Category Archives: This Day In Supreme Court History

This Day in Supreme Court History—February 20, 2002

On this Day in 2002, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, one of the most significant Establishment Clause cases in recent years. The Court considered whether a state program that provides school vouchers to parents that can be used to pay for education at religious schools violates the First Amendment’s prohibition … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—February 20, 2002

This Day in Supreme Court History—February 8, 1794

On this day in 1794, Supreme Court arguments opened in the case of Glass v. The Sloop Betsey. A French privateer, Pierre Arcade Johannene, had captured a Swedish-owned vessel—The Betsey—and delivered it to a Baltimore port. Johannene was probably acting under the presumption that the Betsey was a British vessel. France and Britain were at … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—February 8, 1794

This Day in Supreme Court History—February 1, 1790

On February 1, 1790, U.S. Supreme Court sat for the first time. They met on the second floor of the Merchants Exchange Building in New York City, the nation’s capital at the time. In addition to Chief Justice John Jay, associate justices William Cushing of Massachusetts and James Wilson of Pennsylvania were present. Missing from … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—February 1, 1790

This Day In Supreme Court History—January 13, 1988

On this day in 1988, the Court decided Hazelwood School District v. Cathy Kuhlmeier, holding that students do not have a First Amendment right to publish a school newspaper free from school administrator editorial oversight. The Spectrum, the school newspaper of Hazelwood East High School in Missouri, was written and edited by students. In May … Continue reading This Day In Supreme Court History—January 13, 1988

This Day in Supreme Court History—January 11, 2000

On this day in 2000, United States v. Morrison was argued in front of the Supreme Court. Morrison was a constitutional challenge to a section of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) that provided a civil remedy for victims of gender-motivated violence by allowing them to sue for damages in federal court. The … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—January 11, 2000

This Day In Supreme Court History—January 10, 1984

On this day in 1984, Strickland v. Washington was argued at the Supreme Court. This case considered what it meant for a criminal defendant to have the “effective assistance” of counsel, which the Court had previously ruled the Sixth Amendment required. David Washington waived his right to a jury trial and pleaded guilty to three … Continue reading This Day In Supreme Court History—January 10, 1984

This Day in Supreme Court History— January 6, 1964

On this day in 1964, one of the Supreme Court’s most significant First Amendment cases, New York Times v. Sullivan, was argued. The case began on March 29, 1960, when a group of civil rights activists ran a full-page fundraising advertisement in the New York Times. Martin Luther King Jr. was facing a trial in … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History— January 6, 1964

This Day In Supreme Court History—December 8, 1902

On this day in 1902, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The seat Holmes would occupy for the next thirty years opened up when Justice Horace Gray informed Roosevelt on July 9, 1902, that he was retiring. Roosevelt immediately wrote his close friend Henry … Continue reading This Day In Supreme Court History—December 8, 1902

This Day in Supreme Court History—November 12, 1975

On this day in 1975, Justice William O. Douglas retired. Appointed in 1939, Douglas’s thirty-six years on the Supreme Court made him the longest serving justice in U.S. history. The brilliant, irascible, and often controversial justice grew up in Yakima, Washington. After graduating from Columbia Law School in 1925, he briefly practiced law before joining … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—November 12, 1975

This Day in Supreme Court History—November 3, 1884

On this day in 1884 the Supreme Court held in John Elk v. Charles Wilkins that a Native American born in the United States could be denied the right to vote. In 1880, John Elk, a Winnebago Indian, tried to register to vote in Omaha, Nebraska. Charles Wilkins, the local registrar of voters, denied his … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—November 3, 1884