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Landmark Supreme Court Cases

Learn about these landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases that changed the course of U.S. history.
a data set by WorldExplorer
created April 15, 2017
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FAMILY TREE
YearCaseRulingRatioIn Favor Of
1803Marbury v. MadisonEstabilished judicial review, making the Supreme Court the ultimate arbitrator of the US Constitution7-0Marbury
1819McCulloch v. MarylandRuled that the Constitution gives the federal government certain implied powers over states7-0McCulloch
1824Gibbons v. OgdenRuled that when federal and state law conflict, federal law is supreme7-0Gibbons
1837Charles River Bridge v. Warren BridgeDeclared that the responsibility of government is to guard the rights of property for the prosperity of the community.5-2Warren Bridge
1857Dred Scott v. SandfordDeclared that African-Americans and slaves were not citizens and could not petition the Supreme Court; overturned by the 14th Amendment7-2Sanford
1877Munn v. IllinoisRuled that businesses that serve the public interest are subject to regulation by state government.7-2Illinois
1896Plessy v. FergusonUpheld Jim Crow laws by declaring the "separate but equal" treatment of African-Americans legal7-1Ferguson
1905Lochner v. New YorkRuled that the Constitution bars a state from interfering with an employee’s right to contract with an employer5-4Lochner
1919Schenck v. United StatesSpeech that presents a “clear and present danger” to the security of the United States is in violation of the principle of free speech9-0United States
1923Adkins v. Children's HospitalRuled that a minimum wage law for women violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment because it abridged a citizen's right to freely contract labor5-3Adkins
1931Near v. MinnesotaProtected the free press by ruling that the state cannot stop someone from publishing or expressing a thought 5-4Near
1937West Coast Hotel v. ParrishEstablished that minimum wages for women was constitutionally legitimate because employers and employees were not equally "free" in negotiating contracts; overturned by Adkins v. Children's Hospital5-4Parrish
1944Korematsu v. United StatesDeclared that the internment of Japanese-Americans was legal6-3United States
1954Brown v. Board of EducationDeclared segregation in schools unconstitutional9-0Brown
1961Mapp v. OhioDeclared that evidence that is illegally obtained by the state may not be used against a defendant in court6-3Mapp
1962Baker v. CarrEstablished the right of federal courts to review redistricting issues: "One man, one vote"6-2Baker
1962Engel v. VitalePublic institutions, such as schools, cannot require prayer8-1Engel
1963Gideon v. WainwrightGave criminal defendents right to an attorney even if they cannot afford one9-0Gideon
1964New York Times Co. v. SullivanProtected the right to publish all statements under the First Amendment; declared that to claim libel, there must be proof of malice or knowledge that it was false9-0New York Times Co.
1965Griswold v. ConnecticutProtected the right to privacy in matters of contraception between married people7-2Griswold
1966Miranda v. ArizonaSecured the right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment; established the adoption of Miranda warnings during arrests: "You have the right to remain silent."5-4Miranda
1969Tinker v. Des MoinesDeclared that school dress codes are not a violation of the First Amendment right to free expression7-2Tinker
1973San Antonio Independent School District v. RodriguezDeclared that the Constitution does not guarantee the fundamental right to an education5-4San Antonio Independent School District
1973Roe v. WadeStruck down state laws obstructing a woman's right to choose to have an abortion7-2Roe
1974Nixon v. United StatesRuled that the Constitution does not guarantee unqualified executive privilege8-0United States
1978Regents of the University of California v. BakkeRuled racial quotas unconstitutional but affirmative action constitutional5-4Bakke
1989Texas v. JohnsonProtected the desecration of the flag as a form of free speech5-4Johnson
1990Cruzan v. Missouri Dept. of HealthDecided that protecting the "right to die," required evidence of a patients desire to be removed from life support5-4Missouri Dept. of Health
2000Boy Scouts of America v. DaleDeclared that a private group has the First Amendment right of Freedom of Association and can bar gay people from leadership positions5-4Boy Scouts of America
2000Bush v. GoreDecided that the recount of the 2000 election was not feasible within a reasonable amount of time5-4Bush
2002Zelman v. Simmons-HarrisDeclared that certain school vouchers are constitutional5-4Zelman
2003Lawrence v. TexasStruck down state laws banning sodomy between two consenting adults6-3Lawrence
2008District of Columbia v. HellerDecided that the Second Amendment protected an individual's right to possess a firearm in one's home5-4Heller
2010Citizens United v. Federal Electrion CommissionRuled that the First Amendement protects the right of corporations and labor unions to limitless campaign contributions5-4Citizens United
2015Obergefell v. HodgesGuaranteed the fundamental right to marry to same-sex couples5-4Obergefell
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