Chief Justices of the United States


Chief Justices of the United


Those who left the biggest imprint on Constitutional interpretation

John Marshall

• John Adams appointed John Marshall

Marbury v. Madison, 1803

• Established Judicial Review



McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819

• Upheld the concept of Federalism & the

Supremacy Clause




Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824

• Upheld Congresses power to control interstate commerce

Worcester v. Georgia, 1832

• Declared the Cherokee Nation as a distinct community occupying its own territory in which the laws of Georgia can have no force.

Earl Warren

• Dwight Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren

Brown v. Board of Education,

Topeka, KS 1954

• Declared “separate-but-equal” to be inherently unequal in the case of public education

Mapp v. Ohio, 1961

• More clearly defined the Exclusionary Rule stating that evidence obtained without a search warrant could not be used against the defendant.

Baker v. Carr, 1962

• Kept gerrymandering illegal, ordering

Tennessee to make U.S. Congressional districts as equal as possible due to population shifts.

Engel v. Vitale, 1962

Court ruled that standard morning prayers in public schools violated the Establishment

Clause of the 1 st Amendment

Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963

Court ruled that the right to counsel applied to all criminal cases.

Westberry v. Sanders, 1964

Court established the one-man-one-vote rule. Again, upheld the illegality of gerrymandering

Heart of Atlanta Motel v. U.S., 1964

Court ruled that Congress could order the desegregation of private businesses that may profit from interstate commerce.

Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965

Court ruled that the marriage bedroom was a private place and the government had no business invading that privacy

Miranda v. Arizona, 1966

Established the Miranda Rights which must be read to and understood by those accused of a crime prior to being questioned.

In Re Gault, 1967

The Court ruled that juveniles have some of the same due process rights as adults

Tinker v. Des Moines Indiana

Community School District, 1969

Court ruled that schools could not interfere with a student’s freedom of expression as long as the expression did not interfere with instruction.

Warren Burger

Richard Nixon appointed Warren Burger

Furman v. Georgia, 1972

Death penalty is deemed unconstitutional for

Violating the 8 th amendment.

Roe v Wade, 1972

The Court declared state laws making abortions illegal to be unconstitutional.

Miller v California, 1973

The Court ruled that

“contemporary community standards” be used in judging what is obscene.


Bible Belt

Gregg v Georgia, 1976

The Death Penalty was

Justified as long as

Certain steps were

Followed prior to

Issuing the penalty.

Board of Regents University of

California v. Bakke, 1978

The Court ruled that race should not be the only factor in making affirmative action decisions, but it can be considered.

Lynch v Donnelly, 1984

The Court ruled that public displays of religious beliefs are permissible only if they are part of an otherwise nonreligious or multi-religious display.

William H. Rehnquist

Ronald Reagan appointed William


Cruzan v Missouri, 1990

The Court upheld

Missouri’s right to

Keep Nancy Cruzan

Alive on life support

In spite of her

Permanent vegetative state

Hazelwood School District v

Kuhlmeier, 1988

The Court stated,

“a school need not tolerate student speech that is inconsistent with its basic educational mission, even though the government could not censor similar speech outside the school.”

Bob Jones University v The United

States, 1983

New Jersey v T.L.O., 1985

School officials only

Need “reasonable

Suspicion” to search

A student

United States v Eichman, 1990

The Court declared the

Flag Protection Act unconstitutional.

Board of Education Westside

Community Schools v Mergens, 1990

The Court upheld the Equal Access Clause from 1984.

U.S. Term Limits v Thornton, 1995

The Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for Arkansas to limit the terms of U.S.


United States v The American

Library Association, 2003

The Court ruled in favor of public libraries being able to block internet accessibility to certain sites that might display questionable materials.