RECENT NOTEWORTHY U. S. SUPREME COURT CASES

SCOTUS-1SOME OF THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL United States Supreme Court Cases have been handed down during the last few years.  With decisions about health care, campaign financing, marital choice — among others — there is little doubt that the Roberts Court will impact American society and social norms for generations to come.  Since this page will be an ongoing work in progress, please feel free to suggest other cases to include.


LINKS TO CASE OPINIONS

STUDENT SPEECH CASES

TINKER V DES MOINES SCHOOL DISTRICT (1969)

The First Amendment’s free speech protections don’t stop at the schoolhouse gate.  Seminal case that established constitutional protection for student speech.

BETHEL SCHOOL DISTRICT V. FRASER (1986)

Student free speech protection does not extend to vulgar, obscene or disruptive speech in the school setting.

HAZELWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT V. KUHLMEIER (1988)

Student speech expressed in a school or school district vehicle, such as a student newspaper, is limited by the disciplinary authority of school officials.

MORSE V. FREDERICK (2007)

The enigmatic “bong hits for Jesus” case. A rather confusing opinion that seems to stand for the proposition that student speech advocating the use of illegal drugs is not protected.

STUDENT DUE PROCESS CASES

GOSS V. LOPEZ (1975)

This seminal case established that students have the right to due process in disciplinary proceedings. Have you wondered where it was established that “long term suspensions” equal ten days or more?  It started here.

NEW JERSEY V TLO (1984)

This case defines the nature and extent of student protections from unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment.

VERNONIA SCHOOL DISTRICT V. ACTON, (1995)

This case upheld mandatory drug-testing of students engaged in extra-curricular activities. Curiously, the Court observed that the expectation of privacy for student athletes because they shower together.  I have yet to figure out how that rationale applies to the Chess Club!

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS V SEBELIUS (2011 TERM)

This case upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, including the controversial “individual mandate.”

KING V BURWELL (2014 TERM)

This case clarified that state health care exchanges run by the Federal Government fell within the authority of the ACA and are legal.

BURWELL V HOBBY LOBBY (2013 TERM)

This case established that certain privately-owned businesses may object to the contraception coverage requirement of the ACA for religious reasons.

CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS

CITIZENS UNITED V FEC (2009 TERM)

This case struck down limits on campaign expenditures by outside groups and paved the way for today’s “Super PACs” and so-called 501(c)(4) “charitable” organizations.

MCCUTCHEON V FEC (2013 TERM)

This case struck down limits on aggregate campaign donations.

SHELBY COUNTY V HOLDER (2012 TERM)

This case invalidated portions of the Voting Rights Act.

ARIZONA STATE LEGISLATURE V INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION (2014 TERM)

This case upheld Arizona voter’s decision to delegate the redistricting authority from the legislature to an independent commission.

CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA V HELLER (2007 TERM)

This case ruled that the Second Amendment includes an individual Constitutional right to bear arms.

UNITED STATES V WINDSOR (2012 TERM)

This case struck down legal restrictions based on sexual orientation.

OBERGFELL V HODGES (2014 TERM)

This case established that same-sex couples have a Constitutional right to marry.

EMPLOYMENT LAW – DISABILITY

EEOC V ABERCROMBIE & FITCH (2014 TERM)

This case affirmed that religious objections may override a company’s dress code. The case was brought on behalf of a Muslim woman.

YOUNG V UNITED PARCEL SERVICE (2014 TERM)

This case clarified and, to some extent, expanded the rights of pregnant employees.