The most important decisions the Supreme Court has overturned
May 13, 2022
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West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette | BRI’s Homework Help Series
Should students be required to salute the flag? In 1943, the Supreme Court heard a case after Jehovah's Witnesses in West Virginia refused to comply with a school board policy requiring they salute the U.S. flag during the Pledge of Allegiance. How did the Court rule? Find out with our latest Homework Help video!
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Case background and primary source documents concerning the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education. Dealing with the principle of Equal Protection, this lesson asks students to assess the role played by the Court as the protector of individual rights against the tyranny of the majority.
Brown v. Board of Education | BRI’s Homework Help Series
Brown v. Board of Education was a case brought to the Supreme Court in 1954 after Linda Brown, an African American student in Kansas, was denied access to the white-only schools nearby her house. Future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was the lawyer for the case, and argued that segregated schools were inherently unequal. Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Linda Brown and declared segregation unconstitutional. This is one of the landmark cases that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Case background and primary documents concerning Plessy v. Ferguson. Dealing with the principle of Equal Protection, this lesson asks students to evaluate the degree to which custom, precedent, and understanding of federalism informed the ruling in the case.
Plessy v. Ferguson | BRI’s Homework Help Series
How did the odious doctrine of “separate but equal” become legally permissible in the U.S.? This Homework Help narrative explores the story of the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court case.
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
Case background and primary source documents concerning the Supreme Court case of Gideon v. Wainwright. Dealing with whether or not a state must provide a lawyer to the accused, this lesson asks students whether or not they believe the Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to counsel in all cases and whether the government must provide a lawyer to defendants who want one but cannot afford one.
Gideon v. Wainwright | Homework Help from the Bill of Rights Institute
Does an individual have a right to a lawyer, regardless of the crime he or she is charged with? In 1961, Clarence Gideon was arrested and charged with breaking and entering and petty larceny in Panama City, Florida. His request for a state-provided defense attorney was denied since Florida law only required doing so for capital offense cases. After Gideon was sentenced to 5 years in prison, he argued that Florida violated the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of the right to counsel. The Supreme Court heard Gideon’s case and ruled in a 7-0 decision that the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of an attorney applies to states through the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Citizens United v. FEC | BRI’s Homework Help Series
Citizens United v. FEC was a Supreme Court case surrounding campaign finance and corporate involvement in politics. The Federal Election Commission was created in 1971 and greatly regulated the amount of campaign finance political candidates were able to receive. By 2002, the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act (McCain-Feingold Act) restricted organizations from financing issue-based advertisements on behalf of candidates. Citizens United released a million dollar ad against Hillary Clinton. Before the film aired, Citizens United challenged the McCain-Feingold Act, stating that money was a form of Free Speech, which is protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled the McCain-Feingold Act as unconstitutional, but stated that corporations still cannot give money directly to political candidates.
Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
Case background and primary source documents concerning the Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. Texas. Dealing with a citizen's constitutional right to privacy in regards to sex, this lesson asks students to analyze how the Court's definition of privacy evolved from 1965 to 2003.