Marbury v. Madison • The Supreme Court of the United States has the power to review acts of other branches and determine their constitutionality. • This power is called judicial review. • "It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each." — Chief Justice John Marshall
McCulloch v. Maryland • The Supreme Court of the United States declared that establishing a national bank is within the constitutional powers of Congress under the "necessary and proper" clause and that Maryland does not have authority to tax a federal institution.
Gibbons v. Ogden • Aaron Ogden filed a complaint against Thomas Gibbons asking the Court to stop Gibbons from operating his boats from New Jersey to New York and the court agreed with Ogden • The Supreme Court of the United States reversed the decision because the Constitution gives only Congress, not the states, the power to regulate interstate commerce.
Plessy v. Ferguson • Judge Ferguson of state district court found Plessy guilty of not leaving the car for whites when asked to; denied claim that Separate Car Act was unconstitutional because Louisiana could regulate its railroad companies however it saw fit as long as equal accommodations were provided. • The Supreme Courtupheld the Louisiana State Supreme Court's decision and declared that the "Separate Car Act" was constitutional as long as there were separate but equal accommodations for both whites and blacks.
Brown v. Board of Education • In Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, NAACP lawyers successfully argued that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. • It violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s principle of equal protection under the law.
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education • Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, (1971) was an important United States Supreme Court case dealing with the busing of students to promote integration in public schools.
Korematsu v. U.S. • Korematsu was convicted of being in a place from which all persons of Japanese ancestry were excluded. • By 6-3 margin, the Court upheld Korematsu’s conviction by stating that any law that discriminated on the basis of race or ethnicity could only be constitutional if it served an extremely important purpose for the government.
Furman v. Georgia • The Supreme Court ruled in Furman v. Georgiathat the death penalty was unconstitutional. It was being imposed in unfair ways and mainly on African Americans and poor people. • In response, most states revised their death penalty laws to comply with the Court’s guidelines.
Gideon v. Wainwright • Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court interpreted this to mean that if the accused could not afford a lawyer, the state must provide one.
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke • The Supreme Court states that the quota system used by the University of California at Davis medical school is unconstitutional, but that race could be used as a "plus" in the application process.
New Jersey v. T.L.O. • T.L.O. was charged as a delinquent on the basis of evidence from the search of her purse and her confession. She was sentenced to one year of probation. • The Supreme Court of New Jersey overturns the conviction and says that the search violated T.L.O.'s Fourth Amendment rights. • The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the New Jersey Court's ruling, and stated that searches by school officials are constitutional without a warrant as long as they are "reasonable.”
Tinker v. Des Moines • The Supreme Courtruled in favor of the students, declaring that the armband protest was protected by the First Amendment right of free speech.
Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier • The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals, saying that the students' First Amendment rights were not violated. • The school newspaper is not a public forum and "educators do not offend the First Amendment by exercising editorial control over the style and content of student speech in school-sponsored expressive activities so long as their actions are reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns."
Texas v. Johnson • Gregory Lee Johnson was arrested after burning a U.S. flag in the course of a demonstration outside the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas, in 1984. He was convicted of violating a Texas statute prohibiting desecration of the flag, sentenced to one year in prison, and fined $2,000. • The U.S. Supreme Court overturns the conviction and declares the Texas statute unconstitutional. “The State's interest in preventing breaches of the peace does not support his conviction because Johnson's conduct did not threaten to disturb the peace. Nor does the State's interest in preserving the flag as a symbol of nationhood and national unity justify his criminal conviction for engaging in political expression.”
Engel v. Vitale • The Supreme Court determined that it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and require its recitation in public schools. Separation Between Church and State
Miranda v. Arizona • In Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court held that police must inform suspects that they have the right to remain silent, but this right may not be used to obstruct justice.
Mapp v. Ohio • Dollree Mapp was convicted of violating the Ohio State Code for possession of obscene materials and was sentenced to jail. Police had found the pornographic material that was used as evidence against her when they entered her home without a warrant. • The Supreme Court overturned Mapp's conviction declaring that the evidence gained during the illegal search of her house could not be used to convict her.