1981-2000 History

  • Air-Traffic Controllers Strike

    Reagan refused to negotiate with the thousands of strikers with the PATCO (Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) and fired them all for violating a law forbidding federal employees from striking.
  • Equal Access Act

    This act requirers public secondary schools to allow any group equal access to school facilities. This included any religious groups wanting to meet on campus.
  • Iran-Contra Scandal

    The U.S sold weapons to Iran to pressure terrorists to release American hostages. The plan failed and contradicted the policy of refusing to negotiate with terrorists. Then, the administration used the money made to fund the Contras, even though in 1983 Congress banned sending funds to the Contras. News came out in 1986 and Reagan took the blame.
  • Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act

    Known as the first binding restrain on federal spending. The act was aimed at cutting the budget deficit. Automatic spending cuts were made, but the act failed to prevent large budget deficits.
  • Westside Community School District v. Mergens

    Bridget Mergens requested to start a religious group at school and was denied. She took it to court saying the Equal Access Act gave her rights to start the Christian group. The court ruled in her favor 5-4.
  • Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union

    The Federal Communications Decency Act made it illegal to transmit obscene messages over the internet. The court ruled 7-2 that the act violated the First Amendment and did not specify "obscene".
  • Mitchell v. Helms

    Mary Helms and other parents in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana said that the 30% of funds going to the private Catholic schools violated the Establishment Clause. The decision was 6-3 disagreeing with Helms saying a religion was not established.
  • Bush v. Gore

    Democrats had demanded a by-hand recount of the votes for the presidential election because the numbers were so close. The Republicans sued saying it was unconstitutional and won with a 5-4 decision.