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Lawrence v Texas The Court, by a 5 to 4 vote, voted to overrule a decision and hold that the due process liberty clause protects the right of consenting adults to engage in sodomy. The Court overturned the convictions of two gay men who violated a Texas statute criminalizing homosexual sodomy. Justice O'Connor did not find a substantive due process violation, but would have found the ban on homosexual, but not heterosexual, sodomy to violate the equal protection clause. The three dissenters Rehnquist, Thomas, Scalia would have upheld the Texas law. The Court, by a 7 to 1 vote, found that Virginia violated the equal protection clause by failing to provide to females an education substantially equal to that provided males at the Virginia Military Institute.

Virginia operated a military school for women, but the Court found that the curriculum and standards of the new school differed significantly from the program open to men at VMI.

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The decision effectively opened VMI to women. Justice Thomas, who had a son enrolled at VMI, did not participate in the case. Grutter v Bollinger The Court, by a 5 to 4 vote, upheld an affirmative action program used by the University of Michigan to determine admissions to its law school.

The Court held that it was permissible to give some preference to racial minorities as part of a larger program to enhance diversity in the student body. The four dissenters believed that the program denied white applicants equal protection of the laws.

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Bush v Gore The Court, on a 5 to 4 vote, decided to stop the recounting in presidential election in Florida, effectively giving Florida's electoral votes-- and with it, the election--to George W. Two other justices, Breyer and Souter, also found the Florida Supreme Court's order to violate equal protection, but unlike the five justices in the majority, they would have allowed the recount to continue under new guidelines.

Lee v Weisman The Court, on a 5 to 4 vote, found that the decision of a public school principal to invite a member of the clergy to offer invocation and benediction prayers at a middle school graduated ceremony violated the clause of the Constitution that prohibits an "establishment" of religion.

Van Order v Perry The Court, on a 5 to 4 vote, held that the placement in front of the Texas State Capitol of a large stone monument engraved with the Ten Commandments did not constitute an "establishment of religion. The Court distinguished the Texas monument from a framed listing of the Ten Commandments in a county courthouse which the Court, on the same day and also by a 5 to 4 vote, said did constitute an establishment clause violation.

Justice Breyer was the swing vote in the two cases. Free Exercise of Religion Peyote Case: Employment Division v Smith The Court, on a 5 to 4 vote, overruled years of caselaw on the meaning of the free exercise clause and held that the enforcement of a neutral and generally applicable criminal law did not violate free exercise rights, even if someone's religious exercise was substantially burdened by the law.

List of landmark court decisions in the United States - Wikipedia

In the three decades prior to this case, the Court had repeatedly said that the government must show a compelling state interest and narrowly tailored means when it substantially burdens religious exercise. A socialist named Benjamin Gitlow printed an article advocating the forceful overthrow of the government and was arrested under New York state law. Gitlow argued that the First Amendment guaranteed freedom of speech and the press. When police asked to search her home, Mapp refused unless the police produced a warrant.

The police used a piece of paper as a fake warrant and gained access to her home illegally. After searching the house without finding the bombing suspect, police discovered sexually explicit materials and arrested Mapp under state law that prohibited the possession of obscene materials. Mapp was convicted of possessing obscene materials and faced up to seven years in prison before she appealed her case on the argument that she had a First Amendment right to possess the material.

Gideon, a Florida resident, was charged in Florida state court for breaking and entering into a poolroom with the intent to commit a crime. Due to his poverty, Gideon asked the Florida court to appoint an attorney for him.


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The court declined to do this and pointed to state law which said that the only time indigent defendants could be appointed an attorney was when charged with a capital offense. Left with no other choice, Gideon represented himself in trial and lost.

He filed a petition of habeas corpus to the Florida Supreme Court, arguing that he had a constitutional right to be represented with an attorney, but the Florida Supreme Court did not grant him any relief. Estelle Griswold was the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Connecticut when she was arrested for violating a state statute that prohibited counseling and prescription of birth control to married couples.

10 Supreme Court cases about the 14th Amendment

The question before the Supreme Court was whether the Constitution protected the right of married couples to privately engage in counseling regarding contraceptive use and procurement. One indication, however, as to whether a case is widely regarded as being "leading" is its inclusion of the ruling in one or more of the series of compilations prepared over the years by various authors.

More recently, Peter H. Russell and a changing list of collaborators have published a series of books, including:. Decisions in leading cases in Canada have usually been made by the Supreme Court of Canada. Prior to the abolition of appeals of Supreme Court decisions in the s, most landmark decisions were made by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London.

Lists of landmark court decisions

Some twentieth century examples involved contributions from the late Lord Denning. Landmark cases in the United States come most frequently but not exclusively from the Supreme Court of the United States. United States Courts of Appeals may also make such decisions, particularly if the Supreme Court chooses not to review the case, or adopts the holding of the court below.

Although many cases from state supreme courts are significant in developing the law of that state, only a few are so revolutionary that they announce standards that many other state courts then choose to follow.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It may do so by: Distinguishing a new principle that refines a prior principle, thus departing from prior practice without violating the rule of stare decisis ; Establishing a "test" that is, a measurable standard that can be applied by courts in future decisions , such as the Oakes test in Canadian law or the Bolam test in English law. Sometimes, with regard to a particular provision of a written constitution, only one court decision has been made. By necessity, until further rulings are made, this ruling is the leading case.

For example, in Canada, "[t]he leading case on voting rights and electoral boundary readjustment is Carter. In fact, Carter is the only case of disputed electoral boundaries to have reached the Supreme Court. List of House of Lords cases.

List of landmark court decisions in the United States

List of landmark court decisions in the United States. Twitchell Mordechai Dov Brody Lantz v. Miami Children's Hospital Research Institute. Retrieved from " https: Case law lists Judgment law.