Timeline created by min.schultz
In History
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  • Roth v. United States, 1957

    Roth v. United States, 1957
    Along with its companion case, Alberts v. California, was a landmark case before the United States Supreme Court which redefined the Constitutional test for determining what constitutes obscene material unprotected by the First Amendment.
  • Mapp v. Ohio, 1961

    Mapp v. Ohio, 1961
    Mapp v. Ohio was a landmark case in criminal procedure, in which the United States Supreme Court decided that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against "unreasonable searches and seizures," may not be used in criminal prosecutions in state courts, as well as federal courts.
  • Engel v. Vitale, 1962

    Engel v. Vitale, 1962
    The Board of Regents for the State of New York authorized a short, voluntary prayer for recitation at the start of each school day. This was an attempt to defuse the politically potent issue by taking it out of the hands of local communities. The blandest of invocations read as follows: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and beg Thy blessings upon us, our teachers, and our country."
  • Baker v. Carr, 1962

    Baker v. Carr, 1962
    Baker v. Carr opened the doors of the federal courts to a long line of apportionment cases. One year later, Douglas extended the Baker ruling by establishing the “one man, one vote” principle in Gray v. Sanders. In 1964, Wesberry v. Sanders extended that principle to federal elections, holding that “…as nearly as practicable, one man's vote in a congressional election is to be worth as much as another's.”
  • Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963

    Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963
    Clarence Gideon, a man in Florida, was charged with breaking into a pool hall and taking money from vending machines there. In Florida, this was considered a felony. At his hearing, Gideon asked that the court appoint a lawyer to represent him since he could not afford one. The court denied him this, noting a Florida law which allowed counsel only in capital-offense cases. Gideon went to trial and did the best he could, defending himself, but was found guilty and sentenced to five years in jail.
  • Reynolds v. Sims, 1964

    Reynolds v. Sims, 1964
    In Reynolds v. Sims (1964), the Supreme Court ruled that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that the legislative districts across states be equal in population. The case began in 1962, when the Supreme Court ruled that it had authority to review cases brought by individuals harmed by legislative apportionment or redistricting (see Baker v. Carr). With this ruling, more than 30 lawsuits were filed against states claiming legislative apportionment schemes to be uncons
  • Escobedo v. Illinois, 1964

    Escobedo v. Illinois, 1964
    Escobedo was arrested in connection with a murder and brought to the police station. He repeatedly asked to see his lawyer, but was never allowed out of the interrogation room. His lawyer even went so far as to come to the police station in search of him, but was denied access. Escobedo then confessed while under interrogation to firing the shot that killed the victim. As a result, he was soon convicted. Escobedo appealed to the Supreme Court and it overturned the conviction.
  • Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965

    Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965
    In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), the Supreme Court ruled that a state's ban on the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy. The case concerned a Connecticut law that criminalized the encouragement or use of birth control. The 1879 law provided that "any person who uses any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purposes of preventing conception shall be fined not less than forty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty days." The law further provided that "any pers
  • Miranda v. Arizona, 1966

    Miranda v. Arizona, 1966
    A kidnapping and sexual assault occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, in March 1963. On March 13 Ernesto Miranda, 23, was arrested in his home, taken to the police station, identified by the victim, and taken into an interrogation room. Miranda was not told of his rights to counsel prior to questioning. Two hours later, investigators emerged from the room with a written confession signed by Miranda. It included a typed disclaimer, also signed by Miranda, stating that he had “full knowledge of my legal