Supreme Court Case Review

Important Supreme
Court Cases
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
John Marshall used the case to establish
Judicial Review which allows the court
to declare a law unconstitutional
Most Important court case
Judicial review is not found in the
Made the Judicial Branch an equal with
the Legislative and Executive Branches
N.J. v. T.L.O. (1985)
Dealt with student searches in schools
Ruled that schools do not have to meet
the same requirements as the police when
searching a student
Must only pass a reasonableness test, not
have probable cause
Tinker v. Des Moines School
District (1969)
Case that started when students wearing
black arm bands to protest Vietnam War
were suspended from school
Courts said that students still have
freedom of speech in schools as long as
they do not disrupt the learning
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Dealt with abortion
Court based decision on current medical
knowledge, not religious beliefs
Allowed abortions in first 3 months of
pregnancy, banned them in the last 3
months, and left the middle three months
up to the states
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
A slave named Dred Scott sued to the Supreme
Court for his freedom since his master took him
into a free state
Court said that he could not sue for his freedom
as he was not a U. S. citizen
Court went on to say that no state could ban
slavery as it was part of the Constitution (3/5ths
This was one of the causes of the Civil War
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Dealt with a challenge to a Louisiana law
that segregated races on railroads
Court said that segregation does not imply
racial inferiority
Said that racial segregation was legal
Brown v. Board of Education of
Topeka, Kansas (1954)
Again addressed the issues of racial
segregation, this time in public schools
Said that racial segregation implies that
one race is superior to another
Said that racial segregation was illegal,
reversing the Plessy case
Korematsu V. USA (1944)
After Pearl Harbor, US agents placed
Japanese American in intern camps,
Korematsu refused to go.
Court ruled that in war time, President has
the power to do what they feel is
necessary to protect the whole nation,
thus the camps were legal.
Also said that living in the camps was a
civic responsibility
Engle v. Vitale (1962)
New York tried to install a
nondenominational, noncompulsory
prayer in schools
Court ruled that any prayer said in school
was in essence the school promoting
religion, which violated the separation of
church and State
Hazelwood School District v.
Kuhlmeier (1988)
A principal of a High School banned several
articles from the school newspaper, the students
sued saying that they had free speech
Court said that the school paper was an
educational tool and therefore could be censored
Also said that since the paper was not a public
forum, the government did not have to protect
the students free speech
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
Clarence Gideon was a small time thief that
could not afford a lawyer and had to defend
himself in court. He lost.
Sued to have his conviction overturned since he
was denied a lawyer
Court agreed with Gideon, saying that all people
are entitled to a lawyer no matter how small the
case, because the common man does not have
the skills necessary to defend themselves in
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Was arrested and convicted of rape,
thought conviction should be overturned
as he did not have his rights read to him
Court ruled that a person must have their
rights read to them at the time of the
arrest and that once those rights are read,
any confession is admissible in court.
Escebo v. Illinois (1964)
Asked at what time does a suspect have a
right to an attorney
Court ruled that once an interrogation
changes from a fact finding session, to an
actual accusation, a lawyer must be
present to prevent forced confessions
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Asked if any evidence that is gathered
illegally may be used in court
Court ruled that no illegally gathered
evidence may ever be used in a trial
This applies to both the state and national
United States v. Nixon (1974)
President Nixon refused to turn over tapes
in a criminal investigation claiming
executive privilege
Court said that a President can’t use
executive privilege to avoid criminal
Nixon turned over the tapes and resigned
4 days later
Regents of the University of
California v. Bakke (1978)
Case challenged affirmative action
programs saying that they caused reverse
Court agreed with Bakke, however they
went on to say that as long as race is not
the only factor in determining jobs or
admissions, then affirmative action
programs were legal
Furman v. Georgia (1972)
Court ruled that the death penalty was
cruel and unusual punishment and all
executions were stopped
Forced states to rewrite their laws to give
jurors more guidance and to force state to
try to apply the laws more fairly to all
races and social classes
Reynolds v. Simms (1964)
Dealt with the question of whether or not
congressional districts should be based on
land size or population
Stated that all congressional districts must
be drawn based on population not land
size. Created the principle of “one man
one vote”
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenberg
Schools (1971)
Was a response to North Carolina’s slow
reaction to desegregation its schools after
the Brown v. Board of Education case
Forced school districts to use busing to
integrate all schools
Texas V. Johnson (1989)
Was asking the question if whether
burning an American flag was unpatriotic
or if it was a protected form of free
Said the burning an American flag as a
political protest was a protected form of
free speech
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Started when Maryland tried to tax a
federal bank
Upheld the supremacy clause of the
Constitution and the Maryland law was
thrown out
Dartmouth College v. Woodward
Allowed the corporation form of
government to exist which allowed for the
growth of the American economy
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Was a question of the power of the federal
government to regulate interstate
Expanded the definition of commerce
which allowed for rapid growth of the
Bush v. Gore (2000)
George Bush sued to the Supreme Court to stop
the recount of votes in Florida during the 2000
Presidential election
Said that it violated the 14th Amendment rights
Court ruled that since there was no uniform way
to judge the validity of the ballots, the recount
had to stop
This gave the Presidency to George Bush over Al
State v. Leandro (1994)
Parents from 5 counties in North Carolina
sued the state saying that it did not
provide enough money to give the
students a “sound education”
Court ruled that the state constitution
does not require equal funding for
Hoke v. State (2004)
A follow up case to State v. Leandro
This time the court ruled that “At risk
children require more resources and
focused attention to learn
This forced the state to create new more
equal funding programs