Category Archives: This Day In Supreme Court History

This Day in Supreme Court History—July 24, 1974

On this day in 1974, the Supreme Court decided United States v. Nixon, a ruling that played a key role in President Richard Nixon’s resignation from office. The justices issued their decision just sixteen days after hearing oral arguments in the case. The President, they held, could not cite executive privilege as a reason for … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—July 24, 1974

This Day in Supreme Court History—July 7, 1986

On this day in 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a student’s claim that school officials violated his First Amendment rights when they disciplined him for giving a speech filled with sexual innuendo before a school assembly. The student, Matthew Fraser, decided to enliven his speech in support of a candidate for the student government … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—July 7, 1986

This Day in Supreme Court History—June 23, 2003

On this day in 2003, the Supreme Court decided Grutter v. Bollinger, one of the Court’s most important rulings on the constitutionality of affirmative action. In a 5-4 ruling, the Court upheld the admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School, which used race as one factor in its evaluation of applicants. Challenging the … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—June 23, 2003

This Day in Supreme Court History—June 15, 1989

On this day in 1989, the Supreme Court handed down Michael H. v. Gerald D., a landmark case on parental rights that highlighted fissures among the justices on the nature of constitutional rights not specifically enumerated in the text of the Constitution. The Court upheld a California law that presumed a child born to a … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—June 15, 1989

This Day in Supreme Court History—June 13, 1966

On this day in 1966, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Miranda v. Arizona. In a decade filled with headline-making Supreme Court rulings, Miranda stood out. It became a favorite target of a conservative law-and-order campaign that helped get Richard Nixon elected president and transformed the politics of criminal justice. But as controversial as … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—June 13, 1966

This Day in Supreme Court History—April 26, 1978

On this day in 1978, the Supreme Court decided First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, a seminal case involving corporate speech rights. In a 5-4 ruling, the Court struck down a Massachusetts law that prohibited corporations from spending money to influence the outcome of referenda, unless the referenda issue “materially affected” them. Justice Lewis Powell … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—April 26, 1978

This Day in Supreme Court History—April 22, 2014

On this day in 2014 the Supreme Court announced its opinion in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. The case involved a 2006 amendment to the Michigan constitution, approved by a statewide referendum, that prohibited “all sex- and race-based preferences” in public education, employment, and contracting. The referendum was organized in response to Grutter … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—April 22, 2014

This Day in Supreme Court History—March 1, 2005

On this day in 2005, the Supreme Court decided Roper v. Simmons, one of its most important rulings on the issue of capital punishment. In Roper, the Court held that Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on “cruel and unusual punishments” forbids imposing the death penalty for a crime committed by someone under the age of 18. In … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—March 1, 2005

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