Marbury v. Madison (1803)
This case remains one of the most studied Supreme Court cases in the American history. It labels a border line between the judicial and the executive branches. President John Adams appointed William Marbury as Justice of the Peace at the end of his presidential term. The Secretary of State failed to send the documents. When Thomas Jefferson became president, he asked his Secretary of State, James Madison not to deliver the commission.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
This case proves once again that control remains in the United States’ hands and not in the individual states’. When the Congress created the Second Bank of the US, Maryland wanted stop bank’s operations by taxing it. Further to this case, Congress was granted the power to pass laws on interstate commerce and collect tax under the Necessary and Proper clause of the Constitution.
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Jane Roe sued Henry Wade, the District Attorney of Dallas to the Supreme Court in 1973. She attempts to challenge the constitutionality of the Texas criminal abortion laws. The Court gives women rights to have an abortion if her life is in danger. However, the case also stated the right of states to regulate abortions.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Almost all schools were segregated by race in the 1950s. Oliver Brown of Topeka in Kansas believed it to be in violation of his 14th Amendment right to Equal Protection. In Topeka, Kansas, Oliver Brown and her Linda Brown with other black students were forbidden access to nearby segregated white schools. He brought the case to the Supreme Court that took his side and declared school segregation as unconstitutional.
Gideon v. Wainwright (1961)
After being spotted near a burglary case in 1961, Clarence Earl Gideon was arrested in Florida and was forced to defend himself because he could not afford a lawyer. The judge refused to appoint one to defend him even if he asked for. The 6th Amendment required courts to assign a legal representative to a defendant who cannot afford one.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Miranda rights are well-known among police officers. The Supreme Court decision gave any individual the right against self-incrimination and the right to a lawyer to be appointed if he could not afford one.
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
This case sided in favor of Thomas Gibbons who sued Aaron Ogden of monopolizing New York’s waterways as granted to its company by state law. The Supreme Court decided that the federal commerce clause took precedence over the state law.
Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)
The Court decision for this law case is a landmark in the fight for equality and abolition of slavery. Being a slave purchased in Missouri, Dred Scott’s owners moved to Illinois and Wisconsin, both free states. His owners returned to Missouri and Scott claimed his right to be free. The court ruled that slaves were not citizens and were simple private properties.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
The Separate Car Act compelled all rail companies in Louisiana to provide separate accommodations for white and black passengers. Homer Plessy entered a car for white people and was arrested and jailed. Unfortunately, the Court decided against him.
K. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra (1959)
Receiving and unprecedented media coverage, this law case remains one of the most historical dealing with bench trial and jury trial. The naval commander, Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati was accused of the murder his wife’s lover, Prem Ahuja. He was declared guilty by jury but Bombay High Court recalled the case as a bench trial.