Important Supreme Court Case Rulings and Concepts http://www.oyez.org/ The judicial branch, and the Supreme Court in particular, have played a key role in determining practical applications of governmental powers and personal liberties. It takes the vagueness of the personal liberties outlined in the US Constitutions and attempts to make specific rulings which attempt to clarify what the government and the people of this country are allowed to do under the US Constitution and laws. The Court’s rulings are a way to informally amend the US Constitution and are used much more frequently than the formal method which has only happened 27 times. Some general terms you will need for the whole packet: due process clause- Clause contained in the 5th and 14th amendments of the US Consitution. Over the years, it has been construed to guarantee to individuals a variety of rights ranging from economic liberty to criminal procedural rights to protection from arbitrary governmental action. substantive due process- Judicial interpretation of the 5th and 14th amendments’ due process clause that protects citizens from arbitrary or unjust laws from states. States have the legal burden to prove that their laws were/are a valid exercise of their reserved powers. incorporation doctrine – An interpretation of the Constitution that holds that the due process clause of the 14th amendment requires that state and local governments also guarantee rights. selective incorporation – A judicial doctrine whereby most but not all of the protection found in the Bill of Rights are made applicable to the states via the 14th amendment. (See Chart below for rights that have been incorporated to the states and local gov’t as well as the cases that have done this.) fundamental rights/freedoms – Those rights defined by the Court to be essential to order, liberty, and justice and therefore entitled to the highest standard of review which is known as strict scrutiny. These rights include but are not limited to speech, religion, criminal proceedings, and voting. “Test” – a term used for guidelines/doctrine established in Supreme Court rulings that attempt to provide parameters on future rulings on similar topics. Examples include the “Miller test” for obscenity cases and the “Lemon test” for religion in public schools Speech/Press/Assembly - Concepts and Terms: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” We have all heard of this famous phrase but I also think we know words can hurt just as much as physical harm. But does this mean those words should be limited? Supreme Court cases involving speech have to balance a citizens right to voice an opinion versus the impact negative or hurtful speech may have on a community or individual. Types of speech that have more limitations: 1. Commercial speech – Speech used in business, advertising, etc. Highly regulated 2. Libel – False written statements that harm someone’s reputation. In the US it is harder to win in court – you must prove there was a malicious intent to harm the person’s reputation. In Great Britain it is easier to sue for libel. 3. Slander –False spoken statements that harm someone’s reputation. 4. Obscenity- Material that is considered sexually offensive by community standards. Violence and profanity can also be regulated but under a different specific standards. “Miller Test” – created from Miller v California (1973) Used as the standard for enforcing state and local law involving obscene material. It has three parts : Whether the average person, applying contemporary community (local) standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole is sexually explicit Whether the work depicts/describes, in a clearly offensive way, sexual conduct or etc. . . specifically defined by applicable state law, Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. (This is also known as the (S)LAPS test- [Serious] Literary, Artistic, Political, Scientific). The work is considered obscene only if all three conditions are satisfied. The first two prongs of the Miller test are held to the standards of the community, and the last prong is held to a reasonable person standard. The reasonable person standard of the last prong acts as a check on the community standard of the first two prongs, allowing protection for works that in a certain community might be considered obscene but on a national level might have redeeming value. * Congress has written several laws attempting to regulate Internet pornography involving children ( in the pornography or accessing the pornography) but Court rulings have been complex and have not always been supportive of the laws due to the nature of the Internet not being a local community. 5. Speech that creates a dangerous situation Clear-and-present danger doctrine or “test” – created from Schenck v U.S. (1919): court sees whether the words used could create a clear and present danger – if so they can be punished. Direct incitement “test” – new speech test from Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969); holds that advocacy of illegal action is protected by the First Amendment unless an imminent lawless action is intended and likely to occur . Other Speech Terms/Concepts: prior restraint – prohibition of speech/publication before it happens; the Court has consistently protected (with a few exceptions for national security) news agencies and people from the government’s attempt at prior restraint; basically verbal, written, and other forms of speech are punished after it has taken place. least-restrictive – If speech, press, is to be restricted in should be done in the least restrictive manner possible. Example – if the local government is going to ban a particular book on Nazi Germany from the local school library they shouldn’t get rid of all the books about WWII. symbolic speech – Symbols, signs, and other methods of expression generally also considered to be protected by the First Amendment. Fighting words – Words by their very utterance inflict injury or tend or incite an immediate breach of peace. Fighting words that include profanity, obscenity, or threats can be regulated. Hate Speech – involves school, local, and state laws that limit speech that creates or fosters an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Example – 2/3 or colleges have banned this type of speech including information posted on web sites that can be attributed to a student. Important Speech/Press/Assembly Cases Case Name and Judge Vote Important Concepts from ruling Schenck v U.S. (1919) Clear and present danger test Gitlow v New York (1923) Dangerous tendency Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) Direct incitement New York Times v US (1971) also called the Pentagon papers case prior-restraint Miller v California (1973) See Notes above Obscene material Tinker v Des Moines Indep. School(1969) Symbolic student speech Texas v Johnson (1989) Symbolic speech New York Times v Sullivan (1964) libel Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier (1987) Student newspaper Religion Terms and Concepts: The two major constitutional clauses involving religion sometimes clash. Many religion cases involve a balance of these two clauses and many of them started from situations in public schools. Older Court rulings said the government can only supply books and busing to religious schools but more recent rulings have further blurred the lines of what the government can provide to religious schools. Religious speech in public schools has become more limited however. State and local governments can ban religious activity if there is a compelling state interest to do so (illegal drug use, polygamy, etc) Establishment clause Free exercise clause Wall of separation “Lemon test” Important Religion Cases Case Name and Judge Vote Important Concepts from ruling Everson v Board of Education (1947) School busing to private games Engel v Vitale (1962) Voluntary prayer in public school Lemon v Kurtzman (1971) See definition above for answer Public funding for private schools Zelman v Simmons-Harris (2000) School vouchers Reynolds v United States polygamy Oregon v Smith (1990) Use of drugs for religious ceremonies Sante Fe Independent School v Doe. (2000) Student led prayer at public school Wisconsin v Yoder Mandatory school attendance Criminal Procedure Terms and Concepts: These cases deal mainly with amendments- 4-8 of the US Bill of Rights. exclusionary rule good-faith exception probable cause search warrant warrantless searches Patriot Act double jeopardy due process – see definition on first page of speech and religion packet enemy combatant Important Cases Case Name and Judge Vote Important Concepts from ruling Gideon v Wainright (1963) Right to an attorney Mapp v Ohio (1961) Exclusionary rule Miranda v Arizona (1966) Miranda warnings Furman v Georgia (1972) Death penalty Gregg v Georgia (1976) Death penalty US v Leon (1984) Good faith exception Maryland v Craig (1990) Child testimony in a trial Rasul v Bush (2004) Enemy combatants and Guantanamo Bay Hamdan v Rumsfeld (2005) Enemy combatants and Guantanamo Bay Important Miscellaneous Cases Case Name and Judge Vote Important Concepts from ruling Marbury v Madison (1803) Judicial review precedence set. That is all you need to know for this case. McCulloch v Maryland (1819) 9-0 Elastic clause allows Congress to do other activities for its enumerated powers and in this case – create a national back. It also said the federal government is supreme to the states and can’t be taxed by them. Gibbons v Ogden (1824) Congress (and not the states) regulates interstate commerce and waterways. Baker v Carr (1961) 6-2 Said reapportionment conducted by state legislatures can be questioned in federal courts if there is a possibility of infringement on voting rights. Later case clarifications elaborated on Baker v Carr. These included the “one person- one vote” Gray v. Sanders concept and that districts can’t be formed predominantly based on racial makeup (1962) of the population Hunt v. Cromartie (1999) Korematsu v US (1944) Japanese internment camps Bush v Gore (2000) Florida recount in presidential election McConnell v FEC (2003) Constitutionality of BCRA campaign finance law Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life (2007) Constitutionality of BCRA campaign finance law Gonzales v Oregon (2005) 6-3 Federal government can’t use Controlled Substance Act to halt Oregon’s Doctor assisted suicide Death with Dignity Act Rumsfeld v FAIR (2005) Solomon Amendment is upheld and the federal gov’t Military recruiters can take away funding from schools who do not allow military recruiters on campus Kelo v City of New London (2005) Eminent domain District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) Right to bear arms other important gun law case will be given in federalism unit.