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47 Cards in this Set

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Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Plessy v. Ferguson was the 1896 case that legitimized segregation in the United States by a 7-1 decision, but perhaps is better known for Justice Harlan’s dissent. Homer Plessy, a man 1/8th black, illegally sat in the first-class seat he had purchased on a Louisiana train and was subsequently charged with violating a law providing for separate facilities for the races, passed in 1880. Justice Brown’s majority opinion deemed that the law was not designed as a means of discriminating against any race, but rather separated the races as a means of social policy, which did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Harlan’s dissent, however, scathingly attacked the majority’s reasoning, as he called for a “colorblind Constitution” and asserted that “all citizens are equal before the law.” The case legitimized the doctrine of separate but equal (though it was hardly ever true) and stood for 58 years until Brown v. Board of Education.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Brown v. Board of Education was the series of decisions that required and enforced desegregation in public education. Justice Warren felt a 9-0 decision was important, and thus the opinion lacks the passion of Justice Harlan’s dissent in Plessy. Rather than deeming that separate but equal was unconstitutional, the Court instead focused on the detrimental effect of segregation on children, and such effects violated Equal Protection. In the context of education, “separate but equal” was inherently unequal, according to the time in which the case was made, the Court said. Desegregation was not enforced until Brown v. Board of Education II, which required that the states desegregate “with all deliberate speed,” and that the lower courts be in charge of it.
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg (1971)
In this case Mecklenburg County was busing students over district lines as a means of correcting de jure segregation, as the process of desegregating changed very little, as the schools were de facto segregated based on neighborhood. The students who were bused a long way brought suit. In 1971, the Court ruled in a 9-0 decision in favor of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Burger wrote the opinion while government didn’t have a right to correct de facto segregation, NC’s current state was a result of de jure segregation. The decision led to the widespread use of busing to end segregation by federal judges in the South.
Milliken v. Bradley (1974)
After being sued for segregation, Michigan governor Milliken issued a desegregation plan for the Detroit area that encompassed over 50 surrounding districts. The Court invalidated the plan, though, in a 5-4 decision, stating that the suburban district lines were not drawn to segregate, and that there was “no constitutional wrong to justify interdistrict plan.” In other words, if the surrounding school districts were never segregated, they cannot be incorporated into a plan to desegregate inner-city Detroit. Justice Marshall wrote a scathing dissent that deemed the plan a “giant step backward.”
Reed v. Reed (1971)
After the death of their adopted son, two separated Idaho parents sued for the right to his estate. An Idaho law gave preference to the father. In a unanimous 9-0 decision, the Court ruled that laws that gave preference to sex merely to avoid hearings were unconstitutional.
U.S. v. Virginia (1996)
For many years, the Virginia Military Institute, a public school, had admitted only males for its rigorous military training, and the US sued that it violated the 14th amendment. In a 7-1 decision, the Court maintained that the Virginia Woman’s Institute for Leadership would fail to provide the same kind of training for society that the men’s institute did, and thus the policy of males only violated Equal Protection. In his dissent, Justice Scalia mocked the majority’s denial of tradition, as well as what he felt was a use of strict scrutiny instead of intermediate scrutiny. At any rate, Scalia felt that rational basis, instead of any kind of scrutiny, should be applied. VMI was the last all-male public school in the US.
United States v. Rodriguez (1973)
The state of Texas based a large part of its school funding on property taxes. The San Antonio School District sued on the basis that its large underprivileged population deprived its schools of adequate funding, and thus Equal Protection was violated. The Court ruled, in 5-4 decision, that strict scrutiny must be applied, as education was not a Constitutional right. Since the system did not purposefully discriminate against poor people, it cannot be said to violate Equal Protection.
University of California v. Bakke (1978)
Bakke applied to the Cal Law School in 1973 and 1974, but was denied both times despite having scores significantly higher than that of many other applicants. Cal used a system under which 16 of the 100 admitted students were minorities, and admittance used a difference standard. Bakke sued, citing violation of Equal Protection due to discrimination based on race, and the Court ruled in favor of him 5-4. The decision overruled “quota” systems, but allowed for affirmative action programs that used race as one factor, and only one factor, to be used in determining admittance. Justice Powell wrote the decision.
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)
A denied applicant to the University of Michigan law school sued on the basis that she was discriminated against due to her race. The UM law school acknowledged an interest in achieving a “critical mass” of minority students. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the Court’s interest in achieving a “critical mass” was narrowly tailored to achieve the benefits that come from a diverse student body. The University still used highly individualized and holistic reviews, and race was just one of the factors considered.
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
The Cleveland police demanded entrance into the home of Dolree Mapp on suspicion that she was harboring a fugitive. She demanded to see a warrant, and the police waved an irrelevant piece of paper, which she proceeded to stuff down her shirt. Upon searching the house illegally, the police found pornographic material, and Ms. Mapp was charged with violating an Ohio law forbidding obscene materials. She appealed that the evidence was obtained illegally and thus shouldn’t be used in state trials. The Court agreed – in a 6-3 decision, the Court (finally) incorporated the Exclusionary rule into the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court argued that such a rule is the only known deterrent to police misbehavior
Nix v. Williams (1977)
Nix v. Williams determined one of the exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule. Williams killed a 10-year-old girl, but told the police the location of the body before his Miranda Rights were read to him. He argued that the evidence should be excluded, but the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, stressed the idea that the body would have been discovered anyway, thus the “Inevitable Discovery” doctrine. Such evidence that would have been discovered eventually was permitted to be used in trials.
Exclusionary Rule
The Exclusionary Rule had always been protected on a federal level under the 4th amendment, and even intentionally not included at the state level under Wolf v. Colorado, before finally being incorporated in Mapp v. Ohio. The idea is that illegally obtained evidence cannot be used in a trial. The reasoning for incorporating it was that it was the only known deterrent to police misbehavior. There are several exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule, such as the public safety exception and the inevitable discovery exemption.
Public safety exception
New York v. Quarrels created the reasoning for this rule. Evidence can be obtained illegally if, if such evidence was withheld, there was a major threat to public safety. If a rapist tells police where a gun is in a supermarket before being read his Miranda Rights, the police would be acting appropriately in retrieving the gun and using the gun was evidence in a trial.
Inevitable Discovery doctrine
This idea was established in Nix v. Williams. If evidence is obtained illegally, it can still be used in court if the evidence would have been discovered eventually, to a high degree of probability. This is because the exclusionary rule is designed to deter police misconduct, and excluding evidence that (hypothetically) would have been discovered anyway would do nothing to deter such conduct.
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
This case required that lawyers be provided to poor defendants in state courts, as well as federal courts. Gideon was arrested on charges of breaking and entering, was denied counsel by the state and subsequently convicted. He appealed, and the Court determined that being represented was a fundamental right in a 9-0 decision. Those familiar with the American system of justice, commented opinion-writer Justice Black, recognized that "lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries." It was made applicable through the Due Process clause of the 14th amendment. This overturned the decision in Betts v. Brady.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Ernesto Miranda was arrested under suspicion of kidnapping and rape, and confessed during an interrogation by police. He was convicted to 35 years. He appealed, and eventually the Supreme Court determined, in a 5-4 decision, that suspects were required to be acknowledged of their 5th Amendment rights to abstain from self-incrimination, as well as their right to a lawyer and to remain silent if an interrogation were to take place. Harlan dissented, stating that such an action was simply judicial activism and had nothing to do with the Constitution.
Schenck v. United States (1919)
Schenck mailed circulars to draftees during World War I, suggesting that they avoid conscription and participate in peaceful protest to it, as a means of repealing the Conscription Act. He was convicted under the Espionage Act, and claimed that his First Amendment rights were being violated. The Court unanimously held that, during a time of war, undermining the war effort, as Schenck was clearly doing, was a “clear and present danger” and was thus not protected by the 1st Amendment. When speech becomes intimate to action, a government can regulate. Oliver Wendell Holmes came up with the phrase “shouting fire in a crowded theatre” as a result of this test. The Clear and Present Danger test formulated in this case was overturned in Brandenburg v. Ohio.
Texas v. Johnson (1984)
Johnson burned an American flag in front of the Dallas City hall as a means of protest against the Reagan administration and was subsequently convicted under a law forbidding flag desecration. He appealed, citing 1st Amendment rights. The Court held, in a 5-4 decision, that burning a flag in the way that Johnson did was expressive speech and was of a purely political nature, and was thus protected under Free Speech. An action cannot be regulated on the basis alone that it offends some people. Rehnquist and Stevens wrote dissents, arguing that the flag represented much more than simple ideas that the 1st Amendment protected, that it was a symbol of nationhood.
Buckley v. Valeo (1974)
Post Watergate, Congress reformed campaign finance, setting limits on individual donations and candidate donations, and requiring the reporting of funds, among other things. The FEC was created to enforce it. The Supreme Court determined its constitutionality with regards to Free Speech. In a per curiam decision, the Court upheld the individual donations and reporting of funds, but denied the constitutionality of personal expenditure limits by candidates. The Court argued that such limits were limits on protected expression, and that there was not enough of a compelling government interest to sustain them.
McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2002)
This court questioned the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002, which raised contribution limits for inflation, eliminated soft money contributions, banned political party ads on specific behalf of candidates, and banned advertising by PACS within 60 days. The Court ruled on behalf of the changes in a 5-4 decision written by Justices O’Connor and Stevens. The majority argued that the perception exists that elections are corrupt, therefore there is an overwhelming interest by the gov’t to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption. The dissents by Scalia and Kennedy argue that the government can’t be trusted to determine how it regulates itself. Kennedy argued that the laws were inconsistent with the basic ideas of democracy.
Near v. Minnesota (1931)
After publishing libelous stories about a Minneapolis police chief, Jay Near was convicted of violating the Minnesota Gag Law and forbidden from publishing the magazine anymore. He appealed, saying that he can’t be punished for something he hasn’t done yet. The Court agreed in a 5-4 decision, saying that the First Amendment protected individuals from being barred from saying something out of fear of what they may say. It established the idea of prior restraint IN MOST cases, though – the ideas of “clear and present danger” were still valid.
NY Times v. United States (1971)
Richard Nixon attempted to use his executive authority to block the New York Times from publishing then-classified Pentagon papers that they had in their possession. The decision was 6-3, and a per curiam opinion was issued. Black and Douglas argued that the only restraint on government was the press, and that the First Amendment was absolute, regardless of the material of the documents. Stewart and White argued that it was the responsibility of the Executive to protect its information from being taken in the first place. Burger, Harlan, and Blackmun dissented, saying that the burden of proof is on the Executive and that the Court did not give the Executive branch enough time to formulate a case, based on the haste of the proceedings.
New York Times v. Sullivan (1964)
An ad appeared in the New York Times in support of the civil rights movement that inaccurately portrayed events between protesters and policemen of Montgomery, Alabama, and the police chief, Sullivan, sued for libel in an Alabama court. The Alabama Court sided with Sullivan, but the Supreme Court overturned this decision in a unanimous vote. The Court established the standard of actual malice, which allowed defamation of public officials unless the statement was made with knowledge that it is false or in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity.
Miller v. California (1973)
Miller distributed pornographic materials in a brochure across California, and a restaurant owner and his mother complained to the police, and the Court was left to decide if obscene materials were protected under the 1st Amendment. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that obscene materials did not fall under the protection of Free Speech. The Court modified the test for obscenity established in Roth v. United States and Memoirs v. Massachusetts, holding that "[t]he basic guidelines for the trier of fact must be: (a) whether 'the average person, applying contemporary community standards' would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest. . . (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."
Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Union (2003)
Facts of the Case
Unlike the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) applies only to material displayed on the World Wide Web, covers only communications made for commercial purposes, and restricts only "material that is harmful to minors." Moreover, COPA requires jurors to apply "contemporary community standards" in assessing material. Before it was scheduled to go into effect, a number of organizations affected by COPA filed suit, alleging that the statute violated adults' First Amendment rights because it effectively banned constitutionally protected speech, was not the least restrictive means of accomplishing a compelling governmental purpose, and was substantially overbroad. The District Court issued a preliminary injunction. In affirming, the Court of Appeals, reasoning that COPA's use of contemporary community standards to identify material that is harmful to minors rendered the statute substantially overbroad.
Does the Child Online Protection Act's use of "community standards" to identify "material that is harmful to minors" violate the First Amendment?
No. In an 8-1 opinion delivered by Justice Clarence Thomas, the Court held that COPA's reliance on community standards to identify what material is harmful to minors does not by itself render the statute substantially overbroad for First Amendment purposes. The Court expressed no view as to whether COPA was overbroad for other reasons or was unconstitutionally vague and did not vacate the preliminary injunction because it could not do so without addressing matters yet to be considered. "In its original form, the community standard provided a shield for communications that are offensive only to the least tolerant members of society," argued Justice John Paul Stevens in his dissent. "In the context of the Internet, however, community standards become a sword, rather than a shield. If a prurient appeal is offensive in a puritan village, it may be a crime to post it on the World Wide Web."
Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing (1947)
New Jersey paid for the busing of students to parochial schools. A bus driver raised suit, arguing violation of the Establishment Clause. In a 5-4 decision, the Court determined that the busing did not violate the Constitution. Justice Black argued a compelling secular interest, and that it would be unfair to deny people benefits like being able to get to school just because they’re religious. However, he interpreted the Establishment Clause as being as “high wall of separation between Church and State.” Jackson and Rutledge’s dissents agreed with Black’s reasoning, but believed that the reasoning should have led to an invalidation of the law, and that the law, by using tax money to pay for sending students to religious schools, supports those religious schools, thereby violating the Establishment Clause.
Engel v. Vitale (1962)
New York legislators came up with a prayer for students to recite at the beginning of every school day. The prayer proclaimed “Almighty God” and was not coercive. Parents brought suit, and in 1962, the Supreme Court deemed the prayer unconstitutional in a 6-1 decision. Black argued that the State composed the prayer, and therefore it is endorsing religion. Despite not endorsing any one religion, the fact that it is prayer violates the Establishment Clause. Stewart, in his dissent listed the different government institutions that mentioned religion. He argued that the uncoercive nature of these institutions did not violate the Establishment Clause.
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)
Pennsylvania was providing financial support to non-public schools for textbooks, teachers’ salaries, and learning materials for secular subjects. Parents brought suit, and the Court held in an 8-0 decision that the statute was unconstitutional. The Court established the Lemon test for government actions with regard to religion. To be constitutional, a statute must have "a secular legislative purpose," it must have principal effects which neither advance nor inhibit religion, and it must not foster "an excessive government entanglement with religion." The Court argued that the Pennsylvania statute violated the third prong. White dissented in part, saying that the investigation in determining if a law is consistent with the Lemon Test inevitable provides an infringement upon the third prong of the test.
Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches School District (1993)
Center Moriches school district permitted the use of its schools for after-hours operation by other organizations. Lamb’s Chapel repeatedly applied to use a school to hold a religious-oriented film series on family values and was denied. It finally brought suit. The Court deemed unanimously that the District’s restriction was unconstitutional in that it violated Free Speech. The District's restriction was neither reasonable nor viewpoint neutral, since it allowed the presentation of all other views about family values and child rearing - except those which were presented from a religious perspective. Second, a grant of permission to the Chapel to use the District's premises would not have amounted to an establishment of religion. This is because the showing of the films would neither be school-sponsored during school hours nor closed to the public.
Clay v. United States (1971)
Cassius Clay was drafted, but attempted to register as a conscientious objector due to religion. The Kentucky Appeals Board denied his claim, but cited no reason why. The Court overturned their decision in a unanimous decision. In a per curiam decision, the Court wrote that Clay was in compliance with the first two guidelines for conscientious objectorship: that he hates all wars and that these are religious beliefs. The Court was unable to determine if these feelings were sincere, but that the lower Courts offered no reason why they weren’t, thus the decision must be reversed.
Rosenberger v. University of Virginia (1995)
Rosenberger asked for money from the Student Activities board to fund the publication of Wide Awake, a Christian magazine. The board denied his request and he filed suit. The Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that this denial was a violation of the 1st Amendment. They deemed it viewpoint discrimination. The Court found the University's publication policy to be neutral toward religion and, therefore, not in violation of the establishment clause. The Court concluded by stating that the University could not stop all funding of religious speech while continuing to fund an atheistic perspective. The exclusion of several views is as offensive to free speech as the exclusion of only one. Souter’s dissent argued that the magazine is blatantly religious, thus funding from the school establishes religion.
Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)
Alabama required schools to begin each day with a one minute of silence for meditation and prayer. A parent filed suit that it advocated the Establishment Clause, and the Court agreed in a 6-3 decision. The Court determined the constitutionality of Alabama's prayer and meditation statute by applying the secular purpose test, which asked if the state's actual purpose was to endorse or disapprove of religion. The Court held that Alabama's passage of the prayer and meditation statute was not only a deviation from the state's duty to maintain absolute neutrality toward religion, but was an affirmative endorsement of religion. As such, the statute clearly lacked any secular purpose as it sought to establish religion in public schools, thereby violating the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. Berger’s dissent asserted that the prayer was voluntary and that the denial of it oppressed religion. Rehnquist said that Jefferson didn’t write the Establishment clause, thus his ideas mean nothing.
Lyng v. Northwest Indian CPA (1988)
The government attempted to build a road that would irreparably damage grounds traditionally used for Indian rituals. The Indians sued that it violated Free Exercise, but the Court, in a 5-3 decision, deemed that the actions did not violated the Constitution. Though the government's actions would have severe adverse effects on the Indians' practice of their religion, those effects were only incidental and did not constitute an attempt to coerce Native Americans to act in violation of their beliefs. The Court reasoned that government could not operate "if it were required to satisfy every citizen's religious needs and desires," and that the First Amendment did not give any one group veto power over public programs that did not actually prohibit the free exercise of religion. Brennan argued that a balancing test was needed, not an absolute test.
Edwards v. Aguillard (1987)
Louisiana Law required the teaching of Creationism and Evolution in school. Parents brought suit, and the Court applied the Lemon Test. In a 7-2 decision, the law failed all three prongs. First, it was not enacted to further a clear secular purpose. Second, the primary effect of the law was to advance the viewpoint that a "supernatural being created humankind," a doctrine central to the dogmas of certain religious denominations. Third, the law significantly entangled the interests of church and state by seeking "the symbolic and financial support of government to achieve a religious purpose." Scalia, in his dissent, more or less opposes the Lemon Test as a whole, saying that the first prong is not definable.
Sherbert v. Verner (1963)
Adeil Sherbert, a 7th-day Adventist, was required to work on Saturdays and was fired. She couldn’t find other work and applied for unemployment compensation, which was denied. She cited Free Exercise and appealed, and the Court in a 7-2 decision ruled in favor of Sherbert. The Court held that the state's eligibility restrictions for unemployment compensation imposed a significant burden on Sherbert's ability to freely exercise her faith. Furthermore, there was no compelling state interest which justified such a substantial burden on this basic First Amendment right. Harlan, in a characteristically literal reading of the relevant law, argued that the Commission denied Sherbert unemployment based on the same reason they might any secular claimant, that she was not "available for work." More centrally, he rejected the majority opinion, arguing that the Free Exercise Clause only required neutrality toward religion in this case, which would not include exempting Sherbert, though the Constitution would permit a legislature to create such an exemption.
Wisconsin v. Yoder (1971)
Three Amish parents sued because they removed their kids after 8th grade, in concurrence with their religious beliefs. In a 6-to-1 decision, the Court held that individual's interests in the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment outweighed the State's interests in compelling school attendance beyond the eighth grade. The Court found that the values and programs of secondary school were "in sharp conflict with the fundamental mode of life mandated by the Amish religion," and that an additional one or two years of high school would not produce the benefits of public education cited by Wisconsin to justify the law.
Barnes v. Glen Theatre (1991)
Glen Theatre and the Kitty Kat Lounge in South Bend, Indiana, operated entertainment establishments with totally nude dancers. An Indiana law regulating public nudity required dancers to wear "pasties" and a "G-string" when they perform. The Theatre and Lounge sued to stop enforcement of the statute, under the 1st Amendment. In the plurality opinion, Rehnquist argued that nude dancing was a form of expressive activity, but he maintained that the public indecency statute is justified despite the incidental limitations on such expressive activity. The statute "furthers a substantial government interest in protecting order and morality." The proscription on public nudity is unrelated to the erotic message the dancers seek to convey. In the decent, White argued that nudity is a perfectly legitimate form of speech protected by the First Amendment.
Lovell v. Griffin (1938)
A city ordinance required that all distributed materials be first registered with the city. Lovell, handing our religious materials, did not do so, and was prosecuted. She appealed the prosecution, citing the First Amendment, to the Supreme Court. In a unanimous decision, the Court sided with Lovell, reasoned that the ordinance violated the Freedom of the Press condition of the First Amendment, as the city demanded that all distributed periodicals, not merely those that were considered obscene, offensive to public morals, or which advocate unlawful conduct, obtain a license from the city before they could be distributed. The Court felt that the First Amendment was not limited to periodicals and newspapers, that it necessarily included the publication of leaflets and pamphlets as well.
Establishment Clause
The element of the First Amendment that states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Today, this clause is governed by the Lemon Test, created in Lemon v. Kurtzman, which requires that, with regards to religion, states must have a secular interest, that the statue not advocate nor inhibit religion, and that it not involve excessive entanglement in religion. Famous cases with regards to it are Lemon v. Kurtzman and Everson v. Ewing. School prayer under the Establishment clause was deemed unconstitutional under Engel v. Vitale and Wallace v. Jaffree.
Free Exercise Clause
The element of the First Amendment that states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." In Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972), the Court ruled that a law that "unduly burdens the practice of religion" without a compelling interest, even though it might be "neutral on its face," would be unconstitutional. However, such reasoning has faded over the years, as a neutral government policy on its face was upheld despite a denial of Free Exercise in Lyng v. Northwest Indian CPA.
Substantive Due Process
The doctrine of Substantive Due Process holds that the Due Process Clause not only requires "due process," that is, basic procedural rights, but that it also protects basic substantive rights. "Substantive" rights are those general rights that reserve to the individual the power to possess or to do certain things, despite the government’s desire to the contrary. These are rights like freedom of speech and religion. "Procedural" rights are special rights that, instead, dictate how the government can lawfully go about taking away a person’s freedom or property or life, when the law otherwise gives them the power to do so. The most famous cases are Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Equal Protection Clause
This element of the 14th Amendment provides that "no state shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." This law has been used to not only incorporate other rights, but also for many civil rights cases. Interpretation of the clause falls under assorted levels of scrutiny, based on the case and manner. Strict Scrutiny is known to govern race cases, while intermediate scrutiny is used to govern gender cases. Strict Scrutiny requires that a law be narrowly tailored to further a compelling government interest. Intermediate scrutiny is met if a regulation involves important governmental interests that are furthered by substantially related means. Rational basis is the final level of scrutiny. The test is applied by asking whether the governmental action at issue is a rational means to a end that may be legitimately pursued by government.
Santa Fe v. Doe (2000)
The Santa Fe School district issued a prayer read by the student council chaplain before every football game. After the district court banned this, they came up with a new plan in which allowed the students to initiate, write, and read a different prayer, and eventually, required that the prayer be nonsectarian. The district was sued by parents, and the Court held that the District's policy permitting student-led, student-initiated prayer at football games violates the Establishment Clause in a 6-3 decision. The Court concluded that the football game prayers were public speech authorized by a government policy and taking place on government property at government-sponsored school-related events and that the District's policy involved both perceived and actual government endorsement of the delivery of prayer at important school events. In the dissent, Scalia attacks the disturbing tone of the majority’s opinion as hostile towards all things religious in public life.
Sweatt v. Painter (1950)
In 1946, Herman Marion Sweatt, a black man, applied for admission to the University of Texas Law School. State law restricted access to the university to whites, and Sweatt's application was automatically rejected because of his race. When Sweatt asked the state courts to order his admission, the university attempted to provide separate but equal facilities for black law students. In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the Equal Protection Clause required that Sweatt be admitted to the university. The Court found that the "law school for Negroes," which was to have opened in 1947, would have been grossly unequal to the University of Texas Law School. The Court argued that the separate school would be inferior in a number of areas, including faculty, course variety, library facilities, legal writing opportunities, and overall prestige. The Court also found that the mere separation from the majority of law students harmed students' abilities to compete in the legal arena.
Parents v. Seattle (2006)
The Seattle School District, never segregated, used race as tiebreaker to determine if students were admitted to their first-choice high school, in an effort to reach the 40% white, 60% non-white racial makeup of the school district. The fake Court ruled this law unconstitutional in that it involved the use of a quota system, amongst other things, including that it did not truly even achieve the government’s stated interest of racial diversity.
Phillip Morris v. Williams (2006)
Jesse Williams dies of lung cancer, wife sues Phillip Morris, receives less than $1 million in compensatory damages and $80 million in punitive. Judge lowers it to $32 million, appeals court restores it, Oregon Supreme Court upholds it.

1) Can a court's determination that a defendant's conduct was highly reprehensible
and analogous to crime override the constitutional requirement that punitive damages must be reasonably related to the harm to the plaintiff?

2) Does due process permit a jury to punish a defendant for the effects of its conduct on non-parties?
Ledbetter v. Goodyear (2006)
Ledbetter gets low pay, sues for gender discrimination and is awarded $3.2 million. Goodyear appeals in that she can only get what was in the last 180 days. The Court of appeals drops all discrimination charges. Can a plaintiff bring a salary discrimination suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when the disparate pay is received during the 180-day statutory limitations period, but is the result of discriminatory pay decisions that occurred outside the limitations period?