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IMPORTANT US SUPREME COURT DECISIONS
Marbury v. Madison (1803) federal powers Checks and Balances Judiciary Act of 1789 part of the act was unconstitutional established Judicial Review
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) federal powers Federalism Who has jurisdiction over interstate trade/commerce? The National Government has power over individual states. The National Government has the right to regulate interstate trade/commerce.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) federal powers Federalism Does the state have a right to tax a federal agency? National agencies are immune to state taxes (9-0) The Federal Government has power over the State Governments.
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) civil rights human rights v. property rights Were freed blacks citizens? Blacks were property, not citizens (7-2) even free blacks were not citizens therefore did not have citizen rights
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) civil rights 13 th /14 th Amendments-equal rights/protection Is segregation on public transportation constitutional? separate but equal is constitutional (7-1) separate facilities by races were OK
Schenck v. US (1919) free speech 1 st Amendment-freedom of speech Does free speech include anti-war protests? No, certain rights are not absolute (9-0) During times of conflict, freedoms/liberties may be limited.
Korematsu v. US (1944) discrimination 5 th /14 th Amendments-due process and equal rights/protection Was the gov’t denying people’s rights by enacting internment camps? Korematsu’s rights were not violated (6-3) In times of conflict, the government may limit citizens’ rights.
Brown v. BOE of Topeka, Kansas (1954) civil rights 14 th Amendment-equal rights/protection Is school segregation constitutional? by definition, separate is not equal (9-0) public facilities have to be integrated
Mapp v. Ohio (1961) rights of the accused 4 th Amendment-search and seizure Can courts ignore how evidence was obtained? No, the 4 th Amendment should be protected (5-4) The police need to have a search warrant/probable cause to search.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966) rights of the accused 5 th /6 th Amendments-self-incrimination and right to a lawyer When is a confession legal? Should people be aware of their rights when they are arrested? Yes, the rights of the accused need to be protected (5-4) “Miranda Rights” need to be read to and understood by the accused.
Tinker v. Des Moines SD (1969) free speech 1 st Amendment-freedom of speech Does free speech include political protests in school? freedom of speech is protected (7-2) Students may use free speech if it does not interfere with classes/other students.
Nixon v. US (1974) separation of powers Checks and Balances Did the government violate the president’s rights of power and confidentiality? President Nixon must turn over tapes to the US Congress (8-0) No one, including the president, is above the law.
Roe v. Wade (1973) abortion 1 st speech/4 th privacy/5 th private property/14 th equal protection Does the 14 th Amend. apply to a fetus? No, states cannot deny abortions in the first trimester (7-2) Abortion is legal and highly controversial.
Cruzan v. Department of Health (1990) life support 14 th Amendment-equal rights/protection Can a state refuse to terminate someone on life support? people do have the right to refuse medical treatment (6-3) People need to have their wished document (a Living Will).
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