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Government Court Cases

Colin McDonnell

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld
The case is about the detention of an American citizen from Saudi Arabia that was arrested in Afghanistan and held in the United States as an enemy combatant, despite getting no opportunity to dispute this status. The majority opinion was written by Justice O’Connor, who, joined by three other justices, opposed the imprisonment of Hamdi without an opportunity to present a case concerning his status as an “enemy combatant”. She cited precedent by employing the test established in Mathews v. Eldridge for determining if due process applies. There was one concurring opinions, as well as two dissenting opinion from Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas. Scalia held that the court had no right to invent a new method of determining the legitimacy of an enemy combatant’s detention, but they should only be detained if habeas corpus is suspended or with the intent of giving him a speedy criminal trial. Thomas wrote his opinion supporting the Executive’s right to hold even an American citizen permanently, in violation of habeas corpus, if they are preliminarily classified as an enemy combatant. The difference in tone between the plurality opinion and that of the outvoted Scalia and Thomas is interesting. The decision was 6-3, but this fails to reflect the variety of arguments and sub-positions even contained among those who agree on the final outcome. For there to be 4 opinions testifies to this.

Smith v. Allwright
The decision in this case to disallow the existence of “white primaries” in Texas was unanimous, thus there is only one opinion, written by Justice Reed. He first referred to the 1924 case Nixon v. Herndon, which ruled unconstitutional a law that blatantly refused the vote to all blacks. This was replaced with laws setting certain criteria for voters that had to be met, which was partly addressed in Grover v. Townsend, United States v. Reese, Neal v. Delaware, Guinn v. United States, Myers v. Anderson, and Lane v. Wilson. No precedent was directly overturned, as this case served to further decrease the disenfranchising of African Americans based on race. There are also sections of the opinion that give general reasons for the decision, citing the foundational tenets of America’s constitutional democracy as a reason why a person’s vote “cannot be nullified by a state through its electoral process.” There is such a variety of sources that a justice must consider before making a decision, such as precedent, the Federalist papers, and the Constitution itself.

Virginia v. Black

Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. They cited precendent of the Free Exercise Clause. The majority opinion stated that the use of a thermal imaging device to obtain the evidence for a search warrant is defined as an unreasonable search. . which was about to build a place of worship in the town. of Indiana Employment Security was cited to reiterate that "religious beliefs need not be acceptable. This issue unsurprisingly spawned several opinions. which was the first case protecting a citizen’s right to burn crosses. US This was a very divisive case. Souter disagreed with the majority for this reason. Paul. Blackmun and O’Connor both concurred but with a different rationale. as it deals with the adaptation of a person’s constitutional rights as technology advances. creating a new classification of unprotected speech known as “true threats. They agreed that. Thomas v. with Kennedy delivering the majority opinion. both concurring and dissenting. which is the type of case that cannot be decided based on precedent. Florida which animal sacrifice. Stevens. consistent. Thomas dissented also. which was the only judicial tenet that really needed to be cited in this case. namely a law in Hialeah. the right to free speech did not apply to cross-burning under certain circumstances.This case involves the distinction between cross burnings done as a form of political speech and as a form of hateful intimidation. O’Connor delivered the majority opinion. and helped me understand the multifaceted nature of any case heard by the Court. Johnson. and Breyer. This ordinance was unanimously deemed unconstitutional. which was subscribed to by Rehnquist. thereby targeting the religion of Santeria. or comprehensible to others in order to merit First Amendment protection. The debates and justifications were remarkably varied. stating that flag-burning should be an exception to free speech. logical. similarly to Rehnquist’s dissent in Texas v. Review Bd." Kyllo v. Scalia. Also. yielding a majority opinion that was supported by 5 justices and a single dissent which was supported by the other four. in this case. City of St. The case was clearly an issue of a person’s 4th amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. Hialeah This case concerns animal sacrifice.” This decision largely overturned the precedent in RAV v. Little precedent was cited in the case. The court ruled 5-4 that flag burnings done with an intent to intimidate or inspire fear of bodily harm can be banned in states.

S. Jones c. Michigan. U. Fisher v. PRISON STRIP SEARCHES: Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington. h. and the exact limits of jurisdiction are being hammered out. v. and how broadly will the court define privacy in terms of increasingly advanced equipment? Should anyone arrested for any reason be subject to unwarranted strip searches? Can clerical error be an excusable cause for missing an appeal deadline? Is ObamaCare constitutional? To what extent can the federal government dictate regulations on gay marriage? Is the Arizona immigration law or college affirmative action constitutional? (http://edition. COLLEGE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT: Arizona v.Supreme Court Docket 1) The Supreme Court will hear or has heard about 140 cases in the 2011-2012 term.cnn. Integration. Fox Television Stations b. ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE: U. The following questions will be answered.S. as several of the issues at hand are both state and national issues. 2) Some of the biggest cases heard by the supreme court in the 2011-2012 term concern: a. Does a federal commission have the right to censor certain profanities from a broadcasting networks programs? Does a GPS device planted secretly on a car constitute an unreasonable search. University of Texas at Austin 3) These cases mainly deal with the Reagan devolution. Florida and two dozen other states f. New Jersey d. and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary v.html) . GAY MARRIAGE: Various pending appeals from New York and California g. Regents of the University of Michigan. TELEVISION INDECENCY: FCC v. DEATH ROW MISTAKE: Maples v. HEALTH CARE REFORM: Various pending appeals from Virginia. Thomas