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historical documents > USA > 20th, 21st century

 

landmark Supreme Court cases

 

 

Supreme Court Decision:

OBERGEFELL ET AL.

v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH,

ET AL.

 

CERTIORARI

TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR  THE SIXTH CIRCUIT

 

No. 14–556.

Argued April 28, 2015

—Decided June 26, 2015

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf

 

 

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KING ET AL.

v. BURWELL,

SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES,

ET AL.

 

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR  THE FOURTH CIRCUIT

 

No. 14–114.

Argued March 4, 2015

—Decided June 25, 2015

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-114_qol1.pdf

 

 

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-114_qol1.pdf 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court Decision:

 

Shelby County v. Holder        2013

 

SHELBY COUNTY, ALABAMA

v. HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL, ET AL

 

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES

COURT OF APPEALS

FOR  THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT

 

No. 12–96.

Argued February 27, 2013

—Decided June 25, 2013

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-96_6k47.pdf

 

 

 

That attack began almost immediately

after a 2013 Supreme Court decision,

Shelby County v. Holder,

which weakened Section 5

of the landmark Voting Rights Act.

 

Section 5

required federal pre-approval

of changes to voting laws in places

with a history of discrimination,

including parts of North Carolina.

 

Within hours of that ruling,

lawmakers in Raleigh filed H.B. 589,

proposing some

of the toughest voting rules

in the country.

 

Referring to Shelby,

one sponsor expressed his relief

that curtailing voting protections

could move forward now

that the “headache”

of the Voting Rights Act

had been removed.

 

The Legislature passed the bill,

and it was signed into law

by Gov. Pat McCrory,

a Republican.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/28/opinion/the-retreat-from-voting-rights.html

 

 

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-96_6k47.pdf

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/28/
opinion/the-retreat-from-voting-rights.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/us/
supreme-court-ruling.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/06/26/us/
25scotus-voting-rights-decision.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court Decision:

 

The United States v. Jones        2012

 

In a 5-4 decision,

the Supreme Court

on Monday unanimously ruled

that the police violated

the Constitution

when they placed

a Global Positioning System

tracking device

on a suspect’s car

and tracked its movements

for 28 days.

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/01/24/us/24scotus-text.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/us/police-use-of-gps-is-ruled-unconstitutional.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/us/11gps.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court Decision        2012

 

Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School

v. E.E.O.C.

 

In a major religious liberty decision,

the Supreme Court for the first time

recognized a “ministerial exception”

to employment discrimination laws,

saying that churches

and other religious groups

must be free to choose their leaders

without government interference.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/01/12/us/12scotus-text.html

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/01/12/us/
12scotus-text.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Factbox:

Important past Supreme Court

free-speech cases

 

WASHINGTON | Wed Mar 2, 2011

12:13pm EST

Reuters

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that a church has the free-speech right to hold anti-gay protests at military funerals to promote its view that God hates America for its tolerance of homosexuals.

The 8-1 ruling was a victory for the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, whose members have picketed hundreds of funerals of military members killed in Iraq or Afghanistan as part of their religious belief that God is punishing America for tolerating gays and lesbians.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion that the United States has chosen to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to make sure public debate is not stifled. He made clear the court was not agreeing with Westboro's views.

Following are some similar previous Supreme Court free-speech cases:

 

PARODY OF THE REVEREND JERRY FALWELL

The Supreme Court in 1988 threw out a $200,000 award to the Reverend Jerry Falwell over a Hustler magazine parody that said his first sexual encounter occurred with his mother in an outhouse.

The court ruled that Falwell, a popular televangelist who was a leader of the conservative Christian movement, was a public figure and therefore could not collect libel damages for the infliction of emotional distress. Falwell died in 2007.

The latest decision cited the precedent from the Falwell case.

 

AMERICAN NAZIS WIN RIGHT TO MARCH

IN JEWISH SUBURB

American Nazis won the right more than 30 years ago to march in the heavily Jewish Chicago suburb of Skokie, Illinois, which had a significant population of Holocaust survivors.

The American Civil Liberties Union had argued in favor of a Nazi group that sought a permit to march in their uniforms displaying swastikas.

The Supreme Court reversed lower-court rulings that had blocked the march. A U.S. appeals court in Chicago ultimately ruled that free-speech rights covered the march.

The civil liberties group also supported the Westboro Church on the grounds that free-speech rights protected even outrageous or offensive messages.

 

FLAG BURNING AS PROTECTED FREE SPEECH

The Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that burning the American flag was an act of symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

The court, by a 5-4 vote, overturned the conviction of Gregory Lee Johnson, who had burned a flag as part of a protest during the Republican Party convention in 1984 in Dallas.

"The government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable," the court said in its majority opinion.

 

(Reporting by James Vicini in Washington,

Editing by Eric Beech)

Factbox: Important past Supreme Court free-speech cases,
R,
2.3.2011,
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/02/
us-usa-military-funerals-factbox-idUSTRE7214RB20110302

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

 

Supreme Court Decision

on California Video Game Sales to Children

 

 

Justice Antonin Scalia.,

writing for five justices in the majority

in the video games decision,

Brown

v.

Entertainment Merchants Association,

No. 08-1448,

said video games were protected

by the First Amendment.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/06/28/us/20110628_SCOTUS_DOCUMENT.html

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/06/28/us/
20110628_SCOTUS_DOCUMENT.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cagle cartoons > Gun ban ban

 

US supreme court ruling ends

localised gun control laws in America        June 2010

 

http://www.cagle.com/news/GunBanBan/main.asp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTIAN LEGAL SOCIETY CHAPTER

OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA,

HASTINGS COLLEGE OF THE LAW,

AKA HASTINGS CHRISTIAN FELLOW-SHIP

v. MARTINEZ ET AL.

 

CERTIORARI TO

THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

No. 08–1371.

Argued April 19, 2010—Decided June 28, 2010

 

 

Gun lobby victory

as every American's right to bear arms

upheld by ruling

 

National Rifle Association celebrates

US supreme court ruling

that ends localised gun control laws

in America

 

 

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1371.pdf

 

 

http://www.cagle.com/news/GunBanBan/main.asp

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jun/28/
gun-lobby-victory-american-right-to-bear-arms-ruling

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/opinion/29tue1.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/opinion/29tue2.html

 

http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/what-bolstering-gun-rights-will-mean/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26 June 2008

 

Individual Americans have a right to own guns

 

 

The Supreme Court strikes down

the District of Columbia's

ban on handgun possession

and decides for the first time

in the nation's history

that the Second Amendment

guarantees an individual's right

to own a gun for self-defense.

 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/26/
AR2008062600615.html

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSWBT009284
20080626

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN26327979
20080626
?virtualBrandChannel=10179

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

habeas corpus ruling        June 12, 2008

 

Habeas corpus

is the legal concept

that a prisoner has a right

to challenge the basis of confinement

-- to demand that the government

produce a valid reason for detention.

 

The concept

was developed in England

during the late Middle Ages,

and takes its name

from the first two Latin words

of the writ filed

for a prisoner's release

(a phrase translated variously

as "You have the body''

and "Produce the body.'')

 

Habeas corpus

formed a part of the American

legal system from colonial times,

and it was the only specific right

incorporated in the Constitution.

 

Article 1, Section 9 states,

"The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus

shall not be suspended,

unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion

the public Safety may require it."

 

The suspension of habeas corpus

allows an agency to hold a person

without a charge.

 

Habeas corpus

has been suspended a number of times,

most notably by Abraham Lincoln

during the early days of the Civil War.

 

Habeas corpus

became a subject

of renewed controversy

after the Sept. 11th attacks.

 

When the Bush administration

created a system of military tribunals

for dealing with terrorism subjects in 2002,

it asserted that "illegal non-combatants''

fell outside of the Geneva Conventions

and were not entitled to habeas corpus.

 

That view was rejected

by the Supreme Court in 2006.

 

Congress,

then controlled by Republicans,

responded by passing

the Military Commissions Act of 2006,

which stripped the federal courts

of jurisdiction to hear

habeas corpus petitions

filed by detainees challenging

the bases for their confinement.

 

Instead,

such challenges were to be governed

by the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act,

which allowed detainees

to appeal decisions of the military tribunals

to the District of Columbia Circuit,

but only under circumscribed procedures,

including a presumption

that the evidence

before the military tribunal

was accurate and complete.

 

In a 5 to 4 decision

issued on June 12, 2008,

the Supreme Court ruled

that approach to be unconstitutional,

declaring

that foreign terrorism suspects

held at the Guantánamo Bay

naval base in Cuba

have the right to challenge

their detention there

in federal courts.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/h/habeas_corpus/index.html

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/subject/habeas-corpus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justices Limit Life Sentences for Juveniles        Decided May 17, 2010

 

The Supreme Court (...)

ruled that juveniles

who commit crimes

in which no one is killed

may not be sentenced

to life in prison

without the possibility of parole.

 

Five justices,

in an opinion

by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy,

agreed

that the Eighth Amendment’s ban

on cruel and unusual punishment

forbids such sentences

as a categorical matter.

 

“A state need not guarantee

the offender eventual release,”

Justice Kennedy wrote,

“but if it imposes the sentence of life,

it must provide him or her

with some realistic opportunity

to obtain release

before the end of that term.”

 

The ruling marked the first time

that the court excluded

an entire class of offenders

from a given form of punishment

outside the context of the death penalty.

 

“ ‘Death is different’ no longer,”

Justice Clarence Thomas

wrote in dissent.

Justices Limit Life Sentences for Juveniles        NYT        May 17, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/18/us/politics/18court.html

 

 

 

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

GRAHAM v. FLORIDA

CERTIORARI TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL

OF FLORIDA, 1ST DISTRICT

No. 08–7412.

Argued November 9, 2009

—Decided May 17, 2010

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/19/opinion/l19scotus.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/18/us/politics/18court.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 2010

 

a bitterly divided Supreme Court

rules in Citizens United

v. Federal Election Commission

that the government may not ban

political spending by corporations

in candidate elections

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/opinion/31sun1.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html

 

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-205.ZO.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justices Rule for Individual Gun Rights        Decided June 26, 2008

 

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday embraced the long-disputed view
that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a gun for personal use,
ruling 5 to 4 that there is a constitutional right
to keep a loaded handgun at home for self-defense.

The landmark ruling
overturned the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns,
the strictest gun-control law in the country,
and appeared certain to usher in
a fresh round of litigation over gun rights throughout the country.
The court rejected the view that the Second Amendment’s
“right of the people to keep and bear arms”
applied to gun ownership only in connection with service
in the “well regulated militia” to which the amendment refers.

Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion, his most important in his 22 years on the court,
said the justices were “aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country”
and “take seriously” the arguments in favor of prohibiting handgun ownership.
“But the enshrinement of constitutional rights
necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table,”
he said, adding:
“It is not the role of this court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.”

Justice Scalia’s opinion was signed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
and by Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

In a dissenting opinion,
Justice John Paul Stevens took vigorous issue
with Justice Scalia’s assertion
that it was the Second Amendment
that had enshrined the individual right to own a gun.
Rather, it was “today’s law-changing decision” that bestowed the right
and created “a dramatic upheaval in the law,”
Justice Stevens said in a dissent joined by
Justices David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen G. Breyer.
Justice Breyer,
also speaking for the others, filed a separate dissenting opinion.

Justice Scalia and Justice Stevens went head to head in debating
how the 27 words in the Second Amendment should be interpreted.
The majority opinion and the two dissenting opinions totaled 154 pages.

Justices Rule for Individual Gun Rights        NYT        June 27, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/washington/27scotuscnd.html

 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ET AL. v. HELLER
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT

No. 07–290. Argued March 18, 2008—Decided June 26, 2008

 

http://www.cagle.com/news/Guns08/main.asp

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/washington/27scotuscnd.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/washington/27React.html

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-06-26-scotus-guns_N.htm

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSWBT00928420080626

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court Blocks Guantánamo Tribunals        Decided June 29, 2006

WASHINGTON, June 29 — The Supreme Court on Thursday
repudiated the Bush administration's plan
to put Guantánamo detainees on trial before military commissions,
ruling broadly
that the commissions were unauthorized by federal statute
and violated international law.

"The executive is bound to comply with
the Rule of Law that prevails in this jurisdiction,"
Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the 5-to-3 majority,
said at the end of a 73-page opinion that in sober tones
shredded each of the administration's arguments,
including the assertion that Congress had stripped
the court of jurisdiction to decide the case.

A principal but by no means the only flaw
the court found in the commissions was
that the president had established them
without Congressional authorization.

The decision
was such a sweeping and categorical defeat
for the Bush administration
that it left human rights lawyers who have pressed
this and other cases on behalf of Guantanamo detainees
almost speechless with surprise and delight,
using words like "fantastic," "amazing," "remarkable."
Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights,
a public interest law firm in New York
that represents hundreds of detainees,
said, "It doesn't get any better."

President Bush said
he planned to work with Congress to "find a way forward,"
and there were signs of bipartisan interest on Capitol Hill
in crafting legislation that would authorize
new, revamped commissions intended to withstand judicial scrutiny.

The courtroom was, surprisingly, not full, but among those in attendance,
there was no doubt that they were witnessing a historic event,
a definitional moment
in the ever-shifting balance of power among the branches of government
that ranked with the court's order to President Nixon in 1974
to turn over the Watergate tapes
or with the court's rejection
of President Truman's seizure of the nation's steel mills,
a 1952 landmark decision from which Justice Kennedy quoted at length.

Supreme Court Blocks Guantánamo Tribunals        NYT        June 29, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/29/washington/29cnd-scotus.html

 

Guantánamo > Supreme Court
HAMDAN v. RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, et al.
certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the district of columbia circuit

No. 05-184. Argued March 28, 2006--Decided June 29, 2006

 

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=05-184&friend=nytimes

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/khtml/2006/03/28/politics/20060329_SCOTUS_AUDIOSS.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5-4 Supreme Court Abolishes Juvenile Executions        Decided March 1, 2005

 

ROPER, SUPERINTENDENT,

POTOSI CORRECTIONAL CENTER v. SIMMONS

No. 03—633.

Argued October 13, 2004

–Decided March 1, 2005

 

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-633.ZS.html

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=03-633

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62584-2005Mar1.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

 

The Supreme Court

strikes down Texas law

banning sodomy

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/26/politics/26CND-GAYS.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2002

 

US constitution's prohibition

against putting mentally ill people

to death

 

The Supreme Court banned the execution

of intellectually disabled people in 2002

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/opinion/sunday/a-rare-plea-to-the-court.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/
opinion/sunday/a-rare-plea-to-the-court.html

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/05/
florida-execute-mentally-ill-john-ferguson

 

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/
748006-john-ferguson-petition-for-a-writ-of-certiorari.html

 

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2001/00-8452 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American flag burning / flag desecration

 

U.S. Supreme Court

TEXAS v. JOHNSON, 491 U.S. 397 (1989)

491 U.S. 397

TEXAS v. JOHNSON

CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OF TEXAS

No. 88-155.

Argued March 21, 1989        Decided June 21, 1989

 

 

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=491&invol=397

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/comm/free_speech/texas.html

http://supreme.justia.com/us/491/397/

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/Speech/flagburning/overview.aspx

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/flagburning.htm

http://archives.cnn.com/2001/LAW/07/17/flag.desecration.court/index.html

http://www.freedomforum.org/templates/document.asp?documentID=13371

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Supreme Court reinstates the death penalty        1976

 

Gregg v. Georgia (No. 74-6257)

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

428 U.S. 153
Gregg v. Georgia
CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA

No. 74-6257 Argued: March 31, 1976 --- Decided: July 2, 1976

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0428_0153_ZS.html

 

These guided discretion statutes were approved in 1976
by the Supreme Court in
Gregg v. Georgia (428 U.S. 153),
Jurek v. Texas (428 U.S. 262),
and Proffitt v. Florida (428 U.S. 242),
collectively referred to as the Gregg decision.

This landmark decision held
that the new death penalty statutes
in Florida, Georgia, and Texas were constitutional,
thus reinstating the death penalty in those states.

The Court also held that the death penalty itself
was constitutional under the Eighth Amendment.

 

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0428_0153_ZS.html

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0428_0153_ZO.html

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=15&did=410#gregg

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=US&vol=428&page=153

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=428&invol=153

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregg_v._Georgia

http://www.amnestyusa.org/abolish/greggvgeorgia/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Court Orders Nixon to Yield Tapes;

President Promises to Comply Fully        Decided July 24, 1974

 

Justices Reject Privilege Claim in 8-to-0 Ruling


The Supreme Court ruled
yesterday unanimously, and definitively,
that President Nixon must turn over
tape recordings of White House conversations
needed by the Watergate special prosecutor
for the trial of the President's highest aides.

Ordering compliance with a trial subpoena "forthwith,"
the court rejected Mr. Nixon's
broad claims of unreviewable executive privilege
and said they "must yield to the demonstrated,
specific need for evidence in a pending criminal trial."

The President said he was "disappointed"
by the decision but said he would comply.
His lawyer said the time-consuming process
of collecting and indexing the tapes would begin immediately.

Chief Justice Warren E. Burger
delivered the historic judgment
in a packed and hushed courtroom.
His 31-page opinion drew heavily
on both the great cases of the court's past,
as well as the pro-prosecution edicts
of a court dominated by Nixon appointees.

Only a few times in its history
has the court grappled
with such large assertions of governmental power.
As in most of those encounters,
the justices concluded that the judiciary must have the last word
in an orderly constitutional system
even though its view of the Constitution
is "at variance with the construction
given the document by another branch."

Brushing aside warnings
by presidential lawyer James D. St. Clair
that it was in an impeachment thicket,
the court handed down its 8-to-0 ruling
hours before the House Judiciary Committee was scheduled
to open debate on proposed articles of impeachment.

Court Orders Nixon to Yield Tapes; President Promises to Comply Fully
Justices Reject Privilege Claim in 8-to-0 Ruling

By John P. MacKenzie
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 25, 1974; Page A01

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/watergate/articles/072574-1.htm

 

 

U.S. Supreme Court
UNITED STATES v. NIXON, 418 U.S. 683 (1974)
418 U.S. 683

UNITED STATES v. NIXON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, ET AL.
CERTIORARI BEFORE JUDGMENT TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT.
No. 73-1766.

Argued July 8, 1974.
Decided July 24, 1974.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=418&invol=683

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/watergate/articles/072574-1.htm

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=418&invol=683
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Supreme Court

strikes down laws criminalizing abortion

in Roe v. Wade        Jan. 23, 1973

 

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_roe.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/opinion/if-roe-v-wade-goes.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/us/politics/24nixon.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death penalty > Supreme Court > Furman v. Georgia        1972

 

the Supreme Court

declared the death penalty

unconstitutionally unfair

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/opinion/what-will-finally-doom-the-death-penalty.html

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furman_v._Georgia

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=408&invol=238

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/408/238

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0408_0238_ZS.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eugene Corbett Patterson    1923-2013

 

Pulitzer Prize-winning editor

of The Atlanta Constitution

during the civil rights conflicts

of the 1960s

and later the managing editor

of The Washington Post

and editor

of The St. Petersburg Times

in Florida

 

(...)

 

Mr. Patterson

joined The Washington Post

in 1968 as managing editor,

succeeding Benjamin C. Bradlee,

who became executive editor.

 

The two led the newsroom

in June 1971

when The Post followed

The New York Times

in publishing the Pentagon Papers,

the secret study

of American duplicity in Indochina.

Nixon administration challenges

to both publications

were struck down

in a historic Supreme Court ruling.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/us/
eugene-c-patterson-editor-and-civil-rights-crusader-dies-at-89.html

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/30/
insider/1971-supreme-court-allows-publication-of-pentagon-papers.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/us/
eugene-c-patterson-editor-and-civil-rights-crusader-dies-at-89.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/04/13/
reviews/papers-final.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in 1970

the Supreme Court

unanimously ruled

that the press could

not be held liable

for reporting exaggerated charges

leveled against public figures

when it was clear

that the accusations

were “hyperbole.”

 

The decision,

in Greenbelt Cooperative Publishing Assn.

v. Bresler,

restricted the traditional legal assumption

that someone falsely accused of a crime

can recover damages for defamation,

even without proof

of having suffered monetary loss

because of the libel.

https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/us/01sucher.html

 

 

 

 

GREENBELT PUB. ASSN. v. BRESLER, 398 U.S. 6 (1970)

 

398 U.S. 6

GREENBELT COOPERATIVE PUBLISHING ASSN., INC., ET AL.

v.

BRESLER

CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND No. 413.

Argued February 24-25, 1970

Decided May 18, 1970

 

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=398&invol=6

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/us/01sucher.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tinker

v.

Des Moines Independent Community School District

CITATION 393 US 503 (1969)

 

ARGUED Nov 12, 1968

DECIDED Feb 24, 1969

 

In December 1965,

a group of students in Des Moines

held a meeting in the home

of 16-year-old Christopher Eckhardt

to plan

a public showing of their support

for a truce in the Vietnam war.

 

They decided

to wear black armbands

throughout the holiday season

and to fast on December 16

and New Year's Eve.

 

The principals

of the Des Moines school

learned of the plan

and met on December 14

to create a policy

that stated that any student

wearing an armband

would be asked to remove it,

with refusal to do so

resulting in suspension.

 

On December 16,

Mary Beth Tinker

and Christopher Eckhardt

wore their armbands to school

and were sent home.

 

The following day,

John Tinker did the same

with the same result.

 

The students did not return to school

until after New Year's Day,

the planned end of the protest.
 

 

Through their parents,

the students sued the school district

for violating the students'

right of expression

and sought an injunction

to prevent the school district

from disciplining the students.

 

The district court dismissed the case

and held

that the school district's actions

were reasonable

to uphold school discipline.

 

The U.S. Court of Appeals

for the Eighth Circuit

affirmed the decision

without opinion.

 

(...)

 

The Supreme Court held

that the armbands

represented pure speech

that is entirely separate

from the actions or conduct

of those participating in it.

 

The Court also held

that the students did not lose

their First Amendment rights

to freedom of speech

when they stepped

onto school property.

 

In order to justify

the suppression of speech,

the school officials

must be able to prove

that the conduct in question would

"materially and substantially interfere"

with the operation of the school.

 

In this case,

the school district's actions

evidently stemmed

from a fear of possible disruption

rather than any actual interference.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/1968/21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.oyez.org/cases/1968/21

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/01/03/
571647322/students-identify-with-50-year-old-supreme-court-case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 12, 1967

 

The Supreme Court

said no state could prohibit

mixed-race marriages because

“marriage is one

of the ‘basic civil rights of man.’ ”

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/
opinion/president-obamas-moment.html 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Supreme Court

LOVING v. VIRGINIA, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)

388 U.S. 1

 

LOVING ET UX. v. VIRGINIA.

APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT

OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA.

No. 395.

Argued April 10, 1967.

Decided June 12, 1967.

 

Virginia's statutory scheme

to prevent marriages

between persons solely

on the basis

of racial classifications

held to violate the Equal Protection

and Due Process Clauses

of the Fourteenth Amendment.

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/388/1.html

 

 

 

The Supreme Court ruling,

in 1967, struck down

the last group

of segregation laws

to remain on the books

— those requiring

separation of the races

in marriage.

 

The ruling was unanimous,

its opinion written

by Chief Justice Earl Warren,

who in 1954

wrote the court’s opinion

in Brown v. Board of Education,

declaring segregated public schools

unconstitutional.

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/
us/06loving.html

 

 

 

When Richard and Mildred Loving

awoke in the middle of the night

a few weeks

after their June, 1958 wedding,

it wasn't normal newlywed ardor.

 

There were policemen

with flashlights

in their bedroom.

 

They'd come to arrest the couple.

 

"They asked Richard

who was that woman

he was sleeping with?

 

I say, I'm his wife,

and the sheriff said,

not here you're not.

 

And they said,

come on, let's go,

 

Mildred Loving

recalled that night

in the HBO documentary

The Loving Story.

 

The Lovings had committed

what Virginia called

unlawful cohabitation.

 

Their marriage

was deemed illegal

because Mildred

was Black and Native American;

and Richard was white.

 

Their case went all the way

to the Supreme Court.

 

And on June 12, 1967, the couple won.

 

(...)

 

On June 12, 1967,

the U.S. Supreme Court justices

ruled in the Lovings' favor.

 

The unanimous decision upheld

that distinctions drawn based on race

were not constitutional.

 

The court's decision made it clear

that Virginia's

anti-miscegenation law violated

the Equal Protection Clause

of the 14th Amendment.

 

The landmark civil rights decision

declared prohibitions

on interracial marriage

unconstitutional in the nation.

 

Chief Justice Earl Warren

wrote the opinion for the court;

he wrote

that marriage is a basic civil right

and to deny this right

on a basis of color

is "directly subversive

of the principle of equality

at the heart

of the Fourteenth Amendment"

and seizes all citizens

"liberty without due process of law."

https://www.npr.org/2021/06/12/
1005848169/loving-day-interracial-marriage-legal-origin

 

 

 

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=388&invol=1

 

https://www.npr.org/2021/06/12/
1005848169/loving-day-interracial-marriage-legal-origin

 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/gallery/2017/mar/29/the-lovings-in-pictures

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/
opinion/president-obamas-moment.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/us/06loving.html 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/07/usa.humanrights

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/us/06loving.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Georgia legislature’s refusal to seat

Julian Bond,

the black civil rights leader,

for opposing

American involvement in Vietnam

and supporting draft resisters.

 

His exclusion was overturned

by the United States Supreme Court

in 1966,

and Mr. Bond served 20 years

in the legislature.

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/
us/eugene-c-patterson 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/us/
eugene-c-patterson-editor-and-civil-rights-crusader-dies-at-89.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/1966/12/06/
archives/high-court-voids-georgia-refusal-of-seat-to-bond-unanimously-holds.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/1966/01/11/
archives/georgia-house-bars-war-critic-a-negro-georgia-house-bars-seating-of.html 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

terrorism > suspect > Fifth Amendment

Supreme Court > Miranda        Decided June 13, 1966

 

In Miranda v. Arizona (1966),

the Supreme Court ruled

that detained criminal suspects,

prior to police questioning,

must be informed

of their constitutional right

to an attorney

and against self-incrimination.

 

The case began with the 1963 arrest

of Phoenix resident Ernesto Miranda,

who was charged with rape, kidnapping,

and robbery.

 

Miranda

was not informed of his rights

prior to the police interrogation.

 

During the two-hour interrogation,

Miranda allegedly confessed

to committing the crimes,

which the police

apparently recorded.

 

Miranda,

who had not finished ninth grade

and had a history of mental instability,

had no counsel present.

 

At trial, the prosecution's case

consisted solely of his confession.

 

Miranda was convicted

of both rape and kidnapping

and sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison.

 

He appealed

to the Arizona Supreme Court,

claiming

that the police had unconstitutionally

obtained his confession.

 

The court disagreed, however,

and upheld the conviction.

 

Miranda appealed

to the U.S. Supreme Court,

which reviewed the case in 1966.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_miranda.html

 

 

U.S. Supreme Court

MIRANDA v. ARIZONA, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)

384 U.S. 436

MIRANDA v. ARIZONA.

CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF ARIZONA.

No. 759.

Argued February 28 - March 1, 1966.

Decided June 13, 1966.

 

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/384/436.html 

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/subject/miranda-warnings

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/nyregion/
george-whitmore-jr-68-dies-falsely-confessed-to-2-murders-in-1964.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/us/02scotus.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/opinion/16sun1.html 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Times v. Sullivan        Decision Date: March 9, 1964

 

Freedom of the press:

libel and slander

 

Background:

In 1960, the New York Times

ran a full-page advertisement

paid for by civil right activists.

 

The ad openly criticized

the police department

in the city of Montgomery, Alabama

for its treatment

of civil rights protestors.

 

Most of the descriptions

in the ad were accurate,

but some of the statements

were false.

 

The police commissioner,

L. B. Sullivan, took offense to the ad

and sued the New York Times

in an Alabama court.

 

Sullivan argued that the ad

had damaged his reputation,

and he had been libeled.

 

The Alabama court ruled

in favor of Sullivan,

finding that the newspaper ad

falsely represented

the police department and Sullivan.

 

After losing an appeal

in the Supreme Court of Alabama,

the New York Times took its case

to the United States Supreme Court

arguing that the ad was not meant

to hurt Sullivan's reputation

and was protected

under the First Amendment.

 

Decision:

The United States Supreme Court

unanimously ruled

in favor of the newspaper.

 

The Court said the right

to publish all statements

is protected

under the First Amendment.

 

The Court also said

in order to prove libel,

a public official must show

that what was said against them

was made with actual malice

– "that is, with knowledge

that it was false

or with reckless disregard

for the truth."

http://www.uscourts.gov/multimedia/podcasts/Landmarks/NewYorkTimesvSullivan.aspx

 

 

http://www.uscourts.gov/multimedia/podcasts/Landmarks/NewYorkTimesvSullivan.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prosecutors have a constitutional duty

to disclose significant evidence

favorable to a criminal defendant.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/27/opinion/justice-and-open-files.html

 

 

Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963)

Brady v. Maryland

No. 490

Argued March 18-19, 1963

Decided May 13, 1963

373 U.S. 83

CERTIORARI TO

THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND

 

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/373/83/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Hamilton, The Woman Who Put The 'Miss' In Court        June 1963

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civil rights protests in Alabama

hit a crescendo in the spring of 1963.

 

In Gadsden,

a factory town northeast

of Birmingham,

police arrested Hamilton

and other demonstrators.

 

At a hearing that June,

the court referred to her as "Mary."

 

"And she just would not

answer the judge

until he called her

'Miss Hamilton.'

 

And he refused.

So he found her

in contempt of court,"

Michaels says.

 

So Mary Hamilton

was thrown in jail

and fined $50.

 

The NAACP took the case

that eventually appealed

to the U.S. Supreme Court,

which ruled the following year

in Hamilton's favor.

 

In other words,

the ruling decided

that everyone in court

deserves titles of courtesy,

regardless of race or ethnicity.

 

Michaels says Hamilton

was immensely

proud of the case.

 

"I mean, a Supreme Court case,

you know, decided for you.

Are you kidding?

This is a big deal," she says.

 

It's a big deal for a person,

but it's a footnote

in the history books.

 

And when it comes

to civil rights history,

it's the names of men such as

Martin Luther King Jr.

or Ralph Abernathy

that are mostly remembered.

 

Women

don't get much billing

beyond Rosa Parks

and a few others.

 

Historian Tara White

researches women

in the civil rights movement.

 

She says part of the reason

is that in that time period,

women just weren't

in prominent roles.

 

Journalists compounded that

by gravitating to male leaders.

 

But White says without women,

there would have been

no movement.

 

"The majority of the folks

who were doing the day-to-day work

were women.

 

The majority of the people

who were participating

in protest marches

and those kinds of things

were women," White says.

 

White says Hamilton

wasn't just bumping up

against racial attitudes.

 

Her behavior in court

was not what the South

expected of a lady.

 

"Lower class, loose women

call attention to themselves.

Real ladies don't do that,"

White says of the stereotype.

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/07/12/
198012536/summer-of-1963-miss-mary-hamilton

 

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/07/12/
198012536/summer-of-1963-miss-mary-hamilton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gideon v. Wainwright        1963

 

Gideon v. Wainwright,

372 U.S. 335 (1963),

was a landmark

U.S. Supreme Court decision

in which the Court ruled

that the Sixth Amendment

of the U.S. Constitution

requires

U.S. states to provide attorneys

to criminal defendants

who are unable to afford their own.

 

The case extended the right to counsel,

which had been found

under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments

to impose requirements

on the federal government,

by imposing those requirements

upon the states as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_v._Wainwright - June 13, 2022

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_v._Wainwright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On July 16, 1944,

Irene Morgan was arrested

by the sheriff

of Middlesex County, Virginia,

after refusing to give up her seat

on a Greyhound bus

while traveling home

from Baltimore, MD.

 

The legal staff

of the National Association

for the Advancement

of Colored People (NAACP)

took up her case,

and on June 3, 1946,

the U.S Supreme Court

ruled in her favor,

striking down racial segregation

on interstate buses

as a violation of the interstate

commerce clause.

 

In December 1960,

Boynton v. Virginia

expanded the Morgan decision,

outlawing

segregated waiting rooms,

lunch counters,

and restroom facilities

for interstate passengers.

 

However,

both rulings

were largely ignored

in the Deep South.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/freedomriders/issues/freedom-to-travel

 

 

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/
freedom-riders-freedom-travel/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooper v. Aaron    1958

 

In Cooper v. Aaron (1958),

the Supreme Court ruled

that the state of Arkansas

could not pass legislation

undermining the Court's ruling

in Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

that racial segregation

in public schools

is unconstitutional.

 

In establishing that the states

were bound by its rulings,

the Supreme Court affirmed

that its interpretation

of the Constitution

was the "supreme law of the land."

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/democracy/landmark_cooper.html

 

 

https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/supremecourt/democracy/
landmark_cooper.html 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brown v. Board of Education (1954),

 

now acknowledged

as one of the greatest

Supreme Court decisions

of the 20th century,

unanimously held

that the racial segregation

of children in public schools

violated

the Equal Protection Clause

of the Fourteenth Amendment.

 

Although the decision

did not succeed in fully

desegregating public education

in the United States,

it put the Constitution

on the side of racial equality

and galvanized the nascent

civil rights movement

into a full revolution.

 

In 1954,

large portions of the United States

had racially segregated schools,

made legal

by Plessy v. Ferguson (1896),

which held

that segregated public facilities

were constitutional so long as

the black and white facilities

were equal to each other.

 

However,

by the mid-twentieth century,

civil rights groups

set up legal and political,

challenges to racial segregation.

 

In the early 1950s,

NAACP lawyers brought

class action lawsuits

on behalf of black schoolchildren

and their families

in Kansas, South Carolina,

Virginia, and Delaware,

seeking court orders

to compel school districts

to let black students

attend white public schools.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_brown.html

 

 

 

BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)

347 U.S. 483

 

BROWN ET AL.

v.

BOARD OF EDUCATION OF TOPEKA ET AL.

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS. * No. 1.

 

Argued December 9, 1952.

Reargued December 8, 1953.

Decided May 17, 1954.

 

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_brown.html

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=347&invol=483

http://www.streetlaw.org/en/landmark/cases/brown_v_board_of_education

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/05/20/
is-segregation-back-in-us-public-schools

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/us/
louis-pollak-judge-and-civil-rights-advocate-dies-at-89.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

court's rejection

of President Truman's

seizure of the nation's steel mills        1952

 

U.S. Supreme Court

 

YOUNGSTOWN CO. v. SAWYER, 343 U.S. 579 (1952)

 

343 U.S. 579

YOUNGSTOWN SHEET & TUBE CO. ET AL. v. SAWYER.

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE  DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT. * No. 744.

 

Argued May 12-13, 1952.

Decided June 2, 1952.

 

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/343/579.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

317 U.S. 111

Wickard v. Filburn

APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT

OF THE UNITED STATES

FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO

No. 59 Argued: May 4, 1942

--- Decided: November 9, 1942

 

 

Mr. Filburn [ an Ohio farmer ]

sued to overturn a 1938 federal law

that told him how much wheat

he could grow on his family farm

and made him pay a penalty

for every extra bushel.

 

The 1942 decision against him,

Wickard v. Filburn,

is the basis for the Supreme Court’s

modern understanding

of the scope of federal power.

 

It is the contested ground

on which the health care case

has been fought

in the lower courts

and in the parties’ briefs.

 

And it is likely

to be crucial to the votes

of Justices Anthony M. Kennedy

and Antonin Scalia,

who are widely seen

as open to persuasion

by either side.

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/
us/politics/at-center-of-health-care-fight-roscoe-filburns-1942-commerce-case.html

 

 

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/317/111

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/
us/politics/at-center-of-health-care-fight-roscoe-filburns-1942-commerce-case.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 In 1917

the Supreme Court strikes down

a racial zoning law in Louisville, Ky.,

that prohibits nonwhites

from moving into homes

in majority-white areas

 

Laws like these, which existed

in numerous cities at the time,

are part of a larger,

shameful history

of government-sponsored

racial segregation.

 

In Buchanan v. Warley,

the court ruled

that such ordinances

violate the 14th Amendment

and related statutes

that “entitle a colored man

to acquire property

without state legislation

discriminating against him

solely because of his color.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/03/
opinion/sunday/zoning-laws-segregation-income.html

 

 

 

245 U.S. 60

Buchanan v. Warley (No. 33)

Argued: April 10, 11, 1916

Decided: November 5, 1917

165 Kentucky, 559, reversed.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/245/60

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/03/
opinion/sunday/zoning-laws-segregation-income.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896),

the Supreme Court

considered the constitutionality

of a Louisiana law passed in 1890

"providing

for separate railway carriages

for the white and colored races."

 

The law, which required

that all passenger railways

provide separate cars

for blacks and whites,

stipulated that the cars

be equal in facilities,

banned whites

from sitting in black cars

and blacks in white cars

(with exception to

"nurses attending children

of the other race"),

and penalized passengers

or railway employees

for violating its terms.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/antebellum/landmark_plessy.html

 

 

 

Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537

"separate but equal"

 

On June 7, 1892,

a racially mixed shoemaker

from New Orleans

named Homer Plessy

bought a first-class ticket

for a train bound

for Covington, La.,

and took a seat

in the whites-only car.

 

He was asked to leave,

and after he refused,

he was dragged from the train

and charged with violating

the Louisiana Separate Car Act.

 

He pleaded guilty

and was fined $25.

 

(...)

 

The arrest elevated Plessy

into the central figure

in a legal battle that reached

the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

The landmark ruling

that resulted in the case,

Plessy v. Ferguson,

came to be regarded as one

of most shameful decisions

in the court’s history

as well as one

of the most consequential.

 

It endorsed

the “separate but equal” doctrine

and gave legal backing

to the Jim Crow laws

that segregated and disenfranchised

African Americans

in the South for decades.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/12/
us/plessy-ferguson-pardon.html

 

 

 

Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537

 

"separate but equal"

 

In 1892

Homer Plessy challenged

a 1890 law

by the Louisiana General Assembly

which required

white and nonwhite passengers

to ride in separate railway carriages.

 

Plessy,

a light-skinned man,

argued that the law

was null and void

because race could not always

be determined by appearances.

 

Plessy was arrested

for violating the statute

and the case was tried

before the Louisiana

Supreme Court.

 

The court upheld the law and,

in 1896 Plessy petitioned

for the United States Supreme Court

for a writ of error

which would overturn

the state court's ruling.

 

Justice Brown

for the majority opinion, however,

ruled that the statute did not violate

the Fourteenth Amendment

to the U.S. Constitution

and that separate accommodations

could be required as long

as they were "equal."

 

Justice Harlan

wrote a dissenting opinion

in which he argued that

any arbitrary separation

of citizens based on race

could never be constitutional

and would only lead

to increased racial tension

in the United States.

http://history.ncsu.edu/projects/cwnc/items/show/366

 

 

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/163/537  

https://cwnc.omeka.chass.ncsu.edu/items/show/366    

https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/jimcrow/
stories_events_plessy.html 

https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/may-18/ 

https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/supremecourt/antebellum/
landmark_plessy.html

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2022/01/05/
1070593964/homer-plessy-posthumous-pardon-plessy-v-ferguson-separate-but-equal

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/12/
us/plessy-ferguson-pardon.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1857

 

Dred Scott v. Sanford

 

 

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling

in Dred Scott v. Sanford

denies citizenship

to all slaves, ex-slaves,

and descendants of slaves

and denies Congress

the right to prohibit

slavery in the territories

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/slavery/timeline/1857.html

 

 

https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/slavery/timeline/1857.html

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/24/
books/review-question-of-freedom-families-challenged-slavery-william-thomas.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/18/
544407092/maryland-state-house-removes-statue-of-judge-who-wrote-dred-scott-decision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1803

 

Marbury v. Madison

 

The decision

in this Supreme Court Case

established the right of the courts

to determine the constitutionality

of the actions

of the other two branches

of government.

 

Outgoing President John Adams

had issued William Marbury

a commission

as justice of the peace,

but the new Secretary of State,

James Madison,

refused to deliver it.

 

Marbury then sued

to obtain it.

 

With his decision

in Marbury v. Madison,

Chief Justice John Marshall

established

the principle of judicial review,

an important addition

to the system

of “checks and balances”

created to prevent any one branch

of the Federal Government

from becoming too powerful.

http://ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=19

 

https://supreme.findlaw.com/supreme_court/landmark/marbury.html 

https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/supremecourt/democracy/landmark_marbury.html 

https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=19 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia

 

law > USA > U.S. Supreme Court,

Justices,

State Supreme Courts

 

 

law, justice > USA

 

 

law, justice > death penalty > USA

 

 

gun violence > USA

 

 

pregnancy > abortion > USA

 

 

 

 

 

Related > Anglonautes > History > USA > 20th century

 

Miscegenation laws /

landmark civil rights case > Loving v. Virginia    1967

 

 

Civil rights

 

 

 

 

 

PBS > U.S. Supreme court > All landmark cases

 

https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/supremecourt/democracy/landmark.html

 

 

 

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