Constitutional Law Cases
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Marbury v. Madison
Facts: Marbury (P) was a lanst minute judicial appointee of outgoing President Adams, whose commission was not delivered before Adams left office; Jefferson, the incoming President, declined to deliver the commission
BLL: Where the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, conflictts with the laws or actions of the other branches of government, the Supreme Court may declare such law or actions unconstitutional and invalid.
District of Columbia v. Heller
Facts: Respondent, a special policeman, filed the instant action after the District refused hisapplication to register a handgun
BLL: The second amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes
McDonald v. City of Chicago
Facts: The challenged ordinances effectively banned possession of handguns by private citizens
BLL: The second amendment is fully applicable to the states
Ex Parte McCardle
Facts: While appeal of a habeas corpus petition was pending on the Supreme Court's docket, Congress passed legislation eliminating the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction in heabeas corpus cases
BLL: Although the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction is derived from the Constitution, Congress has the power to make exceptions and regulations to this jurisdiction
Allen v. Wright
Facts: Black parents sued the IRS for granting tax-exempt status to discriminatory private schools and thereby interfering with the desegregation of their public schools
BLL: Standing requires a plaintiff to allege a personal injurt fairly traceable to the defendant's allegedly unlawful conduct and likely to be redressed by the requested relief
Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency
Facts: The EPA argued that the Clean Air Act (CAA) did not authorize the EPA to address global climate change; Massachusetts is arguing that there needs to be more enforcement by the EPA of new car emissions which is causing greenhouse gases and ruining the environment
BLL: MA was able to establish standing because of a direct injury to them as a state; there are few other avenues for states to use to address their grievances to the federal judiciary needs to be sensitive to them
City of Los Angeles v. Lyons
Facts: Respondent, a motorist injured by the city police when subjected to a choke hold after being stopped for a traffic violation, argued that an injunction directed at the municipality was warranted to prevent respondent and others similarly situated from being threatened with injury in the future
BLL: Past injury and fear of future injury cannot be held to be sufficient for standing before the federal courts for those who seek injunctive relief
Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife
Facts: When Congress passed a statute protecting endangered animals, it authorized any person to sue the administrative agency for violating it. When wildlife activists sued, the agency claimed they lacked standing.
BLL: Congressional statutes cannot confer standing to plaintiffs who suffered no "actual" "injury in fact"
Baker v. Carr
Facts: Tennessee voters seek a reapportionment of state assembly districts; the districts have not been reapportioned since 1901
BLL: The Guaranty Clause may not be used as a source of a constitutional standard for invalidating state action, but an equal protection claim may be used where it does not implicate a political question
Vieth v. Jubelirer
Facts: Vieth (P) challenged state electoral districts established by the PA General Assembly as unconstitutional political gerrymandering
BLL: When a leagal action claim has no judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving the issues presented, the claim is a nonjusticiable political question
Bush v. Gore
Facts: Following the 2000 presidential election, the FL Supreme Court ordered certain counties to manually count ballots for inclusion in the vote total
BLL: Once a state vests voting rights in its citizens, it must afford each person's vote equal treatment under the Equal Protection Clause
United States v. Nixon
Facts: President Nixon (P) refused to turn over tapes of his surreptitiously recorded conversations that had been subpoenaed to assist the prosectution of individuals in the Watergate break-in
BLL: Conversations between the President and his advisors are generally privileged, but the privilege is not absolute
Cheney v. United States District Court for the District of Columbia
- Facts: A suit was filed claiming that an energy task force led by Cheney violated the Federal Advisory
- Committee Act by having secret meetings; Cheney sought to stop enforcement of a discovery order on the basis of executive privilege
BLL: This case is distinguished from Nixon; the importance of pursuing a civil investigation is not to the level of a criminal investigation so executive privilege can remain
Nixon v. Fitzgerald
Facts: A cost-management expert for the Air Force was fired after he testified in front of Congress about cost overruns in certain military projects. President Nixon (D) claimed that he made the firing decision
BLL: The Presiden of the U.S. is sheilded by absolute immunity from civil damages liability for acts done in his official capacity as President
Clinton v. Jones
Facts: President Clinton (D), accused of making inappropriate sexual advances toward a subordinate while Governor of Arkansas, sought to postpone the proceeding of a civil lawsuit until he left office
BLL: A sitting President does not enjoy temporary immunity from all civil lawsuits based on his unofficial acts taken prior to becoming President
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer
Facts: In order to prevent the interruption of supplied to troops in Korea, President Truman on the eve of a steelworkers' strike ordered the Secretary of Commerce (D) to take possession of the nation's largest steel mills and keep them operating
BLL: The President does not have the inherent authority to order involuntary surrender of private property to the government
A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States
Facts: Congress delegated authority to an executive agency, which created criminal regulations that Schechter (D) was indicted for violating
BLL: Congress may not delegate law making authority to an executive agency without prescribing specific standards for exercise of that authority
Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan
Facts: Congress delegated to the President the power to restrict or prohibit the interstate and foreign transport of petroleum
BLL: It is a violation of the separation of powers for Congress to delegate law-making authority to the President without imposing standards or rules limiting that authority
Whitman v. American Trucking Assn. Inc.
Facts: American Trucking (P) challenged the constitutionality of section 109(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act as an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power
BLL: Any Congressional authorization of decision-making authority must establish an intelligible principle to which the person or body authorized to act is directed to conform
Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Jagdish Rai Chadha
Facts: Pursuant to a statute allowing for a one-house "veto" of administrative action, the House of Representatives passed a resolution overriding the Attorney General's decision to allow a deportable alien to remain in the United States
BLL: Legislative action is not legitimate unless there is bicameral approval and presentment to the President
Clinton v. City of New York
Facts: President Clinton (D) used his newly acquired Line Item Veto power to cancel two items of congressional spending, and the intended recipients sued
BLL: The Line Item Veto Act (which gave Presidential power to selectively cancel individual portions of bills) is unconstitutional
Alexia Morrison v. Theodore Olson
Facts: The Independent Counsel was appointed by the Special Division of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to investigate a high-ranking government official, and the official responded by claiming that the appointment of Independent Counsel was unconstitutional
BLL: Since the Independent Counsel is an inferior officer, a law giving judges the authority to appoint an Independent Counsel did not violate the Constitution
United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp.
Facts: A weapons manufacturer (D) was convicted of selling arms to warring nations in South America in violation of an Executive Order that was promulgated pursuant to a Joint Resolution of Congress
BLL: The non-delegation doctrine does not bar Congress from delegating great authority and discretion to the President in the conduct of foreign affairs
Dames & Moore v. Regan
Facts: The President ordered the dismissal of pending litigation against the government of Iran in U.S. courts and forced the claims into arbitration pursuant to an "executive agreement"
BLL: The President has the power to settle claims by the U.S. citizens against foreign government, even without the consent of the U.S. citizens whose claims are compromised
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld
Facts: Hamdi (P) was detained indefinitely as an enemy combatant for allegedly forming an alliance with the Taliban while in Afghanistan
BLL: A citizen-detainee seeking to challenge his classification as an enemy combatant must recevie notice of the factual basis for his classification and a fair opportunity to rebu the government's factual assertions before a neutral decisionmaker
Boumediene v. Bush
Facts: The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) was passed to eliminate federal jurisdiction to hear habeas petitions from enemy combatants
BLL: MCA is an unconstitutional suspension (under the Suspension Clause) of the right to habeas corpus because it did not provide an adequate remedies
McCulloch v. Maryland
Facts: Maryland (P) attempted to impose a tax on the federal bank. The bank's cashier, McCulloch (D) refused to pay the tax. Maryland sued McCulloch, arguing that the establishment of the bank is unconstitutional and the bank may be forced to pay state taxes.
BLL: Under the Necessary and Proper Clause, Congress may enact legislation so long as its ends are legitimate under the Constitution and the legislation is appropriate and plainly adapted to those ends
Gibbens v. Ogden
Facts: Ogden (D) was granten an exclusive ferry operations license by New York State. Gibbons (P) began a competing ferry service and challenges Ogden's exclusive license under the Commerce Clause
BLL: The federal commerce power extends to all commerce among and between the states and foreign nations, with only commcerce having connections solely within a single state being unreachable under the commerce power
United States v. E.C. Knight Co.
Facts: A sugar refining company gained a monopoly in the industry by purchasing several other refineries
BLL: Manufacturing is separate from "commerce" because it occurs before any goods are transported in interstate commerce and thus the federal government may not regulate manufacturing in and of itself
Carter v. Carter Coal Co.
Facts: Congress passed, pursuant to its commerce power, a law regulating the management-employee relations in the coal mining industry. The law is being challenged on the ground that Congress does not have the power to regulate such activities because they do not constitute "interstate commerce"
BLL: Purely local activities, such as the negotiation of wages and working conditions, are outside of the Congress' realm of authority under the Commerce Clause
Houston, E&W Texas Railway Company v. United States
Facts: Due to state regulations of intrastate transport, a railway company charged much higher rates for interstate transport between Shreveport, LA and certain Texas locations than it did for transport exclusively within Texas, leading the Interstate Commerce Commission to implement price controls
BLL: Congress has authority to regulate intrastate commerce where it has the potential to affect interstate commerce absent federal regulation
A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States
Facts: Congress exacted a law governing wages, working conditions and prices for poultry transported in interstate commerce. Wholesalers that purchase the chickens after they've arrived in-state challenge the law as unconstitutional.
BLL: Once goods that have traveled interstate commerce are sold or disposed of in the state of their final destination, they are no longer interstate commerce and thus not subject to federal law
Hammer v. Dagenhart
Facts: A father wanting to put his two minor children to work in a cotton mill is suing on the ground that Congress' use of the commerce power to regulate child labor in the states by blocking the interstate transportation of child-made goods is unconstitutional
BLL: The commerce power does not allow Congress to regulate in areas traditionally left up to the states' police power, such as the area of child labor laws
Champion v. Ames
Facts: The Federal Lottery Act prohibited interstate shipment of littery tickets. It is being challenged as unconstitutional in that such shipments are not commerce
BLL: Congress may, pursuant to the Commerce Clause, prohibit the interstate shipment of items adjudged to be evil or pestilent in order to protect the commerce concerning all states
NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp.
Facts: A steel corporation whose operations span the continent is being sued by the government for violating the National Labor Relations Act for committing unfair labor practices
BLL: Congressional power to regulate interstate commerce extends to the regulation of intrastate activities that may burden or obstruct interstate commerce
United States v. Darby
Facts: A Georgia lumber company violated federal minimum wage/maximum hour laws. Its defense is that the federal government overreached its Commerce Clause authority in setting the standards
BLL: Congress has the authority, under the Commerce Clause, to excluse any article from interstate commerce, in judgment that they are injurious to the public health, morals or welfare
Wickard v. Filburn
Facts: Wickard (P) exceeded his alloted quota for wheat production, the excess amount to be used for his own consumption. He was fined by the government and seeks to have the quota ruled unconstitutional
BLL: Congress' commerce authority extends to all activities having substantial effect on interstate commerce, including those that do not have such a substantial effect individually, but do when judged by their national aggregate effects
Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States
Facts: An Atlanta, GA motel wishes to continue its racially discriminatory operations in spite of the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring racial discrimination in public accommodations
BLL: Congress has the power, under the Commerce Clause, to regulate local activities that could reasonably be seen as exerting a substantial harmful effect upon interstate commerce
Katzenback v. McClung
Facts: The owners of a restaurant in Birmingham, AL continued to exclude Negro patrons from their restaurant dining area in violation of the Civil Rights Act
BLL: Congress' commerce authority extends to any public commercial establishment selling goods that have moved in interstate commerce and/or serving interstate travelers
National League of Cities v. Usery
Facts: An amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act extended wages and hour requirements to state employees. The States are seeking to have the regulations are applied to them declared unconstitutional
BLL: The Commerce Clause does not empower Congress to regulate states or local governments in their integral governmental functions
Garcia v. San Antonia Metropolitan Transit Authority
Facts: Application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to a city's mass transit system fuels a revisitation of National League of Cities
BLL: Congress has full authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate the traditional or core functions of state and local government notwithstanding the 10th Amendment
United States v. Lopez
Facts: A 12th grade student was convicted of violating the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, which makes it a federal offense to possess a gun near a school
BLL: Congressional authority to regulate pursuant to the Commerce Clause extends to only those activities that rationally implicate the channels of, the instrumentalities of, or have a substantial effect on interstate commerce
United States v. Morrison
Facts: An alleged rape victim sought to sue her accused attackers under the federal Violence Against Women Act. The accused asserts that VAWA is an unconstitutional exercise of congressional authority
BLL: Congress may not, pursuant to the Commerce Clause, regulate a local activity solely on the basis that it has substantial effects on interstate commerce when viewed in its nationwide aggregate
Pierce County, Washington v. Guillen
Facts: Guillen (P) sought through discovery to obtain information from Pierce County (D) concerning accidents occurrin at the intersection where his wife died
BLL: Under the Commerce Clause, Congress is empowered to regulate and protect the instrumentalities of interstate commerce, even though the threat may come only from intrastate commerce
Gonzalez v. Reich
Facts: In 1996 California voters passed the Compassionate Use Act, legalizing marijuana for medical use; California's law conflicted with the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which banned possession of marijuana
BLL: Precedent "firmly established" Congress' commerce clause power to regulate purely local activities that are part of a "class of activities" with a substantial effect on interstate commerce
City of Philadelphia v. New Jersey
Facts: U.S. Supreme Court held that New Jersey (D) statute, which prohibited other staes from disposing of solid and liquid waste in NJ, violated the Commerce Clause
BLL: State laws that regulate commcercial activity may not, on their face or in effect, favor in-state interests over out-of-state interests
C&A Carbone v. Town of Clarkstown, NY
Facts: Local ordinance, which required all waste to be processed at a local waste transfer facility before leaving town, was challenged as violating the Commerce Clause
BLL: State and local governments may not enact laws that favor local enterprise by prohibiting patronage of out-of-state competitors or their facilities
United Haulers Assn., Inc. v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority
Facts: Oneida and Herkimer counties adopted a local "flow control" ordinance requiring locally-produced garbage to be delivered to local publicly-owned facilities
BLL: An ordinance requiring delivery of all solid waste to a publicly owned local facility does not impose a substantial burden on interstate commerce and therefore violate the Commerce Clause if the facility is publically owned.
New York v. United States
Facts: Congress passed legislation requiring states to either provide for radioactive waste disposal or take title to waste generated within their borders. The legislation is being challenged as an unconstitutional exercise of federal power over the states.
BLL: Congress does not have the authority to commandeer state governments by forcing them to implement particular regulations.
Printz v. United States
Facts: The federal Brady Act required local law enforcement officials to temporarily administer its background check program. Two local law enforcement officers challenge the Brady Act's impressment of local law enforcement officials.
BLL: Congress does not have authority to compel states to enact, enforce, or administer federal regulatory programs, and cannot circumvent this prohibition by conscripting state officials directly.
Reno v. Condon
Facts: Congress passed legislation placing certain prohibitions on dissemination of private information given to states by individuals in applying for a driver's license. One state challenges the cosntitutionality of the legislation as it applies to states.
BLL: States are required to comply with constitutionally valid legislation regulating state activitites, even when compliance means incurring additional costs to be bome by the states.
United States v. Butler
Facts: Congress attempted to regulate the quantity of local agricultutal production through use of the taxing and spending powers. The regulation is challenged as being outside Congress's enumerated powers.
BLL: Congress may not use the taxing and spending powers to force compliance in an area where the Constitution does not give Congress independent power to regulate.
Barron v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore
Facts: A wharf owner sued the city for taking his property without just compensation in violation of the 5th Amendment.
BLL: The Bill of Rights applies only to the federal government, not to the state and local government.
Twining v. United States
Facts: A law providing that a jury may draw an unfavorable inference from a criminal defendant's failure to testify was challenged under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
BLL: Provisions of the Bill of Rights may apply to the states under the Due Process Clause if the privisions are necessary for due process of law.
Duncan v. Louisiana
Facts: A man charged with simple battery, punishable by up to two years in prison, was denied the right to a jury trial and claimed he was therefore denied due process of law.
BLL: The 6th Amendment right to a jury tria is fundamental and is applicable to the states pursuant to the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Allgeyer v. Louisiana
Facts: Louisiana banned all foreign corporations from doing business in the state unless it had a place of business and an agent within the state.
BLL: Liberty, as used in the 14th Amendment, means not just the right of a citizen to be free from physical restraint, but also free to enjoy all faculties and to use them in all lawful ways.
Lochner v. New York
Facts: Owner of a bakery charged with violating state law restricting number of hours bakery employees could work challenged the law on due process grounds.
BLL: Legislation enacted using a state's police powers that interferes with an individual's right to contract must directly relate to the goal of protecting public health or safety and must have an appropriate and legitimate end.
Coppage v. Kansas
Facts: Employer convicted of violating state law that prohibited conditioning employment on not joining a union challenged the constitutionality of the law.
BLL: The freedom of contrct includes the right to make contracts affecting personal employment without arbitrary interference by the state.
Muller v. Oregon
Facts: Employer convicted of violating a law that restricted the number of hours women could work in certain types of jobs challenged the constitutionality of the law under the 14th Amendment.
BLL: The general right to contract in relation to one's busines is not absolute, but instead is subject to reasonable restrictions placed upon that right by government.
Adkins v. Children's Hospital
Facts: Employee sued employer for not paying her in accordance with the state's minimum wage law.
BLL: Freedom of contract is the general rule and the exercise of legislative authority to infringe upon that freedom is an exception that must be justified by the existence of exceptional circumstances.
Weaver v. Palmer Bros. Co.
Facts: Manufacturer of blankets is sued for violating law that prohibited manufacturing blankets with shoddy, challenged constitutionality of the law.
BLL: Laws aimed at protecting public health must be the only reasonable way to eliminate a known health risk.
Nebbia v. New York
Facts: Grocer convicted of selling milk at prices lower than price set by the state's regulatory agency challenged the constitutionality of the price control.
BLL: State price controls are constitutional if they are nondiscriminatory and bear a reasonable relationship to a proper legislative purpose.
West Coast Hotel v. Parrish
Facts: Employee sued employer to recover the difference between her actual wages and the minimum wage state law required that she be paid.
BLL: Regulation that is reasonable in relation to its subject and is adopted in the interests of the community satisfies the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.
United States v. Carolene Products Co.
Facts: Company is indicted for violating federal law that prohibits the shipping of adulterated milk products across interstate lines challeged the constitutionality of the law
BLL: When reviewing legislation the existence of facts supporting the legislation is to be presumed and such legislation shall not be pronounced unconstitutional unless it is of such character as to preclude the assumption that it rests upon some rational basis.
Williamson v. Lee Optical of Oklahoma, Inc.
Facts: Optician brough suit to have law prohibiting him from dispensing lenses or fitting lenses in frames without a prescription from a licensed optometrist and to enjoin state officials from enforcing the law.
BLL: Economic legislation will be upheld so long as there is any conceivable justification for it.
BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore
Facts: Consumer who purchased an automobile from retailer brought suit for damages upon finding that the vehicle had been repainted prior to sale with his knowlege.
BLL: A punitive damages award that can fairly be characterized as grossly excessive in relation to a state's legitimate interests in punishing unlawful conduct and deterring repetition of such conduct is arbitrary and violated the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.
State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Campbell
Facts: After State Farm failed to settle claims against Campbell for its policy limits, Campbell obtained a judgement for $1 million in compensatory damages and $145 million in punitive damages.
BLL: In evaluating the appropriateness of a punitive damages award, a court must weigh the reprehensibility of defendant's conduct, the disparity between the actual harm caused and the amount of the punitive damages awarded and the difference between the punitive damages and the civil penalities imposed under state law.
Loving v. Virginia
Facts: An interracial couple appealed their convictions for breaking VA's miscegenation statute.
BLL: Legislation which restricts the freedom to marry solely on the basis of racial classification violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Zablocki v. Redhall
Facts: A Wisconsin man challenged a state statute disallowing persons who are in arrears on child support payments the opportunity to obtain a marriage license and enter into a valid marriage.
BLL: When a statutory classification significantly intereferes with the exercise of a fundamental right such as the right to marry, it cannot be upheld unless it is supported by sufficiently important state interests and is closely tailored to effectuate only those intersts.
Stanley v. Illinois
Facts: Stanley had three children with a long-time girlfriend who then passed away. Stanley challenges a state ordinance that his children will automatically become wards of the state.
BLL: The statute violated the 14th Amendment because it unduly discriminated against the fundamental right to raise your children without proper justification through state interests.
Michael H. v. Gerald D.
Facts: A man who used a blood test to establish that he was the natural father of a certain child challenged a state court's denial of his request for parental and visitation rights, which denial was based on a California presumption that a child born to a married woman living with her husband is the child of that marriage.
BLL: In order to receive the protections of substantive due process under the 14th Amendment, an asserted liberty interest must be both fundamental interest and one that has traditionally been protected by American society.
Moore v. City of East Cleaveland, Ohio
Facts: A grandmother filed an appeal after she was sentenced to five days in jail for allowing two of her grandsons to live with her in her home, which living arrangement violated a city ordinance.
BLL: The right to both immediate and extended family members to live together is a fundamental right protected by principles of substantive due process.
Meyer v. Nebraska
Facts: A school teacher was prosecuted for teaching reading to a young student in german, in contravention of a state law which prohibited teaching certain subjects in a language other than English.
BLL: The Constitution provides that the government may not, under the guise of protecting the public interest, interfere with a person's liberty by legislative action that is arbitrary or without reasonable relation to some legitimate government purpose.
Troxel v. Granville
Facts: Two children'a paternal grandparents filed suit seeking visitation rights when, the children's mother told the grandparents that she was going to limit their access to the childern.
BLL: Parents have a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care and control of their children, and any state interference with that right will be closely scrutinized by the courts.
Skinner v. Oklahoma
Facts: Objections arose when OK attempted to use its Habitual Criminal Sterilization Act to authorize the sterilization of an individual who had thrice been convicted of theft-related felonies.
BLL: Any law rewquiring the sterilization of certain persons is reviewed with strict scrutiny lest invidious discrimination are made in violation of the constitutional guaranty of equal protection .
Griswold v. Connecticut
Facts: A birth control counselor was convicted of a misdemeanor for providing advice about contraception to married couples in violation of a CT statute.
BLL: There exists a constitutional right of privacy, implied from the penumbras of the Bill of Rights, that cannot be invaded by government action absent a showing that the government action at issue is necessary to accomplish a conpelling governmental interest.
Roe v. Wade
Facts: A pregnant woman challenged a Texas criminal acortion law that permitted abortion only when a continuation of the pregnancy would place the life of the mother in jeopardy.
BLL: Criminal abortion statutes that only permit termination of pregnancy when the life of the mother is in danger are unconstitutional because there is a funamental right to privacy.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey
Facts: A family planning clinic challenged that constitutionality of a PA law placing certain restrictions on a woman's right to obtain an abortion
BLL: The state can regulate and place restrictions on abortion so long as those regulations do not impose an undue burden on the woman's ability to make the abortion decision; when an undue burden results, the regulations are unconstitutional
Romer v. Evans
Facts: An Equal Protection challenge was brought against a popularly ratified amendment to CO's constitution, which made it unlawful for government entities and political subdivisions to explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation
BLL: A law declaring that is shall be more difficult for one group of citizens than for all others to seek aid from government is, in the most literal sense, a denial of equal protection of the laws
Lawrence v. Texas
Facts: Lawrence (D) was convicted of deviate sexual intercourse with another man in violation of a state statute
BLL: State laws criminalizing homosexual relations violate substantive due process
Dred Scott v. Sandford
Facts: After being taken by his owner to Illinois, a free-state under the Missouri Compromise, a slave sought to prevent his extradition to Missouri, a slave state, by the administrator of the slave owner's estate
BLL: The word "citizen" as used by the Constitution does not include slaves
Plessy v. Ferguson
Facts: A man asserted an equal protection challenge against his conviction for violating a LA statute which required railway companies to maintain separate accommodations for whites and blacks
BLL: The 14th Amendment does not withhold from states the power to permit or require the separation of races
Brown v. Board of Education
Facts: Several minor children in Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia and Delaware challenged the denial of their admission to schools attended by whites pursuant to laws permitting or requiring segregation
BLL: States may not segregate public schools on the basis of race
Korematsu v. United States
Facts: A Japanese-American appealed his conviction for failing to comply with a federal military order excluding Japanese-Americans from certain parts in the western-half of the United States
BLL: Military necessity and national security may justify placing legal restrictions on a single racial group
Palmore v. Sidoti
Facts: Sidoti (D) petitioned for custody of his daughter after his ex-wife, who had previously been granted custody, began living with a black man
BLL: Court may not use private racial bias as a justification for official court action
Washington v. Davis
Facts: Two black police officers and two black applicants to the District of Columbia's police department sought to challenge the department's application process as discriminatory on the basis of race on several grounds, including that certain written tests had discriminatory impact on blacks
BLL: A facially neutral law or official act will be declared unconstitutional only if there is proof that the law or act has a discriminatory purpose
McCleskey v. Kemp
- Facts: A black man convicted of murder appealed his
- death sentence on equal protection grounds, claiming that the state administered the death penalty in a discriminatory manner against blacks
BLL: Statistical evidence indicating a risk that race plays a role in capital sentencing determinations does not alone prove a violation of equal protection
City of Mobile v. Bolden
Facts: A group of black citizens of Mobile, AL filed suit in federal district court claiming that the city's commission form of government was maintained in violation of the 15th Amendment's prohibition against race based interference with the right to vote
BLL: The 15th Amendment does not entail the right to have black candidates elected but prohibits only purposefully discriminatory denial or abridgement by government of the freedom to vote "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude"
Facts: A group of black citizens filed suit against the city of Jackson, MI challenging the city council's decision to close public pools rather than operate them on a segregated basis as a violation of Equal Protection
BLL: A legislative act does not violate equal protection merely because it was motivated by a discriminatory purpose
Personal Administrator of MA v. Feeney
Facts: A female state employee who was passed over for promotion by several less qualified male applicants who had served in the armed forces filed an equal protection suit challenging the state personnel office's stated preference for veterans
BLL: To be deemed purposefully discriminatory, a government act must have been taken because of, not merely in spite of, its adverse effects upon an identifiable group
Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp.
Facts: A real estate developer filed suit in federal court alleging that the decision of the defendant municipality to deny a rezoning request for low and moderate income housing was racially discriminatory and in violation of the 14th Amendment
BLL: Where there is proof that a discriminatory purpose was a motivating factor in the decision, the judicial deference usually accorded to government action is no longer warranted
Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co.
Facts: After losing its bid on a public project due to its inability to procure satisfactory bids from minority subcontractors, a construction company filed suit against the city of Richmond, VA to challenge that city's ordinance requiring that 30% of subcontractors on public projects be owned by minorities
BLL: A city may use its spending powers to remedy private discrimination if it identifies that discrimination with the particularity required by the 14th Amendment
Grutter v. Bollinger
Facts: Grutter (P), a white law school applicant, brought suit to challenge the University of Michigan Law School's (D) policy of relying on an applicant's race in the admissions
BLL: Racial classifications must be narrowly tailored to achieving a compelling state interest and a racially diverse student body is a compelling state interest
Gratz v. Bollinger
Facts: Gratz (P) was denied admission to the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science and the Arts in favor of minority candidates
BLL: University admissions policies must take race into account, if at all, only on a case-by-case individualized basis
Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1
- Facts: A non-profit group, Parents Involved in Community Schools (Parents), sued the District, arguing that the racial tiebreaker used in high school selection violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the Civil Rights
- Act of 1964 and Washington state law
BLL: Racial diversity can be a compelling state interest, but the only way to stop discrimination is to truly stop discrimination through adequate application of the Equal Protection Clause
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