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Hey Guys,

I've compiled really really brief and broad summaries of the court cases from Wikipedia and this Wiki. This isn't meant to be a tool you can study from to ace the test, but I was thinking It'd be handy to have something to peg quotes and discussion to. So without further ado:


The Slaughterhouse Cases
•    Decided April 14, 1873
•    Privileges and immunities of citizenship of the United States were to be protected by the Fourteenth Amendment not privileges and immunities of citizenship of a state.
•    Majority: Miller (Joined by Clifford, Strong, Hunt, Davis)
•    Dissents: Field, Bradley, Swayne

Lochner V. New York
•    April 17, 1905
•    New York's regulation of the working hours of bakers was not a justifiable restriction of the right to contract freely under the 14th Amendment's guarantee of liberty.
•    Majority: Peckham
•    Dissents: Harlan, Holmes

Abrams V. United States
•    November 10, 1919
•    Defendants' criticism of U.S. involvement in World War I was not protected by the First Amendment, because they advocated a strike in munitions production and the violent overthrow of the government.
•    Majority: Clark
•    Dissent: Holmes

Schenck v Unites States
•    March 3, 1919
•    Defendant's criticism of the draft was not protected by the First Amendment, because it created a clear and present danger to the enlistment and recruiting practices of the U.S. armed forces during a state of war.
•    Majority: Holmes (unanimous)

Debs V. United States
•    March 10, 1919
•    Debs was attempting to arouse mutiny and treason by preventing the drafting of soldiers into the United States Army. This sort of sentiment and speech was outlawed in United States with the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917
•    Majority: Holmes

Gitlow V. New York
•    June 8, 1925
•    Though the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states from infringing free speech, the defendant was properly convicted under New York's criminal anarchy law for advocating the violent overthrow of the government, through the dissemination of Communist pamphlets.
•    Majority: Sanford
•    Dissent: Holmes

Whitney V. California
•    May 16, 1927
•    Defendant's conviction under California's criminal syndicalism statute for membership in the Communist Labor Party did not violate her free speech rights as protected under the Fourteenth Amendment, because states may constitutionally prohibit speech tending to incite to crime, disturb the public peace, or threaten the overthrow of government by unlawful means.
•    Majority: Sanford
•    Concurrence: Brandeis

Dennis V. United States
•    June 4, 1951
•    Defendants' convictions for conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government by force through their participation in the Communist Party were not in violation of the First Amendment
•    Majority: Vinson
•    Concurrences: Frankfurter, Jackson
•    Dissents: Black, Douglas

Masses Publishing Co. V. Patten
•    1917
•    New York postmaster's refusal to allow circulation of an antiwar journal under the statute violated the First Amendment. if a citizen "stops short of urging upon others that it is their duty or their interest to resist the law," then he or she is protected by the First Amendment.
•    Majority: Learned Hand

Brandenburg V. Ohio
•    June 9, 1969
•    Ohio's criminal syndicalism statute violated the First Amendment, as applied to the state through the Fourteenth, because it broadly prohibited the mere advocacy of violence rather than the constitutionally unprotected incitement to imminent lawless action.
•    Majority: Black, Douglas

New York Times V. Sullivan
•    March 9, 1964
•    The First Amendment, as applied through the Fourteenth, protected a newspaper from being sued for libel in state court for making false defamatory statements about the official conduct of a public official, because the statements were not made with knowing or reckless disregard for the truth. Supreme Court of Alabama reversed and remanded.
•    Majority: Brennan
•    Concurrences: Black, Goldberg

Roth V. United States
•    June 24, 1957
•    Obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment, but more strictly defines what is considered "obscene". Material whose "dominant theme taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest" to the "average person, applying contemporary community standards."
•    Majority: Brennan
•    Concurrence: Warren
•    Dissents: Harlan, Douglass

Albert V. California
•    ?????????

Miller V. California
•    June 21, 1973
•    Obscene materials are defined as those that the average person, applying contemporary community standards, find, taken as a whole, appeal to the prurient interest; that depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable state law; and that, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
•    Majority: Burger
•    Dissent: Douglass, Brennan

Paris Adult Theater V. Slaton
•    June 21, 1973
•    It was in the opinion of the court that the films under question were obscene and "hard core pornography," and that obscene, pornographic films do not acquire constitutional immunity from state regulation simply because they are exhibited for consenting adults only. They agreed that the holding was properly rejected by the Georgia Supreme Court, and the Georgia Supreme Court had not violated the First Amendment's Freedom of Speech Clause. "legitimate state interests were at stake in stemming the tide of commercialized obscenity, including the community's quality of life and public safety."
•    Majority: Burger
•    Dissents: Douglas, Brennan

Texas V. Johnson
•    June 21, 1989
•    A statute that criminalizes the desecration of the American flag violates the First Amendment.
•    Majority: Brennan
•    Concurrence: Kennedy
•    Dissents: Renquist, Stevens

Virginia V. Black, Barry E., et al
•    April 7, 2003
•    Virginia's statute against cross burning is unconstitutional because it places the burden of proof on the defendant to demonstrate that he or she did not intend the cross burning as intimidation.
•    Majority: O'Connor
•    Concurrences: Stevens, Scalia, Souter
•    Dissents: Thomas, Scalia, Souter

Reynolds V. United States
•    May 5, 1879
•    The First Amendment was not intended to, and therefore does not, protect the right to practice polygamy, even if such a practice is rooted in one's religious beliefs.
•    Majority: Waite

Wisconsin V. Yoder
•    May 15, 1972
•    he Wisconsin Compulsory School Attendance Law violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment because required attendance past the eighth grade interfered with the right of Amish parents to direct the religious upbringing of their children.
•    Majority: Burger
•    Concurrences: Stewart, White
•    Dissent: Douglas

Employment Division V. Smith
•    April 17, 1990
•    The Free Exercise Clause permits the State to prohibit sacramental peyote use and thus to deny unemployment benefits to persons discharged for such use." Neutral laws of general applicability do not violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment
•    Majority: Scalia
•    Concurrence: O'Connor
•    Dissent: Blackmun

Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye V. City of Hileah
•    June 11, 1993
•    he ordinances were neither neutral nor generally applicable: rather, they applied exclusively to the church. Because the law was targeted at Santería, the Court held, it was not subject to an undemanding rational basis test: rather, it had to be justified by a compelling governmental interest, and be narrowly tailored to advance that interest. Because the ordinance suppressed more religious conduct than was necessary to achieve its stated ends, it was deemed unconstitutional.
•    Majority: Kennedy
•    Concurrences: Scalia, Blackmun

Everson V. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing
•    February 10, 1947
•    A state or local authority may provide reimbursement for public transportation costs to students attending private religious schools. This funding must be available for all students regardless of which school they attend. The majority argues this NJ law does not establish a state religion as there is no special treatment for parochial students.
•    Majority: Black
•    Dissents: Jackson, Rutledge

Engle V. Vitale
•    June 25, 1962
•    Government-directed prayer in public schools, even if it is denominationally neutral and non-mandatory, violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
•    Majority: Black
•    Dissent: Stewart

Wallace V. Jaffree
•    June 4, 1985
•    The State's endorsement, by enactment of 16-1-20.1, of prayer activities at the beginning of each school day is not consistent with the established principle that the government must pursue a course of complete neutrality toward religion."
•    Majority: Stevens
•    Concurrences: Powell, O'Connor
•    Dissents: Rehnquist, Burger, White

Lee V. Weisman
•    June 24, 1992
•    Including a clergy-led prayer within the events of a public high school graduation violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
•    Majority: Kennedy
•    Concurrences: Blackmun, Souter
•    Dissent: Scalia

Strauder V. West Virginia
•    October Term, 1879
•    Exclusion of individuals from juries solely because of their race is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.
•    Majority: Strong
•    Dissent: Field

Plessey V. Ferguson
•    May 18, 1896
•    The "separate but equal" provision of public accommodations by state governments is constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause.
•    Majority: Brown
•    Dissent: Harlan

Bradwell V Illinois
•    April 15, 1872
•    Illinois constitutionally denied law licenses to women, because the right to practice law was not one of the privileges and immunities guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Illinois Supreme Court affirmed.
•    Majority: Miller
•    Concurrence: Bradley
•    Dissent: Chase

Minor V. Happersett
•    March 29, 1874
•    The Court held that voting is not a privilege of citizenship
•    Majority: Waite (unanimous)

Brown V. Board of Education
•    December 9, 1952
•    Segregation of students in public schools violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, because separate facilities are inherently unequal.
•    Majority: Warren (unanimous)

Bolling V. Sharpe
•    May 17, 1954
•    Racial segregation in the public schools of the District of Columbia is a denial to Negro children of the due process of law guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.
•    Majority: Warren (unanimous)

Loving V. Virginia
•    June 12, 1967
•    The Court declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute, the "Racial Integrity Act of 1924", unconstitutional, thereby ending all race-based legal restriction on marriage in the United States
•    Majority: Warren
Korematsu V. United States
•    December 18, 1944
•    The exclusion order leading to Japanese American Internment was constitutional.
•    Majority: Black
•    Concurrence: Frankfurter
•    Dissents: Roberts, Murphy, Jackson

Regents of the University of California V. Bakke
•    June 28, 1978
•    The Court held that while affirmative action systems are constitutional, a quota system based on race is unconstitutional.
•    Majority: Powell
•    Intermediate Scrutiny: Brennan
•    Concurrence/Dissent: Stevens

Grutter V. Bollinger
•    June 23, 2003
•    University of Michigan Law School admissions program that gave special consideration for being a certain racial minority did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment.
•    Majority: O'Connor
•    Concurrence: Ginsburg
•    Concurrence/Dissent: Scalia, Thomas
•    Dissent: Rehnquist, Kennedy

Gratz V. Bollinger
•    June 23, 2003
•    A state university's admission policy violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because its ranking system gave an automatic point increase to all racial minorities rather than making individual determinations
•    Majority: Rehnquist
•    Concurrences: O'Connor, Thomas, Breyer
•    Dissents: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg

Frontiero V. Richardson
•    May 14, 1973
•    The United States military cannot differentiate benefits based on gender.
•    Majority: Brennan
•    Concurrences: Stewart, Powell
•    Dissent: Rehnquist

United States V. Virginia
•    June 26, 1996
•    State of Virginia's exclusion of women from the Virginia Military Institute violated Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
•    Majority: Ginsburg
•    Concurrence: Rehnquist
•    Dissent: Scalia

Griswold V. Connecticut
•    June 7, 1965
•    A Connecticut law criminalizing the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy. Connecticut Supreme Court reversed.
•    Majority: Douglas
•    Concurrence: Goldberg, Harlan, White
•    Dissents: Black, Stewart

Eisenstadt V. Baird
•    March 22, 1972
•    A Massachusetts law criminalizing the use of contraceptives by unmarried couples violated the right to equal protection.
•    Majority: Brennan
•    Concurrence: White
•    Dissent: Burger

Roe V. Wade
•    January 22, 1973
•    Texas law making it a crime to assist a woman to get an abortion violated her due process rights. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas affirmed in part, reversed in part.
•    Majority: Blackmun
•    Concurrences: Burger, Douglas, Stewart
•    Dissents: White, Rehnquist

Stenberg V. Carhart
•    June 28, 2000
•    Laws banning partial-birth abortion are unconstitutional if they do not make an exception for the woman's health, or if they cannot be reasonably construed to apply only to the partial-birth abortion (intact D&X) procedure and not to other abortion methods.
•    Majority: Breyer
•    Concurrences: Stevens, O'Connor, Ginsburg
•    Dissent: Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas

Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania V. Casey
•    June 29, 1992
•    A Pennsylvania law that required spousal notification prior to obtaining an abortion was invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment because it created an undue burden on unmarried women seeking an abortion. Requirements for parental consent, informed consent, and 24-hour waiting period were constitutionally valid regulations.
•    Majority: O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter
•    Concurrence/Dissent: Stevens, Blackmun, Rehnquist, Scalia

Cruzan V. Director, Missouri Department of Health
•    June 25, 1990
•    The United States Constitution does not forbid Missouri to require that evidence of an incompetent's wishes as to the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment be proved by clear and convincing evidence. The Due Process Clause does not require a State to accept the "substituted judgment" of close family members in the absence of substantial proof that their views reflect the patient's.
•    Majority: Rehnquist
•    Concurrence: O'Connor, Scalia
•    Dissent: Brennan, Stevens

Washington V. Glucksburg
•    June 26, 1997
•    The Court held that the Due Process Clause did not protect a right to assistance in committing suicide.
•    Majority: Rehnquist
•    Concurrences: O'Connor, Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer

Vacco V. Quill
•    June 26, 1997
•    States have a legitimate interest in outlawing assisted suicide; "liberty" defined in the 14th Amendment does not include the right to kill oneself, or assistance in doing so.
•    Majority: Rehnquist
•    Cuncurrences: O'Connor, Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer

Bowers V. Hardwick
•    June 30, 1986
•    A Georgia law classifying homosexual sex as illegal sodomy was valid because there was no constitutionally protected right to engage in homosexual sex.
•    Majority: White
•    Concurrences: Burger, Powell
•    Dissent: Blackmun, Stevens

Romer V. Evans
•    May 20, 1996
•    An amendment to the Colorado Constitution that prevents extra protection under the law for homosexuals was struck down because it was not rationally related to a legitimate state interest.
•    Majority: Kennedy
•    Dissent: Scalia

Lawrence V. Texas
•    June 26, 2003
•    A Texas law classifying homosexual intercourse as illegal sodomy violated the privacy and liberty of adults to engage in private intimate conduct under the 14th amendment.
•    Majority: Kennedy
•    Concurrence: O'Connor
•    Dissents: Scalia, Thomas

Goodridge V. Department of Public Health
•    2003-11-18
•    The denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated provisions of the state constitution guaranteeing individual liberty and equality, and was not rationally related to a legitimate state interest.
•    Majority: Marshall
•    Concurrence: Greaney
•    Dissents: Spina, Sosman, Cordy.

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