Landmark Supreme Court Cases

  • Marbury V. Madison

    Marbury V. Madison
    President John Adams appointmentsed William Marbury as justice of the peace.Madison refused to deliver Marbury's commission. Marbury sued Madison, and the Supreme Court took the case.Cheif Johnson Marshall said the Judiciary Act of 1789 was illegal and should not be followed because it violated Act III of the constitution. This was the first time the Supreme Court struck down a law because it was unconstitutional. It was the beginning of the practice of "judicial review.
  • McCullouch v. Maryland

    McCullouch v. Maryland
    The United States,had a federal bank, the Bank of the United States. Andrew McCulloch, who worked in the A Baltimore branch of the Bank of the United States, refused to pay the tax. The State of Maryland sued, and the Supreme Court accepted the case.Court, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that the federal government has the right and power to set up a federal bank.
  • Dread Scott v. Sandford

    Dread Scott v. Sandford
    Dread Scott sued for his freedom becuase he lived in the free state of Missouri and that he should be a free man. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney held neither slaves nor those descended from slaves could be citizens of the United States and had no legal rights to sue. This ruling was the catalyst for the civil war.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    Plessy 7/8 white, attempted to sit in an all-white railroad car. After refusing to sit in the black railway car, Plessy was arrested for violating an 1890 Louisiana statute that provided for segregated “separate but equal” railroad.In 1896, the Supreme Court of the United States heard Plessy's case and found the law constitutional. Plessy paid the fine for the offense, but the case renewed black opposition to such laws and enforced the Jim crow laws.
  • Korematsu v. U.S

    Korematsu v. U.S
    Fred Korematsu refused to obey the wartime order to leave his home and report to a relocation camp for Japanese Americans.He appealed,Justice Hugo Black stated "although the exclusion order imposed hardships upon a large number of American citizens, hardships are part of war. When, under conditions of warfare, our shores are threatened by hostile forces, the power to protect them must be commensurate with the threatened danger." This meant that national security out weighed personal rights.
  • Brown v. Board of Ed Topeka KS

    Brown v. Board of Ed Topeka KS
    Several cases were combined on the behalf of black students to desegrate schools.The supreme court annouced that school segregation violated the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The following year the Court ordered desegregation "with all deliberate speed." This ended Jim Crow. And was the catalyst for the Little Rock Nine historically event
  • Map v. Ohio

    Map v. Ohio
    Mapp was convicted of possessing porn after an admittedly illegal police search of her home for a fugitive. She appealed her conviction because it violated her freedom of expression.The court declared "all evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution is, by [the Fourth Amendment], inadmissible in a state court." This meant all evident recieved illegally would be thrown out making prosecuting criminals difficult and search warrants mandatory.
  • Gideon V. Wainwright

    Gideon V. Wainwright
    Gideon was charged in court with a felony for breaking and entering. He lacked funds to hire a lawyer to prepare his defense. When he requested the court to appoint an attorney for him the court refused,He had to defend himself.Gideon defended himself in the trial; he was convicted.The court found that "The Sixth Amendment's guarantee of counsel was a fundamental right, essential to a fair trial" because of this decision all criminal cases defendants get a laywer if they can't afford one!
  • Miranda v. Arizona

    Miranda v. Arizona
    Ernesto Miranda was arrested, interrogated and confessed to rape without the police informing him of his right to remain silent or have an attorney after his arrest.The Court decided"that prosecutors could not use statements stemming from custodial interrogation of defendants unless they demonstrated the use of procedural safeguards "effective to secure the privilege against self- incrimination."This decision is the reason why police must read those in custody their rights.
  • Tinker v. Des Moines

    Tinker v. Des Moines
    Students protested the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to their Des Moines schools.The students were suspended untill they could return without the bands.The court stated "The wearing of armbands was "closely akin to 'pure speech'" and protected by the First Amendment. School environments imply limitations on free expression, but here the principals lacked justification for imposing any such limits.".The significance is that it gave all students the right to symbolic speech
  • Roe v. Wade

    Roe v. Wade
    Roe a Texas resident, wanted to terminate her pregnancy by getting a abortion. Texas law prohibited abortions except to save the pregnant woman's life.The Court held that a woman's right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision gave a woman total over the pregnancy during the first trimester and defined different levels of state interest for the second and third trimesters.This cause 46 states to change laws on abortion.
  • NJ v. TLO

    NJ v. TLO
    T.L.O. was a fourteen-year-old accused of smoking in the girls' bathroom of her high school. A principal searched her purse, yielding a bag of marijuana.TLO claimed this violated her 4th and 14th amendment! The court decided that the search did not violate the 4th and 14th amendment! Students had less rights in the school enviroment and because school officials have to keep the order and safety of students they could complete searches off of probable cause.
  • Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier

    Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier
    Kuhlmeir, editor of her high school newspaper appealed the decision to censor the paper claiming it violated the First and 14th amendment.Court said "the First Amendment did not require schools to affirmatively promote particular types of student speech. The Court held that schools must be able to set high standards for student speech disseminated under their auspices, and that schools retained the right to refuse to sponsor speech" If a school paper is part of the curriculum and can censored!
  • Texas v. Johnson

    Texas v. Johnson
    Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag to protest against Reagan administration policies. Johnson was tried and convicted under a Texas law outlawing flag desecration.Johnson appealed claiming the 1st and 14th Amendment was violated.The Court determined "that burning a flag as political speech was protected as a form of silent speech. Further attempts to create a national flag desecration law was also ruled illegal."