Category Archives: Constitutional Law

On This Date in Legal History

On April 21, 1976, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Meachum v. Fano. State prisoners, who were believed to be disruptive, sued to prevent their transfer to a less desirable facility. The issue on … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 20, 1920, retired United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was born in Chicago, Illinois. Learn more about Justice Stevens at https://goo.gl/JnYDLz.

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 19,1994, the United States Supreme Court held in J.E.B. v. Alabama that the Equal Protection clause prohibits gender-based discrimination during jury selection. Justice Blackmun, who authored the majority opinion, explained– “Equal opportunity to participate in the fair administration … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On November 14, 1968, Vietnam protesters attempted to disseminate literature against the draft and war at Lloyds Center in Portland, Oregon. The mall had a policy, however, that prohibited the distribution of handbills on its premises that had no relation … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 17, 1905, the United States Supreme Court decided the landmark case of Lochner v. New York. Joseph Lochner was the owner of a bakery in Utica, New York. He was arrested after permitting one of his bakers to work … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In Baze v. Rees two death row inmates challenged the lethal injection protocol used in Kentucky death penalty cases. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued that the “procedures pose a danger of cruelly inhumane executions.” On April 16, 2008, the United States Supreme … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Prior to becoming an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, Byron R. White was a college football star (visit the College Football Hall of Fame at http://goo.gl/aIJXyq), and played professionally with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Lions. After graduating … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 14, 1970, President Nixon nominated Harry A. Blackmun to the United States Supreme Court.  On May 12, 1970, the Senate confirmed his nomination (94-0).  Take a look at the Congressional Record @ http://goo.gl/uStXuR.  This was the second time … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 13, 1942, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Betts v. Brady. The question presented was– did the State of Maryland have a constitutional duty to appoint legal counsel to assist an indigent defendant indicted … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

The case of Gitlow v. New York was argued before the United States Supreme Court on April 12, 1923. The underlying facts were as follows– Benjamin Gitlow, an active member of the Left Wing Section of the Socialist Party, arranged … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 11, 1862, Charles Evans Hughes was born. From 1910-1916 he was an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, and from 1930 to 1941 he was the Chief Justice. He was the 39th Governor of New York … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1956 the State Department refused to act upon applications for passports filed by American citizens, Rockwell Kent and Walter Briehl, who were allegedly affiliated with the Communist Party. Both men sued. The District Court dismissed their case, and the … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 9, 2010, United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens sent a letter to President Obama stating that he was retiring from the Court. He had served as an Associate Justice for 35 years. President Ford nominated him … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 8, 1913, the 17th Amendment was ratified. The Amendment addresses the election of senators to Congress. It provides for the people to elect new senators (versus the state legislatures).  The Amendment states– The Senate of the United States shall … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 5, 1816, former Supreme Court Justice Samuel Freeman Miller was born in Kentucky.  By today’s standards he had a more unconventional background for a justice– he worked as a physician for about 10 years.  While practicing medicine, however, … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On April 2, 2012, the United States Supreme Court decided Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington.  The question in the case was– whether it was constitutional for correctional officers to strip-search an individual arrested for a minor … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday Justice Alito!

On April 1, 1950, Samuel A. Alito, Jr., was born in Trenton, New Jersey.  Justice Alito has been serving on the United States Supreme Court since January 31, 2006.  He was nominated by President George W. Bush to replace retiring … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1965 Joseph Lee Jones tried to purchase a home in St. Louis County, Missouri.  The developer refused to sell to him because he was African American, so he sued.  On April 1, 1968, his case was argued before the … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On March 31, 1976, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Gregg v. Georgia on whether the death penalty constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.  You can listen to the Court proceedings … Continue reading

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The 15th Amendment

On March 30, 1870, Secretary of State Hamilton Fish certified that the 15th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified by the states.  The Amendment granted African-American men the right to vote.  Learn more at https://goo.gl/GH4Ywy and https://goo.gl/sNepQt.  

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