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APUSH, Notable Court Cases

APUSH, Notable Court Cases

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Published by Julie
A short description of notable court cases often featured on the AP United States History exam.
A short description of notable court cases often featured on the AP United States History exam.

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Published by: Julie on Apr 26, 2010
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APUSH
http://guidesbyjulie.blogspot.com/
Notable Court Cases
Chisholm v. Georgia (1792)
Chisholm v. Georgia (1792)
Chisholm v. Georgia (1792)
Chisholm v. Georgia (1792) \u2013 Alexander Chisholm attempted to sue the state of Georgia for unpaid
goods. Georgia claimed that as a sovereign, it need not appear in court to hear a suit it did not
consent to. Citing Article III of the Constitution, the Court rejected Georgia\u2019s argument. However,
resulting controversy led to the passage of the 11th Amendment, which overturned the ruling.
1801-1835: John Marshall, notable \ue000ederalist
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Marbury v. Madison (1803) \u2013 Established judicial review: the Supreme Court has the power to
declare actions of the other branches of government unconstitutional.
\ue000
\ue000\ue000
\ue000letcher v. Peck (1810)
letcher v. Peck (1810)
letcher v. Peck (1810)
letcher v. Peck (1810) \u2013 Under the Yazoo Land Act, the Georgia legislature granted the Yazoo lands,
a Native American reserve area, to private development companies via a contract. Later, it was
discovered that the officials behind this had been bribed by the companies and attempts were made to
repeal the law. However, the Supreme Court upheld the sanctity of the original contract.
Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)
Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)
Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)
Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819) \u2013 The government of New Hampshire attempted to revoke
Dartmouth\u2019s charter to make it a public institution, but the Court upheld the sanctity of the original
charter, which had been granted by King George III. This decision was similar to \ue000letcher v. Peck.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) \u2013 The Court upheld the right of Congress to charter the Bank of the United States and declared that states could not tax the national bank. This reaffirmed the power of the federal government over the state governments.

Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) \u2013 Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce under the
Commerce Clause of the Constitution
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831)
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831)
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831)
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) \u2013 Georgia and other states passed laws requiring the Cherokees
to migrate to the West. The Cherokees then challenged Georgia in the courts, with the Court ruling
that the Cherokees were not a foreign nation with the right to sue in a federal court.
Worcester v. Georgia (1832)
Worcester v. Georgia (1832)
Worcester v. Georgia (1832)
Worcester v. Georgia (1832) \u2013 The Court ruled that the laws of Georgia have no force within the
boundaries of the Cherokee territory. However, Andrew Jackson sided with the states and defiantly
said \u201cJohn Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.\u201d
1836-1864: Roger B. Taney, favored states\u2019 rights (appointed by Jackson)
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837)
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837)
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837)

Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837) \u2013 The Charles River Bridge had been built first, with the another company then being allowed to build the Warren Bridge in a site near the Charles River Bridge. The company owning the Charles River Bridge argued that allowing the Warren Bridge to be built was a violation of their contract because it would take business away from their bridge. The

APUSH
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Notable Court Cases
decision was that building the Warren Bridge was not a breach of contract and held that the interests
of the public overruled the interests of business.
Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842)
Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842)
Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842)
Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842) \u2013 (Note: Massachusetts Supreme Court) \u201cPeaceful unions\u201d have the
right to negotiate labor contracts with employers.
Dre
Dre
Dre
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
d Scott v. Sanford (1857)
d Scott v. Sanford (1857)
d Scott v. Sanford (1857) \u2013 Dred Scott, a slave taken to the free territory of Wisconsin, argued
that his period of residence on free soil made him a free citizen. The Court ruled that Dred Scott had

no right to sue in a federal court because he was not a U.S. citizen, that Congress did not have the
power to deprive any person of property without due process of law (slaves are property), and since
Congress\u2019 Missouri Compromise excluded slavery (a form of holding property), the Missouri
Compromise was unconstitutional.

End of Taney Court

Ex Parte Milligan (1866) Ex Parte Milligan (1866) Ex Parte Milligan (1866)

Ex Parte Milligan (1866) \u2013 It is unconstitutional for citizens to be tried in a military tribunal when
civilian courts are available.
Brad
Brad
Brad
Bradwel
wel
wel
well v. Illinois (1873)
l v. Illinois (1873)
l v. Illinois (1873)
l v. Illinois (1873) \u2013 An early challenge to sex discrimination, with Myra Bradwell claiming
that it was unconstitutional for the Illinois bar to deny her membership. The Court ruled that the right
to practice law was not guaranteed under the 14th Amendment.
Munn v. Illinois (1877)
Munn v. Illinois (1877)
Munn v. Illinois (1877)
Munn v. Illinois (1877) \u2013 The Court upheld an Illinois state law regulating railroads and grain elevators,
which was surprising given that railroads crossed state lines and only Congress could regulate
interstate commerce. The decision was that states had the power to regulate private industry that
served the \u201cpublic interest.\u201d
Civil Rights Cases
Civil Rights Cases
Civil Rights Cases
Civil Rights Cases (1883)
(1883)
(1883)
(1883) \u2013
\u2013\u2013

\u2013 The Court ruled that Congress could not legislate against the racial
discrimination practiced by private citizens, which included railroads, hotels, and other businesses
used by the public.

Wabash Case (1886)
Wabash Case (1886)
Wabash Case (1886)
Wabash Case (1886) \u2013 States could not establish rates involving interstate commerce. Led to the
formation of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
United States v. E.C. Knight Co. (1895)
United States v. E.C. Knight Co. (1895)
United States v. E.C. Knight Co. (1895)
United States v. E.C. Knight Co. (1895) \u2013 The Court ruled that E.C. Knight, company that controlled
98% of the sugar refining plants in the United States, did not violate the Sherman Antitrust Act because
local manufacturing was not subject to Congressional regulation of interstate commerce.
Plessy v.
Plessy v.
Plessy v.
Plessy v. \ue000
\ue000\ue000
\ue000erguson (1896)
erguson (1896)
erguson (1896)
erguson (1896) \u2013 \u201cSeparate but equal\u201d facilities for different races was ruled
constitutional.
APUSH
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Notable Court Cases
Insular Cases (1901
Insular Cases (1901
Insular Cases (1901
Insular Cases (1901-
--
-1903
1903
1903
1903)
))
)\u2013
\u2013\u2013

\u2013 The Constitution does not follow the flag, or in other words, constitutional rights were not automatically extended to territorial possessions and the power to decide whether or not to grant such rights belonged to Congress.

Northern Securities Co. v. United States (1904)
Northern Securities Co. v. United States (1904)
Northern Securities Co. v. United States (1904)
Northern Securities Co. v. United States (1904) \u2013
\u2013\u2013

\u2013 The monopoly formed by the Great Northern and Northern Pacific railways was broken up, with the ruling giving more power to the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Standard Oil Co. v. United States (1911)
Standard Oil Co. v. United States (1911)
Standard Oil Co. v. United States (1911)
Standard Oil Co. v. United States (1911) \u2013 Standard Oil was found guilty of monopolizing the
petroleum industry and broken up into smaller companies.
Schenck v. Un
Schenck v. Un
Schenck v. Un
Schenck v. United States (1919)
ited States (1919)
ited States (1919)
ited States (1919) \u2013 Upheld the Espionage Act of 1917 and ruled that a defendant did not
have the \ue000irst Amendment right to free speech against the draft. The Court ruled that one\u2019s civil
liberties were not absolute and could be curtailed if one\u2019s actions posed a \u201cclear and present\u201d danger
to others or to the nation.
Abrams v. United States (1919)
Abrams v. United States (1919)
Abrams v. United States (1919)
Abrams v. United States (1919) \u2013 Upheld the 1918 Amendment to the Espionage Act of 1917, with the
defendant\u2019s criticism of the war not sanctioned under the \ue000irst Amendment because they advocated a
strike in munitions production and a violent overthrow of the U.S. government.
Schechter Po
Schechter Po
Schechter Po
Schechter Poultry Co. v. United Stat
ultry Co. v. United Stat
ultry Co. v. United Stat
ultry Co. v. United States (1935)
es (1935)
es (1935)
es (1935) \u2013 Under the National Recovery Administration Act
(part of the New Deal), the government could help each industry set codes for wages, hours of work,
levels of production, and prices of finished goods. The case led to the declaration that the NRA was
unconstitutional.
United States v. Butler (1936)
United States v. Butler (1936)
United States v. Butler (1936)
United States v. Butler (1936) \u2013 The Agricultural Adjustment Act was unconstitutional.
Korematsu v. United States (1944)
Korematsu v. United States (1944)
Korematsu v. United States (1944)
Korematsu v. United States (1944) \u2013 Executive Order 9066, which lead to the internment of
Japanese-Americans during WWII, was constitutional.
1953-1969: Earl Warren, shifted Court\u2019s attention to cases involving protection of individual rights
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
(1954)
(1954)
(1954) \u2013 Segregation of black children in the public schools

was unconstitutional because it violated the \ue000ourteenth Amendment. The Court ruled that separate facilities are inherently unequal and constitutional and that segregation in the schools should end with all deliberate speed. This overruled Plessy v. \ue000erguson (1896).

Baker v. Carr (1962)
Baker v. Carr (1962)
Baker v. Carr (1962)
Baker v. Carr (1962) \u2013 Prior to 1962, it was common for at least one house of a state legislature to be
based upon district lines drawn to favor rural areas. In this decision, the Court determined such

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