Chisholm v. Georgia*First Supreme Court Case of impact and significance
*Chisholm sued state of Georgia for payments due to him for goods he had supplied during the American Revolutionary War
*Court ruled in plaintiff's favor
*Led to Eleventh Amendment
*Constitution had just been adopted
*Showed Supreme Court's will to be involved in matters on both federal and state levels
Hollingsworth v. VirginiaThe president has no formal role in amending the Constitution and the 11th Amendment applies to cases before its ratification.
The American government is still new and freshly organized with the 11th Amendment passed six years prior.
Many scholars argue that the ruling is not justified, although it remains a law.
McCulloch v. Maryland*Maryland tried to impede on a branch of the Second Bank of the United States in Maryland
*Imposed law to tax all bank notes not chartered in Maryland
*Plaintiff and Supreme Court recognized law as anattack on the Second Bank of the United States
*Court applied the "Necessary and Proper Clause" of the Constitution, allowing it to pass laws for federal powers not expressly written in the Constitution
*Interpretation of the Constitution that grants Congress implied powers
*State cannot impede Fed
Gibbons v. Ogden*Congress had the power to regulate interstate commerce
*Several merchants held monopolies on various forms of interstate commerce
*This power is challenged and witheld in 1895 and given back in 1930 when all commerce could be regulated by the federal government.
United States v. The Amistad*Slaves kidnapped from Sierra Leone were taken to the Americas on Spanish ship, the Amistad
*Slaves overthrew the crew and killed many; demanded to be taken home
*Survivors of the crew took them to Long Island instead
*Supreme Court ruled that they acted as free men aboard the ship and needed to be returned to Africa
*Most important slavery case pre-Dred Scott
*Aided abolitionist movement
Dred Scott v. Sanford*African Americans were declared not citizens unable to sue in court and the federal government could not regulate slavery.
*During this time slavery laws varied from state to state and many slaves escaped to free states.
*Triggered the Panic of 1857 and a loss of political power for northern states.
Mississippi v. Johnson*Johnson could not be sued for enforcing Reconstruction.
*After the Civil War and during the Reconstruction Era. Many did not think the president could enforce Reconstruction lawfully.
*A president can not be sued for a discretionary task.
Slaughterhouse Cases*Consolidation of three similar cases
*Court ruled that privileges and immunities of citizenship of the United States were to be protected by the Fourteenth Amendment not privileges and immunities of citizenship of a state
*Fourteenth Amendment protects United States citizenship, not state
*First Supreme Court interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment
*Pivotal case in civil rights law
Civil Rights Cases*Congress did not have the authority to outlaw racial discrimination by private individuals and organizations.
*Many Black Americans could not go to "white only" facilities and businesses.
*Ushered in a new era of widespread segregation.
Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad*Dealt with the taxation of railroad properties
*First time the Court held that corporations were entitled to Fourteenth Amendment equal protections
Plessy v. Ferguson*Segregation is legal and upheld by the Constitution.
*Many Black Americans were excluded from facilities.
*Legitimized segregation and allowed it to spread across the south.
Northern Securities Co. v. United States*Several railroad companies had joined together under James Jerome Hill's Northern Securities Co.
*Threatened to monopolize the railroad business
*Court ruled to apply the Sherman Antitrust Act and dissolve the company
*Application of the Sherman Antitrust Act in a time of attempt to clean up monopolies
Guinn v. United States*Oklahoma constitution allowed the "grandfather clause" which permitted those with grandfathers eligible to vote before January 1, 1866 to be exempt from literacy tests
*Clearly directed against African Americans
*Court ruled it unconstitutional because it was in violation of the Fifteenth Amendment
*Granted better voting rights for African Americans in the South
Schenck v. United States*Reinforced the Espionage Act, a defendant could not use the first amendment in opposition to the draft.
*Schenk distributed pamphlets for the Socialist party to draftees to tell them to resist the draft.
*Established "clear and present danger" test to limit the use of the first amendment.
Child Labor Tax Case*Ruled the Child Labor Tax unconstitutional.
*Many factories used child labor because it was cheaper and they could repair small parts of equipment.
*Decided that companies could not be penalized for deviating from the normal business practices
Olmstead v. United States*Several men found guilty of crimes appealed, saying that the evidence - wiretapped phone conversations - was not constitutional
*Court found that the use of wiretapped phone conversations obtained by federal agents was constitutional; did not violate Fourth or Fifth Amendments
*The Fourth Amendment's proscription on unreasonable search and seizure did not apply to wiretaps
*Eventually overruled by Katz v. United States
National Labor Relations Board v. James & Laughlin Steel Corp.*Declared the Wagner Act constitutional
*During the Depression FDR had difficulty passing his New Deal legislations.
*It stopped the Supreme Court from killing New Deal legislations
Hale v. Kentucky*African American man, Joe Hale, had been convicted guilty in Kentucky
*Kentucky had never had African Americans as part of juries, although many were eligible
*Court unanimously ruled that Hale's Fourteenth Amendment rights had been violated
*One of many cases in which the Court overturned convictions of African Americans because of racial discrimination in lower court juries
Edwards v. California*California resident had driven to Texas and brought back his unemployed brother-in-law
*California law prohibited the bringing into the state of a non-resident "indigent person"
*Court ruled that a state cannot prohibited indigent people from moving into it
*Prevented discrimination in hiring people during the Depression
Korematsu v. United States
- Declared the internment of Japanese Americans lawful *After Pearl Harbor many White Americans became paranoid about Japanese Americans. *Angered the 110,000 Japanese Americans, and their families, who were imprisoned.
Henderson v. United States*Elmer W. Henderson was denied a seat in a dining car on a train due to his African American race
*Court ruled 8 to 1 that his rights were violated
*The Interstate Commerce Act made it unlawful for a railroad in interstate commerce to subject any person to undue or unreasonable prejudice
*Did not challenge Plessy v. Ferguson "separate but equal" clause, but was a step toward greater civil rights
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer*limits the power of the president to seize private property
*During the Korean war, Harry t=Truman did not enact price controls on steel production.
*The steel workers striked fifty days after the decision and the mills were returned to their owner
Brown v. Board of Education*desegregated schools
*segregation in schools created a education gap
*Initially, many white southerners opposed, but eventually extended to all schools.
United States v. O'Brien*David Paul O'Brien and others burned their draft cards in protest of the Vietnam War, claiming First Amendment rights
*Court recognized that his conduct was expressive as a protest against the war, but stated that the criminal prohibition of burning draft cards did not violate the First Amendment
*Court maintained that draft cards were necessary for the government to keep an efficient and functioning military draft system
Reed v. Reed*extended 14th amendment rights to women
*THe women's movement created awareness for women's issues and rights
*helped the women's movement grow and gain power
United States v. Nixon*Important case in the final stages of the Watergate Scandal and the downfall of Nixon
*Ruled that no person, including the president, is completely above the law; the president cannot use executive privilege as an excuse to withhold evidence that is "demonstrably relative in a criminal trial"
Rust v. Sullivan*government workers can recommend abortion
*conservative backlash and scrutiny aganst abortion
*The government can recommend abortion but not fund it.
Boy Scouts of America v. Dale*Boy Scouts expelled James Dale, a scout leader, who had made his homosexuality public
*Court ruled that a private organization had the constitutional right to the freedom of association
*Allowed to exclude membership to a person when "the presence of that person affects in a significant way the group's ability to advocate public or private viewpoints"
*Having a homosexual leader would contradict Boy Scouts of America's message
*Case in the struggle for gay rights
Hamden v. Rumsfeld*can hold detainees in Guantanomo Bay without trial of their peers
*War on Terrorism
*Can beheld without trial, evidence, and can be tried without representation or being present in court
National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius*Court upheld Congress's power to enact most provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
*Upheld the individual mandate to buy healthcare insurance as a constitutional exercise of Congress's taxing power
*Represented major changes in American healthcare largely divided along party lines