US Supreme Court: Information, Famous Court Cases, and Resources

The Supreme Court is the highest judicial court in the United States. It is an appellate court. This means that it only hears cases that have already been through other court systems. The Chief Justice is the head of the Supreme Court, and there are eight associate justices. These justices have the power to declare a law invalid if it violates some part of the constitution.

Famous Supreme Court Cases

  • Roe vs. Wade Roe vs. Wade was the case that legalized abortion. The court ruled that a woman had a right to an abortion without interference from the government within the first trimester of her pregnancy.
  • President Nixon vs. The United States President Nixon wanted to keep tapes of the Oval Office out of his Watergate trial. The Supreme Court ruled that executive privilege is not limitless and he was forced to release the tapes.
  • Miranda vs. Arizona The decision in this case governs the rights of suspects when being questioned. They now have have their Miranda Rights read before the police can talk to them.
  • Bakke vs. Regents of the University of California This case declared affirmative action constitutional, but ruled the use of racial quotas unconstitutional.
  • Tinker v. Des Moines School District The Tinkers were suspended for wearing armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War. Court decided they had the freedom to express themselves as they chose.
  • Brown vs. The Board of Education This case ended legal segregation in schools. The Supreme Court case actually consolidated 5 cased from different states challenging the constitutionality of racial segregation in public schools.
  • New York Times vs. Sullivan The court ruled that the First Amendment protects all statements in a publication even if they are false if they are regarding a public official.
  • Falvo vs. Owasso School District This case is regarding a mother suing the school district for their practice of students grading each other’s papers and then calling the grade out in the class. The case was based on the Fourteenth amendment
  • Goss vs. Lopez This case found that students have the right to a notice if they are facing suspension from school. At the time the state law did not require it.
  • Printz vs. The United States This case is regarding a police officer who challenged the Brady Act. This act required him to do background checks on prospective buyers for guns. The court decided the act was unconstitutional. Gun buyers now have to give the information to gun dealers and they send it to the FBI.
  • Gibbons vs. Ogden This case expanded the powers of Congress. The court ruled that Congress had the power to regulate any commerce that crossed state lines.
  • Ingraham vs. Wright The supreme court decided that public school student could be paddled without a hearing . It was decided that the ban on cruel and unusual punishment did not apply to students.
  • Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier This case upheld the authority of the school administrators at the Hazelwood School District to censor the school newspaper. Since the first amendment only protects the rights of government officials and not students in a public school they have to rely only on school policies.
  • Dred Scott vs. John F.A. Sanford A black slave claimed he had lived on free soil so he was free. The supreme court ruled that blacks were not citizens so he could not sue in Federal court.

Supreme Court Resources