APUSH Supreme Court Cases Studying these Supreme Court cases in the context of US History can help you prepare for the AP US History exam. The Marshall Court (1801-1835) John Marshall, confirmed as Chief Justice in 1801 as one of John Adams’ “Midnight Judges,” played a key role in establishing the Supreme Court as a powerful institution. An ardent Federalist, his rulings generally favored a strong federal government and promoted business enterprise, while showing little sympathy for the Jeffersonian states’ rights philosophy. For more information, check out these videos by HipHughes (Short) and Tom Richey (Longer). Marbury v. Madison (1803) - Judicial Review (Marshall asserts the right of the federal judiciary to interpret the Constitution and strike down federal laws that conflict with it. Marshall played a long game here, siding with Madison on the specific issue at hand while asserting the Court’s right to strike down unconstitutional legislation. McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) - The State of Maryland cannot tax the 2nd BUS, because it’s a constitutionally created arm of the federal government. A State vs. the National Bank (Marshall picks the Bank) Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) - New York could not stop a New York to New Jersey steamship line from operating in New York (Commerce Clause) A State vs. Business (Marshall picks the Business) The Marshall Court’s rulings continually frustrated the Jeffersonian Republicans, who at one point impeached one of Marshall’s associate justices. While the impeachment did not result in removal from office, it sent a message to Federalist judges to moderate their partisanship. Marshall and the Indians After deciding in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) that Indian nations were not foreign nations, but partially sovereign entities dependent on the federal government like a “ward to its guardian,” the Court handed down Worcester v. Georgia (1832). In Worcester, the Marshall Court ruled that only the federal government could deal with Indian nations and that states had no authority to pass laws regarding the Indian nations. As in McCulloch and Gibbons, the Marshall Court ruled in favor of federal authority and against states’ rights, consistent with Marshall’s overall Federalist philosophy. The Marshall Court’s decisions regarding the Cherokee did nothing to stop federally-directed Indian removal. Photo by Wolfgang Sauber ANTEBELLUM PERIOD After John Marshall’s death in 1835, Andrew Jackson appointed a longtime loyalist, Roger B. Taney, as Chief Justice. The Court’s rulings took on a more Jacksonian tone in the late antebellum period. Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837) - The Charles River Bridge Company sued Massachusetts when the state allowed a company to build the Warren Bridge in close proximity to the Charles River Bridge, which had been built in 1785 with a monopoly charter but had been poorly maintained. The Court sided with Warren Bridge, citing that the public interest and free enterprise outweighed the value of a monopolistic contract. This decision was a turning point in the Court, as the Marshall Court placed great emphasis on contracts. Also, the Taney Court upheld the decision of the state legislature, while the most famous Marshall Court decisions were against states. Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) - [INFAMOUS] The Court ruled that neither African slaves nor their descendants can be US citizens and that Dred Scott had no right to sue his master for his freedom (he’d been brought into a free state and free territories) / Federal Government cannot legislate about slavery in the territories Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech was delivered in response to Dred Scott. SUPERSEDED BY 14TH AMENDMENT (Birthright Citizenship) LATE 19TH CENTURY Slaughterhouse Cases (1873) - The Court’s first rulings on the Fourteenth Amendment interpreted the amendment as applying only to limited matters of federal citizenship (such as the right to travel between states) and that it does not apply to rights of citizens of states such as those listed in the Bill of Rights. This 5-4 decision was the basis for the interpretation of the 14th Amendment until the 1920s, when the Court began to selectively incorporate the Bill of Rights into the 14th Amendment. Plessy v Ferguson (1896) - [INFAMOUS] Public facilities (specifically railroad cars) may be segregated on a “separate but equal” basis and still satisfy the 14th Amendment’s requirements for equal protection of laws. Jim Crow would continue for several decades. Superseded by Brown v. Board (1954) In re Debs (1895) - SCOTUS upheld a federal order for Pullman strikers, led by Eugene V. Debs, to get back to work (interstate commerce, postal service, etc.). In late 19th century, SCOTUS was not friendly toward labor unions (neither was the rest of the federal government). Insular Cases (1901) - The Court ruled that inhabitants of overseas U.S. territories (e.g., those gained by the U.S. after the Spanish-American War) do not automatically have the same constitutional rights as Americans living in the continental United States. Simply put, “The Constitution does not follow the flag.” (Presently, SCOTUS is being asked to overturn this ruling.) DEPRESSION & WWII Schechter Poultry Corp v. United States (1935) - SCOTUS strikes down provisions of the New Deal (specifically the National Recovery Administration [NRA]) as unconstitutional - Led to FDR’s “court packing” scheme, which was ultimately unsuccessful (although FDR eventually got more people appointed to the Court). Korematsu v. United States (1944) - [INFAMOUS] SCOTUS decides 6-3 in favor of Japanese internment - ruled that it did not violate the civil rights of US citizens of Japanese descent. (Opinion was written by Justice Hugo Black, a former member of the KKK.) The US government has since paid reparations to the victims and their survivors. POST-WWII ERA Brown v. Board of Education (1954) - Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson - public schools must be integrated “with all deliberate speed” (integration of public schools proceeded gradually over several years, often with a great deal of resistance). Brown v. Board only applied to public schools and Jim Crow was dismantled by the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s and subsequent Supreme Court decisions THE GUIDE FROM HERE ON IS IN DRAFT FORM Here are some SCOTUS cases that will also be helpful: Griswold v. Connecticut (Birth Control) Gideon v. Wainwright (Right to an Attorney) Miranda v. Arizona (Rights of the Accused) Engel v. Vitale (School Prayer) Roe v. Wade Tinker v. Des Moines official restrictions on freedom of speech grew during World War I, as increased anxiety about radicalism led to a Red Scare and attacks on labor activism and immigrant culture. i.e. Schenck v. U.S. The three branches of the federal government used measures including desegregation of the armed services, Brown v. Board of Education, and the Civil RightsAct of 1964 to promote greater racial equality. The 1970s saw growing clashes between conservatives and liberals over social and cultural issues, the powerof the federal government, race, and movements for greater individual rights. i.e. Roe v. Wade, Regents of UC v. Bakke.