Key Supreme Court Cases (Politics and Power)

  • Jan 1, 1550

    Valladolid Debate

    Valladolid Debate
    The Valladolid Debate was a controversy overr the treatment of Native Americans. Bartolome de las Casas was the principal defender of the Indoans. Juan Gines de Sepulveda supported the war against Native Americans.
  • Anne Hutchinson

    Anne Hutchinson
    Anne Hutchinson was a Puritan spiritual adviser who lived in Massachussetts Bay Colony. Anne hosted meetings in which she spoke out against ministers on the way they were teaching the Bible. Anne was put on mulitple trials for slandering ministers because she formed an opinion of her own.
  • Salem Witch Trials

    Salem Witch Trials
    The Salem Witch Trials was a series of hangings and prosecutions of people accused of Witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts.
  • John Jay

    John Jay
    John Jay is an importanat historical figure because he is one of the founding fathers. George Washington nominated John Jay as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
  • Vanstophorst v. Maryland

    Vanstophorst v. Maryland
    This case was the first case docketed with the US Supreme Court. Vanstophorst lent money to Maryland during revolutionary war. When it was time for Maryland to pay it back they refused to pay.
  • Talbot v Janson

    Talbot v Janson
    Talbot v Janson was a case that extended to the seas. The Supreme Court ruled that a citizen of the US could also hold citizenship of another nation making it legal for Americans to hold dual citizenship.
  • Marbury v Madison

    Marbury v Madison
    Marbury v Madison was a landmark case in wchich the court formed the basis for the excercise of judicial review in the US under Article III of the Constitution. This decision helped define the boundaries between the excutive and judicial branches.
  • Gibbsons v Ogden

    Gibbsons v Ogden
    Gibbsons v Ogden was a landmark decison in which the Supreme Court held that the power to regulate interstate commerce and that the broad definition of commerce included navigation.
  • Worcester v Georgia

    Worcester v Georgia
    Worcester v Gerogiaa was a case in which the US vacated the conviction of Samuel Worcester and held that the Georgia criminal statute that prohibited non-Native Americans from being present on Native American lands without a license from the state was unconstitutional. Although the decision led to the creation of tribal sovereignty, it did not protect the Cherokees from being removed from their ancestral homeland in the Southeast.
  • Luther v Borden

    Luther v Borden
    Luther v Borden established the political question doctrine in controversies arising under the 'Guarentee clause of Article four of the constitution'.
  • Dred Scott Decision

    Dred Scott Decision
    Dred Scott was a slave who sued for his freedom being taken away. The Supreme Court ruled that if a African American ancestors wore born into slavery, they could not be considered American Citizens, The Court also issued that the fedral government had no power to regulate slavery in federal territories.
  • US v Kirby

    US v Kirby
    US v Kirby was a case in which the Supreme Court held the status applying the cardinal rule "that all laws should receive a sensible construction," and that literal interpretations which "lead to injustice, oppression, or an absurd consequence" should be avoided
  • Bradwell v Illinois

    Bradwell v Illinois
    In this case Illinois denied law licenses to women because the right to practice law was not on of their privileges. The Supreme Court affirmed this.
  • Munn v Illinois

    Munn v Illinois
    This case was the result of pressure from the National Grange by setting maximum rates that private companies could charge for the storage and transport of agricultural products. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the power of government to regulate private industries.
  • Elk v Wilkins

    Elk v Wilkins
    The Supreme Court case of Elk v Wilkins was a case that involved Native Americans citizenship. The Suprme court ruled that an Indian cannot make himself a citizen of the United States without the consent and co-operation of the government.
  • Wabash Case

    Wabash Case
    The Wabash Case also known as St. Louis and PAcific Railway v Illinois was a Supreme Court decision that severely limited the rights of states to control interstate commerce. It led to the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
  • Botiller v Dominguez

    Botiller v Dominguez
    This Supreme Court case dealt with the validity of Spanish or Mexican land grants in the Mexican session. The Supreme Court ruled that "no title to land in California dependent upon Spanish or Mexican land grants can be of any validity unless presented to and confirmed by the board of land commissioners within the time prescribed by Congress".
  • Plessy v Frerguson

    Plessy v Frerguson
    The case was with Humer Plessy, who was seven eighths white and one eighths african American, who didn't give up his seat on a white's only train. Plessy sued claiming his civil rights had been violated. The court ruled that because the car was for African American passengers, the state of Louisiana did not violate the 14th amendment. Justices used the doctrine "seperate but ewqual' to justify their decision. This case gave the South permission to descrimate based ob color in public.
  • Schenck v US

    Schenck v US
    This case was concerning enforcement of the Espionage Act of 1917 during WWI. The Supreme Court concluded that people who ditributed resistance leaflets to draft-age men could be charged with a criminal offense in an attempt to obstruct the draft.
  • Sacco and Vanzetti Trial

    Sacco and Vanzetti Trial
    Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were Italian-born US anarchists who were convicted of murdering a guard and a paymaster during the armed robbery of the Slater and Morrill Shoe Company on April 15, 1920, in South Braintree, Massachusetts, United States, and were executed by the electric chair seven years later at Charlestown State Prison. Both adhered to an anarchist movement that advocated relentless warfare against a violent and oppressive government.
  • Scopes Trial

    Scopes Trial
    The Scopes TRial was an American legal case in which a subsitute teacher was trialed for teaching human evolution in school. The trial was staged to attract people to a small town in which they succeded. Scopes was found guilty but later on the charges were dropped.
  • Dennis v US

    Dennis v US
    Dennis v US was a "United States Supreme Court case relating to Eugene Dennis, General Secretary of the Communist Party USA. The Court ruled that Dennis did not have the right under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution to exercise free speech, publication and assembly, if the exercise involved the creation of a plot to overthrow the government."
  • Warren Court Decisions

    Warren Court Decisions
    In the 1950s and 1960s, Chief Justice Earl Warren served the Supreme Court. During this time the Supreme Court ruled on issues related to civil and social rights.
  • Brown v Board of Education

    Brown v Board of Education
    The Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Ruling overturned Plessy v Ferguson, concluding that "seperate but equal" violated the principals of the constitution.
  • Gideon v Wainwright

    Gideon v Wainwright
    This Supreme Court case ruled that all accused criminals had the right to a lawyer whether or not the could afford one.
  • Griswold v Connecticut

    Griswold v Connecticut
    A Connecticut law prohibited using drugs for the purpose of preventing conception. The Supreme Court ruled that it violated the "right to marital status". This court case made birth control legal.
  • Miranda v Arizona

    Miranda v Arizona
    The Supreme Court ruled that the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination requires law enforcement officials to advise a suspect interrogated in custody of his rights to remain silent and to obtain an attorney. Every time before law enforcement arrest someone that have to give the Miranda warning.
  • Roe v Wade

    Roe v Wade
    Texas had a law that made it a crime to assist a woman in getting an abortion violated her due proccess rights. The Supreme Court made abortion legal as long as it was in the first trimester and protected the woman's health.
  • United Statesbv. Nixon

    United Statesbv. Nixon
    US v Nixon was a landmark decision. It resulted in a unanimous 8–0 ruling against President Richard Nixon and was important to the late stages of the Watergate scandal. It is considered a crucial precedent limiting the power of any US president.
  • Bush v. Gore

    Bush v. Gore
    This supreme court decision resolved the dispute regarding the 2000 prsidential election. The controversy was over who won Florida's electoral votes, the recount process in that state, and the unusual event that the losing candidate had recieved more counted popular votes than the winner. Bush won the supreme court case and was made 43rd president.