constitutional law

Board of Education v. Earls (2002)

The U.S. Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that public schools could require students to submit to a drug test before participating in extracurricular activities. The Court said that drug testing did not violate the students' Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable searches and seizures because students have a diminished expectation of privacy in the public school environment.

Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952)

Definition

A U.S. Supreme Court case in which the Court held that President Truman lacked either constitutional or statutory authority to seize the nation's strike-bound steel mills (the Court noted, however, that Congress would have had constitutional authority to do so). The President had ordered the Secretary of Commerce to take possession of and operate the mills in order to maintain steel production during the Korean War. 

 

Roe v. Wade (1973)

Definition

The Supreme Court case that held that the Constitution protected a woman’s right to an abortion prior to the viability of the fetus. 

Overview

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

Definition:

The Supreme Court case, since overturned by Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which upheld the constitutionality of “separate, but equal facilities” based on race.

Overview:

Louisiana had adopted a law in 1890 that required railroad companies to provide racially segregated accommodations. In 1892, the state of Louisiana prosecuted Plessy, a man who was 7/8 Caucasian and 1/8 Black, for refusing to leave a passenger car designated for whites.

Keywords: 

Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

The Supreme Court held that the custodial interrogation of an individual must be accompanied by an instruction that the person has the right to remain silent, any statements made can be used against the person, and that the individual has the right to counsel, either retained or appointed; absent these safeguards, statements made in this context will be inadmissible in court.  (Read the opinion here.)

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