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Last Updated: Nov 14, 2017 URL: http://libguides.warner.edu/law Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Notable Cases Print Page

Legal Cases

  • Bakke v. Board of Regents of California
    From The American Economy: A Historical Encyclopedia
    Controversial 5 to 4 decision handed down June 28, 1978, in which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional rigid racial quotas, or “set-asides,” for admission to a university medical school.
  • Brown v. Board of Education: Topic Page
    A legal case in which on 17 May 1954 the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public schools violated the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
  • Dred Scott decision: Topic Page
    US Supreme Court decision of 1857 which denied ‘blacks’ (African Americans) US citizenship and made slavery legal in all US territories.
  • Dreyfus affair: Topic Page
    The controversy that occurred with the treason conviction (1894) of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus (1859–1935), a French general staff officer.
  • Marbury v. Madison
    From The Reader's Companion to American History
    In Marbury v. Madison (1803) the Supreme Court announced for the first time the principle that a court may declare an act of Congress void if it is inconsistent with the Constitution.
  • McCulloch v. Maryland: Topic Page
    Case decided in 1819 by the U.S. Supreme Court, dealing specifically with the constitutionality of a Congress-chartered corporation, and more generally with the dispersion of power between state and federal governments.
  • Miranda v. Arizona: Topic Page
    U.S. Supreme Court case (1966) in the area of due process of law (see Fourteenth Amendment). The decision reversed an Arizona court's conviction of Ernesto Miranda on kidnapping and rape charges.
  • Nixon v. United States
    From Great American Court Cases
    By the spring of 1974, the government investigation into the Watergate break-in and the subsequent coverup was moving full-steam ahead. Despite President Richard M. Nixon’s repeated denials, it was becoming increasingly clear to Congress and the public that senior Nixon administration officials, and probably Nixon himself, had been actively involved in the coverup.
  • Nuremberg trials: Topic Page
    After World War II, the trials of the 24 chief Nazi war criminals November 1945-October 1946 by an international military tribunal consisting of four judges and four prosecutors: one of each from the USA, UK, USSR, and France.
  • O. J. Simpson Trial
    From Culture Wars: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints, and Voices
    The 1995 murder trial of former football star, actor, and television commentator O.J. Simpson revealed an abiding racial polarization in American society and brought fundamental issues of race and crime to the forefront of national discourse.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson
    From Encyclopedia of American Studies
    When Homer Plessy boarded an intrastate Louisiana train on June 7, 1892, his purpose was to challenge Section 2, Act III, passed by the Louisiana state legislature on July 10, 1890, which prescribed “equal but separate accommodations for the white, and colored races” on its intrastate railroads.
  • Reno v. ACLU
    From Great American Court Cases
    In this, the first ruling by the Supreme Court on legal issues raised by the Internet, the Court determined that online communication differed significantly from broadcasting and should therefore be subject to less regulation. It found that two regulations intended to protect minors from pornography were unconstitutionally vague.
  • Roe v. Wade: Topic Page
    Case decided in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court. Along with Doe v. Bolton, this decision legalized abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Sacco-Vanzetti Case
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    On Apr. 15, 1920, a paymaster for a shoe company in South Braintree, Mass., and his guard were shot and killed by two men who escaped with over $15,000.
  • Salem Witch Trials: Topic Page
    Series of trials that took place near Salem, part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1692, in which more than 150 men and women were accused and 19 found guilty of practising witchcraft, then a crime punishable by death.
  • Scopes Trial
    From Science in the Early Twentieth Century: An Encyclopedia
    William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925) believed in 1925 that evolution and Christianity were dueling to the death. In the most famous contest between science and religion in the United States, the former presidential candidate represented fundamentalist Christians.
  • Scottsboro case: Topic Page
    In 1931 nine black youths were indicted at Scottsboro, Ala., on charges of having raped two white women in a freight car passing through Alabama. In a series of trials the youths were found guilty and sentenced to death or to prison terms of 75 to 99 years.
  • Tinker v. Des Moines
    From Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History
    Noted 1969 U.S. Supreme Court case involving three high school students from Des Moines, Iowa, whose symbolic protest against the Vietnam War resulted in expanded First Amendment protections for expressive speech in public education.

Legal Policy

  • Articles of Confederation: Topic Page
    First Federal constitution of the USA, drafted by the Continental Congress in 1777.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964: Topic Page
    US legislation that outlawed discrimination on the grounds of a person's colour, race, national origin, religion, or sex. Rights protected under the act include a person's freedom to seek employment. The act is considered the USA's strongest civil-rights legislation since Reconstruction.
  • Freedom of Information Act: Topic Page
    (1966), law requiring that U.S. government agencies release their records to the public on request, unless the information sought falls into a category specifically exempted, such as national security, an individual's right to privacy, or internal agency management.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act: Topic Page
    Bill that became law on May 30, 1854, by which the U.S. Congress established the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. By 1854 the organization of the vast Platte and Kansas river countries W of Iowa and Missouri was overdue.
  • Navigation Acts: Topic Page
    A series of acts of Parliament, the first of which was passed in 1381, that attempted to restrict to English ships the right to carry goods to and from England and its colonies.
  • Prohibition: Topic Page
    In US history, the period 1920-33 when the Eighteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was in force, and the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcohol was illegal.
  • Stamp Act: Topic Page
    Revenue law passed by the British Parliament during the ministry of George Grenville.
  • Affirmative Action: Topic Page
    In the United States, programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women.
  • Equal Rights Amendment: Topic Page
    Proposed amendment to the US Constitution to provide for the equality of sexes under the law, originally proposed in 1923 by Alice Paul, a leader of the women's suffrage movement.
  • Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution: Topic Page
    Addition to the U.S. Constitution, adopted 1868. The amendment comprises five sections. MORE
  • First Amendment to the United States Constitution: Topic Page
    Amendment to the US Constitution that guarantees freedom of religion, of speech, of assembly, and of the press. Part of the Bill of Rights, it was ratified in 1791.
  • Jim Crow Laws: Topic Page
    In U.S. history, statutes enacted by Southern states and municipalities, beginning in the 1880s, that legalized segregation between blacks and whites.
  • Second Amendment to the United States Constitution: Topic Page
    The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
  • Title XI: Topic Page
    Clause of the Educational Amendments of 1972 that reads: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
  • United States Bill of Rights: Topic Page
    In the USA, the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, incorporated in 1791.
  • USA Patriot Act: Topic Page
    [Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorists], 2001, U.S. federal law intended to give federal authorities increased abilities to combat international and domestic terrorism.

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