The division of power between national, state, and local governments is complex and not always clear. Explore these Supreme Court cases to learn how the court has interpreted this important political principle.
Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918)
The Court ruled that under the Tenth Amendment, only the states and not the federal government could regulate child labor (on the grounds that manufacturing is not commerce and not subject to federal regulation). Read More.
South Dakota v. Dole (1987)
A federal law that would withhold 5 percent of a state’s highway funds if it did not raise its minimum drinking age to 21 was ruled constitutional. The Court believed it was passed in the interest of the general good and by reasonable means. Read More.
United States v. Lopez (1995)
The Court ruled that the Commerce Clause did not give Congress the power to enact the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act. Read More.
United States v. Morrison (2000)
The Supreme Court ruled that neither the Commerce Clause nor the Fourteenth Amendment gave Congress the power to enact the Violence Against Women Act. Read More.
Raich v. Gonzalez (2005)
A California law allowing citizens to grow marijuana for personal, medical use was overruled by a federal law declaring marijuana an illegal substance, because the Court held that personal marijuana growth was related to interstate commerce and therefore Congress had the authority to ban it under the Commerce Clause. Read More.
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Assembly and Association
Discover landmark court cases where the right to peaceably assemble and associate was tested. The right to peaceably assemble is essential to the maintenance of a free government. Throughout American history, individuals have gathered to ensure their voice is heard by their government. Learn more by exploring these cases.
How has the Supreme Court defined the right to citizen juries? Explore these landmark Supreme Court cases to find out.
Criminal Procedure, Search and Seizure, and Due Process
How has the Supreme Court interpreted rights concerning criminal procedure, search and seizure, and due process? Explore these landmark Supreme Court cases to find out.
Freedom of Petition
How has the Supreme court interpreted the right to petition? The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances is protected by the first amendment. Explore these Supreme Court cases to learn more about this important right.
Freedom of Speech: Campaign Finance
Where does the right to free speech intersect with elections? Find out how the court ruled on this important constitutional question in these cases.
Freedom of Speech: Commercial
Do commercial organizations have free speech protections? Explore these landmark Supreme Court cases to find out how the court has interpreted this constitutional question.
Freedom of Speech: General
How has the Freedom of Speech been interpreted by the Supreme Court? Explore these landmark cases to better understand this important constitutional right.
Freedom of the Press
Explore various landmark court cases where the right to a free press was tested. Freedom of the Press is essential to the maintenance of free government and is guaranteed by the first amendment. Learn more about this right in the cases below.
How has the Supreme Court incorporated the Bill of Rights to the States? The process of incorporation has played out over many years and through many cases. Explore these landmark cases to learn more.
The extent and limits of personal liberty have often been argued in front of the Supreme Court. Check out these important cases where the court took up this important issue.