Skip to Main Content



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.

Slaughter House Cases (1873)

The Court ruled that the privileges and immunities clause protected only certain narrow federal rights (such as the right to travel, to petition Congress, and to vote in national elections), not the protections found in the Bill of Rights. Read More.

Quincy Railways v. Chicago (1897)

The Court ruled that the state of Illinois acted unconstitutionally when it took property without paying just compensation. The Court ruled that Illinois had violated Quincy’s Fourteenth Amendment right to due process. The Court never actually said Illinois had to abide by the Fifth Amendment’s just compensation clause, but by using the Fourteenth Amendment to apply part of the Bill of Rights to a state action, the Court opened the door for similar protection of other provisions. Read More.

The following portions of the Bill of Rights have been incorporated against actions by state governments:

Freedom of Speech, Gitlow v. New York (1925). Read More.

Freedom of the Press, Near v. Minnesota (1931). Read More.

Right to Counsel in Capital Cases, Powell v. Alabama (1932) Read More.

Freedom of Assembly, DeJonge v. Oregon (1937) Read More.

Free Exercise of Religion, Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940). Read More.

No Established National Religion, Everson v. Board of Education (1947). Read More.

Right to Public Trial, In re: Oliver (1948) Read More.

Ban on Unreasonable Search and Seizure, Wolf v. Colorado (1949) Read More.

No Evidence from Illegal Searches, Mapp v. Ohio (1961). Read More.

No Cruel and Unusual Punishment, Robinson v. California (1962) Read More.

Right to Counsel in all Felony Cases, Gideon v. Wainwright (1963). Read More.

No Self-Incrimination, Malloy v. Hogan (1964) Read More.

Right to Confront Adverse Witnesses, Pointer v. Texas (1965) Read More.

Right to Impartial Jury, Parker v. Gladden (1966) Read More.

Right to Obtain Defense Witnesses, Washington v. Texas (1967) Read More.

Right to Speedy Trial, Klopfer v. North Carolina (1967) Read More.

No Double Jeopardy, Benton v. Maryland (1968) Read More.

Right to Jury Trial in Non-petty Cases, Duncan v. Louisiana (1968) Read More.

Right to Counsel for Imprisonable Misdemeanors, Argersinger v. Hamlin (1972) Read More.

Right to Notice of Accusation, Rabe v. Washington (1972) Read More.

Right to Keep and Bear Arms, McDonald v. Chicago (2009) Read More.

More of this Category