Recent Event Highlights: New York Times v the United States, Schenck v. United States, and 13 more...
Created by valerie32 on Oct 27, 2010
Last updated: 11/23/10 at 08:38 AM
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The District of Columbia mandated that anyone who owned a gun must have a liscencse for it and keep it disarmed. A group of private gun owners felt this violated the 2nd amendment. The Supreme Court decided that it was not a violation of the second amendment.
In 2002 there was an effort by senators John McCain and Russell Feingold to change the way money was obtained in political campaigning. They called this the McCain–Feingold Act. The case was taken to the supreme court because it interfered with Article 1, Section 4 of the constitution. The court decided that the law did not violate the constituion and the McCains law passed but there were loopholes.
The dissenting opinion believed that the "extraordinary importance" of the case should not let this law pass.
Johnson burned an american flag as protest againt President Ronald Reagan. He was convicted under state law for flag desecration. The supreme court decided that burning the flag was protected by the first amendment. The court decieded that this was Johnsons right to expression. This decision was not liked to well by the public. The dissenting opinion felt that an exception should be made to the first amendment for the flag because, the flag is such a powerful symbol.
Roe was a Texas resident who wanted to have an abortion, Texas law prevented a woman from having an abortion unless it was threatining the woman's life. The question the supreme court had to answer was "Does the Constitution embrace a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy by abortion?" The court decided that a womans right to privacy was protected by the 14th amendment. The decision gave women the right to choose and the law was made in 46 more states. They decided this on the precedent of Griswold v. Conneticuit. The dissenting opinion was worried that abortions would be overused or used for convienence.
Miller, had a mass campaign mailing campaign to advertise the selling of "adult materials". He was convicted for distributing "obscene" materials. Unwilling recipiants of the materials went to the police. Miller believed that he was protected under the first amendment. The court decided that obscene matetrials were not protected by the first amendment and Milller was guilty. The court changed the test for obscenity. The dissenting opinion believed that the material passed the current obscenity test.
New York Times v. United States gave the New York Times and The Washington Post the right to publish at the time classified papers without risk of government interference. Nixon didn't want the newspapers to be able to print these "classified" papers. Nixon's administration sued the newspapers for using the "classified information" in their paper. This violated the newspapers first amendment because, they had freedom of press.The court ruled in favor of the New York TImes due to the first amendment. This was a literal interpretation of the constitution. The dissenting opinion was the information in the papers should be carefully reviewed before being published to the public.
In Rhode Island state money was provided to private schools therefore causing a controversy of seperation of church and state. The court had to decide if money could be provided for these private schools because they were a church sponsored orginization. It was decided that the states had violated the 1st amendment of seperation of church and state. There was not a dissenting opinion.
In Des Moines a family wore black armbands to protest against the Vietnam War during the Christmas season. The principal threatened to suspend the students who wore the armbands and did when they wore the armbands. The Supreme Court decided that wearing the armbands were protected under the first amendment.
The court had to look at several previous cases where police officers had not let the person they were arresting know there rights. The court had to decide if the police had the right to interigate someone if they would say something that would hurt the persons reputation. The court decided that according to the 5th amendment you never have to speak against yourseld in court. Now the police must also inform a person of their rights when they arrest them. The rights got the nickname if the "miranda rights" from this case. The dissenting opinion believed that the decison was made on based on a literal interpretation of the constitution.
Griswold was the executive director of the planned parenthood league of Connecticut she and a medical director advised married couples on birth control. Griswold and the medical director were convicted under a law that criminalised counsoling and giving information to married couples to prevent conception. The law was made in 1879. The question was "Does the constitution protect married couples privacy?" The supreme court decided that it was the married couples right to privacy to use birth control. The dissenting argument was none of the amendments directly applied to the law.
Gideon was charged with a felony of breaking and entering in Flordia. He requested a lawyer to defend hum and the court refused saying that they only had to provide a lawyer in capitol cases. The court decided to that Gideon should have been provided a lawyer and he was provided with one and had another trial. Two thousand people who were convicted in Flordia were freed and several more in most states as a result of the Gideon ruling.
The Board of Regents mandated a voluntary prayer at the beginning of each day. The Supreme Court decided that this was a violation of the establishment clause.
Dolree Mapp was convicted because, she had obscene materials. The police had illegaly searched her home for a fugitive. She believed that she had the freedom of expression and was protected by the first and fourth amendment. The supreme court decided that Mapp was not guilty because the police illegaly entered her house and they did not have a search warrant, the materials they found had been illegaly obtained and could not be used against Mapp in court. The decision was historical and controversial because the court would no longer use illegally obtained evidence against someone.The dissenting opinion was that the wrong question had been brought up and the case was not properly briefed.
Gitlow was arrested for distributing copies of a "left wing manifesto" that wanted socialism through strikes and class action. Gitlow was arrested through a state anarchy law that would punish the person if actions were taken to overthrow the government. Gitlow felt that since no action was taken against the government he was not guilty. The supreme court decided that Gitlow was protected by the fourtennth and first amendment, overuling the New York Courts decision. The dissenting opinion believed that Gitlow was causing harm by spreading an idea that no one new a lot aboout at the time, Gitlow helped make the idea more popular.
Schenck mailed circulars to draftees suggesting that the draft was monstrous. He was convicted for trying to cause insobordination in the military and trying to create a conspiracy. This was against the law according to the espionage act. Schenk thought that he was protected to do this by the first amendment. The court decided that he was not protected in this situation because it was a time of war. There was no dissenting opinion because the court was unanimous in there decision.