the Constitution

Marbury v. Madison (1803)

The Supreme Court case that established the power of judicial review. (Read the opinion here).

During President John Adams’ lame duck session of his presidency, he appointed Marbury as a justice of the peace and signed the commission. Soon thereafter, Thomas Jefferson became President of the United States and refused to allow Secretary of State James Madison to deliver the commission to Marbury. Marbury sued Madison in the Supreme Court to get his commission via a writ of mandamus.

Keywords: 

Gideon v. Wainright (1963)

A U.S. Supreme Court case in which the Court used the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to extend the constitutional right to an attorney in federal criminal cases for those who could not afford representation to indigent defendants in state prosecutions. The indigent defendant was represented gratis by future Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas. The ruling greatly increased the use of public defenders. In 2002, the Court ruled the right applied in all cases where jail time is a possible punishment.

Allen Charge

Definition

An instruction given by a court to a deadlocked jury to encourage it to continue deliberating until it reaches a verdict. Some states prohibit Allen charges, because they deem them coercive, but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld their use in Allen v. U.S., 164 U.S. 492 (1896).

unreasonable search and seizure

A search and seizure by a law enforcement officer without a search warrant and without probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is present. Such a search or seizure is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment (applied to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment), and evidence obtained from the unlawful search may not be introduced in court. (See also: fruit of the poisonous tree)

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - the Constitution