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AP US Government

AP Government - Court Cases

Court CasePrecedentDate
Alden v. Maine sovereign immunity - to shield states in large part from being sued under federal law. 1999
Arizona v. Fulimante Due process case, coerced confession does not automatically taint trial. 1991
Baker v. Carr Constitutional challenges to the unequal distribution of voters among legislative districts could be resolved by federal courts. 1962
Bethel School District v. Frazier Schools are zones of restriction for certain right. Adults receive more of their rights (Such as 1st amendment rights) in other stating. Schools may restrict rights such as freedom of speech, etc. 1986
Boy Scouts of America v. Dale The boy scouts were allowed to dismiss a leader after learning that he was gay, holding that freedom of association outweighed the New Jersey anti-discrimination statute. 2000
Brandenburg v. Ohio Extended the scope of political speech - allows virtually all political speech, unless it is demonstrably linked to immediate lawless behavior. 1969
Branzburg v. Hayes Requiring newsman to appear and testify before the state or federal grand juries does not abridge the freedom of speech and press guaranteed by the First Amendment. 1972
Brown v. Board of Education Reversed Plessy v. Ferguson. Forced the Integration of public schools. Focused on the integration of public schools. Used in 1955 to speed the process of integration. 1954 (1955)
Buckley v. Valeo Restrictions on individual contributions to political campaigns and candidates does not violate the 1st Amendment. Governmental restriction of expenditures from personal resources and the overall limitation were unconstitutional. 1976
California Board of Regents v. Bakke Race can be used as a complex factor when determining admission. The case did strike down that refusal because saving spaces for minorities violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 1978
Bush v. Gore The manual recounts of votes in November 2000 could not proceed because inconsistent evaluation standards in the counties violated the equal protection clause. 2000
California v. Greenwood The police may search through garbage gbags and other trash containers that people leave ouside their houses in order to obtain evidence of criminal activity. This evidence may subsequently be used as the basis for obtaining a search warrant. 1988
Clinton v. the City of New York Struck down the line-item veto. The line-item veto unconstitutionally gave the president "the unilateral power to change the text of duly enacted statutes." 1998
Clinton v. Jones The president does not have temporary immunity from a lawsuit for actions outside the realm of official duties. 1997
County of Alleghany v. American Civil Liberties Union An exclusively religious exhibit, (a Jewish menorah and a creche) could not be displayed in a government building because that kind of exhibit violated the establishment clause 1989
Dennis v. United States (Dennis et al v. U.S.) Upheld convictions under the Smith Act of 1940 invoking communist theory that advocated the forcible overthrow of government. 1951
Dickerson v. United States The miranda governs the admissability of statements made during custodial interrogation in both state and federal courts. 2000
Dolan v. City of Tigard A city cannot require and individual to give up part of their property to obtain a permit. In order to have it be a requirement, the purpose of the taking shall be explained and shall be reasonable. 1994
Engel v. Vitale Declared school prayer unconstitutional 1962
Escobedo v. Illinois If the miranda right is not ready to a person or persons being taken into custody, then due process is violated. In this case a man was not informed of his right to remain silent before being questioned by the police and was denied the right to counsel. 1964
Furman v. Georgia Said that the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment. 1972
Gibbons v. Ogden Allowed congress to have wider power over interstate commerce. The opinion of the court stated that commerce includes all kinds of business and trade between nations and the states. 1824
Gideon v. Wainwright Federal defendents must be provided with an attorney at the states expense if one the defendent cannot afford it. 1963
Gitlow v. New York Extended the 14th amendment to the States. The states are not allowed to violate the rights specified in the 14th amendment and extended the Bill of Rights. 1925
Griswold v. Connecticut The Court ruled that a state unconstitutionally interfered with personal privacy in the marriage relationship when it prohibited anyone, including married couples, from using contraceptives. 1965
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier The first amendment rights for students are not automatically co-extensive with the rights of adults in all settings. Censorship of school newspapers is allowed. 1988
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States Defined hotels, restaurants, etc, as interstate commerce because they serve interstate travellers, and are therefore required to follow federal law on interstate commerce. The hotel was no longer allowed to discriminate on the basis of race. 1964
Hodgson v. Minnesota Parental notification of both parents before issuing an abortion to a minor is unconstitutional. The court favored notification of 1 parent and a 48 hour waiting period. It also upheld that the parent notification could be waived in certain circumstances 1990
Hurley v. Irish American Gays Private organizations cannot be forced to incorporate gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals into their events because it violates the private organizations freedom of speech. The private organization has the right to decide what message they want to send 1995
In re Gault Minors still have the right to cousel, to be infomed of charges, etc. (5th and 6th Amendment rights) because the rights are vital to a fair trial. 1967
Katz v. United States Expanded the scope of the 4th amendment rights to include protection against certain kinds of electronic invasions of an individual's privacy. Since this case, the 4th amendemtn has been a means to protect individual privacy in places open to the public. 1967
Lemon v. Kurtzman This case attempted to clarify the meaning of separation of church and state. The court established the Lemon test which has three parts. 1971
Mapp v. Ohio Exclusionary Rule - Evidence obtained in violation of the 4th amendment or other amendments may not be used in court. 1961
Marbury v. Madison Court established Judicial Review. One of the checks on Congress. 1803
McCulloch v. Maryland Elastic Clause of the Constituion - Congree had the power to create a national bank. "Necessary and Proper" 1819
Miller v. California Freedom of speech is not extended to obscene materials. This case defined obscenity. 1972
MIller v. Johnson Racial gerrymandering of congressional districts violates the Equal protection clause. 1995
Miranda v. Arizona Guarantees due process. Must read one's rights while in custody before questioning. Inform that they have the right to remain silent, that anything they say can and will be used against them, and the right to counsel. 1966
Near v. Minnesota Case centered on censorship - government cannot censor something (newspapers) because that restricts freedom of the press. Main issue was government officials were being criticized and wanted to censor the criticism. 1931
New York Times v. Sullivan First amendment protected the press from libel suits unless it could be proved that the press report was made out of malice. 1964
New York Times v. United States The government may not restrict the press from publishing what is labeled as "classified information" if the materials will not cause an inevitable, direct, and immediate event imperiling the safety of American forces. 1971
Plessy v. Ferguson Seperate but equal facilities for blacks and whites. 1896
Printz v. United States Congress cannot force chief law enforcement officers to perform background checks on those purchasing handguns. That right is not part of the elastic clause. 1997
Reno v. ACLU It is not a crime to display "indecent" or "patently offensive" material on the internet. 1997
Reynolds v. Sims Forced states to reapportion their congressional districts because the populations were not equal. This unequal distribution violated the 14th amendment because the states were infringing on the equal protection because of unequal representation. 1964
Richmond Newspapers Inc. v. Virginia Courts may not close trials to the public. Closing such trials violates the freedom to assemble and the freedom of speech (which was expanded to listening and taking in ideas) 1980
Roe v. Wade A "fetus" is not a person with constitutional rights therefore protecting a woman's right to have an abortion. 1973
Schenck v. United States Sustained the Espionage Act of 1917 by maintaing that freedom of speech and of the press could be constrained under "Clear and Present Danger". 1919
Scott v. Sanford Nullified the missouri compromise, further tension between north and south. Slaves were not citizens but property, did not have constitutional protection, were not free just because they traveled to a free state or territory. 1857
Shelley v. Kraemer State courts could not violate the sale of real property based on race. A racially restrictive covenant standing alone violates no rights, but once enforced by the states, the 14th amendment is violated. 1948
Koretmatsu v. United States Case involving Japanese internment camps during WWII. The decision said that needs for national security during a crisis justified the internment camps. The court did not deal with the touchy issue of discrimination but rather the national crisis of war. 1944
Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education Upheld the Brown v. Board of Education. Stated that busing could be used to correct racial imbalances. 1971
Texas v. Johnson Flag burning is protected under the first amendment as a form of symbolic speech. 1989
Tinker v. Des Moines School District Students may wear armbands as a form of protest. It is a form of speech protected under the first amendment. 1969
United States v. Lopez Federal government may not regulated the possession of guns in school zones. That is a decision left to each state. 1995
United States v. Nixon Ruled that neither separation of powers, nor the need to preserved the confidentiality of presidential communications alone could justify an absolute executive privilege of immunity from judicial demands for evidence to be used in a criminal trial. 1974
United States v. O'Brien The court upheld the law prohibiting the burning of draft cards, ruling that it was not "symbolic speech". 1968
U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton The court ruled that neither states nor congress could limit terms of members of congress, since the constitution reserves to the people the right to choose federal lawmakers. 1995
Vernonia School District v. Acton Random drug testing of high school athletes does not violated the 4th amendment. High school students are subject to fewer rights and the safety that is in mind of the school officials overrides any intrusion of rights. 1995
Wallace v. Jaffree A moment of silence cannot be practiced if it holds religious purposes and intentions. The case did not address the question of moments of silence without specific provision for prayer was not addressed. 1985
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services All regulations on abortion rights during the fourth through sixth months of pregnancy must be related to protecting the health of the mother. The physician must determine before performing the abortion if older than 20 wks if the child could survive. 1989
West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette The court declared that a West Virginia law requiring students to salute the American flag was unconstitutional. 1943
Wilkins v. Missouri The imposition of the death penalty on minors of age 16 and 17 is not cruel and unusual punishment and therefore does not violate the juveniles constitutional rights. 1989
Wong Kim Ark v. Arkansas Anybody born in the United States regardless of ancestry, has the rights of a U.S. citizen. 1898
DeJonge v. Oregon Incorporated the right to assembly. The government cannot make it a crime for a member of a radical group to merely to conduct and participate in a public meeting. 1937
Cantwell v. Connecticut Incorporated the free excercise of the first amendment. The court allows religions to peacefully distribute religious information to people in their neighborhoods with the aim of winning converts. 1940
Wolf v. Colorado Incorporated the 4th amendment. The court ruled that individuals must be secure in their homes and businesses against unreasonable invasions of their privacy. 1949
Chicago B&Q Railroad v. Chicago State and local governments are required to pay just compensation when taking private property for public use. 1897
Malloy v. Hogan Defendants in court have the 5th amendment right of protection against self-incrimination. 1964
Benton v. Maryland State law enforcers cannot subject a person to double jeaopardy; cannot deprive individuals of their 5th amendment right to be tried twice for the same crime. 1969
In re Oliver Requires the states to have public trials. This 6th amendment requirement was imposed on the states through the 14th amendment. 1948
Pointer v. Texas States must observe the 6th Amendment right of defendants to confront witnesses against them. 1965
Parker v. Gladden Defendants in state courts have the 6th Amendment right to an impartial jury. 1966
Klopfer v. North Carolina Defendants in state courts have the 6th Amendment right to a speedy trial. 1967
Washington v. Texas Defendants in state courts have the 6th Amendment right to subpeona witnesses to testify in their favor. 1967
Duncan v. Louisiana States must guarantee the defendant's 6th amendment right to a jury trial in criminal cases. 1968
Robinson v. California State governments cannot use cruel and unusual punishments in violation of the 8th amendment. 1962
Created by: monkeykist on 2005-03-10



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