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Supreme Court Cases

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Supreme Court Cases

First Amendment-

Case Name:

Case Facts:

Students wore anti-war bands to school, which in turn got them suspended from school. The students sued the school for impeding upon their free speech.

Students Arguments: 1st and 14th Amendment-free speech, they weren't hurting anyone.

School Arguments: 10th Amendment-allowed the school to suspend the kids in fear of endangering other student's health and academic well being

Supreme Court Decision: The students won. "Students do not shed their 1st Amendment rights at the school gates". As long as they were NOT disturbing any other students, they had the right to wear the arm bands.

Case Name: Flast VS. Cohnen

Case Facts: Flast sued because he claimed tax money was being used unconstitutionally, and being dispersed under the Elementary and Secondary Act.

-Separation of Church and State

-Tax payers DO NOT and SHOULD NOT pay for parochial schools


Flast- Pubic funds are not allowed to aid for religious schools

Cohnen- You cannot sue unless the outcome is personal

Supreme Court Decision:

Flast won, tax payers shouldn't have to pay and the separation of church and state

Case Name: Miami Herald Publishing VS. Tornillo

Case Facts: Tornillio tried running for Supreme Court and the Miami Herald would not publish his reply to a "diss" he had received in their paper.


Miami Herald: Someone said something bad, you would want to reply with the same number of's only fair

Tornillo: Since many papers print some articles that have a lot of information, it becomes difficult for people to see a full range of views.

Questions speech and free press rights...

Supreme Court Decision: Ruled in favor of Miami Herald. Reply law was not constitutional.

Case Name: Agostini VS. Felton

Case Facts: NYC public school teachers were not supposed to spend the extra time they had with disadvantaged children at religious schools. Religious schools have no government funding, and the Establishment Clause was working against them.


Agostini: Religion is being promoted in public schools now because the public school teachers are taking time out of their schedule to help religious school kids. It was a matter of Religion VS. State. Public teachers may change their teaching and it will not mix with public schools.

Frelton: Being taught irrelevant skills, and the government is not responsible for supervising so that state and church won't interact.

Supreme Court Decision: Public school teachers can help religious students.

Fourth Amendment-

Case Name: Mapp VS. Ohio

Case Facts: Cleveland said that Mapp was hiding a fugitive in her home. Mapp would NOT let police into her home, so the police proceeded with a fake warrant and entered her house. Mapp was arrested for being belligerent and having "obscene" materials in a storage trunk.

Constitutional Issues: The fake warrant the police had made to gain access to Mapp's home. You cannot use the evidence found (the materials in the trunk) in court, due to the exclusionary rule. The 14th Amendment portrays the rights of a citizen, working against the police. Along with this, the 4th Amendment was working against the police as well...saying police need a proper search warrant before entering a suspects home and searching.

Mapp's Argument:

The fake search warrant was not legit

Police used forced entry

Her belongings were taken illegally and pressed against her in court

Ohio's Argument:

Already a law

Ohio should have the right to decide if the evidence could be used in court

Supreme Court Decision:

Re-trail...there was hypothetically no real evidence that could be used against Mapp...therefore, she did win.

Fifth Amendment

Case Name: Miranda VS. Arizona

Case Facts: Miranda was convicted of a rape murder. He then confessed to the crime before he was read his Miranda Rights, therefore he had no "rights" to a lawyer or to plead the fifth.

Miranda Arguments: You cannot hold me because my rights were not given to me. Those rights need to be read in order to a fair trial.

Arizona: Miranda Warning was overturned

Supreme Court Decision:

Miranda won because hw as not given his Miranda Rights.

Sixth Amendment:

Case Name: Powell VS. Alabama

Case Facts: Nine black men were accused of raping two white girls on a freight train going through Alabama.

Constitutional Issues:

-Unfair Trial

-Sixth Amendment



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