Tag Archives: constitutional

On This Date in Legal History

On October 19, 1961, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Hoyt v. Florida. The case arose after an all-male jury convicted Gwendolyn Hoyt of killing her husband. Hoyt argued the lack of women on her … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

A physician and Estelle Griswold, the Executive Director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Connecticut, were convicted of violating a state law that prohibited the prescribing of birth control to married couples. They appealed their convictions to the United States … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

In 1890 the Louisiana legislature enacted a statute that required railroad companies to provide “for separate railway carriages for the white and colored races.”  The races weren’t permitted to sit together.  Any passenger who violated the law was subject to … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On May 5, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided Town of Greece v. Galloway. The Court (in a 5:4 decision) held that reciting a prayer before a town meeting doesn’t violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. Read more about … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Taxpayers sued New York City’s Board of Education in order to challenge a policy that permitted students to leave school during the day to attend religious instruction elsewhere. No public funds were used and no religious instruction took place on … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

A high school student was arrested and charged with violating the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 after bringing a (concealed) handgun and 5 bullets into his school. He moved to dismiss his indictment arguing the law was unconstitutional because … 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

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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On This Date in Legal History

On March 29, 1875, the United States Supreme Court decided Minor v. Happersett. Virginia Minor sued after she was prevented from registering to vote because she was a woman.  She alleged that her Fourteenth Amendment rights had been violated.  A lower court … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On March 11, 1943, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette was argued before the United States Supreme Court. The case arose after the Board of Education required all public school students to use a “stiff-arm” salute while reciting the Pledge … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Eugene Debs gave a speech intending to encourage others not to join the military. He was indicted and convicted by a jury for violating the Espionage Act. The Act made it a crime to obstruct military recruitment during World War … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade.  The Court ruled (in a 7:2 decision) that a Texas criminal abortion law (that permitted only abortions to save the mother’s life) was unconstitutional.

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On This Date in Legal History

An Oklahoma law permitted 18 year old females to purchase 3.2% beer but barred males from purchasing the same beer until they were 21. In Craig v. Boren that law was challenged, and on December 20, 1976, the United States Supreme Court … Continue reading

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The Bail Reform Act

In 1984, Congress passed the Bail Reform Act. This legislation requires courts to detain persons charged with serious crimes, before trial, if the government can show they are a danger to society. Two men (detained pretrial) challenged the Act as … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

Taxpayers sued New York City’s Board of Education in order to challenge a policy that permitted students to leave school during the day to attend religious instruction elsewhere. No public funds were used and no religious instruction took place on … 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 issue in the case was whether it was constitutional for correctional officers to strip-search an individual arrested for … 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 … Continue reading

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On This Date in Legal History

On November 20, 1961, the United States Supreme Court decided Hoyt v. Florida. The case involved an all-male jury convicting Gwendolyn Hoyt of killing her husband. In Florida women were excluded from jury service unless they proactively registered with the clerk … Continue reading

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