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Supreme Court Cases Study Guide

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1 Supreme Court Cases Study Guide
P.1 AP Gov

2 Marbury v. Madison (1803) Basically, this case allowed Chief Justice Marshall and his associates to assert the right of the Supreme Court to determine the meaning of the Constitution. The decision established the Court’s power of judicial review, which is the power of the courts to determine whether or not acts of Congress is constitutional or not.

3 McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
The Court held that the political authority of the Union lies with the people of the United States, not with the individual states that comprise it. The United States, not a simple alliance of states, is a nation of “constitutional sovereignty” with its authority resting exclusively with “the people” who created and are governed by the Constitution. To the Court, “the government of the Union is a government of the people; it emanates from them; its powers are granted by them; and are to exercised directly on them, and for their benefit.” Maryland’s tax, violated constitutional sovereignty. For the first time, the promise made in Marbury v. Madison that the Supreme Court would exercise great authority in shaping the laws of the land, was fulfilled my McCulloch v. Maryland. No other decision has so profoundly defined national power. Today, McCulloch remains a fundamental and binding bedrock of American constitutional law.

4 Gibbons V. Ogden (1824) Chief Justice Marshall developed a clear definition of the word commerce, which included navigation on interstate waterways Concluded that regulation of navigation by steamboat operators and others for purposes of conducting interstate commerce was a power reserved to and exercised by the Congress.

5 Barron v. Baltimore (1833) The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution’s Bill of Rights restricts only the powers of federal government and not state governments. John Barron lost the case The Supreme Court ruled that Barron had no claim against the state under the Bill of Rights because the Bill of Rights does not apply to states.

6 Reynolds v. United States (1879)
Polygamy was not protected by freedom of religion. Laws banning polygamy did not violate the Mormons' right to free exercise of their religion and were constitutional. The Mormon church permitted its men to practice polygamy.  The Supreme Court found that laws banning polygamy were constitutional. You are free to believe what you want, but not to do what you want.

7 Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) The Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) case is a Supreme Court decision of the United States upholding the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in public places under the doctrine of “separate but equal” A court case that discussed racial segregation. "Separate but equal" remained standard doctrine in U.S. law until its repudiation in the 1954 Supreme Court decision

8 Gitlow v. New York (1925) States were are able to limit the people’s first amendment through due process clause of the 14th Amendment, if you are exercising your 1st amendment in a way that places public security in danger then your freedom of speech can be prohibited. Ex: If you yell fire at a movie theatre and there is no fire, you can be sued. Even if you try to justify your actions by saying you were exercising your freedom of speech. The Incorporation Doctrine overturned the Barron v. Baltimore case (stated that the Bill of Right were restrained only to the National government) by applying the Bill of Rights to the states.

9 Near v. Minnesota (1931) The 1931 Supreme Court decision holding that the First Amendment protects newspapers from prior restraint. Governor Floyd B. Olson filed a complaint against Jay M. Near, because of his publications, The Saturday Press. First Minnesota Court says no publication at all. Second Minnesota Court says publication is allowed as long as it doesn’t disturb/anger the public. Supreme Court decides that the First Amendment protects newspapers from prior restraint, therefore allowing Near to proceed with his usual publications. First Amendment – freedom of press, speech, religion, and assembly Prior restraint – government preventing material from being published

10 Brown v. Board of Education (1944)
Discrimination of African Americans still present. Linda Brown, third grader, was not allowed to attend her local school because of her race. Oliver Brown and NAACP (Thurgood Marshall) took the situation to Court. Segregation in public schools is a violation of the 14th Amendment. Plessy vs. Ferguson precedent "separate but equal" overturned. This ruling only abolished segregation in public schools. The Court placed more precise and urgent demands on school districts to integrate their schools.

11 Mapp v. Ohio (1961) Court case on the Fourth Amendment.
Officers presented a “supposedly warrant” but was never showed in the trial for evidence. Mapp argued that her fourth amendment was violated. Ohio argued that the fourteenth amendment doesn’t guarantee fourth Amendment protections in the State courts. Court overturned the conviction, in a 6-3 decision.

12 Baker v. Carr (1962) Charles Baker (P) was a resident of Shelby County, Tennessee. Baker filed suit against Joe Carr, the Secretary of State of Tennessee. Baker’s complaint alleged that the Tennessee legislature had not redrawn its legislative districts since 1901, in violation of the Tennessee State Constitution which required redistricting according to the federal census every 10 years. Baker, who lived in an urban part of the state, asserted that the demographics of the state had changed shifting a greater proportion of the population to the cities, thereby diluting his vote in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Decision: Ruled in favor of Baker by finding that constitutional challenges to apportionment could be addressed by federal courts.

13 Engel v. Vitale (1962) In an opinion delivered by Justice Hugo Black, the Court ruled that government-written prayers were not to be recited in public schools and were an unconstitutional violation of the Establishment Clause. This was decided in a vote of 6-1. The Court explained the importance of separation between church and state. They stated that school prayer’s were considered a religious activity by being a prayer and that such an activity violates the Establishment Clause. The Court ignored the defendant’s argument that these prayers were voluntary and people should respect their religion but the mere promotion of those prayers were enough to establish a violation. Engel v. Vitale (1962), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that determined that it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools. They say that saying these prayers are a violation of the First Amendment.

14 Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) Gideon is accused of burglary
The court decided that Gideon is not entitled to a lawyer because he did not commit a capital offence After he is put in jail, he sued Wainwright for his rights Gideon’s lawyer argued that his Sixth Amendment right was taken away Gideon is entitled to a lawyer because of due process Justice Hugo Black overturned other rulings by stating that the accused had a right to counsel to ensure a fair trial Now, anyone accused have the right to counsel

15 Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964)
Heart of Atlanta Motel’s owner refused to rent rooms to blacks. Letting blacks stay violated his 5th Amendment. Involuntary Servitude violated his 13th Amendment. Owners decision went against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Heart of Atlanta Motel had to let any clients of any races stay. First major test for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

16 New York Times v. Sullivan (1964)
This court case was decided in 1964, its case established the guidelines for determining whether public officials and public figures could win damage suits for libel.* to do so, said the court, such individuals must prove that the defamatory statements made about them were made with “actual malice” and reckless disregard for the truth The First Amendment, as applied through the Fourteenth, protected a newspaper from being sued for libel in state court for making false defamatory statements about the official conduct of a public official, because the statements were not made with knowing or reckless disregard for the truth. Supreme Court of Alabama reversed and remanded. *Libel: the publication of false statements that are malicious and damage a persons reputation.

17 Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)
Griswold was tried for providing contraceptives for married couples. The 14th amendment was being violated. The majority of the court voted in favor of Griswold.

18 Miranda v. Arizona (1966) Kidnapper and sexual assaulter.
March 13 was arrested in his home and taken to the police station. Police violated his 5th Amendment right to remain silent & 6th Amendment right to legal counsel. Created the Miranda Rights.

19 Tinker v. Des Moines School District (1969)
Tinker v. Des Moines involved three students who were suspended from school for wearing black armband as a passive protest against the United States' involvement in Viet Nam. The students weren't disruptive, and their behavior didn't interfere with the school's educational mission or interfere with other people's rights. They were punished simply because the school disapproved of their expression of opinion. (Oddly, the same school permitted students to wear jewelry displaying Nazi symbols.) The Court held that First Amendment protection adhered in school because the Fourteenth Amendment selectively applied the Bill of Rights to the states, and were not abandoned in the school environment. The Supreme Court supported students' right to the expression of opinion, even controversial opinion, in the school environment, but did not abrogate the school's right to maintain appropriate order and discipline.

20 Effect of Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)
The US Supreme Court’s ruling in the court case led to several changes in the way schools are funded by the government, and reinforced the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The usage of referring to the “Lemon test” has allowed lawmakers to determine whether a piece of legislation violates the establishment clause, which protects the separation of church and state. Schools in the US that promote religious instruction to its students are not qualified to receive funding from the government. Public schools are not allowed to teach religious instruction to students.

21 Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) They sincerely held to the belief that the values their children would learn at home would surpass the worldly knowledge taught in school. Three Amish students from three different families stopped attending New Glarus High School, in New Glarus, Wisconsin, at the end of the eighth grade. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that compulsory school-attendance law to them violated their rights under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The three students stopped attending school all due to their parents' religious beliefs. The three families were represented by Jonas Yoder (one of the fathers involved in the case) when the case went to trial. The Amish chose to follow the biblical command to "turn the other cheek." Thus, the Amish are at a disadvantage when it comes to defending themselves in courts or before legislative committees. 21

22 Furman vs. Georgia (1972)  A United States Supreme Court decision that ruled on the requirement for a degree of consistency in the application of the death penalty. The Court held that the death penalty violated the 8th and 14th amendment rights of the condemned men The case considered the 8th and 14th amendment- Cruel and unusual punishment and the Equal Protection clause

23 Keep it Lowkey. Enough Said.
Miller v. California (1973) Miller vs. California was a 1973 Supreme Court decision that avoided defining obscenity by holding that community standards should be used to determine whether material is obscene in terms of appealing to a “prurient interest.” Obscenity is not protected under the First Amendment , especially not hardcore pornography. Materials are considered obscene if : - The work, taken as a whole, appealed “to a prurient interest in sex” (prurient: having or intended to arouse an unwholesome interest in sexual matters.) -The work showed “patently offensive” sexual conduct that was specifically defined by an obscenity law. -The work, taken as a whole, lacked “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” Keep it Lowkey. Enough Said.

24 Roe . Wade (1973) -Roe want abortion, privacy!
-Court ruled yes! no prohibiting rules during 1st trimester -State can regulate procedures -no abortions for 2nd & 3rd trimesters

25 Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)
These all started out when a 35 year old white man applied for admission to the University of California Medical School at Davis. He had a higher grade point average than any other minority candidates who were admitted. He was denied admission twice because he was white and because of the special admissions. Allen thought that the special admission program violated the Fourteenth Amendment. Since he was denied twice he decided to sue the University of California Medical School at Davis. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court. On June 28, 1978 the decision of the court was announced by Justice Lewis Powell. Court rule 5-4 that race could have been one of the factors.

26 Texas v. Johnson (1989) Johnson was convicted of breaking a law in Texas wich prohibits the burning of the U.S flag. Johnson goes to the Fifth Court of Appeals but he would lose his appeal there and get his case seen by The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The Court overturned johnson's conviction because the first amendment protected symbolic speech. The state of Texas then went to the Supreme Court. In a controversial ruling the Supreme Court ruled that the state could not punish johnson for burning the U.S flag because it was again protected by the first amendment.

27 Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)
Roe v. Wade(1973)– Supreme Court decision holding that state ban on abortions unconstitutional. Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act(1982)- 24-hour waiting period, minors need consent of parents or guardians, and women must notify husbands. Planned Parenthood v. Casey- Supreme Court decision which loosened the standard for evaluating restrictions on abortion. Pro-Life – Against abortion. Pro-Choice – For abortion.

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