Court room

Timeline of Landmark Legislation

  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    Homer Plessy was 7/8 Caucasia but was technically still considered black under Louisiana law. The committee of citizens asked Plessy to sit in a "whites only" cart of the train but was told to vacate the cart and refused so he was arrested. Plessys lawyers argued in court that the Separate Car Act violated the 13th & 14th amendment. It was a 7-1 decision for Ferguson and Harlan voted for Plessy and thinks the constitution is colored blind and all citizens should have equal access to civil rights
  • Brown v the Board of Education, Topeka

    Brown v the Board of Education, Topeka
    Many African Americans were denied admittance to certain public schools based on laws allowing public education to be separated by race. They argued this was a violation of the 14th amendment. It was an unanimous decision for Brown stating that separation for education for racial minorities violates the 14th amendment.
  • Mapp v Ohio

    Mapp v Ohio
    Mapp was convicted of possessing obscene materials after an illegal police search. She appealed her conviction based off freedom of expression. A 6-3 decision stating majority brushed asides 1st amendment issues and declared all evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the 4th is inadmissible in state court. The other three judges wrote a dissenting opinion.
  • Miranda v Arizona

    Miranda v Arizona
    In 1963, Miranda was arrested by police in connection to a kidnapping and rape case. After two hours of interrogation Miranda wrote a confession. The police officer did not read Miranda his rights to an attorney during interrogation but the judge still found him guilty. A 5-4 ruling concluded that the defendant's interrogation did indeed violate the 5th amendment.
  • Terry v Ohio

    Terry v Ohio
    Terry and two other friends were stopped by a plain clothes officer and a stop and frisk. The officer found weapons on two of them and Terry was convicted and sentenced to three years in jail. An 8-1 decision, the court held that the search undertaken by the officer was reasonable. The court found that the search was designed to protect the officer's safety.
  • Tinker v Des Moines

    Tinker v Des Moines
    Tinker and a group of other students plan to show public support for the Vietnam War. The principals caught wind and made a rule that if any student shows up wearing a black armband will be suspended. Tinker still did it and got suspended until after New Years Day. Students filed a law suit saying it was against their right of expression. A 7-2 decision by the court held that the armbands represented pure speech.
  • Title IX

    Title IX
    This is a federal law that states No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. So basically this law was formed to protect people from discrimination based on their sex. It ensures that both female and male have access and equality to education. Also protects athletes and sexual harassment and admission to housing
  • Education of all Handicapped Children Act

    Education of all Handicapped Children Act
    This is a federal law that requires all public schools accepting federal funds to provide equal access to education and one free meal a day for children with physical and mental disabilities. It basically makes sure that people with autism have the same equal right to education. This law has been strengthened over the years. This act protects children from birth to 21 years of age.
  • Goss v Lopez

    Goss v Lopez
    In Ohio, 9 students were suspended and the principal did not hold a hearing foe why they were suspended. Ohio's law doesn't require the principal to tell them. The federal court later found the student's rights were violated. It was a 5-4 decision in the Supreme Court that students facing suspension should get a notice and afforded some kind of hearing.
  • Pyler v Doe

    Pyler v Doe
    In 1975, Texas education laws allowed the state to withhold local school districts state funds for education children of illegal aliens. It was a 5-4 decision in favor of allowing these children education. Court reasoned that illegal aliens and their children are afforded by the 14th amendment protections. Texas couldn't prove regulation was needed to serve a "compelling state interest" so the courts struck down the law.
  • Grutter v Bollinger

    Grutter v Bollinger
    Barbara Grutter, in 1997 and white, applied to the University of Michigan Law School but was denied acceptance with a 3.8 GPA. They said that the decision making was based on race and having diversity among the student body. A 5-4 decision by the court allows the school to tailor use of race in admission decisions. Court also explained since each applicant is highly individualized, no acceptance or rejection is only based on race.
  • Roper v Simmons

    Roper v Simmons
    Simmons was sentenced to death in 1993. The Supreme Court had a similar case, Atkins v Virginia, That dealt with the execution of a mentally disable. Supreme Court then ruled that executing the mentally disable violated the 8th and 14th amendments. The Missouri Supreme Court then reviewed Simmons' case. A 5-4 decision ruled that standards of decency have evolved so that executing minors is "cruel and unusual punishment."