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Court Cases

Supreme Court Cases to know for AP US Gov

QuestionAnswer
Engel v. Vitale (1962) it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and require its recitation in public schools.
Abington School District v. Schempp (1963) school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools is unconstitutional.
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) Unconstitutional to reimburse nonpublic schools because it violates the Establishment Clause. Lemon test, (1) ecular legilstaive purpose (2) not advance or inhibit religion and (3) no excessive government entanglement.
Wallace v. Jaffree (1985) declared the one minute prayer in the Alabama State legislature was unconstitutional because it did not fit the secular purpose test of the Lemon test and was an affirmative endorsement of religion, thereby violating the establishment clause.
Schenck v. US (1919) - free speech could be limited if its exercise presented a "clear and present danger."
Gitlow v. New York (1925) The First Amendment applies to the states. A state may forbid speech and publication if they have a tendency to result in action dangerous to public security. There is a “dangerous tendency” test that it must pass.
Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) Speech can only be protected if (1) directed at inciting or producing imminent lawless action and (2) is likely to incite or produce such action.
Tinker v. DesMoines (1969) Wearing armbands is akin to pure speech so it is protected by the first amendment. Although school environments imply limitations on free expression, here the principals lack justifications for inposing limits.
Texas v. Johnson (1989) Desecration of the American flag is an expression protected under the First Amendment. Also, the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds it disagreeable.
NY Times v. US (1971) Nixon’s efforts to prevent the publication of the Pentagon Papers in the NY Times was unconstitutional, because it would not cause an inevitable, direct, and immediate event imperiling the safety of American forces.
Buckley v. Valeo (1976) Restrictions on individual contributions to political campaigns did not violate the First Amendment, but government restriction of independent expenditures and limitation total campaign expenditures did violate the First Amendment.
US v. Nixon (1974) The court rejected Richard Nixon’s claim to an absolutely unqualified privilege against any judicial process.
Miller v. California (1972) Obscene materials are not under the First Amendment protection. Test for obscenity: (a) prurient interest (b) depicts or describes sexual conduct specifically defined by state law and (c) lacks literary, artistic, political, or science value
Roth v. US (1957) Obscenity is not “within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press.” Test: “whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest.”
Bethel v. Fraser (1986) It’s appropriate for a school to prohibit the use of vulgar and offensive language because inconsistent with “fundamental values of public school education.”
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988) The First Amendment does not require schools to promote certain types of speech. Schools must set high standards for student speech as long as their actions were “reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns.”
Near v. Minnesota (1931) You can’t censor or prohibit a publication in advance, but the communication can be punishable after publication.
Reno v. ACLU (1997) Struck down anti-indecency provisions of the Communications Decency Act (the CDA), finding they violated the freedom of speech provisions of the First Amendment
Mapp v. Ohio (1961) All evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution is, by the Fourth Amendment, inadmissible in a state court. This is the exclusionary rule.
Katz v. United States (1967) The Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures requires the police to obtain a search warrant in order to wiretap a public pay phone.
New Jersey v. TLO (1985) Searches can be conducted with standards of reasonable suspicion rather than probable cause and justifies searches.
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) The right to privacy in marital relations makes the Connecticut law (which prevents married people from using contraceptives) unconstitutional.
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) upheld a Missouri law that imposed restrictions on the use of state funds, facilities and employees in performing, assisting with, or counseling on abortions
Roe v. Wade (1973) The court legalized abortion by ruling that state laws could not restrict it during the first three months of pregnancy. Based on 4th Amendment rights of a person to be secure in their persons.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) new standard to determine the validity of laws restricting abortions: whether it is an “undue burden,”
Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) partial abortions are okay and do not constitute an undue burden.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) Legalized segregation in publicly owned facilities on the basis of "separate but equal."
Brown v. Board of Education (1954 and 1955) Unanimous decision declaring "separate but equal" unconstitutional.
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) It bars quota systems in college admissions but affirms the constitutionality of affirmative action programs.
Gratz v. Bollinger (2003) the university's point system (which automatically awarded points to underrepresented ethnic groups) was too mechanistic in its use of race as a factor in admissions, and was therefore unconstitutional
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) upheld the affirmative action admissions policy because the Law School conducts highly individualized reviews of each applicant, so no acceptance or rejection is based solely on race.
Lawrence v. Texas (2003) The Texas law, which made it a crime for two people of the same age to engage in sexual conduct, violates the Due Process Clause.
Korematsu v. US (1944) The court upheld the constitutionality of detention camps for Japanese-Americans during World War 2.
Baker v. Carr (1962) Legislative reapportionment issues present justiciable questions and enable federal courts to intervene in and decide reapportionment cases. The defendents unsuccessfully tried to say it was a “political question.”
Wesberry v. Sanders (1963) Districts have to be approximately equal in population, with a “one person, one vote.”
Shaw v. Reno the fact that the state created a racially gerrymandered district raises a valid constitutional issue under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. It must be held to a standard of strict scrutiny.
Fletcher v. Peck (1810) The decision stems from the Yazoo land cases, 1803, and upholds the sanctity of contracts.
U.S. v. Lopez (1995) The government had no authority to regulate firearms in school zones because it exceeds the power of Congress to legislate under the Commerce Clause so the federal law was unconstitutional.
Clinton v. NY (1998) President can’t line-item veto.
Barron v. Baltimore (1833) The Fifth Amendment does let the state government take private property for public use with justly compensating the property’s owner, but the national government cannot. The SC has no jurisdiction because not applicable to states.
Furman v. Georgia Suspended capital punishment procedures because they were not being fairly applied
NRLB v. Laughlin Steel Congress can regulate labor relations in a factory
Gregg v. Georgia Procedures to determine whether a defendant should receive the death penalty
US v. Morrison Struck down Violence Against Women Act; limitation of application of commerce clause
Immigration & Naturalization Service v. Chadha legislative veto is unconstitutional
Printz v. US Fed gov cannot require state/local police to enforce a federal law without providing money and state of acceptance of that federal support
Reed v. Reed unconstitutional to mandate gender discrimination
Everson v. Board Buses for religious schools are OK
Smith v. Alwright All-white primaries are unconstitutional
Created by: asdfalice