Category Archives: Constitutional Law

On This Date in Legal History

On October 17, 1967, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Katz v. United States. Katz was arrested after the government placed an eavesdropping device on the outside of a telephone booth he used to discuss criminal activity. The government … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On October 16, 1974, oral arguments took place at the United States Supreme Court in Taylor v. Louisiana. Billy Taylor challenged his conviction (for aggravated kidnapping) by an all-male jury. Louisiana excused women from jury service. Taylor claimed that he … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On October 15, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed William J. Brennan to the United States Supreme Court.  He remained on the Court for over 33 years, until July 20, 1990.  In July 1997, he passed away, however his legacy … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On October 14, 1911, former Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan passed away. From 1877 to 1911 he served as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court where he earned the reputation as the “great dissenter.” He’s probably … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On October 13, 2004, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case Roper v. Simmons.  Roper involved a high school student, Christopher Simmons, who confessed to a murder and was tried and sentenced to death.  He was 17 … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On October 12, 1944, the case Korematsu v. United States was argued before the United States Supreme Court.  Two years earlier a military order required Fred Korematsu to leave his home in San Leandro, California, and live in a detention … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On October 11, 1872, former Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone was born. Learn more about this justice at http://goo.gl/KROcZ7.

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On This Date in Legal History

On October 10, 1973, Spiro Agnew resigned as the 39th Vice President of the United States. His resignation was prompted by an accusation of tax evasion, which he pleaded no contest to, in a Baltimore courtroom. Once Agnew resigned President … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1941 President Roosevelt appointed Robert H. Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he served until Oct 9, 1954, when he passed away.  He might be best remembered, however, as the  Chief U.S. Prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials.  Learn more … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1888 President Grover Cleveland nominated Melville W. Fuller to be chief justice of the United States Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed his appointment (41 to 20), and on October 8, 1888, he was sworn in. Notably, it was Chief Justice Fuller … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On October 7, 2014, oral argument took place before the United States Supreme Court in Holt v. Hobbs.  A devout Muslim prisoner objected to a prison policy that prevented him from growing a ½-inch beard in accordance with his religious … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

President Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to the United States Supreme Court.  On October 6, 1991, news organizations reported that a law professor, Anita Hill, claimed that Judge Thomas had formerly sexually harassed her at work. She had worked for him … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

President Eisenhower nominated Earl Warren as the 14th chief justice of the United States Supreme Court. On October 5, 1953, he was sworn in. Soon after, the Court decided the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education. The justices unanimously declared … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On October 4, 1983, Lynch v. Donnelly was argued before the Supreme Court.  The Court was asked to decide whether the City of Pawtucket violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment when it included a nativity scene in its annual … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On October 1, ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­1924, William H. Rehnquist was born. In 1972 President Nixon nominated him to the United States Supreme Court, and the Senate confirmed his nomination as an associate justice.  The vote was 68 to 26.  Then in 1986 … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On September 30, 1857, Associate Justice Benjamin Robbins Curtis resigned from the United States Supreme Court. He’s probably best known for his dissenting opinion in the infamous Dred Scott v. Sandford decision. In Dred Scott the Court held that African-American slaves (and their descendants) were … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On September 29, 2005, John Roberts was sworn in as the 17th chief justice of the United States Supreme Court. Senior Associate Justice John Paul Stevens administered the oath of office in the East Room of the White House. You can … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

President George H.W. Bush nominated David H. Souter to the United States Supreme Court. You can read the transcript from his Senate Judiciary Committee hearings at atgoo.gl/294R9Z. On September 27, 1990, the Judiciary Committee voted 13-1 to endorse his nomination. See … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On September 26, 1789, the Senate confirmed John Jay as the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He also served as the first Chief Judge of the New York Supreme Court. Learn more about the Justice’s other … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On September 25, 1971, former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black died, eight days after he retired from the Court. He was a Senator from Alabama when President Roosevelt nominated him as an Associate Justice. Many called into question the appointment … Continue reading

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