down a Nebraska law that banned schools from teaching any modern language other than English to children who had not passed the eighth grade, because this law violated the private property and liberty rights of teachers and children guaranteed through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision in this case was used later to justify the constitutional right to privacy set forth in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965).
Minor v. Happersett
88 U.S. 162 [21 Wall. 162] (1875)
In this case involving a woman’s right to vote, the Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not confer the right to vote upon anyone. The right to vote is a matter left to the states, which may decide to deny this right to women. The Court recognized that women were citizens, but decided that citizenship does not automatically convey the right to vote.
Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada
305 U.S. 337 (1938)
When the University of Missouri denied Lloyd Gaines admission to its law school because of its policy of racial discrimination, the Court ruled that the state’s failure to provide a law school for black students within Missouri was a violation of the Court’s “separate but equal” ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). The Court rejected Missouri’s proposal to pay Lloyd Gaines’s tuition at a law school outside the state and ordered his admission to the state university’s law school until the state provided a “substantially equal” law school for black students. As a citizen of Missouri, Gaines was entitled to the same opportunities for education that white citizens enjoyed.
Mitchell v. Helms
530 U.S. 793 (2000)
Under the 1981 Education Consolidation and Improvement Act, Congress provided funds to the states for instructional materials and equipment that was to be made available to public and private schools, including religiously affiliated schools. The Court ruled that the federal program did not violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause because the federal aid conformed to the Lemon test, established in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971).
Morehead v. New York ex rel. Tipaldo
298 U.S. 587 (1936)
The Court struck down a New York State minimum wage law for women and children, because it violated the liberty of contract principle and the due process clause of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. This was the last time the Court declared a minimum wage law to be unconstitutional.
Munn v. Illinois
94 U.S. 113 (1877)
In the late nineteenth century, railroads and grain warehouses were at liberty to set very high fees for hauling and storing grain, and farmers formed an alliance to encourage state legislatures to regulate the prices. The Court ruled that Illinois could fix maximum rates for grain storage within the state, on the grounds that a state could constitutionally regulate private business activities for the common good of the community. The Court recognized that under the constitutional principle of federalism, the state retains police power to regulate private businesses located within its boundaries.
National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp.
301 U.S. 1 (1937)
In 1935 the Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation fired ten workers who were the leaders of a labor union. The Court upheld the Wagner Act of 1936, which made it illegal for an employer to fire a worker for belonging to a labor union, as a constitutional exercise of Congress’s commerce power, which did not violate the liberty interest of the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause.
Near v. Minnesota
283 U.S. 697 (1931)
Jay Near, the bigoted publisher of the Saturday Press, published a series of articles attacking Floyd Olson, a county prosecutor. A county judge issued a restraining order against the paper, which the publisher fought as unconstitutional. The Court ruled that the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press, applied to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibited a state government from exercising prior restraint, that is, censoring the content of a publication before it is distributed.
Nebbia v. New York
291 U.S. 502 (1934)
The Court upheld the New York Milk Control Act of 1934 against Leo Nebbia’s claim that the due process clause of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment prohibited the state from regulating retail prices for milk. The state law at issue, said the Court, would be unconstitutional only if it unreasonably or arbitrarily regulated the practices of a private business. In this case, held the Court, a state law enacted on behalf of the public interest was justified despite its interference with traditional private property rights of certain individuals. In this instance, the general good of the community outweighed the property rights of a relatively small number of individuals.
New Jersey v. T.L.O.
469 U.S. 325 (1985)
When a school official searched a student’s purse and found evidence that she had been dealing marijuana, resulting in the student’s conviction as a delinquent, the student, called T.L.O. in the case, asserted that the school official had violated her Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The Court ruled that this right could be modified to permit school officials to conduct a search of a student’s possessions without a warrant, if there is reason to suspect that evidence will be found that the student has violated school rules. Thus, the Court determined that a student’s Fourth Amendment rights on school grounds are not equivalent to the constitutional protection of these rights on the streets outside the school, in the interest of the public schools’ educational mission.
New York v. Quarles
467 U.S. 649 (1984)
In this case, a police officer confronted a suspect in a supermarket and frisked him, finding an empty shoulder holster. The officer asked the suspect where the gun was, and he responded. At this point, the suspect was arrested and the officer read him the Miranda warnings. The Court ruled that the officer had not violated the suspect’s constitutional rights because he acted to protect the safety of bystanders in a public place when he delayed reading the Miranda warnings to the suspect. The Court decided there is a public safety exception to the requirement that law enforcement officers must communicate Miranda warnings to individuals suspected of criminal behavior.
New York Times Company v. United States
403 U.S. 713 (1971)
This case, often called the “Pentagon Papers” case, involved the New York Times’s publication of documents about military operations in the Vietnam War, which an employee of the U.S. Department of Defense had secretly taken from the Pentagon. The federal government sought to prevent the paper from publishing the documents, which it claimed were top secret. The Court ruled that prior restraint by the federal government to censor the content of a publication before its distribution violated the First Amendment’s protection of a free press. The Court held that even national security concerns did not justify prior restraint.
Northern Securities Co. v. United States
193 U.S. 197 (1904)
The powerful investors J. P. Morgan, James J. Hill, and Edward H. Harriman joined their interests in three major railroads to create the Northern Securities Company in 1901. The U.S. government argued that the company violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prohibited trusts, or combinations of businesses, that restrained “trade or commerce among the several States.” The Court upheld Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce for the purpose of maintaining competition in the railroad industry and blocking a monopoly.
Olmstead v. United States
277 U.S. 438 (1928)
During the Prohibition era, Roy Olmstead operated a large scale business transporting liquor through Washington State to Canada. Federal agents gained evidence of his illegal activities by tapping the phone lines of one of his customers and several workers. Olmstead claimed that the law enforcement officers violated his Fourth Amendment right to protection against “unreasonable search and seizure.” The Court upheld the agents’ right to wiretap the telephones of persons suspected of criminal behavior. Justice Brandeis’s dissent argued for a right to privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment, which in the 1960s influenced the Court to overturn the Olmstead decision.
Oregon v. Mitchell
400 U.S. 112 (1970)
The state of Oregon challenged a 1970 amendment to the federal Voting Rights Act enfranchising eighteen-year-olds in all state and federal elections by claiming that this federal act usurped a power reserved to the states by the U.S. Constitution. The Court ruled that the federal act could only apply to national elections, but a few months later the Twenty-sixth Amendment superseded this decision by guaranteeing the right to vote of eighteen-year-olds in all elections, federal and state.
Palko v. Connecticut
302 U.S. 319 (1937)
Frank Palko was tried for the crimes of robbing a liquor store and shooting and killing two police officers and convicted of second-degree murder. The state conducted a second trial at which the judge allowed as evidence a confession that was not admitted in the first trial; as a result, Palko was convicted of the more serious charge of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. Palko claimed that the state had violated his Fifth Amendment right to protection against “double jeopardy,” that is, being put on trial for the same crime twice. The Court denied Palko’s appeal and set forth the “fundamental rights” test to guide decisions about incorporating particular rights in the federal Bill of Rights under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and thereby applying them against state governments. By this test, the Court did not incorporate the Fifth Amendment’s protection against “double jeopardy” in the Palko case.
Pierce v. Society of Sisters
268 U.S. 510 (1925)
Roman Catholic parochial schools were a particular target of the Oregon Compulsory Education Act, which outlawed all private schools in the state. The Court ruled that this state statute violated the private property rights of school owners and teachers and the liberty of parents to choose between private and public schools for the education of their children. These rights to private property and liberty, said the Court, are parts of the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment, which Oregon was prohibited from violating by establishing a public school monopoly. The Court’s decision in Pierce was used later in support of a constitutional right to privacy, established in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965).
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey
505 U.S. 833 (1992)
The Court upheld certain state government regulations of the right to an abortion and thereby recognized greater latitude for states to restrict abortion. For example, the Court upheld a Pennsylvania regulation requiring a woman to wait twenty-four hours before having an abortion after receiving information from a doctor about possible medical complications associated with this procedure. However, the Court also upheld the core of the Roe v. Wade (1973) decision that established the right of a woman to choose an abortion.
Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co.
157 U.S. 429 (1895)
A federal income tax statute, enacted in 1894, was struck down by the Court. This decision was superseded in 1913 by ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which granted Congress the power to enact federal income tax laws.
Powell v. Alabama
287 U.S. 45 (1932)
In 1931, nine African American youths were arrested near Scottsboro, Alabama, and accused of raping two white women. Their case was rushed to trial and, when the judge refused to assign an attorney to defend the youths, two lawyers volunteered for the task only moments before the trial. These lawyers asked the judge to delay the trial so they could confer with their clients, and the judge allowed the lawyers thirty minutes to prepare. Eight of the nine “boys” were found guilty and sentenced to death, and the case was appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court ruled, based on the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, that defendants in a criminal case involving capital punishment must be provided with counsel by the state if they are too poor to provide it for themselves, and the convictions of the “Scottsboro boys” were overturned.
Printz v. United States
521 U.S. 898 (1997)
The Court struck down part of a federal gun control law that required local officials to do a background check on a customer before a gun sale could be completed. The Court held that the principle of federalism expressed in the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment prohibits the federal government from controlling certain acts of state or local officials that are carried out in terms of powers reserved to the states.
Reed v. Reed
404 U.S. 71 (1971)
Sally and Cecil Reed petitioned the Idaho court for permission to administer their deceased son’s estate. The Idaho court decided on behalf of Cecil based on a state statute that preferred men to women as the administrators of estates. The Supreme Court decided in favor of Sally Reed, and this case was the first to rule that a law mandating gender discrimination against a female violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, if there is no rational basis on behalf of the public good to justify such discrimination.
Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union
521 U.S. 844 (1997)
In 1996 Congress passed the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to prohibit indecent material on the Internet. The Court ruled the federal law unconstitutional, because it violated First Amendment guarantees of free speech and press.
Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of University of Virginia
515 U.S. 819 (1995)
Officials of the University of Virginia denied financial assistance from the university’s Student Activities Fund for the publication of a student-published Christian newspaper. The Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment rights to free speech and press and free exercise of religion prohibit a state university from discriminating against a religious publication by denying it financial support on equal terms with other student publications.
Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe
530 U.S. 290 (2000)
Student-led prayers before the football games of a public school in Texas became a constitutional issue. Most students and parents supported the pregame prayer ceremony, but a few students disagreed and their parents filed suit in a federal court to halt the public prayer ceremony, because, they claimed, it violated the First Amendment’s prohibition of an establishment of religion. The Supreme Court ruled that student-led prayer at public high school football games violated the establishment clause of the Constitution’s First Amendment, applied to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, because it was endorsed by local public school officials.
Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States
295 U.S. 495 (1935)
The National Recovery Administration granted President Franklin Roosevelt broad powers to approve codes of fair competition for different industries. When four brothers who owned a poultry company challenged the law, the Court stuck it down because the Constitution’s separation of powers principle does not allow Congress to delegate such power to the executive branch. The Court established, as a principle of constitutional law, that in domestic affairs Congress may not delegate broad legislative powers to the President without specifying clear standards to guide the chief executive in using these powers.
Shelley v. Kraemer
334 U.S. 1 (1948)
The Supreme Court ruled that state courts cannot enforce privately made covenants that prohibit nonwhite persons from owning or occupying property. Judicial enforcement of such racially discriminatory agreements violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. By invalidating enforcement of privately made covenants, which had the purpose of excluding nonwhites from owning homes or residing in all-white communities, the Court made a significant statement against racial segregation in the United States and for all practical purposes put an end to residential discrimination.
83 U.S. 36 [16 Wall. 36] (1873)
In 1869 the Louisiana legislature passed a law requiring that all butchering in New Orleans be done at the newly formed Cresent City Company, as a measure to control the slaughterhouse industry in the interest of the public health. The Court ruled against the claims of the Butchers’ Benevolent Association, formed by local butchers to protest the law, narrowly interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment’s privileges and immunities clause to exclude rights of property and labor. This precedent deterred the Court in subsequent cases from including civil liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights within the privileges and immunities protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Stenberg v. Carhart
530 U.S. 914 (2000)
The Court struck down a Nebraska law that prohibited a practice called “partial birth abortion” because the statute did not provide an exception for cases when the health or life of the mother is in danger. Further, the Court held that the law at issue was written so broadly that it could be used to prohibit abortion procedures other than “partial birth abortion,” which would violate the precedent set in Roe v. Wade (1973) to protect the right of a woman to choose an abortion.
Steward Machine Co. v. Davis
301 U.S. 548 (1937)
The Court ruled that a tax on employers required by the federal Social Security Act is constitutional. Conditions of employment, said the Court, are part of commerce, which Congress can regulate under the commerce clause of the Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8. Previously, the Court had ruled that employment was only indirectly related to commerce and therefore could be neither be regulated nor taxed on the basis of the commerce clause. This case expanded the scope of regulation and taxation of private enterprises based on the commerce power of Congress.
Stromberg v. California
283 U.S. 359 (1931)
Yetta Stromberg, a nineteen-year-old camp counselor and member of the Young Communist League, had campers make a replica of Communist Russia’s flag and recite a pledge to the flag. When she was arrested for violating a state law banning the display of a red flag, Stromberg argued that the state of California had denied her right to freedom of speech. In siding with Stromberg, the Court invoked the First Amendment right to free speech under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to invalidate the state statute. The Court also recognized symbolic speech—an action, such as displaying a red flag, that communicates without the use of words—as an instance of constitutionally protected free speech. The Court’s decision in Stromberg established the incorporation of the First Amendment right to free speech under the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause, which had been asserted originally, but not applied, in Gitlow v. New York (1925).
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education
402 U.S. 1 (1971)
School officials at the large public school district of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, had been acting slowly and deceptively in their response to federal court–ordered racial integration of schools. The Supreme Court held that public school officials had “affirmative obligations” to integrate their schools. If they failed to eradicate race-based segregation in schools under their authority, then “judicial authority may be invoked” to achieve racial integration. The Court’s unanimous decision signified its strong support for action to achieve the aim of the 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which prohibited racial segregation in public schools.
Sweatt v. Painter
339 U.S. 629 (1950)
Under a state law that restricted university admission to whites only, Herman Sweatt was rejected from the University of Texas Law School. After Sweatt asked a state court to order his admission, the university announced a plan to build a separate law school for nonwhite students. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided that the separate facilities proposed by the University of Texas could never be equal to those available to whites and would, therefore, violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. The Court ordered the University of Texas to admit Sweatt, the first time it had ever required a previously all-white school to admit a black student.
Swift and Co. v. United States
196 U.S. 375 (1905)
Five large meat packing companies contested a federal injunction charging that they had violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, a federal law against restraint of trade and suppression of competition. Although they admitted their collusive and monopolistic acts against free competition, the meat packing companies claimed that they were not involved in interstate commerce. Thus, the federal government had no constitutional authority to regulate them under the commerce power of Congress. The Supreme Court ruled against the meat packers by establishing the “stream of commerce” doctrine, which expanded Congress’s regulatory power to encompass business activity within a state that is connected to activity crossing state boundaries.
Terry v. Ohio
392 U.S. 1 (1968)
A police officer confronted three men who he believed were preparing to rob a store in downtown Cleveland and frisked them. His search revealed that two of the men had concealed weapons, and the men were convicted on weapons charges. One of the men, John Terry, claimed that his Fourth Amendment rights had been violated because he had been searched without a warrant. The Supreme Court ruled, however, that police may stop and frisk, or search, a suspect’s outer clothing for dangerous weapons, without first obtaining a warrant, if it is reasonable under the circumstances to believe that a crime is about to be committed. Thus, the Court established an exception to the standard Fourth Amendment requirement that a search warrant must be obtained from a magistrate before a search is conducted.
Texas v. Johnson
491 U.S. 397 (1989)
During protests outside the Republican Party Convention in Dallas, Texas, Gregory Johnson soaked an American flag in kerosene and set it on fire. Johnson was convicted of violating a Texas law banning desecration of the flag. When Johnson appealed his case, the Court overturned the Texas law, ruling that the act of burning the U.S. flag is a form of symbolic speech protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
United States v. American Library Association
539 U.S. 194 (2003)
The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which regulates Internet access to obscene images in public libraries, is intended to protect the mental health and personal development of children. When the American Library Association challenged this law, the Court ruled that it does not violate First Amendment rights to free speech, because the federal government has the authority to regulate programs in public facilities for the public good.
United States v. Carolene Products
304 U.S. 144 (1938)
The issue in this case was relatively insignificant, but Harlan Fiske Stone’s opinion for the Court includes in a footnote the “preferred freedoms” doctrine. This doctrine became a standard for incorporating First Amendment political rights of free speech, free press, assembly, and petition under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in order to protect the rights of vulnerable minorities, such as African Americans, from infringement by state governments. According to this doctrine, all citizens must have the undisputed right to exercise the preferred freedoms in order for a constitutional and representative democracy, such as the United States of America, to function properly.
United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp.
299 U.S. 304 (1936)
In 1934, Congress passed a joint resolution giving President Franklin Roosevelt authority to place a ban on U.S. companies selling weapons to the warring nations of Bolivia and Paraguay, in an effort to restore peace. When the Curtiss-Wright Corporation was convicted of violating this embargo by selling armed aircraft to Bolivia, the company claimed that the ban was unconstitutional. The Court ruled in favor of Congress, affirming its authority to delegate broad powers to the President to conduct foreign affairs, including powers that would not be constitutionally permissible under the separation of powers principle in regard to domestic affairs.
United States v. Darby Lumber Co.
312 U.S. 100 (1941)
The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act set minimum wage, maximum hour, and overtime pay standards for workers in businesses involved in interstate commerce. When Darcy Lumber Company declared the act unconstitutional and filed suit, the Court upheld the constitutionality of the federal statute. The Court’s ruling strengthened a broad interpretation of Congress’s commerce power and enabled the federal government to regulate aspects of the employee-employer relationship.
United States v. E.C. Knight Co.
156 U.S. 1 (1895)
In its first interpretation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Court ruled against the federal government’s claim that the E.C. Knight Company, which controlled more than 90 percent of the production of refined sugar, had established a monopoly that restrained trade. The Court narrowly interpreted Congress’s regulatory power under the Constitution’s commerce clause of Article 1, Section 8 by holding that production and commerce were different kinds of economic activity and that Congress had no authority over the production of a commodity that took place within the boundaries of a single state. The Court later changed course and supported a broad regulatory power of Congress under the commerce clause.
United States v. Lopez
514 U.S. 549 (1995)
In 1990 Congress passed the Gun-Free School Zones Act, which made it a federal crime to knowingly possess a firearm within a school zone. Alfonso Lopez, a twelfth-grade student in San Antonio, Texas, was arrested and convicted for carrying a concealed handgun at school. The Supreme Court ruled that the federal government’s commerce power does not extend to the regulation of gun possession by individuals near schools. This matter is left to the discretion of state and local governments under the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment.
United States v. O’Brien
391 U.S. 367 (1967)
David O’Brien was arrested for burning his draft card during a protest against the Vietnam War, in violation of an amendment to the Selective Service Act that made it a crime for anyone to “destroy or mutilate” a draft registration card. The Court ruled that the public burning of a draft card, as an act of protest against federal government policy, was not a constitutionally protected act of symbolic speech. Rather, the government may restrict this kind of expression to further a substantial government interest, if this restriction is no broader than necessary to carry out the valid public interest.
United States v. Virginia
518 U.S. 515 (1996)
A female public high school student filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice to charge the Virginia Military Institute, a state-supported institution of higher education, with illegal sex discrimination in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws. VMI was an all-male military school and refused to accept applications for admission from females. The Supreme Court decided that the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws prohibits a state government from maintaining an all-male military institution of higher education.
United States v. Wong Kim Ark
169 U.S. 649 (1898)
Wong Kim Ark was born in San Francisco in 1873 to parents who remained subjects of the Chinese emperor. When he was refused entry into the United States after visiting China, on the grounds that he was not a citizen, he argued that his birth in the United States made him a natural citizen. The Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees U.S. citizenship to all persons born within the United States, even if their parents are not eligible for U.S. citizenship.
Vernonia School District v. Acton
515 U.S. 646 (1995)
The Vernonia, Oregon, school board decided to institute a policy of giving random drug tests to middle and high school student athletes in order to combat a drug problem in the schools. James Acton’s parents refused to sign their son’s urinalysis consent form when he wanted to join the seventh-grade football team, claiming it violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches. The Court ruled that random drug testing of public school students participating in inter-school athletic programs is not an infringement of Fourth Amendment rights applied to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Wallace v. Jaffree
472 U.S. 38 (1985)
When his children reported that their teachers had led prayers in school, Ishmael Jaffree challenged two Alabama laws, one from 1981 requiring a moment of silence in public schools for “meditation and voluntary prayer” and another from 1982 permitting teachers to lead “willing students” in prayer. The Court ruled that the laws violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause applied against the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The laws’ religious intent failed the Lemon test established in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) and was struck down.
Walz v. Tax Commission of the City of New York
397 U.S. 664 (1970)
In this case, the Court upheld an exemption from payment of state property taxes by churches in New York City. Said the Court, this privilege, provided to churches on equal terms with other nonprofit organizations that contribute to the public good, is not a violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause.
Ware v. Hylton
3 U.S. 199 [3 Dall. 199] (1796)
Under the terms of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War, U.S. citizens were required to pay debts owed to British creditors. Virginia, however, passed a law exempting its state’s citizens from this requirement. The Court ruled that Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution says that a state government cannot violate treaties made by the U.S. government. For the first time, the Court ruled an act of a state government to be unconstitutional.
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services
492 U.S. 490 (1989)
Federal district and appellate courts struck down most provisions of a Missouri law that significantly limited a woman’s right to choose an abortion. In a 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld two limitations on abortion enacted by the law and agreed with the lower courts in striking down other parts of the statute. One provision of the state law upheld by the Supreme Court was its prohibition against the use of public employees and facilities in abortions that are not necessary to save a woman’s life. The other provision was the requirement that a physician must determine if a fetus carried by a woman for more than twenty weeks is capable of life outside the womb; if so, the physician may not perform an abortion. However, the Court upheld the core provisions of Roe v. Wade (1973), which protect a woman’s right to choose an abortion.
Weeks v. United States
232 U.S. 383 (1914)
Local police and then a U.S. marshal searched the home of Freemont Weeks, without a warrant, and found evidence that he was selling lottery tickets illegally through the mail. The Court reversed Weeks’s conviction, and established the exclusionary rule, which requires that evidence obtained in violation of a per-son’s Fourth Amendment rights must be excluded from any legal proceedings against him or her in a federal trial.
Westside Community Board of Education v. Mergens
496 U.S. 226 (1990)
Bridget Mergens wanted to organize a Christian student club at her high school in Omaha, Nebraska, but her principal refused her proposal on the grounds that it would violate the First Amendment’s establishment clause. The Court upheld the Equal Access Act of 1984, a federal law that specifies conditions by which public schools are required to permit student religious organizations to use school facilities for their meetings. The Equal Access Act passed the Lemon test set forth in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) to guide decisions about whether or not the First Amendment’s establishment clause has been violated.
Whitney v. California
274 U.S. 357 (1927)
Charlotte Anita Whitney was convicted under the California Criminal Syndicalism Act for her activities with the Communist Labor Party. The Court unanimously upheld the act and thereby limited the free speech rights of those who advocated violent overthrow of the government. In a concurring opinion, Justice Louis Brandeis proposed standards for determining when political speech can be constitutionally limited; these standards influenced later Supreme Court decisions that significantly broadened the scope of free speech.
Wickard v. Filburn
317 U.S. 111 (1942)
Roscoe Filburn, a small-scale chicken farmer in Ohio, was penalized for exceeding wheat production quotas set by a federal law, the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. Filburn’s defense was that the federal law at issue was an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s power under the commerce clause of the Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8. However, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress may regulate agricultural production, as an activity affecting interstate commerce, even if the produce is not meant for sale. This decision represented a very broad expansion of Congress’s regulatory power under the commerce clause.
Wolf v. Colorado
338 U.S. 25 (1949)
When police suspected a Colorado doctor of performing abortions in violation of state law, they took the doctor’s appointment book without his knowledge, interviewed his patients, and gained enough evidence to convict Wolf. The Court ruled for the first time that Fourth Amendment rights were incorporated under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applied to the states. However, the Court declined to require states to exclude evidence seized in violation of Fourth Amendment protections, as required in federal criminal trials, and Wolf ’s conviction was upheld.
Worcester v. Georgia
31 U.S. 515 [6 Pet. 515] (1832)
Samuel Worcester, a Christian missionary, was arrested for violating a Georgia law prohibiting all white persons from residing on land occupied by the indigenous Cherokee people without the permission of Georgia’s governor. He appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the government of Georgia had no authority to regulate the Cherokee territory within its state and ordered the release of Worcester. Georgia ignored this order, asserting its right to regulate Indian lands—an ominous prelude to the forced removal of the Cherokee people from their territory a few years later.
Yates v. United States
354 U.S. 298 (1957)
Oleta O’Connor Yates, a member of the Communist Party of the United States, was arrested for violating the Smith Act, a 1940 law that limited the activities of radical opponents of the U.S. government. The Court ruled that leaders of the U.S. Communist Party had a constitutional right, under the First Amendment, to express themselves publicly and to teach, during its meetings, the party’s doctrine of violent political revolution.
Zelman v. Simmons-Harris
536 U.S. 639 (2002)
The Court upheld an Ohio voucher program that supported children attending private religiously affiliated schools, because the government aid was granted directly to the parents for the secular purpose of improving the educational opportunities of their children. Thus, the Court determined, the financial aid was not provided to advance the religious mission of the sectarian schools; had it done so, the program would have violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause.
Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District
509 U.S. 1 (1993)
The Court ruled that federal funds granted to Arizona public schools through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act could be used to assist the education of a physically handicapped student in a Roman Catholic high school. This use of public funds in a church-affiliated school did not violate the First Amendment’s prohibition of an establishment of religion because the aid went directly to the student for a reasonable secular purpose and did not advance the religious mission of the private school.
Zorach v. Clausen
343 U.S. 306 (1952)
The Court ruled that a New York State law allowing students to be released early from public schools in order to participate in religious instruction outside the public school facilities did not violate the First Amendment’s prohibition of an establishment of religion. In his opinion for the Court, Justice William O. Douglas said that an accommodation between religion and the state may be constitutionally permissible under certain conditions, because the First Amendment’s establishment clause does not require an absolute separation of church and state.
The U.S. Constitution
Amar, Akhil Reed. America’s Constitution: A Biography. New York: Random House, 2005.
Amar, Akhil Reed. The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1998.
Anastaplo, George. The Constitution of 1787: A Commentary. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.
Anastaplo, George. The Amendments to the Constitution: A Commentary. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
Maier, Pauline. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. New York: Bantam, 1998.
Patrick, John J. The Bill of Rights: A History in Documents. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Ritchie, Donald A. Our Constitution. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
The U.S. Supreme Court
Best, Bradley J. Law Clerks, Support Personnel, and the Decline of Consensual Norms on the United States Supreme Court. New York: LFB Scholarly Publications, 2002.
Dickson, Del, ed. The Supreme Court in Conference, 1940–1985. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Gerber, Scott Douglas, ed. Seriatim: The Supreme Court before John Marshall. New York: New York University Press, 1998.
Greenberg, Ellen. The Supreme Court Explained. New York: Norton, 1997.
Hall, Kermit L., James W. Ely Jr., and Joel B. Grossman, eds. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Irons, Peter H. The Courage of Their Convictions: Sixteen Americans Who Fought Their Way to the Supreme Court. New York: Penguin, 1990.
Marcus, Maeva, et al., eds. The Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1789–1800, 7 vols. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985–2003.
McCloskey, Robert G., and Sanford Levinson. The American Supreme Court, 4th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
O’Connor, Sandra Day. The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice. New York: Random House, 2003.
Patrick, John J. The Supreme Court of the United States: A Student Companion, 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Provine, Doris Marie. Case Selection in the United States Supreme Court. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.
Roosevelt, Kermit. The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2006.
Schwartz, Bernard. A History of the Supreme Court. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Semonche, John E. Charting the Future: The Supreme Court Responds to a Changing Society, 1890–1920. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1978.
Starr, Kenneth W. First among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life. New York: Warner, 2002.
Ward, Artemus. Deciding to Leave: The Politics of Retirement from the United States Supreme Court. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003.
Woodward, Bob, and Scott Armstrong. The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1979.
The U.S. Supreme Court Justices
Cushman, Clare. The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies,1789–1995, 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1995.
Friedman, Leon, and Fred L. Israel, eds. The Justices of the United States Supreme Court, 1789–1995: Their Lives and Major Opinions. New York: Chelsea House, 1995.
Martin, Fenton S., and Robert U. Goehlert. How to Research the Supreme Court. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1992.
Martin, Fenton S., and Robert U. Goehlert. The U.S. Supreme Court: A Bibliography. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1990.
Urofsky, Melvin I., ed. Biographical Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court: The Lives and Legal Philosophies of the Justices. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2006.
Chapter 1: The Rise of Judicial Review
Clinton, Robert Lowry. Marbury v. Madison and Judicial Review. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1989.
Kahn, Paul W. The Reign of Law: Marbury v. Madison and the Construction of America. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1997.
Nelson, William E. Marbury v. Madison: The Origins and Legacy of Judicial Review. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000.
Chapter 2: The National Bank and Federalism
Gunther, Gerald, ed. John Marshall’s Defense of McCulloch v. Maryland. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1969.
Hobson, Charles F. The Great Chief Justice: John Marshall and the Rule of Law. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1996.
White, G. Edward. The Marshall Court and Cultural Change, 1815–1835. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Chapter 3: Steamboats, States’ Rights, and the Powers of Congress
Baxter, Maurice G. Daniel Webster and the Supreme Court. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1966.
Baxter, Maurice G. The Steamboat Monopoly: Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824. New York: Knopf, 1972.
Newmyer, R. Kent. John Marshall and the Heroic Age of the Supreme Court. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2001.
Remini, Robert Vincent. Daniel Webster: The Man and His Time. New York: Norton, 1997.
Chapter 4: Denying an Appeal for Freedom
Fehrenbacher, Don E. The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.
Finkelman, Paul. Dred Scott v. Sandford: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford, 1997.
Chapter 5: Civil Liberties and the Civil War
Farber, Daniel A. Lincoln’s Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Neely, Mark E., Jr. The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Chapter 6: Separate but Not Equal
Fireside, Harvey. Separate and Unequal: Homer Plessy and the Supreme Court Decision that Legalized Racism. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005.
Thomas, Brook, ed. Plessy v. Ferguson: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford, 1997.
Chapter 7: The Rights of Labor and the Rights of Women
Gillman, Howard. The Constitution Besieged: The Rise and Demise of Lochner Era Police Powers Jurisprudence. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1993.
Kens, Paul. Judicial Power and Reform Politics: The Anatomy of Lochner v. New York. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1990.
Kens, Paul. Lochner v. New York: Economic Regulation on Trial. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.
Woloch, Nancy. Muller v. Oregon: A Brief History with Documents. New York: Bedford, 1996.
Chapter 8: The Latitude and Limits of Free Speech
Fraleigh, Douglas. Freedom of Speech in the Marketplace of Ideas. New York: St. Martin’s, 1997.
Polenberg, Richard. Fighting Faiths: The Abrams Case, the Supreme Court, and Free Speech. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1999.
White, G. Edward. Oliver Wendell Holmes: Sage of the Supreme Court. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Chapter 9: Affirming the New Deal
Cushman, Barry. Rethinking the New Deal Court: The Structure of a Constitutional Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Leuchtenburg, William Edward. The Supreme Court Reborn: The Constitutional Revolution in the Age of Roosevelt. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Chapter 10: The Flag-Salute Cases
Curtis, Michael Kent, ed. The Constitution and the Flag, 2 vols. New York: Garland, 1993.
Manwaring, David Roger. Render unto Caesar: The FlagSalute Controversy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.
Chapter 11: Internment of Japanese Americans during World War II
Irons, Peter. Justice at War: The Story of the Japanese American Internment Cases. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
Smith, Page. Democracy on Trial: The Japanese American Evacuation and Relocation in World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.
Chapter 12: A Decision to Limit Presidential Power
Marcus, Maeva. Truman and the Steel Seizure Case: The Limits of Presidential Power. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1994.
Westin, Alan F. The Anatomy of a Constitutional Law Case: Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer, the Steel Seizure Decision. New York: Macmillan, 1958.
Chapter 13: Public School Desegregation
Cottrol, Robert J., Raymond T. Diamond, and Leland B. Ware. Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003.
Kluger, Richard. Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America’s Struggle for Equality, rev. ed. New York: Knopf, 2004.
Patterson, James T. Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Chapter 14: Establishing Equality in Voting and Representation
Cortner, Richard C. The Apportionment Cases. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1970.
Hasen, Richard L. The Supreme Court and Election Law: Judging Equality from Baker v. Carr to Bush v. Gore. New York: New York University Press, 2003.
Chapter 15: Freedom of the Press in a Free Society
Fireside, Harvey. New York Times v. Sullivan: Affirming Freedom of the Press. Springfield, N.J.: Enslow, 1999.
Hopkins, W. Wat. Actual Malice: Twenty-Five Years after Times v. Sullivan. New York: Praeger, 1989.
Lewis, Anthony. Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment. New York: Random House, 1991.
Chapter 16: Finding a Right to Privacy
Alderman, Ellen, and Caroline Kennedy. The Right to Privacy. New York: Knopf, 1995.
Johnson, John W. Griswold v. Connecticut: Birth Control and the Constitutional Right of Privacy. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005.
Chapter 17: The Right to Remain Silent
Schmalleger, Frank. Miranda Revisited: The Case of Dickerson v. U.S. and Suspect Rights Advisements in the United States. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 2001.
Stuart, Gary L. Miranda : The Story of America’s Right to Remain Silent. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2004.
Chapter 18: Freedom of Speech in Public Schools
Johnson, John W. The Struggle for Student Rights: Tinker v. Des Moines and the 1960s. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997.
Werhan, Keith. Freedom of Speech: A Reference Guide to the United States Constitution. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2004.
Chapter 19: Standards for Interpreting the Establishment Clause
Gaustad, Edwin S. Proclaim Liberty throughout All the Land: A History of Church and State in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Hamburger, Philip. Separation of Church and State. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002.
Kowalski, Kathiann M. Lemon v. Kurtzman and the Separation of Church and State Debate: Debating Supreme Court Decisions. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow, 2005.
Chapter 20: Abortion, Privacy, and Values in Conflict
Garrow, David J. Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
Greenhouse, Linda. Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun’s Supreme Court Journey. New York: Times Books, 2005.
Hull, N. E. H., and Peter Charles Hoffer. Roe v. Wade and the Abortion Rights Controversy in American History. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2001.
Chapter 21: Presidential Immunity and the Watergate Crisis
Friedman, Leon, ed. United States v. Nixon: The President before the Supreme Court. New York: Chelsea House, 1974.
Herda, D. J. United States v. Nixon: Watergate and the President. Springfield, N.J.: Enslow, 1996.
Kutler, Stanley I. The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon. New York: Norton, 1992.
Reeves, Richard. President Nixon: Alone in the White House. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002.
Chapter 22: Affirmative Action and the Boundaries of Discrimination
Ball, Howard. The Bakke Case: Race, Education, and Affirmative Action. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000.
Belz, Herman. Equality Transformed: A Quarter Century of Affirmative Action. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction, 1991.
Carter, Stephen L. Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby. New York: Basic, 1991.
Rubio, Philip F. A History of Affirmative Action, 1619– 2000. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2001.
Stohr, Greg. A Black and White Case: How Affirmative Action Survived Its Greatest Legal Challenge. Princeton, N.J.: Bloomberg, 2004.
Chapter 23: The Judicial Path to the White House
Banks, Christopher, David B. Cohen, and John C. Green, eds. The Final Arbiter: The Consequences of Bush v. Gore for Law and Politics. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005.
Dionne, E. J., Jr., and William Kristol, eds. Bush v. Gore: The Court Cases and the Commentary. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2001.
Posner, Richard A. Breaking the Deadlock: The 2000 Election, the Constitution, and the Courts. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001.
American Bar Association
Full-text articles on legal issues are provided along with other resources about federal and state courts, judges, and lawyers.
Cornell Legal Information Institute
This site of the Cornell University Law School contains all U.S. Supreme Court opinions since May 1990 and 600 opinions on major cases throughout the Court’s history. It also includes information on current events and issues involving the courts, judges, and law.
Federal Judicial Center
Provides general information about the federal judiciary, including a history of federal courts, a biographical database of federal judges since 1789, and information on key legislation about the federal judiciary throughout U.S. history.
Provides news about current events and basic information about the federal judicial system. The site includes information about the structure and functions of the federal courts, with links to the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. District Courts.
Includes information about the U.S. federal judiciary and the judiciaries of the 50 states. Provides opinions from the Supreme Court, all federal circuits, and the appellate courts of the 50 states. Presents information about current legal events and issues.
This online discussion list stresses legal and constitutional history and contemporary issues in the law. It includes book reviews and links to the American Society of Legal History, which sponsors this site.
Jurist: Legal News and Research
This site of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law includes a broad range of current legal news and information about federal and state courts with emphasis on the U.S. Supreme Court. Research and expert commentary about current legal events and issues are provided. Decisions of the Supreme Court are accessible.
This site, a collaboration of National Public Radio’s “Justice Talking” and the New York Times Learning Network, offers resources for teachers and students on law and justice issues. The site includes an annotated Constitution with historical timelines for each article and amendment.
Landmark Supreme Court Cases
This site, a collaboration between Street Law and the Supreme Court Historical Society, includes instructional resources for teachers and students. Includes basic information about key decisions of the Supreme Court along with teaching strategies and lesson plans.
This legal research service offers a broad range of data on historical and current topics. Opinions, briefs, and secondary sources on U.S. Supreme Court cases are available, as are materials pertaining to all federal district courts, U.S. Courts of Appeals, specialized federal courts, and state courts. Through its daily opinion service, immediate access to decisions of all federal and state courts is provided. In addition, primary and secondary sources on current events and legislation are available.
Library of Congress: U.S. Judiciary
Provides links to many sites related to the federal judicial branch of government, including those with information about legal history, federal laws, judicial opinions, court rules, and law journals, and legal news.
Oyez: U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia Database
This site is a project of Northwestern University and includes information about Supreme Court cases, biographies of Supreme Court justices, and instructional materials for teachers and students.
Supreme Court Historical Society
Provides access to opinions of notable Supreme Court cases and information on the society’s programs and publications.
Supreme Court of the United States
This official site of the Court includes information about the history, structure, functions, and rules of the federal judiciary. It presents opinions on all cases that have gone before the Court, oral arguments, the Court’s docket, and a guide to visiting the Court.
Provides access to opinions, briefs, oral arguments, and secondary materials related to cases of the U.S. Supreme Court.
p. 20: Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 [1. Cr. 137] (1803).
p. 24: Lipscomb, Andrew Adgate, and Albert Ellery Bergh, eds. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 20 vols., Washington, D.C., 1903–4, 11:50, 51; 14:303; 14:305; 15:212; 15:277. Leicester Ford, Paul. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 10 vols., New York, 1892–99, 10:192. Lipscomb, Andrew Adgate, and Albert Ellery Bergh, eds. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 15:451.
p. 32: Alexandria Gazette (July 3, 1819).
p. 40: Gibbons v. Ogden 22 U.S. 1 [9 Wheat. 1] (1824).
p. 49: Douglass, Frederick. The Dred Scott Decision (Rochester, N.Y.: C. P. Dewey, 1857).
p. 57: The Annals of America: 1858–1865, vol. 9 (Chicago: Encylopaedia Britannica, 1968), pp. 268–74.
p. 65: Plessy v. Ferguson 163 U.S. 537 (1896).
p. 75: Brief for the Defendant in Error, Muller v. Oregon, Louis D. Brandeis, October Term, 1907. Supreme Court Library, Washington, D.C.
p. 83: Abrams v. United States 250 U.S. 616 (1919).
p. 92: “Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat on the ‘CourtPacking’ Bill,” radio address given March 9, 1937. Found at www.hpol.org/fdr/chat/.
p. 102: West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette 319 U.S. 624 (1943).
p. 111: Reprinted with the permission of the Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, from the The Courage of Their Convictions by Peter Irons. Copyright © 1988 by Peter Irons. All rights reserved. Pp. 53–54, 55, 57–58, 60–62.
p. 119: From The Supreme Court in Conference, 1940– 1985, edited by Del Dickson. Copyright © 2001 by Oxford University Press, used by permission. Pp. 172–82.
p. 132: Congressional Record, 84th Congress, 2nd session. (March 12, 1956), pp. 4460–61.
p. 140: The National Archives, Records of the Supreme Court of the United States, Record Group 267.3.1; Oral Arguments in Cases before the Court, 1955-97, Baker v. Carr (1962). Available online at http://www.oyez.org/oyez/resource/case/25/.
p. 149: “Free Press and Free People,” The New York Times, March 10, 1964. Copyright © 1964 by the New York Times Co. Reprinted with permission. “New Libel Test,” Evening Star, March 10, 1964. Copyright © by the Washington Post, reprinted with permission.
p. 156: From The Supreme Court in Conference, 1940– 1985, edited by Del Dickson. Copyright © 2001 by Oxford University Press, used by permission. Pp. 800–803.
p. 163: The National Archives, Records of the Supreme Court of the United States, Record Group 267.3.1; Oral Arguments in Cases before the Court, 1955-97, Miranda v. Arizona (1966). Available online at http://www.oyez.org/oyez/resource/case/251/.
p. 171: Reprinted with the permission of the Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, from the The Courage of Their Convictions by Peter Irons. Copyright © 1988 by Peter Irons. All rights reserved. Pp. 245–48.
p. 178: “Safeguarding Religious Freedom,” Washington Post, June 30, 1971. Copyright © 1971, the Washington Post, reprinted with permission.
p. 188: Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Robert P. Casey 1991 U.S. Briefs 744; 1992 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 321, October Term, 1991.
p. 189: Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).
p. 200: Articles of Impeachment Adopted by the House Committee on the Judiciary July 27, 1974.
p. 211: President Lyndon B. Johnson, “To Fulfill These Rights,” Commencement address delivered at Howard University, June 4, 1965. Found at www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/ johnson/archives.hom/speeches. hom/650604.asp.
p. 212: Grutter v. Bollinger 539 U.S. 306 (2003).
p. 220: Al Gore, “Concession Speech,” delivered from Washington, D.C., December 13, 2000. Found at www.thegreenpapers.com/News/200012131.html.
p. 222: George Bush, “Acceptance Speech,” delivered from the Capitol in Austin, Texas, December 13, 2000. Found at www.thegreenpapers.com/News/20001213-1.html.
About the Authors
Kermit L. Hall was president and professor of history at the University at Albany, State University of New York. A scholar of American constitutional, legal, and judicial history, he had previously served as president of Utah State University and as a professor of history and an administrator at many other American universities. He wrote extensively on the American judicial system and served as the editor of The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court, American Legal History: Cases and Materials, The Judicial Branch, and The Oxford Companion to American Law. Kermit Hall died on August 13, 2006, just after completing this book.
John J. Patrick is professor emeritus of education at Indiana University and has also been a middle school and high school teacher of history, civics, and government. His many publications include The Supreme Court of the United States: A Student Companion, The Bill of Rights: A History in Documents, Understanding Democracy, Founding the Republic: A Documentary History, Constitutional Debates on Freedom of Religion, and How to Teach the Bill of Rights. He is also the co-author of several high school and middle school textbooks. Professor Patrick has also been an international civic education consultant and lecturer in several post-communist countries. In recognition of his contributions to international programs, Professor Patrick received Indiana University’s John W. Ryan Award in 2002. In 2005, he was the first recipient of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Civic Education Award.
About the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands
The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands was established in 2001 by the Annenberg Foundation to advance public understanding of and appreciation for democracy and to address serious issues facing the country and the world. The Trust convenes:
- leaders of the United States to focus on ways to improve the functioning of the three branches of government, the press, and the public schools;
- educators to determine how to better teach about the Constitution and the fundamental principles of democracy;
- leaders of major social institutions including learned societies to determine how these institutions can better serve the public and the public good;
- scholars addressing ways to improve the well-being of the nation in such areas as media, education, and philanthropy. The Annenberg Classroom (www.annenbergclassroom.org), www.justicelearning.org, and a collection of books on the U.S. Constitution, democracy, and related topics, are all projects of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands.
About Justice Learning
Justice Learning, a joint effort with the New York Times Learning Network, is a comprehensive online resource on civics education. The website offers balanced radio debates from NPR’s Justice Talking, topical and age-appropriate articles from the New York Times, and a host of primary source materials, timelines, and lesson plans on a wide range of justice issues. Visit on-line at www.justicelearning.org.