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Supreme Court Cases


... if no discriminatory intent was found (Milliken v. Bradley, 1974) ... Bush v. Vera (1996) did the same for State legislative districts. Gender ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Supreme Court Cases

Supreme Court Cases
Barron v. Baltimore (1833)
  • States not bound by Bill of Rights only
    protected from federal government intrusions into
    civil liberties
  • 14th Amendment does not apply to State actions

Gitlow v. New York (1925)
  • Court rules that State of NY violated free speech
    of a socialist party leader begins the doctrine
    of selective incorporation
  • 14th Amendment applies civil liberties
    protections on State and local government actions
  • Takes several decades to achieve

Freedom of Religion Cases
  • Congress shall make no law respecting an
    establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
    free exercise thereof
  • wall of separation first used by Jefferson
  • 1947 Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing
    Township (NJ)

Religion and Schools
  • Key case Lemon v. Kurtzman (1973)
  • Must have secular purpose
  • Neither advances or inhibits religion
  • Avoids entanglement of government with religion
  • Mitchell v. Helms (2000)

Religion and Schools
  • Prayer and Bible readings
  • Engel v. Vitale (1962)
  • Abington School District v. Schempp (1963)
  • OHair v. Curlett (1963)
  • Stone v. Graham (1980)

Religion and Schools
  • Vouchers
  • Mueller v. Allen (1983)
  • Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002)

Religion and Schools
  • Prayers/moments of silence at school events
  • Lee v. Weisman (1992)
  • Santa Fe ISD v. Doe (2002)
  • Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)

Religion and Schools
  • Creationism/Evolution
  • Epperson v. Arkansas (1968)
  • Edwards v. Aguillard (1987)
  • Christmas Displays
  • Lynch v. Donnelly (1985)
  • Allegheny County V. ACLU (1987)

Religion and Schools
  • Religious activities on campus
  • Board of Education v. Mergens (1990)
  • Good News Club v. Milford Central School District

Free Exercise of Religion
  • Reynolds v. US (1879) doctrine of belief vs.
    action state can intervene to prevent or punish
    actions, even if actions are religiously motivated

Free Exercise of Religion
  • Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) State must show
    compelling action to intervene
  • US v. Lee (1982) taxes are a compelling reason
  • Employment Division v. Smith (1982) drug use in
    religious practices can be banned by State
  • Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah
    (FL) (1983)

Freedom of Speech
  • Absolute vs. restricted speech
  • fighting words and threatening speech not
    protected (Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 1942)
  • Schenck v United States (1919) clear and
    present danger test
  • Dennis vs. United States (1951) grave and
    probable danger test
  • Yates v. United States (1957) distinction
    between advocacy of a belief and advocacy of an
  • Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) must connect the
    speaker to an action to convict of a crime

Freedom of Speech
  • Symbolic Speech
  • Tinker v. Des Moines ISD (1968)
  • Texas v. Johnson (1989) burning flag was
    protected political speech Congressional
    attempts to make it a federal crime were also
    declared unconstitutional (US v. Eichman, 1990)
  • Commercial Speech
  • Dun Bradstreet v. Greenmoss Builders (1985)
    commercial speech not protected by 1st Amendment
    absence of malice does not apply

Freedom of the Press
  • Near v. Minnesota (1931) Government prohibited
    to use prior restraint on publications.
  • New York Times v. US (1971) prior restraint
    cannot be used in the name of national security
  • Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1988) principal can use
    prior restraint on school publications

Freedom of the Press
  • Libel and Slander
  • New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) public
    officials must prove publications meant to damage
    reputations (absence of malice)
  • Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts (1967) extended
    the absence of malice test to include public
    figures and celebrities test extended further in
    Westmoreland v. CBS (1982)
  • Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. (1974) private
    citizens have to negligence and fault, not
    malicious intent Hustler Magazine v. Flint
    (1987) raises that standard very high, must prove
    actual damages were done to plaintiffs
    reputation by a factual error, not by opinion of
    the publication satirical claims not to be taken
    as fact are protected.

Freedom of the Press
  • Trial publicity conflict between free press and
    fair trials
  • gag orders on the press by judges
  • struck down in Nebraska Press Association v.
    Stuart (1976) as prior restraint
  • Richmond Newspapers Inc. v. Virginia (1980)
    greatly limits the ability of a judge to close a
  • Judges can impose gag orders on trial
  • shield laws are NOT 1st Amendment rights
    (Branzburg v. Hayes, 1972) states can pass
    shield laws with limited protection, but no
    federal law exists

Freedom of Speech/Expression
  • Pornography protected, obscenity is not
    (Chaplinsky) difficulty in defining obscenity
  • Roth v. United States (1957) Court attempts to
    define obscenity material must be utterly
    without redeeming social importance appealing to
    a prurient (unhealthy or morbid) interestthe
    average person, applying contemporary community
    standards, the material is deemed obscene.
  • Problems?

Freedom of Speech/Expression
  • Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964) raised the burden of
    proof necessary to prevent obscenity by allowing
    claim of social commentary by the publishers
  • Law enforcement and courts had to prove it was
    without any redeeming value whatsoever, which
    meant most obscenity cases were overturned,
  • Miller v. California (1973) three part test
  • 1. patently offensive
  • 2. appeals to a prurient interest
  • 3. lacks serious artistic or literary merit

Freedom of Speech/Expression
  • Impact of Miller case
  • Communities can restrict and define obscenity
  • Only the most offensive pornography considered as
  • obscene (i.e. involving minors)
  • Restrictions to protect minors allowed
  • Zoning permissible to restrict access
  • Internet cases Court struck down ban on
    internet pornography (Reno v. ACLU, 1994),
    despite possible access by minors.

Freedom of Assembly and Petition
  • Right to assemble free of government oversight or
    harassment reinforced with NAACP v. Alabama
    (1958) groups can assemble for protests as long
    as no violence is threatened
  • Permits for parades/demonstrations allowable (Cox
    v. New Hampshire, 1941), but cannot be withheld
    from groups that advocate unpopular or minority
    views (Collins v. Smith, 1982)

Defendant Rights
  • 4th Amendment protects citizens from illegal
    search and seizures of evidence
  • Weeks v. US, (1914) evidence gained without a
    warrant cannot be used in trials (the
    exclusionary rule) applied only to federal law
  • Wolf v. Colorado (1949) citizens are protected
    from arbitrary intrusions by local law
    enforcement but protections not specific 4th
    Amendment does not apply (5 to 4 vote)
  • Mapp v. Ohio (1961) Exclusionary rule applied
    (or incorporated) to the States, used
    dissenting opinions from Wolf to make the case

Defendant Rights
  • Exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule
  • 1. inevitable discovery (Nix v. Williams,
  • 2. good faith exception a flawed warrant is
  • grounds for suppression of evidence if
  • were unaware of the flaw (US v. Leon,
  • 3. hot pursuit no warrant needed to arrest
  • seize evidence if in pursuit of an
  • 4. in plain sight no warrant needed if
  • is clearly visible to law enforcement

Defendant Rights
  • 5th Amendment protection against double jeopardy
    and self-incrimination
  • Double jeopardy does not prevent a separate
    sovereignty from prosecuting again for the same
    offense (Heath v. Alabama, 1985). Thus, federal
    law enforcement can prosecute for a crime already
    tried at the State level.
  • Also, one act involving multiple violations of
    the law can be tried more than once if different
    evidence is used

Defendant Rights
  • Self-incrimination defendants have a right not
    testify against themselves
  • Confessions made without legal counsel and
    available rights are inadmissible in court
    (Escobedo v. Illinois, 1964)
  • This right must be made clear to criminal
    suspects (Miranda v. Arizona, 1966), or
    statements cannot be used.

Defendant Rights
  • 6th Amendment ensures a fair criminal process
    against the accused.
  • Defendants are given the right of
  • 1. confrontation and cross-examination of
  • witnesses
  • 2. to be informed of the charges against
  • 3. a speedy public trial by jury in criminal
  • 4. provision of legal counsel if unaffordable
  • accused (Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963).

Defendant Rights
  • 8th Amendment prevents excessive fines,
    excessive bail, and cruel and unusual
  • Furman v. Georgia, 1972 struck down capital
    punishment if arbitrarily applied also if jury
    not given adequate or complete instructions
    capital offense laws must be standardized and
    clearly defined.
  • Gregg v. Georgia, 1976 capital punishment not
    in itself cruel and unusual if It meets clear
  • Latest developments

Implied Rights
  • Those rights not found directly in the
    Constitution but are considered rights of
    citizenship, i.e. to travel, to an education
  • The right of privacy
  • Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965 citizens have a
    right to privacy in the home and (later) in
    personal matters.

  • Roe v. Wade, 1973 based on right of privacy,
    abortion allowed under the trimester test
  • Months 1 3 State cannot prevent or intervene
    in abortion decision
  • Months 4 6 States can regulate, but not
    prohibit, right to an abortion (i.e. consent of
  • Months 7 9 States can prevent abortion,
    unless health of mother is endangered definition
    of health has not been defined by the court.

  • Modifications of Roe decision
  • Parental and/or spousal notification upheld, in
    several cases from 1979 to 1992.
  • Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989)
    State can impose limitations, such as viability
    tests, but it cannot create an undue burden.
  • Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) Upheld 24
    hour waiting period, mandatory information on
    alternatives, parental notification and consent.

Civil Rights
  • 14th Amendment provides protection of the due
    process of law and the fair treatment as a
    citizen by the government.
  • Government cannot classify citizens into groups
  • 1. it has a compelling interest to do so
  • 2. it is a reasonable classification
  • 3. the grouping is inherently suspect and
  • pass scrutiny
  • Concept of scrutiny

  • US. v. Cruikshank (1876) Neither US Congress
    or the Constitution can extend equal rights to
    citizens only the States can do so. The Civil
    Rights Cases (1883) further limited Congress in
    dealing with States or individuals
  • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) separate but equal
    doctrine established in public transportation and
    facilities. Extended to public education in 1898
    (Cumming v. Richmond County Board of Education).
    Later applied to other racial minorities.

  • Education Court began eroding separate but
    equal in education prior to Brown case.
  • Gaines v. Canada (1938) States cannot deny
    blacks entry into higher education by paying
    tuition to schools that accept black students
  • Sweatt v. Painter (1950) Creation of a law
    school for blacks by UT still denied equality to
    black students
  • McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher
    Education (1950) separate treatment of black
    graduate students unconstitutional.

  • Brown v. Board of Education (1954) banned
    segregated schools, and Brown v. Board of
    Education (1955), often called Brown II, ordered
    schools integrated with all deliberate speed.
  • de jure segregation vs. de facto segregation.
  • Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd. Of Education
    (1971) approved court-ordered busing to balance
    the schools busing between districts was
    declared unconstitutional if no discriminatory
    intent was found (Milliken v. Bradley, 1974).

  • Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas
    (1954) segregation by race inherently unequal
    and a violation of the 14th Amendment right of
    its citizens to fair and equal treatment by the
    government basis for most civil rights cases to
  • Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, bans
    discrimination in hotels (Heart of Atlanta Motel
    v. US, 1964) and restaurants (Katzenbach v.
    McClung, 1964). Based on the Commerce Clause
    (Article I, Secton 8, Clause 3) and Gibbons v.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1968 banned discrimination in
    housing and apartment rentals

  • Affirmative Action in College Admissions
  • Beginning in 1971, race became a factor in
    government contracts and in college admissions
  • Opponent challenges began contesting its use as
    a violation of Equal Protection Clause of the
    14th Amendment and reverse discrimination
    supporters said it promoted diversity and made up
    for past discriminatory practices
  • Regents of University of California v. Bakke
    (1978) declared racial quotas unconstitutional
    but stated race can be used as a factor in

  • Affirmative Action in College Admissions
  • Rulings somewhat mixed preferences granted if
    narrowly tailored to achieve goal of diversity
  • Hopwood v. Texas (1996) found UT Law School use
    of race unconstitutional, resulting in the 10
  • Two concurrent cases involving University of
    Michigan Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), upheld
    diversity as constitutional but adding points or
    preferential treatment to minority applicants to
    college violate Equal Protection Clause (Gratz v.
    Bollinger, 2003).

  • Affirmative Action in Government Contracts
  • The rulings were often contradictory, but if the
    affirmative action plan was meant to remedy past
    practices, usually it was upheld, particularly in
    private businesses. However, such program had to
    pass the strictest scrutiny tests.
  • Example of one that passed Metro Broadcasting
    Inc v. FCC (1990) upheld program to increase
    minority ownership in broadcasting.
  • Ones that failed Richmond v. J.A, Croson Co.
    (1989) and Adarand v. Pena (1995) denied use of
    government set-asides in contracting.

  • Voting rights based on race guaranteed in 15th
    Amendment and reaffirmed by the Voting Rights Act
    of 1965. Barriers to voting existed to deny
    minority participation.
  • Districting to dilute or deny minority voting
    rights unconstitutional Reynolds v. Sims (1964)
    with one man, one vote), and Allen v. State
    Board of Elections (1969).
  • Poll taxes in federal elections banned by 24th
    Amendment, and in State elections in Harper v.
    Virginia State Board of Elections (1966).

  • Districting to create majority-minority
    districts mandated under 1990 Voting Rights Act.
    Led to oddly shaped districts based solely on
    racial factors.
  • Shaw v. Reno (1993) declared such districts
    unconstitutional if they were too egregious,
    bizarre, or irregular to be based on anything
    other than race. Miller v. Johnson (1995)
    further denied race as sole basis of districting.
    Bush v. Vera (1996) did the same for State
    legislative districts.

  • Muller v. Oregon (1908) set the precedent that
    women could be treated differently under the law
    in the area of employment. Courts supported the
    idea of women as not under a different
    classification in need of government scrutiny
    and protection, like race.
  • Reed v. Reed (1971) stated discrimination based
    on gender violation of Equal Protection Clause
  • Beginning in 1970s, Court re-interpreted the 14th
    Amendment to create two part test
  • 1. classification has legitimate purpose
  • 2. no arbitrary requirements placed upon female
  • applicants

  • Title IX of the 1972 Education Act
  • States that any institution receiving federal
    funding must create equal opportunities for
    female participants.
  • Also bans discrimination based on gender in
    educational institutions.
  • Sports in schools is where it has often been
    applied. Unclear as to what this means equal
    number of participants or equal number of sports.

  • You-Know-What Harassment
  • Courts have ruled that it can be defined as a
    hostile workplace environment (Meritor Savings
    Bank v. Vinson, 1986), violating the Equal
    Protection Clause.
  • Harris v. Forklift Systems (1994) expanded
    definition of harassment due to workplace
  • Faragher v. City of Boca Raton (1998) made
    employers liable for harassment due to
    environment or conduct of employees.
  • Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education (1999)
    applies Faragher to schools