Supreme Court 1803-2010

Some links to court cases for your perusal. The first link takes you to the library of congress pages, the second link takes you to Justia pages of the same case.

This is from Wikipedia

  • Jay, Rutledge, and Ellsworth Courts (October 19, 1789 – December 15, 1800)
  • Marshall Court (February 4, 1801 – July 6, 1835)
  • Taney Court (March 28, 1836 – October 12, 1864)
  • Chase Court (December 15, 1864 – May 7, 1873)
  • Waite Court (March 4, 1874 – March 23, 1888)
  • Fuller Court (October 8, 1888 – July 4, 1910)
  • White Court (December 19, 1910 – May 19, 1921)
  • Taft Court (July 11, 1921 – February 3, 1930)
  • Hughes Court (February 24, 1930 – June 30, 1941)
  • Stone Court (July 3, 1941 – April 22, 1946)
  • Vinson Court (June 24, 1946 – September 8, 1953)
  • Warren Court (October 5, 1953 – June 23, 1969)
  • Burger Court (June 23, 1969 – September 26, 1986)
  • Rehnquist Court (September 26, 1986 – September 3, 2005)
  • Roberts Court (September 29, 2005 to the present)


Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. (2 Dall.) 419 (1793)

In 1792, in South Carolina, Alexander Chisholm, the executor of the estate of Robert Farquhar, attempted to sue the State of Georgia in the Supreme Court over payments due to him for goods that Farquhar had supplied Georgia during the American Revolutionary War.


Hollingsworth v. Virginia, 3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 378 (1798)

The decision of the court, in the case of Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U. S. 419, produced a proposition in Congress for amending the Constitution of the United States according to the following terms


Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803)

Established the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review over Congress.


M’Culloch v. State of Maryland., 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316 (1819)

Established the federal government’s implied powers over the state


United States v. The Amistad, 40 U.S. (15 Pet.) 518 (1841)

slave trade and slave ownership


Ableman v. Booth and United States v. Booth, 62 U.S. (21 How.) 506 (1858)

State courts cannot issue rulings on federal law that contradict the decisions of federal courts


Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36 (1873)

The Fourteenth Amendment protects the privileges and immunities of citizenship of the United States, not privileges and immunities of citizenship of a state.


Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 162 (1875)

upheld refusal to register a woman as a lawful voter because that state’s laws allowed only men to vote


Kohl et al. v. United States, 91 U.S. 367 (1876)

eminent domain


In re Debs, Petitioner, 158 U.S. 564 (1895)

Eugene Debs refused to end the strike and was subsequently cited for contempt of court; he appealed the decision to the courts.


United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)

Born in the US so a citizen


Williams v. Mississippi, 170 U.S. 213 (1898)

Literacy tests and poll taxes are constitutional


Cumming v. Richmond County Board of Education 1899

sanctioned de jure segregation of races in American schools


Mutual Film Corp. v. Ohio Indus’l Comm., 236 U.S. 230 (1915).

free speech and the censorship of motion pictures


Debs v. United States, 249 U.S. 211 (1919).

upheld the Espionage Act of 1917


Ozawa v. United States, 260 U.S. 178 (1922).

United States citizenship under the Naturalization Act of 1906 which allowed only “free white persons” and “persons of African nativity or persons of African descent” to naturalize.


Chung Fook v. White, 264 U.S. 443 (1924).

A man did not have the automatic right to bring his wife to the United States if he married her after he entered there even if that exception was not explicitly mentioned in the law.


U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939)

Right to bear arms


National Broadcasting Co. v. United States, 319 U.S. 190 (1943)

Federal Communications Commission had the power to issue regulations pertaining to associations between broadcasting networks and their affiliated stations


West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment protects students from being forced to salute the American flag or say the Pledge of Allegiance in public school.


Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. J. Howard McGrath, Attorney General, et al. 1951

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Attorney General Francis Biddle began tracking Soviet controlled subversive front organizations in 1941. . On March 21, 1947, President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9835, which led Attorney General Tom C. Clark to publish the Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations.68 The list sought to publicly identify groups the Attorney General considered to be “totalitarian, Fascist, Communist, or subversive”. The Anti-Fascists were included on the list – they sued


Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962)

it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools


Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963).

provide an attorney to defendants in criminal cases who are unable to afford their own attorneys.


Gray v. Sanders, 372 U.S. 368 (1963)

famous “one person, one vote” standard for legislative districting.


New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964)

It is one of the key decisions supporting the freedom of the press.


Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333 (1966)

Does press publicity deny a fair trial


Berger v. New York, 388 U.S. 41 (1967).

electronic eavesdropping


United States v. O’Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968)

ruled that a criminal prohibition against burning a draft card did not violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.


Walz v. Tax Commission, 397 U.S. 664 (1970)

Court held that grants of tax exemption to religious organizations do not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.


Perry v. Sindermann, 408 U.S. 593 (1972)

Does a non-tenured teacher still have due process rights as provided by the Fourteenth Amendment by a de facto tenure policy created by rules and policy?


Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)

the issue of the constitutionality of laws that criminalized or restricted access to abortions.


Holtzman v. Schlesinger, 414 U.S. 1316 (1973).

War powers act constitutionality


Storer v. Brown, 415 U.S. 724 (1974).

prohibited an individual from running for an elected office as an independent candidate within six months of that individual having been a member of a registered political party.


Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717 (1974).

dealing with the planned desegregation busing of public school students across district lines among 53 school districts in metropolitan Detroit.


Virginia State Board of Pharmacy et al. v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, Inc, et al., 425 U.S. 748 (1976).

held that a state could not limit pharmacists’ right to provide information about prescription drug prices.


Brewer v. Williams, 430 U.S. 387 (1977)

whether a voluntary admission of incriminating facts in response to police statements made while the defendant was in custody and outside the presence of his lawyer constituted a waiver of this right to counsel.


Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977),

Public school teachers in Detroit had sought to overturn the requirement that they pay fees equivalent to union dues on the grounds that they opposed public sector collective bargaining and objected to the political activities of the union.


National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, 432 U.S. 43 (1977)

Village of Skokie passed three ordinances on May 2, 1977 to prevent any future event like the NSPA’s request.


Beal v. Doe, 432 U.S. 438 (1977)

Federal funding of abortions


Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977)

upheld the right of lawyers to advertise their services.


McDaniel v. Paty, 435 U.S. 618 (1978)

struck down the last remaining state restriction against religious ministers holding elected office.


Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, 436 U.S. 49 (1978)

request to stop denying tribal membership to those children born to female (not male) tribal members who married outside of the tribe.


Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, 447 U.S. 74 (1980).

affirmed the decision of the California Supreme Court in a case that arose out of a free speech dispute between the Pruneyard Shopping Center in Campbell, California, and several local high school students (who wished to solicit signatures for a petition against United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379).


Board Of Education Of North Little Rock Arkansas School District, 454 U.S. 904 (1981)


Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981)

practice of requiring only men to register for the draft was constitutional.


Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263 (1981)

Use of state university classroom space by religious student groups


Regan v. Taxation with Representation of Washington, 461 U.S. 540 (1983),

Restricting 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations from engaging in political activity does not violate the First Amendment


Jones v. United States, 463 U.S. 354 (1983).

defendants, who were found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) of a misdemeanor crime, to be involuntarily confined to a mental institution


Barefoot v. Estelle, 463 U.S. 880 (1983),

The Court ruled on the admissibility of clinical opinions given by two psychiatrists hired by the prosecution in answer to hypothetical questions regarding the defendant’s future dangerousness and the likelihood that he would present a continuing threat to society


Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984)


making of individual copies of complete television shows for purposes of time shifting does not constitute copyright infringement, but is fair use.


Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984)

legality of Christmas decorations on town property.


Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Predrag Stevic, 467 U.S. 407 (1984)

alien seeking to avoid deportation proceedings by claiming that he would be persecuted if returned to his native land must show a “clear probability” that he will be persecuted there.


Harper & Row v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539 (1985)

fair use of material otherwise protected by copyright.


Dowling v. United States, 473 U.S. 207 (1985)

discussed whether copies of copyrighted works could be regarded as stolen property


Sullivan v. Zebley, 493 U.S. 521 (1990)

determination of SSI benefits for children


Westside Community Board of Education v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990)

school district’s ability to hold classes on Bible study after school.


Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Association, 500 U.S. 507 (1991),

unions may compel contributions from nonmembers only for the costs of performing its duties as exclusive bargaining agent


R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377 (1992)

fighting words, hate speech


Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292 (1993)

the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s regulations regarding the release of alien unaccompanied minors


Wisconsin v. Mitchell, 508 U.S. 476 (1993)

enhanced sentencing for hate crimes and the First Amendment


U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton 1995

preventing states from enacting term limits to the US House and Senate


Hercules, Inc. et al. v. United States, 516 U.S. 417 (1996)

liability for producing Agent Orange


Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681 (1997)

establishing that a sitting President of the United States has no immunity from civil law litigation,


Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999)

non-scientists as expert witnesses in federal trials


Ferguson v. City of Charleston, 532 U.S. 67 (2001)

private hospitals that test pregnant women for drugs without their consent and then turn the results over to the police violate the Fourth Amendment


United States v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112 (2001).

warrantless searches of probationers


Zelman, Superintendent of Public Instruction of Ohio, et al. v. Simmons-Harris et al., 536 U.S. 639 (2002).

constitutionality of school voucher program


Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U.S. 186 (2003)

extending the duration of the term of copyright under U.S. law


Scheidler v. National Organization for Women, Inc., 537 U.S. 393 (2003)

applying RICO to activities of abortion clinic protesters


Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow

validity of “under God” in Pledge of Allegiance; standing to bring suit on another’s behalf


Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. v. Federal Election Commission, 542 U.S. 1305 (2004).

Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act’s restriction on issue ads in election campaigns


FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., 556 U.S. 502 (2009)

regulations of the Federal Communications Commission that ban “fleeting expletives” on television broadcasts,


Citizens United, Appellant V. Federal  Election Commission

[January 21, 2010]

whether federal campaign finance laws apply to a critical film about Senator Hillary Clinton intended to be shown in theaters and on-demand to cable subscribers


Trump v. Hawaii, No. 17-965, 585 U.S. ___ (2018)

President Trump lawfully exercised the broad discretion granted to him under section 1182(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), to issue Proclamation No. 9645, suspending the entry of aliens into the United States, and the Proclamation does not violate the Establishment Clause.


Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, No. 16-1466, 585 U.S. ___ (2018)

concerning the power of labor unions to collect fees from non-union members