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Get out a sheet of notebook paper. If something is underlined, you need to write it down. When did the U.S. Declare its Independence?. July 4, 1776. Who decides if a law is Constitutional?. Early Cases. Marbury v. Madison , 1803 Established Judicial Review

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Early cases
Early Cases

  • Marbury v. Madison, 1803

    • Established Judicial Review

      • The U.S. Supreme Court is the final authority to determine if a law fits the guidelines of the U.S. Constitution

  • Scott v. Sanford, 1857

    • Dred Scott, a slave, had earned his freedom, but the court said that because he lived in a state that allowed slavery, he was not a freecitizen


  • Roe v. Wade, 1973

  • Is it a violation of a person’s right to privacy for a state to prevent a woman from terminating a pregnancy through an abortion?

  • The Court ruled that during the 1st 3 months of a pregnancy, a woman in the U.S. has a virtually unrestricted right to an abortion.

    • States can regulate abortions as a pregnancy progresses.

      • However, A fetus cannot have the same personal rights as a newborn baby.

      • Only in the final 3 months of pregnancy can a state legally forbid an abortion from occurring.

  • Since this ruling, the court has restricted the use of federal money from paying for abortions.

Can students express free speech
Can Students Express Free-Speech?

  • Tinker v. Des Moines, 1969

    • John and Mary Beth Tinker of Des Moines, Iowa, wore black armbands to their public school as a symbol of protest against American involvement in the Vietnam War. When school authorities asked that the Tinkers remove their armbands, they refused and were suspended.

  • The Supreme Court decided that the Tinkers had the right to wear the armbands.

    • No one expects students to “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Can the principal censor the school newspaper
Can the Principal Censor the School Newspaper?

  • Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, 1988

    • Hazelwood East High School Principal Robert Reynolds proofread The Spectrum, the school’s student-written newspaper, before publication. In May 1983, he decided to have certain pages cut out because of the sensitive content in two of the articles, and acted quickly to remove them in order to meet the paper’s publication deadline. The journalism students felt that this censorship was a direct violation of their First Amendment rights.

  • The Supreme Court decided that the Principal had the right to cut content from the paper, as he had “legitimate educational concerns.”

Can you be searched at school without a warrant
Can you be searched at school without a warrant?

  • New Jersey v. T.L.O., 1985

    • A New Jersey high school student was accused of violating school rules by smoking in the bathroom, leading an assistant principal to search her purse for cigarettes. The vice principal discovered marijuana and other items that implicated the student in dealing marijuana. The student tried to have the evidence from her purse suppressed, contending that mere possession of cigarettes was not a violation of school rules; therefore, a desire for evidence of smoking in the restroom did not justify the search.

  • The Supreme Court decided that the search did not violate the Constitution and established more lenient standards for reasonableness in school searches. (Reasonable Suspicion)

Can a school allow public prayer
Can a School Allow Public Prayer?

  • Engel v. Vitale, 1962

    • In the New York school system, each day began with a nondenominational prayer acknowledging dependence upon God. This action was challenged in Court as an unconstitutional state establishment of religion in violation of the First Amendment.

  • The Supreme Court agreed, stating that the government could not sponsor such religious activities.

Why isn t student led prayer legal
Why Isn’t Student-Led Prayer Legal?

  • Santa Fe Schools v. Doe, 2000

    • Before football games, members of the student body of a Texas high school elected one of their classmates to address the players and spectators. These addresses were conducted over the school's loudspeakers and usually involved a prayer. Attendance at these events was voluntary.

  • Three students sued the school arguing that the prayers violated the First Amendment. A majority of the Court rejected the school's argument that since the prayer was student initiated and student led, as opposed to officially sponsored by the school, it did not violate the First Amendment.

  • The Court held that this action did constitute school-sponsored prayer because the loudspeakers that the students used for their invocations were owned by the school.

Is flag burning legal
Is Flag Burning Legal?

  • Texas v. Johnson, 1989

    • In a political demonstration during the Republican National Convention in Texas, protesting the policies of the Reagan Administration and of certain corporations based in Dallas, Gregory Lee Johnson doused an American flag with kerosene and set it on fire. No one was hurt or threatened with injury, but some witnesses said they were seriously offended, and Johnson was charged and convicted with the desecration of a venerated object, in violation of the Texas Penal Code.

  • The Supreme Court determined that Johnson’s actions were symbolic speech protected by his First Amendment Right granting freedom of speech.

Should terrorists be treated like us citizens in court
Should Terrorists be treated like US citizens in court?

  • Boumedine v. Bush, 2008

    • The Bush Administration sought to detain persons without a national affiliation and suspected of connection to terrorism as unlawful combatants. They believed that a person could be held indefinitely without charges being filed, without a court hearing, and without entitlement to a lawyer.

  • The Court denied the Bush Administration this authority and granted the prisoners the right to legal representation.

Can gun possession be outlawed
Can Gun Possession Be Outlawed?

  • Washington, D.C. v. Heller, 2008

    • The city of Washington, D.C., in an effort to prevent violent crimes, passed a law banning the home possession of ALL firearms by its citizens.

  • Richard Heller, whose neighborhood had changed over the years from “child friendly” to a “drug haven”, kept a handgun at home for self defense and sued to keep it at home legally.

  • The Court ruled that the D.C. law violated Heller’s 2nd Amendment rights (The Right to Bear Arms) and struck down the law as unconstitutional.