Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court

Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court

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Edited by: David Savage

Abstract

Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court reflects the substantial changes in the makeup of the High Court and landmark rulings from recent Court terms. No other reference on the Court offers so much detail and insight in such a readable format. This classic resource explains everything readers need to know about the Supreme Court, from its origins and how it functions to the people who have shaped it and the impact of its decisions on American life and the path of U.S. constitutional law. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court covers the Court’s entire history; its operations; its power in relation to other branches of government; major decisions affecting the other branches, the states, individual rights and liberties; and biographies of the justices.

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    Preface

    The justices stood solemnly in line down the front steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building, as the flag-draped casket of the late chief justice, William H. Rehnquist, was carried into the Great Hall of the Court. Three days before, on September 3, 2005, Rehnquist had passed away at his home after a year-long struggle with cancer. His death ended both an extraordinary legal career and an unusual era of stability for the Court. Rehnquist had first walked up the marble steps of the Court on a cold morning in February 1952, a newly hired law clerk to Justice Robert H. Jackson, America's lead prosecutor at the Nuremburg War Crimes trial. Rehnquist returned twenty years later as a justice himself and served thirty-three years, nineteen of them as chief justice. And in the eleven years prior to his death, the membership of the Court was unchanged, the longest period of stability since the 1820s.

    But if this day marked the end of one era, it also symbolized the beginning of another. The pallbearers that day were Rehnquist's former aides and clerks, including a grim-faced John G. Roberts Jr. Twenty-five years before, Roberts, an Indiana native by way of Harvard Law School, had arrived in Washington to work for Justice Rehnquist. After Roberts's one-year clerkship, Rehnquist helped arrange a job for him in the Reagan administration. Several years later, after Roberts had left the government, the chief justice called and offered him an opportunity to argue a case before the Supreme Court. So began Roberts's career as one of most adept and sought-after advocates in the Court. Now, the story had come full circle. The day before Rehnquist was to lie in repose at the Court, President George W. Bush announced he was nominating Roberts to succeed Rehnquist as chief justice. Earlier, Bush had selected Roberts to fill the seat of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who had announced her plans to retire. With the passing of the chief justice and an even larger vacancy to fill, the president turned to Roberts. For the first time in the Court's history, a former clerk was chosen to take the seat of the justice he had served.

    The Supreme Court's story, like the transition from the Rehnquist Court to the Roberts Court, is one of continuity and change. Over its 230 years, the Court through its rulings has defined the words of the U.S. Constitution and built a solid foundation of law and precedent. It has done so, however, not by publishing legal treatises or advisory opinions, but by answering legal questions that arose in real cases. The Constitution, as ratified in 1789, set out a structure for a new national government, and did so in just 4,400 words. Much was left undecided in that text, and interpreting its words and the values underlying its structure has been a large part of the work embraced by the Court ever since. For example, what were the powers of the states versus the authority of the new national government? This potentially explosive question dominated the Court's debates in its first century. It also led, in 1861, to a civil war. What was the power of Congress and the federal government to regulate the economy—the factories and railroads and the lives of working men and women? This was the overriding question from the 1870s to the 1940s. And what about the rights of individuals when they come into conflict with the government, and in particular, the civil rights of those who have suffered state-sanctioned discrimination? This question has loomed large in the Court's work from the 1950s to the present.

    With each era, and indeed, with each annual Court term, new questions rise to the top of the nation's legal system. Sometimes, they are new versions of very old questions. The Constitution says, “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended,” except in time of “Rebellion or Invasion.” No one doubted that the right to habeas corpus was fundamental to freedom. It meant Americans could not be locked up by the government and denied a chance to tell a judge they were being held wrongly. But did this same right extend to foreign prisoners held by the U.S. military?

    That question was at the heart of a four-year legal battle over the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush launched a war in Afghanistan to destroy al Qaeda and its Taliban supporters. Hundreds of captives from this operation were sent to the off-shore prison. Civil libertarians said these prisoners, who were held indefinitely and without formal charges, deserved the right to go before a judge and show the government had no grounds for holding them. The Bush administration's position was that the country was at war, and military prisoners are under the control of the president and the Defense Department. This great clash played out in a series of rulings from 2004 to 2008. In June 2008, the Court ruled for the prisoners and said they had a right to have their cases reviewed by an independent judge. “The laws and the Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times,” wrote Justice Anthony M. Kennedy for a 5–4 majority in Boumediene v. Bush.

    Sometimes, litigants ask the Court to take a new look at a nearly forgotten part of the Constitution. The Bill of Rights protects cherished rights, such as the freedom of speech, the free exercise of religion, and the freedom from “unreasonable searches and seizures.” It also protects a few archaic rights, such as the Third Amendment right against having soldiers “quartered in any house.” The Second Amendment was treated as archaic for much of the Court's history. It says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This passage was seen for generations as protecting a state's right to maintain a “well-regulated militia.” It rarely figured in significant rulings. Yet most Americans knew of the right to keep and bear arms, and a majority of them believed it protects their right to have a gun, regardless of whether it would benefit the state militia. In 2008 the Roberts Court breathed new life into the Second Amendment and ruled, for the first time, that it protects an individual's right to have a gun for self-defense. The 5–4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller struck down a ban in the nation's capital on having a handgun at home.

    The meaning of even the best-known provisions in the Constitution remains in conflict. In 2010 the Court in another 5–4 decision struck down the long-standing laws that barred corporations and unions from spending money to elect or defeat candidates for public office. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Justice Kennedy said corporations, like individuals, have free-speech rights, and “the government may not suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker's corporate identity.” The dissenters said money is not speech, and a corporation does not deserve the same rights as individual citizens. Less than a week after a ruling, and with six of the justices looking on, President Barack Obama criticized the decision in his State of the Union address and said it would “open the floodgates” to allow money from special interests to pour into election races.

    Despite the fierce controversy over its decisions, the Court defies a simple label as conservative or liberal, activist or restrained. The Guantanamo ruling won cheers from liberals, but was condemned by conservatives. The campaign finance decision was praised by conservatives as a victory for the freedom of speech, while liberals loudly denounced the Court and called its decision a victory for corporate power. The rulings split the justices along ideological lines; only Justice Kennedy was in the majority both times.

    These are but a few of the recent rulings that are new to this fifth edition of the Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court. The “war on terror” cases, including those dealing with Guantanamo, are described in chapter 5 on the powers of the president as commander in chief. The clash between the campaign finance laws and the First Amendment is discussed in chapter 4 on the powers of Congress and again in chapter 9 on freedom for ideas. The gun-rights decision appears in a new chapter 11 on the Second Amendment. The much-disputed Kelo v. City of New London decision, in which the Court said city planners had the power to seize homes (and pay “just compensation” to the owners) as part of a redevelopment project designed to attract new jobs, is described in chapter 4. The dissenters said the ruling left all property vulnerable to being seized by the government if it could be turned over to a developer.

    The Court was evenly split in 2005 on whether monuments and plaques bearing the Ten Commandments could stand on public land. Four justices said the Ten Commandments were part of the nation's culture and heritage and therefore deserved a place of honor in the public square. Four others said displaying the commandments was an official state endorsement of a Judeo-Christian text, which they said has no place on government property. Justice Stephen G. Breyer, in the middle, agreed with both sides and said the right answer depends on the context. Officials may not use the Ten Commandments to proclaim a religious message in courthouses and city halls, he said. On the other hand, long-standing monuments in a public square need not be uprooted or torn down simply because they include the Ten Commandments.

    In 2007 the Court all but declared an end to the long struggle for desegregation in the public schools. In a pair of rulings, it struck down integration plans in Seattle and Louisville because they used racial guidelines for assigning some students. Such guidelines violated the no-use-of-race rule set in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, wrote Chief Justice Roberts for the 5–4 majority. The dissenters decried the irony of using the Brown decision as grounds for halting the further integration of classrooms.

    The Court also had some new faces. Justice Samuel A. Alito, a New Jersey native and a veteran appeals court judge, took the seat of Justice O'Connor in 2006. When Justice David H. Souter retired in 2009, President Obama chose Sonia Sotomayor, a native of the Bronx and the child of Puerto Rican parents. She became the first Hispanic appointed to the Court. Sotomayor, like Alito, had graduated from Princeton and Yale Law School and spent more than a decade on the U.S. appeals court. Confirmation of the two newest justices demonstrated the growing partisanship in the Senate. Despite their solid credentials and long experience, both of them won only a handful of votes from senators of the opposing party. Alito was confirmed on a 58–42 vote, and Sotomayor by 68 to 31. They joined a Court whose senior justices—John Paul Stevens, who announced his retirement in April 2010, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy—had won confirmation by a unanimous Senate. Given the partisan rancor in Congress and the ideological battle among liberal and conservative interest groups over balance-tipping judicial nominees, it is hard to foresee a similar show of unanimity in the years ahead. One irony underlying these confirmation battles is that since Justice Alito joined the Court, it has been staffed entirely by members who had previously served as federal appeals court judges, all confirmed by the Senate.

    A few words on the structure of these volumes. The Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court is intended as a reference book, not a narrative. It is designed to be read in sections, perhaps a few pages that cover an area of law, an important decision, or some discrete element in the Court's history or operations. The Guide's most useful feature may be the subject and case indexes. Readers can quickly find sections or passages that discuss cases or legal developments.

    Volume I is divided into three parts. Part I tells the history of the Court in chapters 1–3. The story begins with the nation's fourth chief justice, John Marshall, meeting in a boardinghouse with his colleagues over a glass of wine, deciding the cases of the early Republic. The story continues up to the present with a confident Court willing to strike down laws—federal, state, and local—that it deems to be at odds with constitutional requirements and, when the occasion presents itself, to decide the winner of a presidential election.

    Part II tells how the Court has defined the powers of the distinct branches and levels of government: Congress, the president, the federal courts, and the states and localities. The theory behind the Constitution was that the best way to prevent tyranny and protect liberty was to separate various powers among the different actors in the government. Chapters 4–7 tell how the Court has carried out that original plan.

    Part III tells how the Court has protected (or failed to protect) the rights of individuals from the encroachment of government. These include the rights to speak and publish freely without interference by the government; the right to freedom of religion, including from a government-imposed faith; the rights to free and fair elections; the right to be protected against overly zealous law enforcement; and the rights to the equal protection of the law. These are recounted in chapters 8–14.

    Volume II focuses on how the Court operates. Part IV, chapters 15–17, describes the Court's dealings with Congress, the president, the press, and the public. Part V explains how cases get to the Court, how the justices decide what to decide, and the processes they follow in making decisions. Later chapters tell about the personnel of the Court and the costs of its operation. Chapter 22 presents brief biographies of the justices. The appendices include, among other things, documents of national importance, a list of congressional acts declared unconstitutional, and a chronology of the Court's significant rulings.

    Acknowledgments

    This book rests heavily on the work of the many people who contributed to its earlier editions. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court began with Elder Witt, who created and wrote the first edition with the help of an able team of writers. She updated the second edition in 1990. Joan Biskupic, Supreme Court reporter for USA Today, revised and updated the third edition, which appeared in 1997. My work on the fourth edition in 2004, and this fifth edition, adds a new wing and some modern updates to the solid structure that they had built.

    Acquisitions editor Doug Goldenberg-Hart launched this edition of Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, and, with assistant editor Tim Arnquist, skillfully steered the project to completion. This edition owes much to copy editor Robin Surratt, who edited Part III on individual rights. Copy editor Carolyn Goldinger undertook the enormous task of editing the rest of the two volumes, from chapter titles to the last footnote. Production editor Sarah Fell conducted photo research and saw the two volumes through to bound volumes with grace and patience. It was a pleasure to work with such professionals.

  • Appendix

    Appendix A: Chronological Documents and Texts

    Declaration of Independence

    On June 11, 1776, the responsibility to “prepare a declaration” of independence was assigned by the Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, to five members: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. Impressed by his talents as a writer, the committee asked Jefferson to compose a draft. After modifying Jefferson's draft the committee turned it over to Congress on June 28. On July 2 Congress voted to declare independence; on the evening of July 4, it approved the Declaration of Independence.

    The declaration is best remembered for its ringing preamble, which affirms the “self-evident” truths that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Besides asserting this natural law, the declaration also elevated the importance of public will: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Many later Supreme Court decisions attempted to find a balance these two fundamental pillars of American democracy: unalienable rights and popular will.

    In Congress, July 4, 1776

    The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America,

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Government long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

    He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislature.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

    For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

    For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

    For suspending our own Legislature, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

    He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely parallel in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free People.

    Nor have We been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    JohnHancock

    • New Hampshire:
    • Josiah Bartlett,
    • William Whipple,
    • Matthew Thornton.
    • Massachusetts-Bay:
    • Samuel Adams,
    • John Adams,
    • Robert Treat Paine,
    • Elbridge Gerry.
    • Rhode Island:
    • Stephen Hopkins,
    • William Ellery.
    • Connecticut:
    • Roger Sherman,
    • Samuel Huntington,
    • William Williams,
    • Oliver Wolcott.
    • New York:
    • William Floyd,
    • Philip Livingston,
    • Francis Lewis,
    • Lewis Morris.
    • Pennsylvania:
    • Robert Morris,
    • Benjamin Harris,
    • Benjamin Franklin,
    • John Morton,
    • George Clymer,
    • James Smith,
    • George Taylor,
    • James Wilson,
    • George Ross.
    • Delaware:
    • Caesar Rodney,
    • George Read,
    • Thomas McKean.
    • Georgia:
    • Button Gwinnett,
    • Lyman Hall,
    • George Walton.
    • Maryland:
    • Samuel Chase,
    • William Paca,
    • Thomas Stone,
    • Charles Carroll of Carrollton.
    • Virginia:
    • George Wythe,
    • Richard Henry Lee,
    • Thomas Jefferson,
    • Benjamin Harrison,
    • Thomas Nelson Jr.,
    • Francis Lightfoot Lee,
    • Carter Braxton.
    • North Carolina:
    • William Hooper,
    • Joseph Hewes,
    • John Penn.
    • South Carolina:
    • Edward Rutledge,
    • Thomas Heyward Jr.,
    • Thomas Lynch Jr.,
    • Arthur Middleton.
    • New Jersey:
    • Richard Stockton,
    • John Witherspoon,
    • Francis Hopkinson,
    • John Hart,
    • Abraham Clark.
    Articles of Confederation

    On June 11, 1776, the same day that it created a five-member committee to prepare the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress appointed a thirteen-member committee (one from each state) to draft a “plan of confederation.” The two decisions were closely connected: a new and independent nation needed a government of some sort. The committee recommended the Articles of Confederation to Congress on July 12; Congress adopted the plan on November 15, 1777; and unanimous ratification by the states finally came on March 1, 1781.

    The Articles of Confederation, which did not provide for a system of national courts, created a weak central government with no executive at all and made Congress the sole organ of the new national government. The Articles provided a barely adequate framework for fighting and winning the Revolutionary War: the presence of a common enemy fostered a certain amount of unity among the states. But when the British were defeated in 1783, the national government found it increasingly difficult to unite the country to confront the new challenges of peace. The lack of a federal court system also remained a major source of embarrassment for the young nation.

    To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting. Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America in Congress assembled did on the fifteenth day of November in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy seven, and in the Second Year of the Independence of America agree to certain articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina and Georgia in the Words following, viz. “Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of Newhampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhodeisland and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina and Georgia.

    Article I. The Stile of this confederacy shall be “The United States of America.”

    Article II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and Right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

    Article III. The said states hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security of their Liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.

    Article IV. The better to secure the perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different states in this union, the free inhabitants of each of these states, paupers, vagabonds and fugitives from Justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states; and the people of each state shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other state, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such restriction shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any state, to any other state of which the Owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any state, on the property of the united states, or either of them.

    If any Person guilty of, or charged with treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor in any state, shall flee from Justice, and be found in any of the united states, he shall upon demand of the Governor or executive power, of the state from which he fled be delivered up and removed to the state having jurisdiction of his offence.

    Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these states to the records, acts and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other state.

    Article V. For the more convenient management of the general interests of the united states, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each state shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a power reserved to each state, to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead, for the remainder of the Year.

    No state shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor by more than seven Members; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the united states, for which he, or another for his benefit receives any salary, fees or emolument of any kind.

    Each state shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the states, and while they act as members of the committee of the states.

    In determining questions in the united states, in Congress assembled, each state shall have one vote.

    Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any Court, or place out of Congress, and the members of congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests and imprisonments, during the time of their going to and from, and attendance on congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.

    Article VI. No state without the Consent of the united states in congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, or alliance or treaty with any King, prince or state; nor shall any person holding any office of profit or trust under the united states, or any of them, accept of any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever from any king, prince or foreign state; nor shall the united states in congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility.

    No two or more states shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the united states in congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.

    No state shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the united states in congress assembled, with any king, prince or state, in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by congress, to the courts of France and Spain.

    No vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any state, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the united states in congress assembled, for the defence of such state, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any state, in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgment of the united states, in congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defence of such state; but every state shall always keep up a well regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutred, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.

    No state shall engage in any war without the consent of the united states in Congress assembled, unless such state be actually invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to invade such state, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay, till the united states in congress assembled can be consulted: nor shall any state grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the united states in congress assembled, and then only against the kingdom or state and the subjects thereof, against which war has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall be established by the united states in congress assembled, unless such state be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall continue, or until the united states in congress assembled shall determine otherwise.

    Article VII. When land-forces are raised by any state for the common defence, all officers of or under the rank of colonel, shall be appointed by the legislature of each state respectively by whom such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such state shall direct, and all vacancies shall be filled up by the state which first made the appointment.

    Article VIII. All charges of war, and all other expences that shall be incurred for the common defence or general welfare, and allowed by the united states in congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several states, in proportion to the value of all land within each state, granted to or surveyed for any Person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated according to such mode as the united states in congress assembled, shall from time to time direct and appoint. The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction of the legislatures of the several states within the time agreed upon by the united states in congress assembled.

    Article IX. The united states in congress assembled, shall have the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war, except in the cases mentioned in the sixth article—of sending and receiving ambassadors—entering into treaties and alliances, provided that no treaty of commerce shall be made whereby the legislative power of the respective states shall be restrained from imposing such imposts and duties on foreigners, as their own people are subjected to, or from prohibiting the exportation or importation of any species of goods or commodities whatsoever—of establishing rules for deciding in all cases, what capture on land or water shall be legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the united states shall be divided or appropriated—of granting letters of marque and reprisal in times of peace—appointing courts for the trial of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and establishing courts for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases of captures, provided that no member of congress shall be appointed a judge of any of the said courts.

    The united states in congress assembled shall also be the last resort on appeal in all disputes and differences now subsisting or that hereafter may arise between two or more states concerning boundary, jurisdiction or any other cause whatever; which authority shall always be exercised in the manner following. Whenever the legislative or executive authority or lawful agent of any state in controversy with another shall present a petition to congress, stating the matter in question and praying for a hearing, notice thereof shall be given by order of congress to the legislative or executive authority of the other state in controversy, and a day assigned for the appearance of the parties by their lawful agents, who shall then be directed to appoint by joint consent, commissioners or judges to constitute a court for hearing and determining the matter in question: but if they cannot agree, congress shall name three persons out of each of the united states, and from the list of such persons each party shall alternately strike out one, the petitioners beginning, until the number shall be reduced to thirteen; and from that number not less than seven, nor more than nine names as congress shall direct, shall in the presence of congress be drawn out by lot, and the persons whose names shall be so drawn or any five of them, shall be commissioners or judges, to hear and finally determine the controversy, so always as a major part of the judges who shall hear the cause shall agree in the determination: and if either party shall neglect to attend at the day appointed, without shewing reasons, which congress shall judge sufficient, or being present shall refuse to strike, the congress shall proceed to nominate three persons out of each state, and the secretary of congress shall strike in behalf of such party absent or refusing; and the judgment and sentence of the court to be appointed, in the manner before prescribed, shall be final and conclusive; and if any of the parties shall refuse to submit to the authority of such court, or to appear to defend their claim or cause, the court shall nevertheless proceed to pronounce sentence, or judgment, which shall in like manner be final and decisive, the judgment or sentence and other proceedings being in either case transmitted to congress, and lodged among the acts of congress for the security of the parties concerned: provided that every commissioner, before he sits in judgment, shall take an oath to be administered by one of the judges of the supreme or superior court of the state, where the cause shall be tried, “well and truly to hear and determine the matter in question, according to the best of his judgment, without favour, affection or hope of reward:” provided also that no state shall be deprived of territory for the benefit of the united states.

    All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed under different grants of two or more states, whose jurisdictions as they may respect such lands, and the states which passed such grants are adjusted, the said grants or either of them being at the same time claimed to have originated antecedent to such settlement of jurisdiction, shall on the petition of either party to the congress of the united states, be finally determined as near as may be in the same manner as is before prescribed for deciding disputes respecting territorial jurisdiction between different states.

    The united states in congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective states—fixing the standard of weights and measures throughout the united states—regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians, not members of any of the states, provided that the legislative right of any state within its own limits be not infringed or violated—establishing and regulating post-offices from one state to another, throughout all the united states, and exacting such postage on the papers passing thro' the same as may be requisite to defray the expences of the said office—appointing all officers of the land forces, in the service of the united states, excepting regimental officers—appointing all the officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the service of the united states—making rules for the government and regulation of the said land and naval forces, and directing their operations.

    The united states in congress assembled shall have authority to appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of congress, to be denominated “A Committee of the States,” and to consist of one delegate from each state; and to appoint such other committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the united states under their direction—to appoint one of their number to preside, provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than one year in any term of three years; to ascertain the necessary sums of Money to be raised for the service of the united states, and to appropriate and apply the same for defraying the public expences—to borrow money, or emit bills on the credit of the united states, transmitting every half year to the respective states an account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted,—to build and equip a navy—to agree upon the number of land forces, and to make requisitions from each state for its quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such state; which requisition shall be binding, and thereupon the legislature of each state shall appoint the regimental officers, raise the men and cloath, arm and equip them in a soldier like manner, at the expence of the united states, and the officers and men so cloathed, armed and equipped shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the united states in congress assembled: But if the united states in congress assembled shall, on consideration of circumstances judge proper that any state should not raise men, or should raise a smaller number than its quota, and that any other state should raise a greater number of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be raised, officered, cloathed, armed and equipped in the same manner as the quota of such state, unless the legislature of such state shall judge that such extra number cannot be safely spared out of the same, in which case they shall raise, officer, cloath, arm and equip as many of such extra number as they judge can be safely spared. And the officers and men so cloathed, armed and equipped, shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the united states in congress assembled.

    The united states in congress assembled shall never engage in a war, nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the value thereof, nor ascertain the sums and expences necessary for the defence and welfare of the united states, or any of them, nor emit bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the united states, nor appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war, to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander in chief of the army or navy, unless nine states assent to the same: nor shall a question on any other point, except for adjourning from day to day be determined, unless by the votes of a majority of the united states in congress assembled.

    The congress of the united states shall have power to adjourn to any time within the year, and to any place within the united states, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration than the space of six Months, and shall publish the Journal of their proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances or military operations as in their judgment require secresy; and the yeas and nays of the delegates of each state on any question shall be entered on the Journal, when it is desired by any delegate; and the delegates of a state, or any of them, at his or their request shall be furnished with a transcript of the said Journal, except such parts as are above excepted, to lay before the legislatures of the several states.

    Article X. The committee of the states, or any nine of them, shall be authorised to execute, in the recess of congress, such of the powers of congress as the united states in congress assembled, by the consent of nine states, shall from time to time think expedient to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to the said committee, for the exercise of which, by the articles of confederation, the voice of nine states in the congress of the united states assembled is requisite.

    Article XI. Canada acceding to this confederation, and joining in the measures of the united states, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this union: but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine states.

    Article XII. All bills of credit emitted, monies borrowed and debts contracted by, or under the authority of congress, before the assembling of the united states, in pursuance of the present confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the united states, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said united states, and the public faith are hereby solemnly pledged.

    Article XIII. Every state shall abide by the determinations of the united states in congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every state, and the union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a congress of the united states, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every state.

    And Whereas it has pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said articles of confederation and perpetual union. Know Ye that we the under-signed delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said articles of confederation and perpetual union, and all and singular the matters and things therein contained: And we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the united states in congress assembled, on all questions, which by the said confederation are submitted to them. And that the articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the states we respectively represent, and that the union shall be perpetual. In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done at Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania the ninth Day of July in the Year of our Lord one Thousand seven Hundred and Seventy-eight, and in the third year of the independence of America.

    • New Hampshire:
    • Josiah Bartlett,
    • John Wentworth Jr.
    • Massachusetts:
    • John Hancock,
    • Samuel Adams,
    • Elbridge Gerry,
    • Francis Dana,
    • James Lovell,
    • Samuel Holten.
    • Rhode Island:
    • William Ellery,
    • Henry Marchant,
    • John Collins.
    • Connecticut:
    • Roger Sherman,
    • Samuel Huntington,
    • Oliver Wolcott,
    • Titus Hosmer,
    • Andrew Adams.
    • New York:
    • James Duane,
    • Francis Lewis,
    • William Duer,
    • Gouverneur Morris.
    • New Jersey:
    • John Witherspoon,
    • Nathaniel Scudder.
    • Pennsylvania:
    • Robert Morris,
    • Daniel Roberdeau,
    • Jonathan Bayard
    • Smith,
    • William Clingan,
    • Joseph Reed.
    • Delaware:
    • Thomas McKean,
    • John Dickinson,
    • Nicholas Van Dyke.
    • Maryland:
    • John Hanson,
    • Daniel Carroll.
    • Virginia:
    • Richard Henry Lee,
    • John Banister,
    • Thomas Adams,
    • John Harvie,
    • Francis Lightfoot Lee.
    • North Carolina:
    • John Penn,
    • Cornelius Harnett,
    • John Williams.
    • South Carolina:
    • Henry Laurens,
    • William Henry Drayton,
    • John Mathews,
    • Richard Hutson,
    • Thomas Heyward Jr.
    • Georgia:
    • John Walton,
    • Edward Telfair,
    • Edward Langworthy.
    Constitution of the United States

    The United States Constitution was written at a convention that Congress called on February 21, 1787, for the purpose of recommending amendments to the Articles of Confederation. Every state but Rhode Island sent delegates to Philadelphia, where the convention met that summer. The delegates decided to write an entirely new constitution, completing their labors on September 17. Nine states (the number the Constitution itself stipulated as sufficient) ratified by June 21, 1788.

    The Framers of the Constitution included only six paragraphs on the Supreme Court. Article III, Section 1, created the Supreme Court and the federal system of courts. It provided that “[t]he judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court,” and whatever inferior courts Congress “from time to time” saw fit to establish. Article III, Section 2, delineated the types of cases and controversies that should be considered by a federal—rather than a state—court. But beyond this, the Constitution left many of the particulars of the Supreme Court and the federal court system for Congress to decide in later years in judiciary acts.

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Article I

    Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

    Section 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

    No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

    [Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.]1 The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

    When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

    The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

    Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, [chosen by the Legislature thereof,]1 for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

    Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; [and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.]1

    No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

    The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

    The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

    The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

    Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

    Section 4. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

    The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall [be on the first Monday in December],1 unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

    Section 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

    Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

    Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

    Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

    Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

    No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

    Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

    Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

    Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

    Section 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

    To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

    To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

    To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And

    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

    Section 9. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

    The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

    No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

    No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.1

    No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

    No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

    No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

    No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

    Section 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

    No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

    No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

    Article II

    Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows

    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

    [The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.]1

    The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

    No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

    In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office,1 the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

    The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

    Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    Section 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

    He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

    The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

    Section 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

    Section 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    Article III

    Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

    Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; —to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; —to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; —to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; —to Controversies between two or more States; —between a State and Citizens of another State;1 —between Citizens of different States; —between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.1

    In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

    The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

    Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

    Article IV

    Section 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

    Section 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

    A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

    [No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.]

    Section 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

    The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

    Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

    Article V

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided [that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and]1 that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

    Article VI

    All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

    Article VII

    The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

    Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. IN WITNESS whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

    GeorgeWashingtonPresident and deputy from Virginia.

    • New Hampshire:
    • John Langdon,
    • Nicholas Gilman.
    • Massachusetts:
    • Nathaniel Gorham,
    • Rufus King.
    • Connecticut:
    • William Samuel Johnson,
    • Roger Sherman.
    • New York:
    • Alexander Hamilton.
    • New Jersey:
    • William Livingston,
    • David Brearley,
    • William Paterson,
    • Jonathan Dayton.
    • Pennsylvania:
    • Benjamin Franklin,
    • Thomas Mifflin,
    • Robert Morris,
    • George Clymer,
    • Thomas FitzSimons,
    • Jared Ingersoll,
    • James Wilson,
    • Gouverneur Morris.
    • Delaware:
    • George Read,
    • Gunning Bedford Jr.,
    • John Dickinson,
    • Richard Bassett,
    • Jacob Broom.
    • Maryland:
    • James McHenry,
    • Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer,
    • Daniel Carroll.
    • Virginia:
    • John Blair,
    • James Madison Jr.
    • North Carolina:
    • William Blount,
    • Richard Dobbs Spaight,
    • Hugh Williamson.
    • South Carolina:
    • John Rutledge,
    • Charles Cotesworth   Pinckney,
    • Charles Pinckney,
    • Pierce Butler.
    • Georgia:
    • William Few,
    • Abraham Baldwin.

    [The language of the original Constitution, not including the Amendments, was adopted by a convention of the states on September 17, 1787, and was subsequently ratified by the states on the following dates: Delaware, December 7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787; New Jersey, December 18, 1787; Georgia, January 2, 1788; Connecticut, January 9, 1788; Massachusetts, February 6, 1788; Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May 23, 1788; New Hampshire, June 21, 1788.

    Ratification was completed on June 21, 1788.

    The Constitution subsequently was ratified by Virginia, June 25, 1788; New York, July 26, 1788; North Carolina, November 21, 1789; Rhode Island, May 29, 1790; and Vermont, January 10, 1791.]

    Amendments

    Amendment I

    (First ten amendments ratified December 15, 1791.)

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Amendment II

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Amendment III

    No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Amendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Amendment VI

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

    Amendment VII

    In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

    Amendment VIII

    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    Amendment IX

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment X

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Amendment XI (Ratified February 7, 1795)

    The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

    Amendment XII (Ratified June 15, 1804)

    The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; — The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; — The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. —]1 The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

    Amendment XIII (Ratified December 6, 1865)

    Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Amendment XIV (Ratified July 9, 1868)

    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,1 and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

    Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

    Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

    Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

    Amendment XV (Ratified February 3, 1870)

    Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

    Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Amendment XVI (Ratified February 3, 1913)

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

    Amendment XVII (Ratified April 8, 1913)

    The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

    When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

    This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

    Amendment XVIII (Ratified January 16, 1919)

    [Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

    Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.]1

    Amendment XIX (Ratified August 18, 1920)

    The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Amendment XX (Ratified January 23, 1933)

    Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

    Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

    Section 3.1 If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

    Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

    Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

    Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.

    Amendment XXI (Ratified December 5, 1933)

    Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

    Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

    Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

    Amendment XXII (Ratified February 27, 1951)

    Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

    Section 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

    Amendment XXIII (Ratified March 29, 1961)

    Section 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

    A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

    Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Amendment XXIV (Ratified January 23, 1964)

    Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

    Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Amendment XXV (Ratified February 10, 1967)

    Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

    Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

    Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

    Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

    Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

    Amendment XXVI (Ratified July 1, 1971)

    Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

    Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Amendment XXVII (Ratified May 7, 1992)

    No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

    Source: U.S. Congress, House, Committee on the Judiciary, The Constitution of the United States of America, as Amended, 100th Cong., 1st sess., 1987, H Doc 100–94.

    Notes

    The part in brackets was changed by section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    The part in brackets was changed by the first paragraph of the Seventeenth Amendment.

    The part in brackets was changed by the second paragraph of the Seventeenth Amendment.

    The part in brackets was changed by section 2 of the Twentieth Amendment.

    The Sixteenth Amendment gave Congress the power to tax incomes.

    The material in brackets was superseded by the Twelfth Amendment.

    This provision was affected by the Twenty-fifth Amendment.

    These clauses were affected by the Eleventh Amendment.

    This paragraph was superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment.

    Obsolete.

    The part in brackets was superseded by section 3 of the Twentieth Amendment.

    See the Nineteenth and Twenty-sixth Amendments.

    This amendment was repealed by section 1 of the Twenty-first Amendment.

    See the Twenty-fifth Amendment.

    Judiciary Act of 1789

    Although the Constitution created the Supreme Court, it said much less about the Court than about Congress and the president. With the Judiciary Act of 1789, Congress set up a system of lower federal courts (district courts and circuit courts with limited jurisdiction), spelled out the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and gave the Court the power to review and reverse or affirm state court rulings.

    The act also set the number of Supreme Court justices at six: a chief justice and five associates. (Subsequent statutes changed the total number of justices successively to six, seven, nine, ten, seven, and nine.) In addition to establishing the size and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, the act required the justices to “ride circuit”—a burdensome duty of traveling to and sitting on circuit courts around the country.

    Judiciary Act of 1789

    An Act to establish the Judicial Courts of the United States.

    Section 1.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the supreme court of the United States shall consist of a chief justice and five associate justices, any four of whom shall be a quorum, and shall hold annually at the seat of government two sessions, the one commencing the first Monday of February, and the other the first Monday of August. That the associate justices shall have precedence according to the data of their commissions, or when the commissions of two or more of them bear date on the same day, according to the respective ages.

    Sec. 2.

    And be it further enacted, That the United States shall be, and they hereby are divided into thirteen districts, to be limited and called as follows, to wit: one to consist of that part of the State of Massachusetts which lies easterly of the State of New Hampshire, and to be called Maine District; one to consist of the State of New Hampshire, and to be called New Hampshire District; one to consist of the remaining part of the State of Massachusetts, and to be called Massachusetts district; one to consist of the State of Connecticut, and to be called Connecticut District; one to consist of the State of New York, and to be called New York District; one to consist of the State of New Jersey, and to be called New Jersey District; one to consist of the State of Pennsylvania, and to be called Pennsylvania District; one to consist of the State of Delaware, and to be called Delaware District; one to consist of the State of Maryland, and to be called Maryland District; one to consist of the State of Virginia, except that part called the District of Kentucky, and to be called Virginia District; one to consist of the remaining part of the State of Virginia, and to be called Kentucky District; one to consist of the State of South Carolina, and to be called South Carolina District; and one to consist of the State of Georgia, and to be called Georgia District.

    Sec. 3.

    And be it further enacted, That there be a court called a District Court, in each of the aforementioned districts, to consist of one judge, who shall reside in the district for which he is appointed, and shall be called a District Judge, and shall hold annually four sessions, the first of which to commence as follows, to wit: in the districts of New York and of New Jersey on the first, in the district of Pennsylvania on the second, in the district of Connecticut on the third, and in the district of Delaware on the fourth, Tuesdays of November next; in the districts of Massachusetts, of Maine, and of Maryland, on the first, in the district of Georgia on the second, and in the districts of New Hampshire, of Virginia, and of Kentucky, on the third Tuesdays of December next; and the other three sessions progressively in the respective districts on the like Tuesdays of every third calendar month afterwards, and in the district of South Carolina, on the third Monday in March and September, the first Monday in July, and the second Monday in December of each and every year, commencing in December next; and that the District Judge shall have power to hold special courts at his discretion. That the stated District Court shall be held at the places following, to wit: in the district of Maine, at Portland and Pownalsborough alternately, beginning at the first; in the district of New Hampshire, at Exeter and Portsmouth alternately, beginning at the first; in the district of Massachusetts, at Boston and Salem alternately, beginning at the first; in the district of Connecticut, alternately at Hartford and New Haven, beginning at the first; in the district of Connecticut, alternately at Hartford and New Haven, beginning at the first; in the district of New York, at New York; in the district of New Jersey, alternately at New Brunswick and Burlington, beginning at the first; in the district of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia and York Town alternately, beginning at the first; in the district of Delaware, alternately at Newcastle and Dover, beginning at the first; in the district of Maryland, alternately at Baltimore and Easton, beginning at the first; in the district of Virginia, alternately at Richmond and Williamsburgh, beginning at the first; in the district of Kentucky, at Harrodsburgh; in the district of South Carolina, at Charleston; and in the district of Georgia, alternately at Savannah and Augusta, beginning at the first; and that the special courts shall be held at the same place in each district as the stated courts, or in districts that have two, at either of them, in the discretion of the judge, or at such other place in the district, as the nature of the business and his discretion shall direct. And that in the districts that have but one place for holding the District Court, the records thereof shall be kept at that place; and in districts that have two, at that place in each district which the judge shall appoint.

    Sec. 4.

    And be it further enacted, That the before mentioned districts, except those of Maine and Kentucky, shall be divided into three circuits, and be called the eastern, the middle, and the southern circuit. That the eastern circuit shall consist of the districts of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York; that the middle circuit shall consist of the districts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia; and that the southern circuit shall consist of the districts of South Carolina and Georgia, and that there shall be held annually in each district of said circuits, two courts, which shall be called Circuit Courts, and shall consist of any two justices of the Supreme Court, and the district judge of such districts, any two of whom shall constitute a quorum: Provided, That no district judge shall give a vote in any case of appeal or error from his own decision; but may assign the reasons of such his decision.

    Sec. 5.

    And be it further enacted, That the first session of the said circuit court in the several districts shall commence at the times following, to wit: in New Jersey on the second, in New York on the fourth, in Pennsylvaniaon the eleventh, in Connecticut on the twenty-second, and in Delaware on the twenty-seventh, days of April next; in Massachusetts on the third, in Maryland on the seventh, in South Carolina on the twelfth, in New Hampshire on the twentieth, in Virginia on the twenty-second, and in Georgia on the twenty-eighth, days of May next, and the subsequent sessions in the respective districts on the like days of every sixth calendar month afterwards, except in South Carolina, where the session of the said court shall commence on the first, and in Georgia where it shall commence on the seventeenth day of October, and except when any of those days shall happen on a Sunday, and then the session shall commence on the next day following. And the sessions of the said circuit court shall be held in the district of New Hampshire, at Portsmouth and Exeter alternately, beginning at the first; in the district of Massachusetts, at Boston; in the district of Connecticut, alternately at Hartford and New Haven, beginning at the last; in the district of New York, alternately at New York and Albany, beginning at the first; in the district of New Jersey, at Trenton; in the district of Pennsylvania, alternately at Philadelphia and Yorktown, beginning at the first; in the district of Delaware, alternately at New Castle and Dover, beginning at the first; in the district of Maryland, alternately at Annapolis and Easton, beginning at the first; in the district of Virginia, alternately at Charlottesville and Williamsburgh, beginning at the first; in the district of South Carolina, alternately at Columbia and Charleston, beginning at the first; and in the district of Georgia, alternately at Savannah and Augusta, beginning at the first. And the circuit courts shall have power to hold special sessions for the trial of criminal causes at any other time at their discretion, or at the discretion of the Supreme Court.

    Sec. 6.

    And be it further enacted, That the Supreme Court may, by any one or more of its justices being present, be adjourned from day to day until a quorum be convened; and that a circuit court may also be adjourned from day to day by any one of its judges, or if none are present, by the marshal of the district until a quorum be convened; and that a district court, in case of the inability of the judge to attend at the commencement of a session, may by virtue of a written order from the said judge, directed to the marshal of the district, be adjourned by the said marshal to such day, antecedent to the next stated session of the said court, as in the said order shall be appointed; and in case of the death of the said judge, and his vacancy not being supplied, all process, pleadings and proceedings of what nature soever, pending before the said court, shall be continued of course until the next stated session after the appointment and acceptance of the office by his successor.

    Sec. 7.

    And be it [further] enacted, That the Supreme Court, and the district courts shall have power to appoint clerks for their respective courts, and that the clerk for each district court shall be clerk also of the circuit court in such district, and each of the said clerks shall, before he enters upon the execution of his office, take the following oath or affirmation, to wit: “I, A. B., being appointed clerk of ________, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will truly and faithfully enter and record all the orders, decrees, judgments and proceedings of the said court, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties of my said office, according to the best of my abilities and understanding. So help me God.” Which words, so help me God, shall be omitted in all cases where an affirmation is admitted instead of an oath. And the said clerks shall also severally give bond, with sufficient sureties, (to be approved of by the Supreme and district courts respectively) to the United States, in the sum of two thousand dollars, faithfully to discharge the duties of his office, and seasonably to record the decrees, judgments and determinations of the court of which he is clerk.

    Sec. 8.

    And be it further enacted, That the justices of the Supreme Court, and the district judges, before they proceed to execute the duties of their respective offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation, to wit: “I, A. B., do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as ________, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

    Sec. 9.

    And be it further enacted, That the district courts shall have, exclusively of the courts of the several States, cognizance of all crimes and offences that shall be cognizable under the authority of the United States, committed within their respective districts, or upon the high seas; where no other punishment than whipping, not exceeding thirty stripes, a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months, is to be inflicted; and shall also have exclusive original cognizance of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, including all seizures under laws of impost, navigation or trade of the United States, where the seizures are made, on waters which are navigable from the sea by vessels of ten or more tons burthen, within their respective districts as well as upon the high seas; saving to suitors, in all cases, the right of a common law remedy, where the common law is competent to give it; and shall also have exclusive original cognizance of all seizures on land, or other waters than as aforesaid, made, and of all suits for penalties and forfeitures incurred, under the laws of the United States. And shall also have cognizance, concurrent with the courts of the several States, or the circuit courts, as the case may be, of all causes where an alien sues for a tort only in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States. And shall also have cognizance, concurrent as last mentioned, of all suits at common law where the United States sue, and the matter in dispute amounts, exclusive of costs, to the sum or value of one hundred dollars. And shall also have jurisdiction exclusively of the courts of the several States, of all suits against consuls or vice-consuls, except for offences above the description aforesaid. And the trial of issues in fact, in the district courts, in all causes except civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, shall be by jury.

    Sec. 10.

    And be it further enacted, That the district court in Kentucky district shall, besides the jurisdiction aforesaid, have jurisdiction of all other causes, except of appeals and writs of error, hereinafter made cognizable in a circuit court, and shall proceed therein in the same manner as a circuit court, and writs of error and appeals shall lie from decisions therein to the Supreme Court in the same causes, as from a circuit court to the Supreme Court, and under the same regulations. And the district court in Maine district shall, besides the jurisdiction herein before granted, have jurisdiction of all causes, except of appeals and writs of error herein after made cognizable in a circuit court, and shall proceed therein in the same manner as a circuit court: And writs of error shall lie from decisions therein to the circuit court in the district of Massachusetts in the same manner as from other district courts to their respective circuit courts.

    Sec. 11.

    And be it further enacted, That the circuit courts shall have original cognizance, concurrent with the courts of the several States, of all suits of a civil nature at common law or in equity, where the matter in dispute exceeds, exclusive of costs, the sum or value of five hundred dollars, and the United States are plaintiffs, or petitioners; or an alien is a party, or the suit is between a citizen of the State where the suit is brought, and a citizen of another State. And shall have exclusive cognizance of all crimes and offences cognizable under the authority of the United States, except where this act otherwise provides, or the laws of the United States shall otherwise direct, and concurrent jurisdiction with the district courts of the crimes and offences cognizable therein. But no person shall be arrested in one district for trial in another, in any civil action before a circuit or district court. And no civil suit shall be brought before either of said courts against an inhabitant of the United States, by any original process in any other district than that where of he is an inhabitant, or in which he shall be found at the time of serving the writ, nor shall any district or circuit court have cognizance of any suit to recover the contents of any promissory note or other chose in action in favour of an assignee, unless a suit might have been prosecuted in such court to recover the said contents if no assignment had been made, except in cases of foreign bills of exchange. And the circuit courts shall also have appellate jurisdiction from the district courts under the regulations and restrictions herein after provided.

    Sec. 12.

    And be it further enacted, That if a suit be commenced in any state court against an alien, or by a citizen of the state in which the suit is brought against a citizen of another state, and the matter in dispute exceeds the aforesaid sum or value of five hundred dollars, exclusive of costs, to be made to appear to the satisfaction of the court; and the defendant shall, at the time of entering his appearance in such state court, file a petition for the removal of the cause for trial into the next circuit court, to be held in the district where the suit is pending, or if in the district of Maine to the district court next to be holden therein, or if in Kentucky district to the district court next to be holden therein, and offer good and sufficient surety for his entering in such court, on the first day of its session, copies of said process against him, and also for his there appearing and entering special bail in the cause, if special bail was originally requisite therein, it shall then be the duty of the state court to accept the surety, and proceed no further in the cause, and any bail that may have been originally taken shall be discharged and the said copies being entered as aforesaid, in such court of the United States, the cause shall there proceed in the same manner as if it had been brought there by original process. And any attachment of the goods or estate of the defendant by the original process, shall hold the goods or estate so attached, to answer the final judgment in the same manner as by the laws of such state they would have been holden to answer final judgment, had it been rendered by the court in which the suit commenced. And if in any action commenced in a state court, the title of land be concerned, and the parties are citizens of the same state, and the matter in dispute exceeds the sum or value of five hundred dollars, exclusive of costs, the sum or value being made to appear to the satisfaction of the court, either party, before the trial, shall state to the court and make affidavit if they require it, that he claims and shall rely upon a right or title to the land, under a grant from a state other than that in which the suit is pending, and produce the original grant or an exemplification of it, except where the loss of public records shall put it out of his power, and shall move that the adverse party inform the court, whether he claims a right or title to the land under a grant from the state in which the suit is pending; the said adverse [party] shall give such information, or otherwise not be allowed to plead such grant, or give it in evidence upon the trial, and if he informs that he does claim under such grant, the party claiming under the grant first mentioned may then, on motion, remove the cause for trial to the next circuit court to be holden in such district, or if in the district of Maine, to the court next to be holden therein; or if in Kentucky district, to the district court next to be holden therein; but if he is the defendant, shall do it under the same regulations as in the beforementioned case of the removal of a cause into such court by an alien; and neither party removing the cause, shall be allowed to plead or give evidence of any other title than that by him stated as aforesaid, as the ground of his claim; and the trial of issues in fact in the circuit courts shall, in all suits, except those of equity, and of admiralty, and maritime jurisdiction, be by jury.

    Sec. 13.

    And be it further enacted, That the Supreme Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all controversies of a civil nature, where a state is a party, except between a state and its citizens; and except also between a state and citizens of other states, or aliens, in which latter case it shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction. And shall have exclusively all such jurisdiction of suits or proceedings against ambassadors, or other public ministers, or their domestics, or domestic servants, as a court of law can have or exercise consistently with the law of nations; and original, but not exclusive jurisdiction of all suits brought by ambassadors, or other public ministers, or in which a consul, or vice consul, shall be a party. And the trial of issues in fact in the Supreme Court, in all actions at law against citizens of the United States, shall be by jury. The Supreme Court shall also have appellate jurisdiction from the circuit courts and courts of the several states, in the cases herein after specially provided for; and shall have power to issue writs of prohibition to the district courts, when proceeding as courts of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and writs of mandamus, in cases warranted by the principles and usages of law, to any courts appointed, or persons holding office, under the authority of the United States.

    Sec. 14.

    And be it further enacted, That all the before-mentioned courts of the United States, shall have power to issue writs of scire facias, habeas corpus, and all other writs not specially provided for by statute, which may be necessary for the exercise of their respective jurisdictions, and agreeable to the principles and usages of law. And that either of the justices of the supreme court, as well as judges of the district courts, shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus for the purpose of an inquiry into the cause of commitment — Provided, That writs of habeas corpus shall in no case extend to prisoners in gaol, unless where they are in custody, under or by colour of the authority of the United States, or are committed for trial before some court of the same, or are necessary to be brought into court to testify.

    Sec. 15.

    And be it further enacted, That all the said courts of the United States, shall have power in the trial of actions at law, on motion and due notice thereof being given, to require the parties to produce books or writings in their possession or power, which contain evidence pertinent to the issue, in cases and under circumstances where they might be compelled to produce the same by the ordinary rules of proceeding in chancery; and if a plaintiff shall fail to comply with such order, to produce books or writings, it shall be lawful for the courts respectively, on motion, to give the like judgment for the defendant as in cases of nonsuit; and if a defendant shall fail to comply with such order, to produce books or writings, it shall be lawful for the courts respectively on motion as aforesaid, to give judgment against him or her by default.

    Sec. 16.

    And be it further enacted, That suits in equity shall not be sustained in either of the courts of the United States, in any case where plain, adequate and complete remedy may be had at law.

    Sec. 17.

    And be it further enacted, That all the said courts of the United States shall have power to grant new trials, in cases where there has been a trial by jury for reasons for which new trials have usually been granted in the courts of law; and shall have power to impose and administer all necessary oaths or affirmations, and to punish by fine or imprisonment, at the discretion of said courts, all contempts of authority in any cause or hearing before the same; and to make and establish all necessary rules for the orderly conducting business in the said courts, provided such rules are not repugnant to the laws of the United States.

    Sec. 18.

    And be it further enacted, That when in a circuit court, judgment upon a verdict in a civil action shall be entered, execution may on motion of either party, at the discretion of the court, and on such conditions for the security of the adverse party as they may judge proper, be stayed forty-two days from the time of entering judgment, to give time to file in the clerk's office of said court, a petition for a new trial. And if such petition be there filed within said term of forty-two days, with a certificate thereon from either of the judges of such court, that he allows the same to be filed, which certificate he may make or refuse at his discretion, execution shall of course be further stayed to the next session of said court. And if a new trial be granted, the former judgment shall be thereby rendered void.

    Sec. 19.

    And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of circuit courts, in causes in equity and of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, to cause the facts on which they found their sentence or decree, fully to appear upon the record of either from the pleadings and decree itself, or a state of the case agreed by the parties, or their counsel, or if they disagree by a stating of the case by the court.

    Sec. 20.

    And be it further enacted, That where in a circuit court, a plaintiff in an action, originally brought there, or a petitioner in equity, other than the United States, recovers less than the sum or value of five hundred dollars, or a libellant, upon his own appeal, less than the sum or value of three hundred dollars, he shall not be allowed, but at the discretion of the court, may be adjudged to pay costs.

    Sec. 21.

    And be it further enacted, That from final decrees in a district court in causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, where the matter in dispute exceeds the sum or value of three hundred dollars, exclusive of costs, an appeal shall be allowed to the next circuit court, to be held in such district. Provided nevertheless, That all such appeals from final decrees as aforesaid, from the district court of Maine, shall be made to the circuit court, next to be holden after each appeal in the district of Massachusetts.

    Sec. 22.

    And be it further enacted, That final decrees and judgments in civil actions in a district court, where the matter in dispute exceeds the sum or value of fifty dollars, exclusive of costs, may be re-examined, and reversed or affirmed in a circuit court, holden in the same district, upon a writ of error, whereto shall be annexed and returned therewith at the day and place therein mentioned, an authenticated transcript of the record, an assignment of errors, and prayer for reversal, with a citation to the adverse party, signed by the judge of such district court, or a justice of the Supreme Court, the adverse party having at least twenty days' notice. And upon a like process, may final judgments and decrees in civil actions, and suits in equity in a circuit court, brought there by original process, or removed there from courts of the several States, or removed there by appeal from a district court where the matter in dispute exceeds the sum or value of two thousand dollars, exclusive of costs, be re-examined and reversed or affirmed in the Supreme Court, the citation being in such case signed by a judge of such circuit court, or justice of the Supreme Court, and the adverse party having at least thirty days' notice. But there shall be no reversal in either court on such writ of error for error in ruling any plea in abatement, other than a plea to the jurisdiction of the court, or such plea to a petition or bill in equity, as is in the nature of a demurrer, or for any error in fact. And writs of error shall not be brought but within five years after rendering or passing the judgment or decree complained of, or in case the person entitled to such writ of error be an infant, feme covert, non compos mentis, or imprisoned, then within five years as aforesaid, exclusive of the time of such disability. And every justice or judge signing a citation on any writ of error as aforesaid, shall take good and sufficient security, that the plaintiff in error shall prosecute his writ to effect, and answer all damages and costs if he fail to make his plea good.

    Sec. 23.

    And be it further enacted, That a writ of error as aforesaid shall be a supersedeas and stay execution in cases only where the writ of error is served, by a copy thereof being lodged for the adverse party in the clerk's office where the record remains, within ten days, Sundays exclusive, after rendering the judgment or passing the decree complained of. Until the expiration of which term of ten days, executions shall not issue in any case where a writ of error may be a supersedeas; and whereupon such writ of error the Supreme or a circuit court shall affirm a judgment or decree, they shall adjudge or decree to the respondent in error just damages for his delay, and single or double costs at their discretion.

    Sec. 24.

    And be it further enacted, That when a judgment or decree shall be reversed in a circuit court, such court shall proceed to render such judgment or pass such decree as the district court should have rendered or passed; and the Supreme Court shall do the same on reversals therein, except where the reversal is in favor of the plaintiff, or petitioner in the original suit, and the damages to be assessed, or matter to be decreed, are uncertain, in which case they shall remand the cause for a final decision. And the Supreme Court shall not issue execution in causes that are removed before them by writs of error, but shall send a special mandate to the circuit court to award execution thereupon.

    Sec. 25.

    And be it further enacted, That a final judgment or decree in any suit, in the highest court of law or equity of a State in which a decision in the suit could be had, where is drawn in question the validity of a treaty or statute of, or an authority exercised under the United States, and the decision is against their validity; or where is drawn in question the validity of a statute of, or an authority exercised under any State, on the ground of their being repugnant to the constitution, treaties or laws of the United States, and the decision is in favour of such their validity, or where is drawn in question the construction of any clause of the constitution, or of a treaty, or statute of, or commission held under the United States, and the decision is against the title, right, privilege or exemption specially set up or claimed by either party, under such clause of the said Constitution, treaty, statute or commission, may be re-examined and reversed or affirmed in the Supreme Court of the United States upon a writ of error, the citation being signed by the chief justice, or judge or chancellor of the court rendering or passing the judgment or decree complained of, or by a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the same manner and under the same regulations, and the writ shall have the same effect, as if the judgment or decree complained of had been rendered or passed in a circuit court, and the proceeding upon the reversal shall also be the same, except that the Supreme Court, instead of remanding the cause for a final decision as before provided, may at their discretion, if the cause shall have been once remanded before, proceed to a final decision of the same, and award execution. But no other error shall be assigned or regarded as a ground of reversal in any such case as aforesaid, than such as appears on the face of the record, and immediately respects the before mentioned questions of validity or construction of the said constitution, treaties, statutes, commissions, or authorities in dispute.

    Sec. 26.

    And be it further enacted, That in all causes brought before either of the courts of the United States to recover the forfeiture annexed to any articles of agreement, covenant, bond, or other speciality, where the forfeiture, breach or non-performance shall appear, by the default or confession of the defendant, or upon demurrer, the court before whom the action is, shall render judgment therein for the plaintiff to recover so much as is due according to equity. And when the sum for which judgment should be rendered is uncertain, the same shall, if either of the parties request it, be assessed by a jury.

    Sec. 27.

    And be it further enacted, That a marshal shall be appointed in and for each district for the term of four years, but shall be removable from office at pleasure, whose duty it shall be to attend the district and circuit courts when sitting therein, and also the Supreme Court in the district in which that court shall sit. And to execute throughout the district, all lawful precepts directed to him, and issued under the authority of the United States, and he shall have power to command all necessary assistance in the execution of his duty, and to appoint as there shall be occasion, one or more deputies, who shall be removable from office by the judge of the district court, or the circuit court sitting within the district, at the pleasure of either; and before he enters on the duties of his office, he shall become bound for the faithful performance of the same, by himself and by his deputies before the judge of the district court to the United States, jointly and severally, with two good and sufficient sureties, inhabitants and freeholders of such district, to be approved by the district judge, in the sum of twenty thousand dollars, and shall take before said judge, as shall also his deputies, before they enter on the duties of their appointment, the following oath of office: “I, A. B., do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will faithfully execute all lawful precepts directed to the marshal of the district of ____ under the authority of the United States, and true returns make, and in all things well and truly, and without malice or partiality, perform the duties of the office of marshal (or marshal's deputy, as the case may be) of the district of ____, during my continuance in said office, and take only my lawful fees. So help me God.”

    Sec. 28.

    And be it further enacted, That in all causes wherein the marshal or his deputy shall be a party, the writs and precepts therein shall be directed to such disinterested person as the court, or any justice or judge thereof may appoint, and the person so appointed, is hereby authorized to execute and return the same. And in case of the death of any marshal, his deputy or deputies shall continue in office, unless otherwise specially removed; and shall execute the same in the name of the deceased, until another marshal shall be appointed and sworn: And the defaults or misfeasances in office of such deputy or deputies in the mean time, as well as before, shall be adjudged a breach of the condition of the bond given, as before directed, by the marshal who appointed them; and the executor or administrator of the deceased marshal shall have like remedy for the defaults and misfeasances in office of such deputy or deputies during such interval, as they would be entitled to if the marshal had continued in life and in the exercise of his said office, until his successor was appointed, and sworn or affirmed: And every marshal or his deputy when removed from office, or when the term for which the marshal is appointed shall expire, shall have power notwithstanding to execute all such precepts as may be in their hands respectively at the time of such removal or expiration of office; and the marshal shall be held answerable for the delivery to his successor of all prisoners which may be in his custody at the time of his removal, or when the term for which he is appointed shall expire, and for that purpose may retain such prisoners in his custody until his successor shall be appointed and qualified as the law directs.

    Sec. 29.

    And be it further enacted, That in cases punishable with death, the trial shall be had in the county where the offence was committed, or where that cannot be done without great inconvenience, twelve petit jurors at least shall be summoned from thence. And jurors in all cases to serve in the courts of the United States shall be designated by lot or otherwise in each State respectively according to the mode of forming juries therein now practised, so far as the laws of the same shall render such designation practicable by the courts or marshals of the United States; and the jurors shall have the same qualifications as are requisite for jurors by the laws of the State of which they are citizens, to serve in the highest courts of law of such State, and shall be returned as there shall be occasion for them, from such parts of the district from time to time as the court shall direct, so as shall be most favourable to an impartial trial, and so as not to incur an unnecessary expense, or unduly to burthen the citizens of any part of the district with such services. And writs of venire facias when directed by the court shall issue from the clerk's office, and shall be served and returned by the marshal in his proper person, or by his deputy, or in case the marshal or his deputy is not an indifferent person, or is interested in the event of the cause, by such fit person as the court shall specially appoint for that purpose, to whom they shall administer an oath or affirmation that he will truly and impartially serve and return such writ. And when from challenges or otherwise there shall not be a jury to determine any civil or criminal cause, the marshal or his deputy shall, by order of the court where such defect of jurors shall happen, return jurymen de talibus circumstantibus sufficient to complete the pannel; and when the marshal or his deputy are disqualified as aforesaid, jurors may be returned by such disinterested person as the court shall appoint.

    Sec. 30.

    And be it further enacted, That the mode of proof by oral testimony and examination of witnesses in open court shall be the same in all the courts of the United States, as well in the trial of causes in equity and of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, as of actions at common law. And when the testimony of any person shall be necessary in any civil cause depending in any district in any court of the United States, who shall live at a greater distance from the place of trial than one hundred miles, or is bound on a voyage to sea, or is about to go out of the United States, or out of such district, and to a greater distance from the place of trial than as aforesaid, before the time of trial, or is ancient or very infirm, the deposition of such person may be taken de bene esse before any justice or judge of any of the courts of the United States, or before any chancellor, justice or judge of a supreme or superior court, mayor or chief magistrate of a city, or judge of a county court or court of common pleas of any of the United States, not being of counsel or attorney to either of the parties, or interested in the event of the cause, provided that a notification from the magistrate before whom the deposition is to be taken to the adverse party, to be present at the taking of the same, and to put interrogatories, if he think fit, be first made out and served on the adverse party or his attorney as either may be nearest, if either is within one hundred miles of the place of such caption, allowing time for their attendance after notified, not less than at the rate of one day, Sundays exclusive, for every twenty miles travel. And in causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, or other cases of seizure when a libel shall be filed, in which an adverse party is not named, and depositions of persons circumstanced as aforesaid shall be taken before a claim be put in, the like notification as aforesaid shall be given to the person having the agency or possession of the property libelled at the time of the capture or seizure of the same, if known to the libellant. And every person deposing as aforesaid shall be carefully examined and cautioned, and sworn or affirmed to testify the whole truth, and shall subscribe the testimony by him or her given after the same shall be reduced to writing, which shall be done only by the magistrate taking the deposition, or by the deponent in his presence. And the depositions so taken shall be retained by such magistrate until he deliver the same with his own hand into the court for which they are taken, or shall, together with a certificate of the reasons as aforesaid of their being taken, and of the notice if any given to the adverse party, be by him the said magistrate sealed up and directed to such court, and remain under his seal until opened in court. And any person may be compelled to appear and depose as aforesaid in the same manner as to appear and testify in court. And in the trial of any cause of admiralty or maritime jurisdiction in a district court, the decree in which may be appealed from, if either party shall suggest to and satisfy the court that probably it will not be in his power to produce the witnesses there testifying before the circuit court should an appeal be had, and shall move that their testimony be taken down in writing, it shall be so done by the clerk of the court. And if an appeal be had, such testimony may be used on the trial of the same if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court which shall try the appeal, that the witnesses are then dead or gone out of the United States, or to a greater distance than as aforesaid from the place where the court is sitting, or that by reason of age, sickness, bodily infirmity or imprisonment, they are unable to travel and appear at court, but not otherwise. And unless the same shall be made to appear on the trial of any cause, with respect to witnesses whose depositions may have been taken therein, such depositions shall not be admitted or used in the cause. Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed to prevent any court of the United States from granting a dedimus potestatem to take depositions according to common usage, when it may be necessary to prevent a failure or delay of justice, which power they shall severally possess, nor to extend to depositions taken in perpetuam rei memoriam, which if they relate to matters that may be cognizable in any court of the United States, a circuit court on application thereto made as a court of equity, may, according to the usages in chancery direct to be taken.

    Sec. 31.

    And be it [further] enacted, That where any suit shall be depending in any court of the United States, and either of the parties shall die before final judgment, the executor or administrator of such deceased party who was plaintiff, petitioner, or defendant, in case the cause of action doth by law survive, shall have full power to prosecute or defend any such suit or action until final judgment; and the defendant or defendants are hereby obliged to answer thereto accordingly; and the court before whom such cause may be depending, is hereby empowered and directed to hear and determine the same, and to render judgment for or against the executor or administrator, as the case may require. And if such executor or administrator having been duly served with a scire facias from the office of the clerk of the court where such suit is depending, twenty days beforehand, shall neglect or refuse to become a party to the suit, the court may render judgment against the estate of the deceased party, in the same manner as if the executor or administrator had voluntarily made himself a party to the suit. And the executor or administrator who shall become a party as aforesaid, shall, upon motion to the court where the suit is depending, be entitled to a continuance of the same until the next term of the said court. And if there be two or more plaintiffs or defendants, and one or more of them shall die, if the cause of action shall survive to the surviving plaintiff or plaintiffs, or against the surviving defendant or defendants, the writ or action shall not be thereby abated; but such death being suggested upon the record, the action shall proceed at the suit of the surviving plaintiff or plaintiffs against the surviving defendant or defendants.

    Sec. 32.

    And be it further enacted, That no summons, writ, declaration, return, process, judgment, or other proceedings in civil causes in any of the courts of the United States, shall be abated, arrested, quashed or reversed, for any defect or want of form, but the said courts respectively shall proceed and give judgment according as the right of the cause and matter in law shall appear unto them, without regarding any imperfections, defects, or want of form in such writ, declaration, or other pleading, return, process, judgment, or course of proceeding whatsoever, except those only in cases of demurrer, which the party demurring shall specially sit down and express together with his demurrer as the cause thereof. And the said courts respectively shall and may, by virtue of this act, from time to time, amend all and every such imperfections, defects and wants of form, other than those only which the party demurring shall express as aforesaid, and may at any time permit either of the parties to amend any defect in the process or pleadings, upon such conditions as the said courts respectively shall in their discretion, and by their rules prescribe.

    Sec. 33.

    And be it further enacted, That for any crime or offence against the United States, the offender may, by any justice or judge of the United States, or by any justice of the peace, or other magistrate of any of the United States where he may be found agreeably to the usual mode of process against offenders in such state, and at the expense of the United States, be arrested, and imprisoned or bailed, as the case may be, for trial before such court of the United States as by this act has cognizance of the offence. And copies of the process shall be returned as speedily as may be into the clerk's office of such court, together with the recognizances of the witnesses for their appearance to testify in the case; which recognizances the magistrate before whom the examination shall be, may require on pain of imprisonment. And if such commitment of the offender, or the witnesses shall be in a district other than that in which the offence is to be tried, it shall be the duty of the judge of that district where the delinquent is imprisoned, seasonably to issue, and of the marshal of the same district to execute, a warrant for the removal of the offender, and the witnesses, or either of them, as the case may be, to the district in which the trial is to be had. And upon all arrests in criminal cases, bail shall be admitted, except where the punishment may be death, in which cases it shall not be admitted but by the supreme or a circuit court, or by a justice of the supreme court, or a judge of a district court, who shall exercise their discretion therein, regarding the nature and circumstances of the offence, and of the evidence, and the usages of law. And if a person committed by a justice of the supreme or a judge of a district court for an offence not punishable with death, shall afterwards procure bail, and there be no judge of the United States in the district to take the same, it may be taken by any judge of the supreme or superior court of law of such state.

    Sec. 34.

    And be it further enacted, That the laws of the several states, except where the constitution, treaties or statutes of the United States shall otherwise require or provide, shall be regarded as rules of decision in trials at common law in the courts of the United States in cases where they apply.

    Sec. 35.

    And be it further enacted, That in all the courts of the United States, the parties may plead and manage their own causes personally or by the assistance of such counsel or attorneys at law as by the rules of the said courts respectively shall be permitted to manage and conduct causes therein. And there shall be appointed in each district a meet person learned in the law to act as attorney for the United States in such district, who shall be sworn or affirmed to the faithful execution of his office, whose duty it shall be to prosecute in such district all delinquents for crimes and offences, cognizable under the authority of the United States, and all civil actions in which the United States shall be concerned, except before the supreme court in the district in which that court shall be holden. And he shall receive as a compensation for his services such fees as shall be taxed therefore in the respective courts before which the suits or prosecutions shall be. And there shall also be appointed a meet person, learned in the law, to act as attorney-general for the United States, who shall be sworn or affirmed to a faithful execution of his office; whose duty it shall be to prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned, and to give his advice and opinion upon questions of law when required by the President of the United States, or when requested by the heads of any of the departments, touching any matters that may concern their departments, and shall receive such compensation for his services as shall by law be provided.

    APPROVED, September 24, 1789.

    Source:Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, Vol. I (Boston: Charles C. Little & James Brown, 1845).

    Circuit Court of Appeals Act of 1891

    In 1891 Congress passed the Circuit Court of Appeals Act, which established a new level of federal courts between the circuit and district courts and the Supreme Court. Relieving Supreme Court justices of the duty of sitting as circuit judges, the new circuit court of appeals was to hear all appeals from the decisions of the district and circuit courts.

    Prior to the act, Supreme Court justices were required to ride circuit, a hardship for most justices. The justices were often required to travel long distances and deal with difficult conditions. Questions were also raised about the propriety of the justices participating in cases at the circuit level that were then reviewed by the Supreme Court.

    The new circuit court of appeals would have final word in almost all diversity, admiralty, patent, revenue, and noncapital criminal cases. The Supreme Court would review such cases, after their decision by the appeals courts, only if the appeals court judges certified a case to the High Court—or if the Supreme Court decided to grant review through issue of a writ of certiorari. Cases involving constitutional questions, matters of treaty law, jurisdictional questions, capital crimes, and conflicting laws were still granted a right to appeal to the Supreme Court.

    Circuit Court of Appeals Act of 1891

    An act to establish circuit courts of appeals and to define and regulate in certain cases the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, in each circuit an additional circuit judge, who shall have the same qualifications, and shall have the same power and jurisdiction therein that the circuit judges of the United States, within their respective circuits, now have under existing laws, and who shall be entitled to the same compensation as the circuit judges of the United States in their respective circuits now have.

    Sec. 2.

    That there is hereby created in each circuit a circuit court of appeals, which shall consist of three judges, of whom two shall constitute a quorum, and which shall be a court of record with appellate jurisdiction, as is hereafter limited and established. Such court shall prescribe the form and style of its seal and the form of writs and other process and procedure as may be conformable to the exercise of its jurisdiction as shall be conferred by law. It shall have the appointment of the marshal of the court with the same duties and powers under the regulations of the court as are now provided for the marshal of the Supreme Court of the United States, so far as the same may be applicable. The court shall also appoint a clerk, who shall perform and exercise the same duties and powers in regard to all matters within its jurisdiction as are now exercised and performed by the clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States, so far as the same may be applicable. The salary of the marshal of the court shall be twenty-five hundred dollars a year, and the salary of the clerk of the court shall be three thousand dollars a year, to be paid in equal proportions quarterly. The costs and fees in the Supreme Court now provided for by law shall be costs and fees in the circuit courts of appeals; and the same shall be expended, accounted for, and paid for, and paid over to the Treasury Department of the United States in the same manner as is provided in respect of the costs and fees in the Supreme Court.

    The court shall have power to establish all rules and regulations for the conduct of the business of the court within its jurisdiction as conferred by law.

    Sec. 3.

    That the Chief-Justice and the associate justices of the Supreme Court assigned to each circuit, and the circuit judges within each circuit, and the several district judges within each circuit, shall be competent to sit as judges of the circuit court of appeals within their respective circuits in the manner hereinafter provided. In case the Chief-Justice or an associate justice of the Supreme Court should attend at any session of the circuit court of appeals he shall preside, and the circuit judges in attendance upon the court in the absence of the Chief-Justice or associate justice of the Supreme Court shall preside in the order of the seniority of their respective commissions.

    In case the full court at any time shall not be made up by the attendance of the Chief-Justice or an associate justice of the Supreme Court and circuit judges, one or more district judges within the circuit shall be competent to sit in the court according to such order or provision among the district judges as either by general or particular assignment shall be designated by the court: Provided, That no justice or judge before whom a cause or question may have been tried or heard in a district court, or existing circuit court, shall sit on the trial or hearing of such cause or question in the circuit court of appeals. A term shall be held annually by the circuit court of appeals in the several judicial circuits at the following places: In the first circuit, in the city of Boston; in the second circuit, in the city of New York; in the third circuit, in the city of Philadelphia; in the fourth circuit, in the city of Richmond; in the fifth circuit, in the city of New Orleans; in the sixth circuit, in the city of Cincinnati; in the seventh circuit, in the city of Chicago; in the eighth circuit, in the city of Saint Louis; in the ninth circuit in the city of San Francisco; and in such other places in each of the above circuits as said court may from time to time designate. The first terms of said courts shall be held on the second Monday in January, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, and thereafter at such times as may be fixed by said courts.

    Sec. 4.

    That no appeal, whether by writ of error or otherwise, shall hereafter be taken or allowed from the district court to the existing circuit courts, and no appellate jurisdiction shall hereafter be exercised or allowed by said existing circuit courts, but all appeals by writ of error otherwise, from said district courts shall only be subject to review in the Supreme Court of the United States or in the circuit court of appeals hereby established, as is hereinafter provided, and the review, by appeal, by writ of error, or otherwise, from the existing circuit courts shall be had only in the Supreme Court of the United States or in the circuit courts of appeals hereby established according to the provisions of this act regulating the same.

    Sec. 5.

    That appeals or writs of error may be taken from the district courts or from the existing circuit courts direct to the Supreme Court in the following cases:

    In any case in which the jurisdiction of the court is in issue; in such cases the question of jurisdiction alone shall be certified to the Supreme Court from the court below for decision.

    From the final sentences and decrees in prize causes.

    In cases of conviction of a capital or otherwise infamous crime.

    In any case that involves the construction or application of the Constitution of the United States.

    In any case in which the constitutionality of any law of the United States, or the validity or construction of any treaty made under its authority, is drawn in question.

    In any case in which the constitution or law of a State is claimed to be in contravention of the Constitution of the United States.

    Nothing in this act shall affect the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in cases appealed from the highest court of a State, nor the construction of the statute providing for review of such cases.

    Sec. 6.

    That the circuit courts of appeals established by this act shall exercise appellate jurisdiction to review by appeal or by writ of error final decision in the district court and the existing circuit courts in all cases other than those provided for in the preceding section of this act, unless otherwise provided by law, and the judgments or decrees of the circuit courts of appeals shall be final in all cases in which the jurisdiction is dependent entirely upon the opposite parties to the suit or controversy, being aliens and citizens of the United States or citizens of different States; also in all cases arising under the patent laws, under the revenue laws, and under the criminal laws and in admiralty cases, excepting that in every such subject within its appellate jurisdiction the circuit court of appeals at any time may certify to the Supreme Court of the United States any questions or propositions of law concerning which it desires the instruction of that court for its proper decision. And thereupon the Supreme Court may either give its instruction on the questions and propositions certified to it, which shall be binding upon the circuit courts of appeals in such case, or it may require that the whole record and cause may be sent up to it for its consideration, and thereupon shall decide the whole matter in controversy in the same manner as if it had been brought there for review by writ of error or appeal.

    And excepting also that in any such case as is hereinbefore made final in the circuit court of appeals it shall be competent for the Supreme Court to require, by certiorari or otherwise, any such case to be certified to the Supreme Court for its review and determination with the same power and authority in the case as if it had been carried by appeal or writ of error to the Supreme Court.

    In all cases not hereinbefore, in this section, made final there shall be of right an appeal or writ of error or review of the case by the Supreme Court of the United States where the matter in controversy shall exceed one thousand dollars besides costs. But no such appeal shall be taken or writ of error sued out unless within one year after the entry of the order, judgment, or decree sought to be reviewed.

    Sec. 7.

    That where, upon a hearing in equity in a district court, or in an existing circuit court, an injunction shall be granted or continued by an interlocutory order or decree, in a cause in which an appeal from a final decree may be taken under the provisions of this act to the circuit court of appeals, an appeal may be taken from such interlocutory order or decree granting or continuing such injunction to the circuit court of appeals: Provided, That the appeal must be taken within thirty days from the entry of such order or decree, and it shall take precedence in the appellate court; and the proceedings in other respects in the court below shall not be stayed unless otherwise ordered by that court during the pendency of such appeal.

    Sec. 8.

    That any justice or judge, who, in pursuance of the provisions of this act, shall attend the circuit court of appeals held at any place other than where he resides shall, upon his written certificate, be paid by the marshal of the district in which the court shall be held his reasonable expenses for travel and attendance, not to exceed ten dollars per day, and such payments shall be allowed the marshal in the settlement of his accounts with the United States.

    Sec. 9.

    That the marshals of the several districts in which said circuit court of appeals may be held shall, under the direction of the Attorney-General of the United States, and with his approval, provide such rooms in the public buildings of the United States as may be necessary, and pay all incidental expenses of said court, including criers, bailiffs, and messengers: Provided, however, That in case proper rooms cannot be provided in such buildings, then the said marshals, with the approval of the Attorney-General of the United States, may, from time to time, lease such rooms as may be necessary for such courts. That the marshals, criers, clerks, bailiffs, and messengers shall be allowed the same compensation for their respective services as are allowed for similar services in the existing circuit courts.

    Sec. 10.

    That whenever an appeal or writ of error or otherwise a case coming directly from the district court or existing circuit court shall be reviewed and determined in the Supreme Court the cause shall be remanded to the proper district or circuit court for further proceedings to be taken in pursuance of such determination. And whenever on appeal or writ of error or otherwise a case coming from a circuit court of appeals shall be reviewed and determined in the Supreme Court the cause shall be remanded by the Supreme Court to the proper district or circuit court for further proceedings in pursuance of such determination. Whenever on appeal or writ or error or otherwise a case coming from a district or circuit court shall be reviewed and determined in the circuit court of appeals in a case in which the decision in the circuit court of appeals is final such cause shall be remanded to the said district or circuit court for further proceedings to be there taken in pursuance of such determination.

    Sec. 11.

    That no appeal or writ of error by which any order, judgment, or decree may be reviewed in the circuit courts of appeals under the provisions of this act shall be taken or sued out except within six months after the entry of the order, judgment, or decree sought to be reviewed: Provided however, That in all cases in which a lesser time is now by law limited for appeals or writs of error such limits of time shall apply to appeals or writs of error in such cases taken to or sued out from the circuit courts of appeals. And all provisions of law now in force regulating the methods and system of review, through appeals or writs of error, shall regulate the methods and system of appeals and writs of error provided for in this act in respect of the circuit courts of appeals, including all provisions for bonds or other securities to be required and taken on such appeals, in respect of cases brought or to be brought to that court, shall have the same powers and duties as to the allowance of appeals or writs of error, and the conditions of such allowance, as now by law belong to the justices or judges in respect of the existing courts of the United States respectively.

    Sec. 12.

    That the circuit court of appeals shall have the powers specified in section seven hundred and sixteen of the Revised Statutes of the United States.

    Sec. 13.

    Appeals and writs of error may be taken and prosecuted from the decisions of the United States court in the Indian Territory to the Supreme Court of the United States, or to the circuit court of appeals in the eighth circuit, in the same manner and under the same regulations as from the circuit or district courts of the United States, under this act.

    Sec. 14.

    That section six hundred and ninety-one of the Revised Statutes of the United States and section three of an act entitled “An act to facilitate the disposition of cases in the Supreme Court, and for other purposes,” approved February sixteenth, eighteen hundred and seventy-five, be, and the same are hereby repealed. And all acts and parts of acts relating to appeals or writs of error inconsistent with the provisions for review by appeals or writs of error in the preceding sections five and six of this act are hereby repealed.

    Sec. 15.

    That the circuit court of appeal in cases in which the judgments of the circuit courts of appeal are made final by this act shall have the same appellate jurisdiction, by writ of error or appeal, to review the judgments, orders, and decrees of the supreme courts of the several Territories as by this act they may have to review the judgments, orders, and decrees of the district court and circuit courts; and for that purpose the several Territories shall, by orders of the Supreme court, to be made from time to time, be assigned to particular circuits.

    Approved, March 3, 1891.

    Source:Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, Vol. XXVI (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1891).

    Judiciary Act of 1925

    The Judiciary Act of 1925 established the jurisdictional rules that currently shape the Supreme Court's workload. The act gave the Court greater control of its docket by reducing the types of cases the Court was obliged to hear and by expanding its authority to select cases for review under a writ of certiorari—giving the Court virtually unlimited power in deciding which cases it would review.

    Specifically, the act eliminated the right of appeal from appeals court rulings, except where the appeals court held a state law invalid under the Constitution, federal law, or treaties. A right of appeal from district court decisions remained, however, in cases under antitrust or interstate commerce laws; appeals by the government in criminal cases; suits to halt enforcement of state law or other official state action; and suits designed to halt enforcement of Interstate Commerce Commission orders.

    The act is also known as the “judges bill”—a reference to the fact that the original legislation was drafted by members of the Court. Chief Justice William Howard Taft was instrumental in lobbying Congress for its passage. Taft maintained that the Court was becoming severely backlogged with cases. The law gave the justices, at least for a time, a more manageable caseload.

    Judiciary Act of 1925

    An Act To amend the Judicial Code, and to further define the jurisdiction of the circuit courts of appeals and of the Supreme Court, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That sections 128, 129, 237, 238, 239, and 240 of the Judicial Code as now existing be, and they are severally, amended and reenacted to read as follows:

    Sec. 128.

    (a) The circuit courts of appeal shall have appellate jurisdiction to review by appeal or writ of error final decisions —

    “First. In the district courts, in all cases save where a direct review of the decision may be had in the Supreme Court under section 238.

    “Second. In the United States district courts for Hawaii and for Porto Rico in all cases.

    “Third. In the district courts for Alaska or any division thereof, and for the Virgin Islands, in all cases, civil and criminal, wherein the Constitution or a statute or treaty of the United States or any authority exercised thereunder is involved; in all other civil cases wherein the value in controversy, exclusive of interest and costs, exceeds $1,000; in all other criminal cases where the offense charged is punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year or by death, and in all habeas corpus proceedings; and in the district court for the Canal Zone in the cases and mode prescribed in the Act approved September 21, 1922, amending prior laws relating to the Canal Zone.

    “Fourth. In the Supreme Courts of the Territory of Hawaii and of Porto Rico, in all civil cases, civil or criminal, wherein the Constitution or a statute or treaty of the United States or any authority exercised thereunder is involved; in all other civil cases wherein the value in controversy, exclusive of interest and costs, exceeds $5,000, and in all habeas corpus proceedings.

    “Fifth. In the United States Court for China, in all cases.

    (b) The circuit court of appeals shall also have appellate jurisdiction—

    “First. To review the interlocutory orders or decrees of the district courts which are specified in section 129.

    “Second. To review decisions of the district courts sustaining or overruling exceptions to awards in arbitrations, as provided in section 8 of an Act entitled ‘An Act providing for mediation, conciliation, and arbitration in controversies between certain employers and their employees,'’ approved July 15, 1913.

    “(c) The circuit courts of appeal shall also have an appellate and supervisory jurisdiction under sections 24 and 25 of the Bankruptcy Act of July 1, 1898, over all proceedings, controversies, and cases had or brought in the district courts under that Act or any of its amendments, and shall exercise the same in the manner prescribed in those sections; and the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in this regard shall cover the courts of bankruptcy in Alaska and Hawaii, and that of the Circuit Court of Appeals for the First Circuit shall cover the court of bankruptcy in Porto Rico.

    “(d) The review under this section shall be in the following circuit courts of appeal: The decisions of a district court of the United States within a State in the circuit court of appeals for the circuit embracing such State; those of the District Court of Alaska or any division thereof, the United States district court, and the Supreme Court of Hawaii, and the United States Court for China, in the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; those of the United States district court and the Supreme Court of Porto Rico in the Circuit Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; those of the District Court of the Virgin Islands in the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; and those of the District Court of the Canal Zone in the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

    (e) The circuit courts of appeal are further empowered to enforce, set aside, or modify orders of the Federal Trade Commission, as provided in section 5 of “‘An Act to create a Federal Trade Commission, to define its powers and duties, and for other purposes,’ approved September 26, 1914; and orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Federal Trade Commission, as provided in section 11 of ‘An Act to supplement existing laws against unlawful restraints and monopolies, and for other purposes,’ approved October 15, 1914.

    “Sec. 129.

    Where, upon a hearing in a district court, or by a judge thereof in vacation, an injunction is granted, continued, modified, refused, or dissolved by an interlocutory order or decree, or an application to dissolve or modify an injunction is refused, or an interlocutory order or decree is made appointing a receiver, or refusing an order to wind up a pending receivership or to take the appropriate steps to accomplish the purposes thereof, such as directing a sale or other disposal of property held thereunder, an appeal may be taken from such interlocutory order or decree to the circuit court of appeals; and sections 239 and 240 shall apply to such cases in the circuit courts of appeals as to other cases therein; Provided, That the appeal to the circuit court of appeals must be applied for within thirty days from the entry of such order or decree, and shall take precedence in the appellate court; and the proceedings in other respects in the district court shall not be stayed during the pendency of such appeal unless otherwise ordered by the court, or the appellate court, or a judge thereof: Provided, however, That the district court may, in its discretion, require an additional bond as a condition of the appeal.”

    Sec. 237.

    (a) A final judgment or decree in any suit in the highest court of a State in which a decision in the suit could be had, where is drawn in question the validity of a treaty or statute of the United States, and the decision is against its validity; or where is drawn, in question the validity of a statute of any State, on the ground of its being repugnant to the Constitution, treaties, or laws of the United States, and the decision is in favor of its validity, may be reviewed by the Supreme Court upon a writ of error. The writ shall have the same effect as if the judgment or decree had been rendered or passed in a court of the United States. The Supreme Court may reverse, modify, or affirm the judgment or decree of such State court, and may, in its discretion, award execution or remand the cause to the court from which it was removed by the writ.

    “(b) It shall be competent for the Supreme Court, by certiorari, to require that there be certified to it for review and determination, with the same power and authority and with like effect as if brought up by writ of error, any cause wherein a final judgment or decree has been rendered or passed by the highest court of a State in which a decision could be had where is drawn in question the validity of a treaty or statute of the United States; or where is drawn in question the validity of a statute of any State on the ground of its being repugnant to the Constitution, treaties, or laws of the United States; or where any title, right, privilege, or immunity is specially set up or claimed by either party under the Constitution, or any treaty or statute of, or commission held or authority exercised under, the United States; and the power to review under this paragraph may be exercised as well where the Federal claim is sustained as where it is denied. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to limit or detract from the right to a review on a writ of error in a case where such a right is conferred by the preceding paragraph; nor shall the fact that a review on a writ of error might be obtained under the preceding paragraph be an obstacle to granting a review on certiorari under this paragraph.

    “(c) If a writ of error be improvidently sought and allowed under this section in a case where the proper mode of invoking a review is by a petition for certiorari, this alone shall not be a ground for dismissal; but the papers whereon the writ of error was allowed shall be regarded and acted on as a petition for certiorari and as if duly presented to the Supreme Court at the time they were presented to the court or judge by whom the writ of error was allowed: Provided, That where in such a case there appears to be no reasonable ground for granting a petition for certiorari it shall be competent for the Supreme Court to adjudge to the respondent reasonable damages for his delay, and single or double costs, as provided in section 1010 of the Revised Statutes.”

    “Sec. 238.

    A direct review by the Supreme Court of an interlocutory or final judgment or decree of a district court may be had where it is so provided in the following Acts or parts of Acts, and not otherwise:

    “(1) Section 2 of the Act of February 11, 1903, ‘to expedite the hearing and determination’ of certain suits brought by the United States under the antitrust or interstate commerce laws, and so forth.

    “(2) The Act of March 2, 1907, ‘providing for writs of error in certain instances in criminal cases’ where the decision of the district court is adverse to the United States.

    “(3) An Act restricting the issuance of interlocutory injunctions to suspend the enforcement of the statute of a State or of an order made by an administrative board or commission created by and acting under the statute of a State, approved March 4, 1913, which Act is hereby amended by adding at the end thereof, ‘The requirement respecting the presence of three judges shall also apply to the final hearing in such suit in the district court; and a direct appeal to the Supreme Court may be taken from a final decree granting or denying a permanent injunction in such suit.'’

    “(4) So much of ‘An Act making appropriations to supply urgent deficiencies in appropriations for the fiscal year 1913, and for other purposes,'’ approved October 22, 1913, as relates to the review of interlocutory and final judgments and decrees in suits to enforce, suspend, or set aside orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission other than for the payment of money.

    “(5) Section 316 of ‘An Act to regulate interstate and foreign commerce in livestock, livestock products, dairy products, poultry, poultry products, and eggs, and for other purposes'’ approved August 15, 1921.”

    Sec. 239.

    In any case, civil or criminal, in a circuit court of appeals, or in the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, the court at any time may certify to the Supreme Court of the United States any questions or propositions of law concerning which instructions are desired for the proper decision of the cause; and thereupon the Supreme Court may either give binding instructions on the questions and propositions certified or may require that the entire record in the cause be sent up for its consideration, and thereupon shall decide the whole matter in controversy in the same manner as if it had been brought there by writ of error or appeal.”

    Sec. 240.

    (a) In any case, civil or criminal, in a circuit court of appeals, or in the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, it shall be competent for the Supreme Court of the United States, upon the petition of any party thereto, whether Government or other litigant, to require by certiorari, either before or after a judgment or decree by such lower court, that the cause be certified to the Supreme Court for determination by it with the same power and authority, and with like effect, as if the cause had been brought there by unrestricted writ of error or appeal.

    (b) Any case in a circuit court of appeals where is drawn in question the validity of a statute of any State, on the ground of its being repugnant to the Constitution, treaties, or laws of the United States, and the decision is against its validity, may, at the election of the party relying on such State statute, be taken to the Supreme Court for review on writ of error or appeal; but in that event a review on certiorari shall not be allowed at the instance of such party, and the review on such writ of error or appeal shall be restricted to an examination and decision of the Federal questions presented in the case.

    “(c) No judgment or decree of a circuit court of appeals or of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court otherwise than as provided in this section.”

    Sec. 2.

    That cases in a circuit court of appeals under section 8 of “An Act providing for mediation, conciliation, and arbitration in controversies between certain employers and their employees,” approved July 15, 1913; under section 5 of “An Act to create a Federal Trade Commission, to define its powers and duties, and for other purposes,” approved September 26, 1914; and under section 11 of “An Act to supplement existing laws against unlawful restraints and monopolies, and for other purposes,” approved October 15, 1914, are included among the cases to which sections 239 and 240 of the Judicial Code shall apply.

    Sec. 3.

    (a) That in any case in the court of Claims, including those begun under section 180 of the Judicial Code, that court at any time may certify to the Supreme Court any definite and distinct questions of law concerning which instructions are desired for the proper disposition of the cause; and thereupon the Supreme Court may give appropriate instructions on the questions certified and transmit the same to the Court of Claims for its guidance in the further progress of the cause.

    (b) In any case in the Court of Claims, including those begun under section 180 of the Judicial Code, it shall be competent for the Supreme Court, upon the petition of either party, whether Government or claimant, to require, by certiorari, that the cause, including the findings of fact and the judgment or decree, but omitting the evidence, be certified to it for review and determination with the same power and authority, and with like effect, as if the cause had been brought there by appeal.

    (c) All judgments and decrees of the Court of Claims shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court as provided in this section, and not otherwise.

    Sec. 4.

    That in cases in the district courts wherein they exercise concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Claims or adjudicate claims against the United States the judgments shall be subject to review in the circuit courts of appeals like other judgments of the district courts; and sections 239 and 240 of the Judicial Code shall apply to such cases in the circuit courts of appeals as to other cases therein.

    Sec. 5.

    That the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia shall have the same appellate and supervisory jurisdiction over proceedings, controversies, and cases in bankruptcy in the District of Columbia that a circuit court of appeals has over such proceedings, controversies, and cases within its circuit, and shall exercise that jurisdiction in the same manner as a circuit court of appeals is required to exercise it.

    Sec. 6.

    (a) In a proceeding in habeas corpus in a district court, or before a district judge or a circuit judge, the final order shall be subject to review, on appeal, by the circuit court of appeals of the circuit wherein the proceeding is had. A circuit judge shall have the same power to grant writs of habeas corpus within his circuit that a district judge has within his district; and the order of the circuit judge shall be entered in the records of the district court of the district wherein the restraint complained of is had.

    (b) In such a proceeding in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, or before a justice thereof, the final order shall be subject to review, on appeal, by the Court of Appeals of that District.

    (c) Sections 239 and 240 of the Judicial Code shall apply to habeas corpus cases in the circuit courts of appeals and in the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia as to other cases therein.

    (d) The provisions of sections 765 and 766 of the Revised Statutes, and the provisions of an Act entitled “An Act restricting in certain cases the right of appeal to the Supreme Court in habeas corpus proceedings,” approved March 10, 1908, shall apply to appellate proceedings under this section as they heretofore have applied to direct appeals to the Supreme Court.

    Sec. 7.

    That in any case in the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands wherein the Constitution, or any statute or treaty of the United States is involved, or wherein the value in controversy exceeds $25,000, or wherein the title or possession of real estate exceeding in value the sum of $25,000 is involved or brought in question, it shall be competent for the Supreme Court of the United States, upon the petition of a party aggrieved by the final judgment or decree, to require, by certiorari, that the cause be certified to it for review and determination with the same power and authority, and with like effect, as if the cause had been brought before it on writ of error or appeal; and, except as provided in this section, the judgments and decrees of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands shall not be subject to appellate review.

    Sec. 8.

    (a) That no writ of error, appeal, or writ of certiorari, intended to bring any judgment or decree before the Supreme Court for review shall be allowed or entertained unless application therefor be duly made within three months after the entry of such judgment or decree, excepting that writs of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands may be granted where application therefor is made within six months: Provided, That for good cause shown either of such periods for applying for a writ of certiorari may be extended not exceeding sixty days by a justice of the Supreme Court.

    (b) Where an application for a writ of certiorari is made with the purpose of securing a removal of the case to the Supreme Court from a circuit court of appeals or the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia before the court wherein the same is pending has given a judgment or decree the application may be made at any time prior to the hearing and submission in that court.

    (c) No writ of error or appeal intended to bring any judgment or decree before a circuit court of appeals for review shall be allowed unless application therefor be duly made within three months after the entry of such judgment or decree.

    (d) In any case in which the final judgment or decree of any court is subject to review by the Supreme Court on writ of certiorari, the execution and enforcement of such judgment or decree may be stayed for a reasonable time to enable the party aggrieved to apply for and to obtain a writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court. The stay may be granted by a judge of the court rendering the judgment or decree or by a justice of the Supreme Court, and may be conditioned on the giving of good and sufficient security, to be approved by such judge or justice, that if the aggrieved party fails to make application for such writ within the period allotted therefor, or fails to obtain an order granting his application, or fails to make his plea good in the Supreme Court, he shall answer for all damage and costs which the other party may sustain by reason of the stay.

    Sec. 9.

    That in any case where the power to review, whether in the circuit courts of appeals or in the Supreme Court, depends upon the amount or value in controversy, such amount or value, if not otherwise satisfactorily disclosed upon the record, may be shown and ascertained by the oath of a party to the cause or by other competent evidence.

    Sec. 10.

    That no court having power to review a judgment or decree of another shall dismiss a writ of error solely because an appeal should have been taken, or dismiss an appeal solely because a writ of error should have been sued out; but where such error occurs the same shall be disregarded and the court shall proceed as if in that regard its power to review were properly invoked.

    Sec. 11.

    (a) That where, during the pendency of an action, suit, or other proceeding brought by or against an officer of the United States, or of the District of Columbia, or the Canal Zone, or of a county, city, or other governmental agency of such Territory or insular possession, and relating to the present or future discharge of his official duties, such officer dies, resigns, or otherwise ceases to hold such office, it shall be competent for the court wherein the action, suit, or proceeding is pending, whether the court be one of first instance or an appellate tribunal, to permit the cause to be continued and maintained by or against the successor in office of such officer, if within six months after his death or separation from the office it be satisfactorily shown to the court that there is a substantial need for so continuing and maintaining the cause and obtaining an adjudication of the questions involved.

    (b) Similar proceedings may be had and taken where an action, suit, or proceeding brought by or against an officer of a State, or of a county, city, or other governmental agency of a State, is pending in a court of the United States at the time of the officer's death or separation from the office.

    (c) Before a substitution under this section is made, the party or officer to be affected, unless expressly consenting thereto, must be given reasonable notice of the application therefor and accorded an opportunity to present any objection which he may have.

    Sec. 12.

    That no district court shall have jurisdiction of any action or suit by or against any corporation upon the ground that it was incorporated by or under an Act of Congress: Provided, That this section shall not apply to any suit, action, or proceeding brought by or against a corporation incorporated by or under an Act of Congress wherein the Government of the United States is the owner of more than one-half of its capital stock.

    Sec. 13.

    That the following statutes and parts of statutes be, and they are, repealed:

    Sections 130, 131, 133, 134, 181, 182, 236, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, and 252 of the Judicial Code.

    Sections 2, 4, and 5 of “An Act to amend an Act entitled ‘An Act to codify, revise, and amend the laws relating to the judiciary,’ approved March 3, 1911,” approved January 28, 1915.

    Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of “An Act to amend the Judicial Code, to fix the time when the annual term of the Supreme Court shall commence, and further to define the jurisdiction of that court,” approved September 6, 1916.

    Section 27 of “An Act to declare the purpose of the people of the United States as to the future political status of the people of the Philippine Islands, and to provide a more autonomous government for those islands,” approved August 29, 1916.

    So much of sections 4, 9, and 10 of “An Act to provide for the bringing of suits against the Government of the United States,” approved March 3, 1887, as provides for a review by the Supreme Court on writ of error or appeal in the cases therein named.

    So much of “An Act restricting in certain cases the right of appeal to the Supreme Court in habeas corpus proceedings,” approved March 10, 1908, as permits a direct appeal to the Supreme Court.

    So much of sections 24 and 25 of the Bankruptcy Act of July 1, 1898, as regulates the mode of review by the Supreme Court in the proceedings, controversies, and cases therein named.

    So much of “An Act to provide a civil government for Porto Rico, and for other purposes,” approved March 2, 1917, as permits a direct review by the Supreme Court of cases in the courts of Porto Rico.

    So much of the Hawaiian Organic Act, as amended by the Act of July 9, 1921, as permits a direct review by the Supreme Court of cases in the courts in Hawaii.

    So much of section 9 of the Act of August 24, 1912, relating to the government of the Canal Zone as designates the cases in which, and the courts by which, the judgments and decrees of the district court of the Canal Zone may be reviewed.

    Sections 763 and 764 of the Revised Statutes.

    An Act entitled “An Act amending section 764 of the Revised Statutes,” approved March 3, 1885.

    An Act entitled “An Act to prevent the abatement of certain actions,” approved February 8, 1899.

    An Act entitled “An Act to amend section 237 of the Judicial Code,” approved February 17, 1922.

    An Act entitled “An Act to amend the Judicial Code in reference to appeals and writs of error,” approved September 14, 1922.

    All other Acts and parts of Acts in so far as they are embraced within and superseded by this Act or are inconsistent therewith.

    Sec. 14.

    That this Act shall take effect three months after its approval; but it shall not affect cases then pending in the Supreme Court, nor shall it affect the right to a review, or the mode or time for exercising the same, as respects any judgment or decree entered prior to the date when it takes effect.

    Approved, February 13, 1925.

    Source:Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, Vol. XLIII, Part 1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1925).

    Rules of the Supreme Court (2010)

    The Supreme Court, empowered by Title 28, Section 2071 of the U.S. Code, sets its own rules covering the activities of the Court. These rules, first established in 1790, are revised from time to time, generally by a consensus of the justices. The current rules were adopted January 12, 2010, and went into effect February 16, 2010.

    There are currently forty-eight rules governing the presentation of cases to the Court. These rules cover the activities of Court officers (Part I), the requirements for attorneys and counselors (Part II), the jurisdiction of the Court (Parts III and IV), procedures that must be followed in the presentation of cases (Parts V, VI, and VII), Court procedures and litigant requirements at the disposition of cases (Part VIII), and definitions and the effective date of the rules (Part IX).

    The rules go into specific detail on many matters, such as the time allotted for oral argument, the preparation of documents, and the printing of appendices.

    Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States

    Adopted January 12, 2010

    Effective February 16, 2010

    Part I. The Court

    Rule 1. Clerk

    • The Clerk receives documents for filing with the Court and has authority to reject any submitted filing that does not comply with these Rules.
    • The Clerk maintains the Court's records and will not permit any of them to be removed from the Court building except as authorized by the Court. Any document filed with the Clerk and made a part of the Court's records may not thereafter be withdrawn from the official Court files. After the conclusion of proceedings in this Court, original records and documents transmitted to this Court by any other court will be returned to the court from which they were received.
    • Unless the Court or the Chief Justice orders otherwise, the Clerk's office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on federal legal holidays listed in 5 U.S.C. § 6103.

    Rule 2. Library

    • The Court's library is available for use by appropriate personnel of this Court, members of the Bar of this Court, Members of Congress and their legal staffs, and attorneys for the United States and for federal departments and agencies.
    • The library's hours are governed by regulations made by the Librarian with the approval of the Chief Justice or the Court.
    • Library books may not be removed from the Court building, except by a Justice or a member of a Justice's staff.

    Rule 3. Term

    The Court holds a continuous annual Term commencing on the first Monday in October and ending on the day before the first Monday in October of the following year. See 28 U.S.C. § 2. At the end of each Term, all cases pending on the docket are continued to the next Term.

    Rule 4. Sessions and Quorum

    • Open sessions of the Court are held beginning at 10 a.m. on the first Monday in October of each year, and thereafter as announced by the Court. Unless it orders otherwise, the Court sits to hear arguments from 10 a.m. until noon and from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.
    • Six Members of the Court constitute a quorum. See 28 U.S.C. § 1. In the absence of a quorum on any day appointed for holding a session of the Court, the Justices attending—or if no Justice is present, the Clerk or a Deputy Clerk—may announce that the Court will not meet until there is a quorum.
    • When appropriate, the Court will direct the Clerk or the Marshal to announce recesses.

    Part II. Attorneys and Counselors

    Rule 5. Admission to the Bar

    • To qualify for admission to the Bar of this Court, an applicant must have been admitted to practice in the highest court of a State, Commonwealth, Territory or Possession, or the District of Columbia for a period of at least three years immediately before the date of application; must not have been the subject of any adverse disciplinary action pronounced or in effect during that 3-year period; and must appear to the Court to be of good moral and professional character.
    • Each applicant shall file with the Clerk (1) a certificate from the presiding judge, clerk, or other authorized official of that court evidencing the applicant's admission to practice there and the applicant's current good standing, and (2) a completely executed copy of the form approved by this Court and furnished by the Clerk containing (a) the applicant's personal statement, and (b) the statement of two sponsors endorsing the correctness of the applicant's statement, stating that the applicant possesses all the qualifications required for admission, and affirming that the applicant is of good moral and professional character. Both sponsors must be members of the Bar of this Court who personally know, but are not related to, the applicant.
    • If the documents submitted demonstrate that the applicant possesses the necessary qualifications, and if the applicant has signed the oath or affirmation and paid the required fee, the Clerk will notify the applicant of acceptance by the Court as a member of the Bar and issue a certificate of admission. An applicant who so wishes may be admitted in open court on oral motion by a member of the Bar of this Court, provided that all other requirements for admission have been satisfied.
    • Each applicant shall sign the following oath or affirmation: I, ———, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as an attorney and as a counselor of this Court, I will conduct myself uprightly and according to law, and that I will support the Constitution of the United States.
    • The fee for admission to the Bar and a certificate bearing the seal of the Court is $200, payable to the United States Supreme Court. The Marshal will deposit such fees in a separate fund to be disbursed by the Marshal at the direction of the Chief Justice for the costs of admissions, for the benefit of the Court and its Bar, and for related purposes.
    • The fee for a duplicate certificate of admission to the Bar bearing the seal of the Court is $15, and the fee for a certificate of good standing is $10, payable to the United States Supreme Court. The proceeds will be maintained by the Marshal as provided in paragraph 5 of this Rule.

    Rule 6. Argument pro hac vice

    • An attorney not admitted to practice in the highest court of a State, Commonwealth, Territory or Possession, or the District of Columbia for the requisite three years, but otherwise eligible for admission to practice in this Court under Rule 5.1, may be permitted to argue pro hac vice.
    • An attorney qualified to practice in the courts of a foreign state may be permitted to argue pro hac vice.
    • Oral argument pro hac vice is allowed only on motion of the counsel of record for the party on whose behalf leave is requested. The motion shall state concisely the qualifications of the attorney who is to argue pro hac vice. It shall be filed with the Clerk, in the form required by Rule 21, no later than the date on which the respondent's or appellee's brief on the merits is due to be filed, and it shall be accompanied by proof of service as required by Rule 29.

    Rule 7. Prohibition Against Practice

    No employee of this Court shall practice as an attorney or counselor in any court or before any agency of government while employed by the Court; nor shall any person after leaving such employment participate in any professional capacity in any case pending before this Court or in any case being considered for filing in this Court, until two years have elapsed after separation; nor shall a former employee ever participate in any professional capacity in any case that was pending in this Court during the employee's tenure.

    Rule 8. Disbarment and Disciplinary Action

    • Whenever a member of the Bar of this Court has been disbarred or suspended from practice in any court of record, or has engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of the Bar of this Court, the Court will enter an order suspending that member from practice before this Court and affording the member an opportunity to show cause, within 40 days, why a disbarment order should not be entered. Upon response, or if no response is timely filed, the Court will enter an appropriate order.
    • After reasonable notice and an opportunity to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken, and after a hearing if material facts are in dispute, the Court may take any appropriate disciplinary action against any attorney who is admitted to practice before it for conduct unbecoming a member of the Bar or for failure to comply with these Rules or any Rule or order of the Court.

    Rule 9. Appearance of Counsel

    • An attorney seeking to file a document in this Court in a representative capacity must first be admitted to practice before this Court as provided in Rule 5, except that admission to the Bar of this Court is not required for an attorney appointed under the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, see 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(d)(6), or under any other applicable federal statute. The attorney whose name, address, and telephone number appear on the cover of a document presented for filing is considered counsel of record, and a separate notice of appearance need not be filed. If the name of more than one attorney is shown on the cover of the document, the attorney who is counsel of record shall be clearly identified. See Rule 34.1(f).
    • An attorney representing a party who will not be filing a document shall enter a separate notice of appearance as counsel of record indicating the name of the party represented. A separate notice of appearance shall also be entered whenever an attorney is substituted as counsel of record in a particular case.

    Part III. Jurisdiction on Writ of Certiorari

    Rule 10. Considerations Governing Review on Certiorari

    Review on a writ of certiorari is not a matter of right, but of judicial discretion. A petition for a writ of certiorari will be granted only for compelling reasons. The following, although neither controlling nor fully measuring the Court's discretion, indicate the character of the reasons the Court considers:

    • a United States court of appeals has entered a decision in conflict with the decision of another United States court of appeals on the same important matter; has decided an important federal question in a way that conflicts with a decision by a state court of last resort; or has so far departed from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings, or sanctioned such a departure by a lower court, as to call for an exercise of this Court's supervisory power;
    • a state court of last resort has decided an important federal question in a way that conflicts with the decision of another state court of last resort or of a United States court of appeals;
    • a state court or a United States court of appeals has decided an important question of federal law that has not been, but should be, settled by this Court, or has decided an important federal question in a way that conflicts with relevant decisions of this Court.

    A petition for a writ of certiorari is rarely granted when the asserted error consists of erroneous factual findings or the misapplication of a properly stated rule of law.

    Rule 11. Certiorari to a United States Court of Appeals Before Judgment

    A petition for a writ of certiorari to review a case pending in a United States court of appeals, before judgment is entered in that court, will be granted only upon a showing that the case is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in this Court. See 28 U.S.C. § 2101(e).

    Rule 12. Review on Certiorari: How Sought; Parties

    • Except as provided in paragraph 2 of this Rule, the petitioner shall file 40 copies of a petition for a writ of certiorari, prepared as required by Rule 33.1, and shall pay the Rule 38(a) docket fee.
    • A petitioner proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39 shall file an original and 10 copies of a petition for a writ of certiorari prepared as required by Rule 33.2, together with an original and 10 copies of the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. A copy of the motion shall precede and be attached to each copy of the petition. An inmate confined in an institution, if proceeding in forma pauperis and not represented by counsel, need file only an original petition and motion.
    • Whether prepared under Rule 33.1 or Rule 33.2, the petition shall comply in all respects with Rule 14 and shall be submitted with proof of service as required by Rule 29. The case then will be placed on the docket. It is the petitioner's duty to notify all respondents promptly, on a form supplied by the Clerk, of the date of filing, the date the case was placed on the docket, and the docket number of the case. The notice shall be served as required by Rule 29.
    • Parties interested jointly, severally, or otherwise in a judgment may petition separately for a writ of certiorari; or any two or more may join in a petition. A party not shown on the petition as joined therein at the time the petition is filed may not later join in that petition. When two or more judgments are sought to be reviewed on a writ of certiorari to the same court and involve identical or closely related questions, a single petition for a writ of certiorari covering all the judgments suffices. A petition for a writ of certiorari may not be joined with any other pleading, except that any motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis shall be attached.
    • No more than 30 days after a case has been placed on the docket, a respondent seeking to file a conditional crosspetition (i. e., a cross-petition that otherwise would be untimely) shall file, with proof of service as required by Rule 29, 40 copies of the cross-petition prepared as required by Rule 33.1, except that a cross-petitioner proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39 shall comply with Rule 12.2. The cross-petition shall comply in all respects with this Rule and Rule 14, except that material already reproduced in the appendix to the opening petition need not be reproduced again. A cross-petitioning respondent shall pay the Rule 38(a) docket fee or submit a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The cover of the cross-petition shall indicate clearly that it is a conditional cross-petition. The cross-petition then will be placed on the docket, subject to the provisions of Rule 13.4. It is the cross-petitioner's duty to notify all cross-respondents promptly, on a form supplied by the Clerk, of the date of filing, the date the cross-petition was placed on the docket, and the docket number of the cross-petition. The notice shall be served as required by Rule 29. A cross-petition for a writ of certiorari may not be joined with any other pleading, except that any motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis shall be attached. The time to file a conditional cross-petition will not be extended.
    • All parties to the proceeding in the court whose judgment is sought to be reviewed are deemed parties entitled to file documents in this Court, unless the petitioner notifies the Clerk of this Court in writing of the petitioner's belief that one or more of the parties below have no interest in the outcome of the petition. A copy of such notice shall be served as required by Rule 29 on all parties to the proceeding below. A party noted as no longer interested may remain a party by notifying the Clerk promptly, with service on the other parties, of an intention to remain a party. All parties other than the petitioner are considered respondents, but any respondent who supports the position of a petitioner shall meet the petitioner's time schedule for filing documents, except that a response supporting the petition shall be filed within 20 days after the case is placed on the docket, and that time will not be extended. Parties who file no document will not qualify for any relief from this Court.
    • The clerk of the court having possession of the record shall keep it until notified by the Clerk of this Court to certify and transmit it. In any document filed with this Court, a party may cite or quote from the record, even if it has not been transmitted to this Court. When requested by the Clerk of this Court to certify and transmit the record, or any part of it, the clerk of the court having possession of the record shall number the documents to be certified and shall transmit therewith a numbered list specifically identifying each document transmitted. If the record, or stipulated portions, have been printed for the use of the court below, that printed record, plus the proceedings in the court below, may be certified as the record unless one of the parties or the Clerk of this Court requests otherwise. The record may consist of certified copies, but if the lower court is of the view that original documents of any kind should be seen by this Court, that court may provide by order for the transport, safekeeping, and return of such originals.

    Rule 13. Review on Certiorari: Time for Petitioning

    • Unless otherwise provided by law, a petition for a writ of certiorari to review a judgment in any case, civil or criminal, entered by a state court of last resort or a United States court of appeals (including the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces) is timely when it is filed with the Clerk of this Court within 90 days after entry of the judgment. A petition for a writ of certiorari seeking review of a judgment of a lower state court that is subject to discretionary review by the state court of last resort is timely when it is filed with the Clerk within 90 days after entry of the order denying discretionary review.
    • The Clerk will not file any petition for a writ of certiorari that is jurisdictionally out of time. See, e. g., 28 U.S.C. § 2101(c).
    • The time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari runs from the date of entry of the judgment or order sought to be reviewed, and not from the issuance date of the mandate (or its equivalent under local practice). But if a petition for rehearing is timely filed in the lower court by any party, or if the lower court appropriately entertains an untimely petition for rehearing or sua sponte considers rehearing, the time to file the petition for a writ of certiorari for all parties (whether or not they requested rehearing or joined in the petition for rehearing) runs from the date of the denial of rehearing or, if rehearing is granted, the subsequent entry of judgment.
    • A cross-petition for a writ of certiorari is timely when it is filed with the Clerk as provided in paragraphs 1, 3, and 5 of this Rule, or in Rule 12.5. However, a conditional cross-petition (which except for Rule 12.5 would be untimely) will not be granted unless another party's timely petition for a writ of certiorari is granted.
    • For good cause, a Justice may extend the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari for a period not exceeding 60 days. An application to extend the time to file shall set out the basis for jurisdiction in this Court, identify the judgment sought to be reviewed, include a copy of the opinion and any order respecting rehearing, and set out specific reasons why an extension of time is justified. The application must be filed with the Clerk at least 10 days before the date the petition is due, except in extraordinary circumstances. For the time and manner of presenting the application, see Rules 21, 22, 30, and 33.2. An application to extend the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari is not favored.

    Rule 14. Content of a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari

    • A petition for a writ of certiorari shall contain, in the order indicated: The questions presented for review, expressed concisely in relation to the circumstances of the case, without unnecessary detail. The questions should be short and should not be argumentative or repetitive. If the petitioner or respondent is under a death sentence that may be affected by the disposition of the petition, the notation “capital case” shall precede the questions presented. The questions shall be set out on the first page following the cover, and no other information may appear on that page. The statement of any question presented is deemed to comprise every subsidiary question fairly included therein. Only the questions set out in the petition, or fairly included therein, will be considered by the Court.A list of all parties to the proceeding in the court whose judgment is sought to be reviewed (unless the caption of the case contains the names of all the parties), and a corporate disclosure statement as required by Rule 29.6.If the petition exceeds five pages or 1,500 words, a table of contents and a table of cited authorities. The table of contents shall include the items contained in the appendix.Citations of the official and unofficial reports of the opinions and orders entered in the case by courts or administrative agencies.A concise statement of the basis for jurisdiction in this Court, showing: the date the judgment or order sought to be reviewed was entered (and, if applicable, a statement that the petition is filed under this Court's Rule 11);the date of any order respecting rehearing, and the date and terms of any order granting an extension of time to file the petition for a writ of certiorari;express reliance on Rule 12.5, when a crosspetition for a writ of certiorari is filed under that Rule, and the date of docketing of the petition for a writ of certiorari in connection with which the cross-petition is filed;the statutory provision believed to confer on this Court jurisdiction to review on a writ of certiorari the judgment or order in question; andif applicable, a statement that the notifications required by Rule 29.4(b) or (c) have been made. The constitutional provisions, treaties, statutes, ordinances, and regulations involved in the case, set out verbatim with appropriate citation. If the provisions involved are lengthy, their citation alone suffices at this point, and their pertinent text shall be set out in the appendix referred to in subparagraph 1(i).A concise statement of the case setting out the facts material to consideration of the questions presented, and also containing the following: If review of a state-court judgment is sought, specification of the stage in the proceedings, both in the court of first instance and in the appellate courts, when the federal questions sought to be reviewed were raised; the method or manner of raising them and the way in which they were passed on by those courts; and pertinent quotations of specific portions of the record or summary thereof, with specific reference to the places in the record where the matter appears (e. g., court opinion, ruling on exception, portion of court's charge and exception thereto, assignment of error), so as to show that the federal question was timely and properly raised and that this Court has jurisdiction to review the judgment on a writ of certiorari. When the portions of the record relied on under this subparagraph are voluminous, they shall be included in the appendix referred to in subparagraph 1(i).If review of a judgment of a United States court of appeals is sought, the basis for federal jurisdiction in the court of first instance. A direct and concise argument amplifying the reasons relied on for allowance of the writ. See Rule 10.An appendix containing, in the order indicated: the opinions, orders, findings of fact, and conclusions of law, whether written or orally given and transcribed, entered in conjunction with the judgment sought to be reviewed;any other relevant opinions, orders, findings of fact, and conclusions of law entered in the case by courts or administrative agencies, and, if reference thereto is necessary to ascertain the grounds of the judgment, of those in companion cases (each document shall include the caption showing the name of the issuing court or agency, the title and number of the case, and the date of entry);any order on rehearing, including the caption showing the name of the issuing court, the title and number of the case, and the date of entry;the judgment sought to be reviewed if the date of its entry is different from the date of the opinion or order required in sub-subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph;material required by subparagraphs 1(f) or 1(g)(i); andany other material the petitioner believes essential to understand the petition.
    • If the material required by this subparagraph is voluminous, it may be presented in a separate volume or volumes with appropriate covers.
    • All contentions in support of a petition for a writ of certiorari shall be set out in the body of the petition, as provided in subparagraph 1(h) of this Rule. No separate brief in support of a petition for a writ of certiorari may be filed, and the Clerk will not file any petition for a writ of certiorari to which any supporting brief is annexed or appended.
    • A petition for a writ of certiorari should be stated briefly and in plain terms and may not exceed the word or page limitations specified in Rule 33.
    • The failure of a petitioner to present with accuracy, brevity, and clarity whatever is essential to ready and adequate understanding of the points requiring consideration is sufficient reason for the Court to deny a petition.
    • If the Clerk determines that a petition submitted timely and in good faith is in a form that does not comply with this Rule or with Rule 33 or Rule 34, the Clerk will return it with a letter indicating the deficiency. A corrected petition submitted in accordance with Rule 29.2 no more than 60 days after the date of the Clerk's letter will be deemed timely.

    Rule 15. Briefs in Opposition; Reply Briefs; Supplemental Briefs

    • A brief in opposition to a petition for a writ of certiorari may be filed by the respondent in any case, but is not mandatory except in a capital case, see Rule 14.1(a), or when ordered by the Court.
    • A brief in opposition should be stated briefly and in plain terms and may not exceed the word or page limitations specified in Rule 33. In addition to presenting other arguments for denying the petition, the brief in opposition should address any perceived misstatement of fact or law in the petition that bears on what issues properly would be before the Court if certiorari were granted. Counsel are admonished that they have an obligation to the Court to point out in the brief in opposition, and not later, any perceived misstatement made in the petition. Any objection to consideration of a question presented based on what occurred in the proceedings below, if the objection does not go to jurisdiction, may be deemed waived unless called to the Court's attention in the brief in opposition.
    • Any brief in opposition shall be filed within 30 days after the case is placed on the docket, unless the time is extended by the Court or a Justice, or by the Clerk under Rule 30.4. Forty copies shall be filed, except that a respondent proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39, including an inmate of an institution, shall file the number of copies required for a petition by such a person under Rule 12.2, together with a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, a copy of which shall precede and be attached to each copy of the brief in opposition. If the petitioner is proceeding in forma pauperis, the respondent shall prepare its brief in opposition, if any, as required by Rule 33.2, and shall file an original and 10 copies of that brief. Whether prepared under Rule 33.1 or Rule 33.2, the brief in opposition shall comply with the requirements of Rule 24 governing a respondent's brief, except that no summary of the argument is required. A brief in opposition may not be joined with any other pleading, except that any motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis shall be attached. The brief in opposition shall be served as required by Rule 29.
    • No motion by a respondent to dismiss a petition for a writ of certiorari may be filed. Any objections to the jurisdiction of the Court to grant a petition for a writ of certiorari shall be included in the brief in opposition.
    • The Clerk will distribute the petition to the Court for its consideration upon receiving an express waiver of the right to file a brief in opposition, or, if no waiver or brief in opposition is filed, upon the expiration of the time allowed for filing. If a brief in opposition is timely filed, the Clerk will distribute the petition, brief in opposition, and any reply brief to the Court for its consideration no less than 10 days after the brief in opposition is filed.
    • Any petitioner may file a reply brief addressed to new points raised in the brief in opposition, but distribution and consideration by the Court under paragraph 5 of this Rule will not be deferred pending its receipt. Forty copies shall be filed, except that a petitioner proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39, including an inmate of an institution, shall file the number of copies required for a petition by such a person under Rule 12.2. The reply brief shall be served as required by Rule 29.
    • If a cross-petition for a writ of certiorari has been docketed, distribution of both petitions will be deferred until the cross-petition is due for distribution under this Rule.
    • Any party may file a supplemental brief at any time while a petition for a writ of certiorari is pending, calling attention to new cases, new legislation, or other intervening matter not available at the time of the party's last filing. A supplemental brief shall be restricted to new matter and shall follow, insofar as applicable, the form for a brief in opposition prescribed by this Rule. Forty copies shall be filed, except that a party proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39, including an inmate of an institution, shall file the number of copies required for a petition by such a person under Rule 12.2. The supplemental brief shall be served as required by Rule 29.

    Rule 16. Disposition of a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari

    • After considering the documents distributed under Rule 15, the Court will enter an appropriate order. The order may be a summary disposition on the merits.
    • Whenever the Court grants a petition for a writ of certiorari, the Clerk will prepare, sign, and enter an order to that effect and will notify forthwith counsel of record and the court whose judgment is to be reviewed. The case then will be scheduled for briefing and oral argument. If the record has not previously been filed in this Court, the Clerk will request the clerk of the court having possession of the record to certify and transmit it. A formal writ will not issue unless specially directed.
    • Whenever the Court denies a petition for a writ of certiorari, the Clerk will prepare, sign, and enter an order to that effect and will notify forthwith counsel of record and the court whose judgment was sought to be reviewed. The order of denial will not be suspended pending disposition of a petition for rehearing except by order of the Court or a Justice.

    Part IV. Other Jurisdiction

    Rule 17. Procedure in an Original Action

    • This Rule applies only to an action invoking the Court's original jurisdiction under Article III of the Constitution of the United States. See also 28 U.S.C. § 1251 and U.S. Const., Amdt. 11. A petition for an extraordinary writ in aid of the Court's appellate jurisdiction shall be filed as provided in Rule 20.
    • The form of pleadings and motions prescribed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is followed. In other respects, those Rules and the Federal Rules of Evidence may be taken as guides.
    • The initial pleading shall be preceded by a motion for leave to file, and may be accompanied by a brief in support of the motion. Forty copies of each document shall be filed, with proof of service. Service shall be as required by Rule 29, except that when an adverse party is a State, service shall be made on both the Governor and the Attorney General of that State.
    • The case will be placed on the docket when the motion for leave to file and the initial pleading are filed with the Clerk. The Rule 38(a) docket fee shall be paid at that time.
    • No more than 60 days after receiving the motion for leave to file and the initial pleading, an adverse party shall file 40 copies of any brief in opposition to the motion, with proof of service as required by Rule 29. The Clerk will distribute the filed documents to the Court for its consideration upon receiving an express waiver of the right to file a brief in opposition, or, if no waiver or brief is filed, upon the expiration of the time allowed for filing. If a brief in opposition is timely filed, the Clerk will distribute the filed documents to the Court for its consideration no less than 10 days after the brief in opposition is filed. A reply brief may be filed, but consideration of the case will not be deferred pending its receipt. The Court thereafter may grant or deny the motion, set it for oral argument, direct that additional documents be filed, or require that other proceedings be conducted.
    • A summons issued out of this Court shall be served on the defendant 60 days before the return day specified therein. If the defendant does not respond by the return day, the plaintiff may proceed ex parte.
    • Process against a State issued out of this Court shall be served on both the Governor and the Attorney General of that State.

    Rule 18. Appeal from a United States District Court

    • When a direct appeal from a decision of a United States district court is authorized by law, the appeal is commenced by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the district court within the time provided by law after entry of the judgment sought to be reviewed. The time to file may not be extended. The notice of appeal shall specify the parties taking the appeal, designate the judgment, or part thereof, appealed from and the date of its entry, and specify the statute or statutes under which the appeal is taken. A copy of the notice of appeal shall be served on all parties to the proceeding as required by Rule 29, and proof of service shall be filed in the district court together with the notice of appeal.
    • All parties to the proceeding in the district court are deemed parties entitled to file documents in this Court, but a party having no interest in the outcome of the appeal may so notify the Clerk of this Court and shall serve a copy of the notice on all other parties. Parties interested jointly, severally, or otherwise in the judgment may appeal separately, or any two or more may join in an appeal. When two or more judgments involving identical or closely related questions are sought to be reviewed on appeal from the same court, a notice of appeal for each judgment shall be filed with the clerk of the district court, but a single jurisdictional statement covering all the judgments suffices. Parties who file no document will not qualify for any relief from this Court.
    • No more than 60 days after filing the notice of appeal in the district court, the appellant shall file 40 copies of a jurisdictional statement and shall pay the Rule 38 docket fee, except that an appellant proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39, including an inmate of an institution, shall file the number of copies required for a petition by such a person under Rule 12.2, together with a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, a copy of which shall precede and be attached to each copy of the jurisdictional statement. The jurisdictional statement shall follow, insofar as applicable, the form for a petition for a writ of certiorari prescribed by Rule 14, and shall be served as required by Rule 29. The case will then be placed on the docket. It is the appellant's duty to notify all appellees promptly, on a form supplied by the Clerk, of the date of filing, the date the case was placed on the docket, and the docket number of the case. The notice shall be served as required by Rule 29. The appendix shall include a copy of the notice of appeal showing the date it was filed in the district court. For good cause, a Justice may extend the time to file a jurisdictional statement for a period not exceeding 60 days. An application to extend the time to file a jurisdictional statement shall set out the basis for jurisdiction in this Court; identify the judgment sought to be reviewed; include a copy of the opinion, any order respecting rehearing, and the notice of appeal; and set out specific reasons why an extension of time is justified. For the time and manner of presenting the application, see Rules 21, 22, and 30. An application to extend the time to file a jurisdictional statement is not favored.
    • No more than 30 days after a case has been placed on the docket, an appellee seeking to file a conditional crossappeal (i. e., a cross-appeal that otherwise would be untimely) shall file, with proof of service as required by Rule 29, a jurisdictional statement that complies in all respects (including number of copies filed) with paragraph 3 of this Rule, except that material already reproduced in the appendix to the opening jurisdictional statement need not be reproduced again. A cross-appealing appellee shall pay the Rule 38 docket fee or submit a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The cover of the cross-appeal shall indicate clearly that it is a conditional cross-appeal. The cross-appeal then will be placed on the docket. It is the cross-appellant's duty to notify all cross-appellees promptly, on a form supplied by the Clerk, of the date of filing, the date the cross-appeal was placed on the docket, and the docket number of the cross-appeal. The notice shall be served as required by Rule 29. A cross-appeal may not be joined with any other pleading, except that any motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis shall be attached. The time to file a cross-appeal will not be extended.
    • After a notice of appeal has been filed in the district court, but before the case is placed on this Court's docket, the parties may dismiss the appeal by stipulation filed in the district court, or the district court may dismiss the appeal on the appellant's motion, with notice to all parties. If a notice of appeal has been filed, but the case has not been placed on this Court's docket within the time prescribed for docketing, the district court may dismiss the appeal on the appellee's motion, with notice to all parties, and may make any just order with respect to costs. If the district court has denied the appellee's motion to dismiss the appeal, the appellee may move this Court to docket and dismiss the appeal by filing an original and 10 copies of a motion presented in conformity with Rules 21 and 33.2. The motion shall be accompanied by proof of service as required by Rule 29, and by a certificate from the clerk of the district court, certifying that a notice of appeal was filed and that the appellee's motion to dismiss was denied. The appellant may not thereafter file a jurisdictional statement without special leave of the Court, and the Court may allow costs against the appellant.
    • Within 30 days after the case is placed on this Court's docket, the appellee may file a motion to dismiss, to affirm, or in the alternative to affirm or dismiss. Forty copies of the motion shall be filed, except that an appellee proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39, including an inmate of an institution, shall file the number of copies required for a petition by such a person under Rule 12.2, together with a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, a copy of which shall precede and be attached to each copy of the motion to dismiss, to affirm, or in the alternative to affirm or dismiss. The motion shall follow, insofar as applicable, the form for a brief in opposition prescribed by Rule 15, and shall comply in all respects with Rule 21.
    • The Clerk will distribute the jurisdictional statement to the Court for its consideration upon receiving an express waiver of the right to file a motion to dismiss or to affirm or, if no waiver or motion is filed, upon the expiration of the time allowed for filing. If a motion to dismiss or to affirm is timely filed, the Clerk will distribute the jurisdictional statement, motion, and any brief opposing the motion to the Court for its consideration no less than 10 days after the motion is filed.
    • Any appellant may file a brief opposing a motion to dismiss or to affirm, but distribution and consideration by the Court under paragraph 7 of this Rule will not be deferred pending its receipt. Forty copies shall be filed, except that an appellant proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39, including an inmate of an institution, shall file the number of copies required for a petition by such a person under Rule 12.2. The brief shall be served as required by Rule 29.
    • If a cross-appeal has been docketed, distribution of both jurisdictional statements will be deferred until the crossappeal is due for distribution under this Rule.
    • Any party may file a supplemental brief at any time while a jurisdictional statement is pending, calling attention to new cases, new legislation, or other intervening matter not available at the time of the party's last filing. A supplemental brief shall be restricted to new matter and shall follow, insofar as applicable, the form for a brief in opposition prescribed by Rule 15. Forty copies shall be filed, except that a party proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39, including an inmate of an institution, shall file the number of copies required for a petition by such a person under Rule 12.2. The supplemental brief shall be served as required by Rule 29.
    • The clerk of the district court shall retain possession of the record until notified by the Clerk of this Court to certify and transmit it. See Rule 12.7.
    • After considering the documents distributed under this Rule, the Court may dispose summarily of the appeal on the merits, note probable jurisdiction, or postpone consideration of jurisdiction until a hearing of the case on the merits. If not disposed of summarily, the case stands for briefing and oral argument on the merits. If consideration of jurisdiction is postponed, counsel, at the outset of their briefs and at oral argument, shall address the question of jurisdiction. If the record has not previously been filed in this Court, the Clerk of this Court will request the clerk of the court in possession of the record to certify and transmit it.
    • If the Clerk determines that a jurisdictional statement submitted timely and in good faith is in a form that does not comply with this Rule or with Rule 33 or Rule 34, the Clerk will return it with a letter indicating the deficiency. If a corrected jurisdictional statement is submitted in accordance with Rule 29.2 no more than 60 days after the date of the Clerk's letter it will be deemed timely.

    Rule 19. Procedure on a Certified Question

    • A United States court of appeals may certify to this Court a question or proposition of law on which it seeks instruction for the proper decision of a case. The certificate shall contain a statement of the nature of the case and the facts on which the question or proposition of law arises. Only questions or propositions of law may be certified, and they shall be stated separately and with precision. The certificate shall be prepared as required by Rule 33.2 and shall be signed by the clerk of the court of appeals.
    • When a question is certified by a United States court of appeals, this Court, on its own motion or that of a party, may consider and decide the entire matter in controversy. See 28 U.S.C. § 1254(2).
    • When a question is certified, the Clerk will notify the parties and docket the case. Counsel shall then enter their appearances. After docketing, the Clerk will submit the certificate to the Court for a preliminary examination to determine whether the case should be briefed, set for argument, or dismissed. No brief may be filed until the preliminary examination of the certificate is completed.
    • If the Court orders the case briefed or set for argument, the parties will be notified and permitted to file briefs. The Clerk of this Court then will request the clerk of the court in possession of the record to certify and transmit it. Any portion of the record to which the parties wish to direct the Court's particular attention should be printed in a joint appendix, prepared in conformity with Rule 26 by the appellant or petitioner in the court of appeals, but the fact that any part of the record has not been printed does not prevent the parties or the Court from relying on it.
    • A brief on the merits in a case involving a certified question shall comply with Rules 24, 25, and 33.1, except that the brief for the party who is the appellant or petitioner below shall be filed within 45 days of the order requiring briefs or setting the case for argument.

    Rule 20. Procedure on a Petition for an Extraordinary Writ

    • Issuance by the Court of an extraordinary writ authorized by 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a) is not a matter of right, but of discretion sparingly exercised. To justify the granting of any such writ, the petition must show that the writ will be in aid of the Court's appellate jurisdiction, that exceptional circumstances warrant the exercise of the Court's discretionary powers, and that adequate relief cannot be obtained in any other form or from any other court.
    • A petition seeking a writ authorized by 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a), § 2241, or § 2254(a) shall be prepared in all respects as required by Rules 33 and 34. The petition shall be captioned “In re [name of petitioner]” and shall follow, insofar as applicable, the form of a petition for a writ of certiorari prescribed by Rule 14. All contentions in support of the petition shall be included in the petition. The case will be placed on the docket when 40 copies of the petition are filed with the Clerk and the docket fee is paid, except that a petitioner proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39, including an inmate of an institution, shall file the number of copies required for a petition by such a person under Rule 12.2, together with a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, a copy of which shall precede and be attached to each copy of the petition. The petition shall be served as required by Rule 29 (subject to subparagraph 4(b) of this Rule).
    • A petition seeking a writ of prohibition, a writ of mandamus, or both in the alternative shall state the name and office or function of every person against whom relief is sought and shall set out with particularity why the relief sought is not available in any other court. A copy of the judgment with respect to which the writ is sought, including any related opinion, shall be appended to the petition together with any other document essential to understanding the petition.The petition shall be served on every party to the proceeding with respect to which relief is sought. Within 30 days after the petition is placed on the docket, a party shall file 40 copies of any brief or briefs in opposition thereto, which shall comply fully with Rule 15. If a party named as a respondent does not wish to respond to the petition, that party may so advise the Clerk and all other parties by letter. All persons served are deemed respondents for all purposes in the proceedings in this Court.
    • A petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus shall comply with the requirements of 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241 and 2242, and in particular with the provision in the last paragraph of § 2242, which requires a statement of the “reasons for not making application to the district court of the district in which the applicant is held.” If the relief sought is from the judgment of a state court, the petition shall set out specifically how and where the petitioner has exhausted available remedies in the state courts or otherwise comes within the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b). To justify the granting of a writ of habeas corpus, the petitioner must show that exceptional circumstances warrant the exercise of the Court's discretionary powers, and that adequate relief cannot be obtained in any other form or from any other court. This writ is rarely granted.Habeas corpus proceedings, except in capital cases, are ex parte, unless the Court requires the respondent to show cause why the petition for a writ of habeas corpus should not be granted. A response, if ordered, or in a capital case, shall comply fully with Rule 15. Neither the denial of the petition, without more, nor an order of transfer to a district court under the authority of 28 U.S.C. § 2241(b), is an adjudication on the merits, and therefore does not preclude further application to another court for the relief sought.
    • The Clerk will distribute the documents to the Court for its consideration when a brief in opposition under subparagraph 3(b) of this Rule has been filed, when a response under subparagraph 4(b) has been ordered and filed, when the time to file has expired, or when the right to file has been expressly waived.
    • If the Court orders the case set for argument, the Clerk will notify the parties whether additional briefs are required, when they shall be filed, and, if the case involves a petition for a common-law writ of certiorari, that the parties shall prepare a joint appendix in accordance with Rule 26.

    Part V. Motions and Applications

    Rule 21. Motions to the Court

    • Every motion to the Court shall clearly state its purpose and the facts on which it is based and may present legal argument in support thereof. No separate brief may be filed. A motion should be concise and shall comply with any applicable page limits. Rule 22 governs an application addressed to a single Justice.
    • A motion in any action within the Court's original jurisdiction shall comply with Rule 17.3.A motion to dismiss as moot (or a suggestion of mootness), a motion for leave to file a brief as amicus curiae, and any motion the granting of which would dispose of the entire case or would affect the final judgment to be entered (other than a motion to docket and dismiss under Rule 18.5 or a motion for voluntary dismissal under Rule 46) shall be prepared as required by Rule 33.1, and 40 copies shall be filed, except that a movant proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39, including an inmate of an institution, shall file a motion prepared as required by Rule 33.2, and shall file the number of copies required for a petition by such a person under Rule 12.2. The motion shall be served as required by Rule 29.Any other motion to the Court shall be prepared as required by Rule 33.2; the moving party shall file an original and 10 copies. The Court subsequently may order the moving party to prepare the motion as required by Rule 33.1; in that event, the party shall file 40 copies.
    • A motion to the Court shall be filed with the Clerk and shall be accompanied by proof of service as required by Rule 29. No motion may be presented in open Court, other than a motion for admission to the Bar, except when the proceeding to which it refers is being argued. Oral argument on a motion will not be permitted unless the Court so directs.
    • Any response to a motion shall be filed as promptly as possible considering the nature of the relief sought and any asserted need for emergency action, and, in any event, within 10 days of receipt, unless the Court or a Justice, or the Clerk under Rule 30.4, orders otherwise. A response to a motion prepared as required by Rule 33.1, except a response to a motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief (see Rule 37.5), shall be prepared in the same manner if time permits. In an appropriate case, the Court may act on a motion without waiting for a response.

    Rule 22. Applications to Individual Justices

    • An application addressed to an individual Justice shall be filed with the Clerk, who will transmit it promptly to the Justice concerned if an individual Justice has authority to grant the sought relief.
    • The original and two copies of any application addressed to an individual Justice shall be prepared as required by Rule 33.2, and shall be accompanied by proof of service as required by Rule 29.
    • An application shall be addressed to the Justice allotted to the Circuit from which the case arises. An application arising from the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces shall be addressed to the Chief Justice. When the Circuit Justice is unavailable for any reason, the application addressed to that Justice will be distributed to the Justice then available who is next junior to the Circuit Justice; the turn of the Chief Justice follows that of the most junior Justice.
    • A Justice denying an application will note the denial thereon. Thereafter, unless action thereon is restricted by law to the Circuit Justice or is untimely under Rule 30.2, the party making an application, except in the case of an application for an extension of time, may renew it to any other Justice, subject to the provisions of this Rule. Except when the denial is without prejudice, a renewed application is not favored. Renewed application is made by a letter to the Clerk, designating the Justice to whom the application is to be directed, and accompanied by 10 copies of the original application and proof of service as required by Rule 29.
    • A Justice to whom an application for a stay or for bail is submitted may refer it to the Court for determination.
    • The Clerk will advise all parties concerned, by appropriately speedy means, of the disposition made of an application.

    Rule 23. Stays

    • A stay may be granted by a Justice as permitted by law.
    • A party to a judgment sought to be reviewed may present to a Justice an application to stay the enforcement of that judgment. See 28 U.S.C. §2101(f).
    • An application for a stay shall set out with particularity why the relief sought is not available from any other court or judge. Except in the most extraordinary circumstances, an application for a stay will not be entertained unless the relief requested was first sought in the appropriate court or courts below or from a judge or judges thereof. An application for a stay shall identify the judgment sought to be reviewed and have appended thereto a copy of the order and opinion, if any, and a copy of the order, if any, of the court or judge below denying the relief sought, and shall set out specific reasons why a stay is justified. The form and content of an application for a stay are governed by Rules 22 and 33.2.
    • A judge, court, or Justice granting an application for a stay pending review by this Court may condition the stay on the filing of a supersedeas bond having an approved surety or sureties. The bond will be conditioned on the satisfaction of the judgment in full, together with any costs, interest, and damages for delay that may be awarded. If a part of the judgment sought to be reviewed has already been satisfied, or is otherwise secured, the bond may be conditioned on the satisfaction of the part of the judgment not otherwise secured or satisfied, together with costs, interest, and damages.

    Part VI. Briefs on the Merits and Oral Argument

    Rule 24. Briefs on the Merits: In General

    • A brief on the merits for a petitioner or an appellant shall comply in all respects with Rules 33.1 and 34 and shall contain in the order here indicated: The questions presented for review under Rule 14.1(a). The questions shall be set out on the first page following the cover, and no other information may appear on that page. The phrasing of the questions presented need not be identical with that in the petition for a writ of certiorari or the jurisdictional statement, but the brief may not raise additional questions or change the substance of the questions already presented in those documents. At its option, however, the Court may consider a plain error not among the questions presented but evident from the record and otherwise within its jurisdiction to decide.A list of all parties to the proceeding in the court whose judgment is under review (unless the caption of the case in this Court contains the names of all parties). Any amended corporate disclosure statement as required by Rule 29.6 shall be placed here.If the brief exceeds five pages, a table of contents and a table of cited authorities.Citations of the official and unofficial reports of the opinions and orders entered in the case by courts and administrative agencies.A concise statement of the basis for jurisdiction in this Court, including the statutory provisions and time factors on which jurisdiction rests.The constitutional provisions, treaties, statutes, ordinances, and regulations involved in the case, set out verbatim with appropriate citation. If the provisions involved are lengthy, their citation alone suffices at this point, and their pertinent text, if not already set out in the petition for a writ of certiorari, jurisdictional statement, or an appendix to either document, shall be set out in an appendix to the brief.A concise statement of the case, setting out the facts material to the consideration of the questions presented, with appropriate references to the joint appendix, e. g., App. 12, or to the record, e. g., Record 12.A summary of the argument, suitably paragraphed. The summary should be a clear and concise condensation of the argument made in the body of the brief; mere repetition of the headings under which the argument is arranged is not sufficient.The argument, exhibiting clearly the points of fact and of law presented and citing the authorities and statutes relied on.A conclusion specifying with particularity the relief the party seeks.
    • A brief on the merits for a respondent or an appellee shall conform to the foregoing requirements, except that items required by subparagraphs 1(a), (b), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of this Rule need not be included unless the respondent or appellee is dissatisfied with their presentation by the opposing party.
    • A brief on the merits may not exceed the word limitations specified in Rule 33.1(g). An appendix to a brief may include only relevant material, and counsel are cautioned not to include in an appendix arguments or citations that properly belong in the body of the brief.
    • A reply brief shall conform to those portions of this Rule applicable to the brief for a respondent or an appellee, but, if appropriately divided by topical headings, need not contain a summary of the argument.
    • A reference to the joint appendix or to the record set out in any brief shall indicate the appropriate page number. If the reference is to an exhibit, the page numbers at which the exhibit appears, at which it was offered in evidence, and at which it was ruled on by the judge shall be indicated, e. g., Pl. Exh. 14, Record 199, 2134.
    • A brief shall be concise, logically arranged with proper headings, and free of irrelevant, immaterial, or scandalous matter. The Court may disregard or strike a brief that does not comply with this paragraph.

    Rule 25. Briefs on the Merits: Number of Copies and Time to File

    • The petitioner or appellant shall file 40 copies of the brief on the merits within 45 days of the order granting the writ of certiorari, noting probable jurisdiction, or postponing consideration of jurisdiction. Any respondent or appellee who supports the petitioner or appellant shall meet the petitioner's or appellant's time schedule for filing documents.
    • The respondent or appellee shall file 40 copies of the brief on the merits within 30 days after the brief for the petitioner or appellant is filed.
    • The petitioner or appellant shall file 40 copies of the reply brief, if any, within 30 days after the brief for the respondent or appellee is filed, but any reply brief must actually be received by the Clerk not later than 2 p.m. one week before the date of oral argument. Any respondent or appellee supporting the petitioner or appellant may file a reply brief.
    • If cross-petitions or cross-appeals have been consolidated for argument, the Clerk, upon request of the parties, may designate one of the parties to file an initial brief and reply brief as provided in paragraphs 1 and 3 of this Rule (as if the party were petitioner or appellant), and may designate the other party to file an initial brief as provided in paragraph 2 of this Rule and, to the extent appropriate, a supplemental brief following the submission of the reply brief. In such a case, the Clerk may establish the time for the submission of the briefs and alter the otherwise applicable word limits. Except as approved by the Court or a Justice, the total number of words permitted for the briefs of the parties cumulatively shall not exceed the maximum that would have been allowed in the absence of an order under this paragraph.
    • The time periods stated in paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of this Rule may be extended as provided in Rule 30. An application to extend the time to file a brief on the merits is not favored. If a case is advanced for hearing, the time to file briefs on the merits may be abridged as circumstances require pursuant to an order of the Court on its own motion or that of a party.
    • A party wishing to present late authorities, newly enacted legislation, or other intervening matter that was not available in time to be included in a brief may file 40 copies of a supplemental brief, restricted to such new matter and otherwise presented in conformity with these Rules, up to the time the case is called for oral argument or by leave of the Court thereafter.
    • After a case has been argued or submitted, the Clerk will not file any brief, except that of a party filed by leave of the Court.
    • The Clerk will not file any brief that is not accompanied by proof of service as required by Rule 29.
    • An electronic version of every brief on the merits shall be transmitted to the Clerk of Court and to opposing counsel of record at the time the brief is filed in accordance with guidelines established by the Clerk. The electronic transmission requirement is in addition to the requirement that booklet-format briefs be timely filed.

    Rule 26. Joint Appendix

    • Unless the Clerk has allowed the parties to use the deferred method described in paragraph 4 of this Rule, the petitioner or appellant, within 45 days after entry of the order granting the writ of certiorari, noting probable jurisdiction, or postponing consideration of jurisdiction, shall file 40 copies of a joint appendix, prepared as required by Rule 33.1. The joint appendix shall contain: (1) the relevant docket entries in all the courts below; (2) any relevant pleadings, jury instructions, findings, conclusions, or opinions; (3) the judgment, order, or decision under review; and (4) any other parts of the record that the parties particularly wish to bring to the Court's attention. Any of the foregoing items already reproduced in a petition for a writ of certiorari, jurisdictional statement, brief in opposition to a petition for a writ of certiorari, motion to dismiss or affirm, or any appendix to the foregoing, that was prepared as required by Rule 33.1, need not be reproduced again in the joint appendix. The petitioner or appellant shall serve three copies of the joint appendix on each of the other parties to the proceeding as required by Rule 29.
    • The parties are encouraged to agree on the contents of the joint appendix. In the absence of agreement, the petitioner or appellant, within 10 days after entry of the order granting the writ of certiorari, noting probable jurisdiction, or postponing consideration of jurisdiction, shall serve on the respondent or appellee a designation of parts of the record to be included in the joint appendix. Within 10 days after receiving the designation, a respondent or appellee who considers the parts of the record so designated insufficient shall serve on the petitioner or appellant a designation of additional parts to be included in the joint appendix, and the petitioner or appellant shall include the parts so designated. If the Court has permitted the respondent or appellee to proceed in forma pauperis, the petitioner or appellant may seek by motion to be excused from printing portions of the record the petitioner or appellant considers unnecessary. In making these designations, counsel should include only those materials the Court should examine; unnecessary designations should be avoided. The record is on file with the Clerk and available to the Justices, and counsel may refer in briefs and in oral argument to relevant portions of the record not included in the joint appendix.
    • When the joint appendix is filed, the petitioner or appellant immediately shall file with the Clerk a statement of the cost of printing 50 copies and shall serve a copy of the statement on each of the other parties as required by Rule 29. Unless the parties agree otherwise, the cost of producing the joint appendix shall be paid initially by the petitioner or appellant; but a petitioner or appellant who considers that parts of the record designated by the respondent or appellee are unnecessary for the determination of the issues presented may so advise the respondent or appellee, who then shall advance the cost of printing the additional parts, unless the Court or a Justice otherwise fixes the initial allocation of the costs. The cost of printing the joint appendix is taxed as a cost in the case, but if a party unnecessarily causes matter to be included in the joint appendix or prints excessive copies, the Court may impose these costs on that party.
    • On the parties' request, the Clerk may allow preparation of the joint appendix to be deferred until after the briefs have been filed. In that event, the petitioner or appellant shall file the joint appendix no more than 14 days after receiving the brief for the respondent or appellee. The provisions of paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of this Rule shall be followed, except that the designations referred to therein shall be made by each party when that party's brief is served. Deferral of the joint appendix is not favored.If the deferred method is used, the briefs on the merits may refer to the pages of the record. In that event, the joint appendix shall include in brackets on each page thereof the page number of the record where that material may be found. A party wishing to refer directly to the pages of the joint appendix may serve and file copies of its brief prepared as required by Rule 33.2 within the time provided by Rule 25, with appropriate references to the pages of the record. In that event, within 10 days after the joint appendix is filed, copies of the brief prepared as required by Rule 33.1 containing references to the pages of the joint appendix in place of, or in addition to, the initial references to the pages of the record, shall be served and filed. No other change may be made in the brief as initially served and filed, except that typographical errors may be corrected.
    • The joint appendix shall be prefaced by a table of contents showing the parts of the record that it contains, in the order in which the parts are set out, with references to the pages of the joint appendix at which each part begins. The relevant docket entries shall be set out after the table of contents, followed by the other parts of the record in chronological order. When testimony contained in the reporter's transcript of proceedings is set out in the joint appendix, the page of the transcript at which the testimony appears shall be indicated in brackets immediately before the statement that is set out. Omissions in the transcript or in any other document printed in the joint appendix shall be indicated by asterisks. Immaterial formal matters (e. g., captions, subscriptions, acknowledgments) shall be omitted. A question and its answer may be contained in a single paragraph.
    • Two lines must appear at the bottom of the cover of the joint appendix: (1) The first line must indicate the date the petition for the writ of certiorari was filed or the date the appeal was docketed; (2) the second line must indicate the date certiorari was granted or the date jurisdiction of the appeal was noted or postponed.
    • Exhibits designated for inclusion in the joint appendix may be contained in a separate volume or volumes suitably indexed. The transcript of a proceeding before an administrative agency, board, commission, or officer used in an action in a district court or court of appeals is regarded as an exhibit for the purposes of this paragraph.
    • The Court, on its own motion or that of a party, may dispense with the requirement of a joint appendix and may permit a case to be heard on the original record (with such copies of the record, or relevant parts thereof, as the Court may require) or on the appendix used in the court below, if it conforms to the requirements of this Rule.
    • For good cause, the time limits specified in this Rule may be shortened or extended by the Court or a Justice, or by the Clerk under Rule 30.4.

    Rule 27. Calendar

    • From time to time, the Clerk will prepare a calendar of cases ready for argument. A case ordinarily will not be called for argument less than two weeks after the brief on the merits for the respondent or appellee is due.
    • The Clerk will advise counsel when they are required to appear for oral argument and will publish a hearing list in advance of each argument session for the convenience of counsel and the information of the public.
    • The Court, on its own motion or that of a party, may order that two or more cases involving the same or related questions be argued together as one case or on such other terms as the Court may prescribe.

    Rule 28. Oral Argument

    • Oral argument should emphasize and clarify the written arguments in the briefs on the merits. Counsel should assume that all Justices have read the briefs before oral argument. Oral argument read from a prepared text is not favored.
    • The petitioner or appellant shall open and may conclude the argument. A cross-writ of certiorari or cross-appeal will be argued with the initial writ of certiorari or appeal as one case in the time allowed for that one case, and the Court will advise the parties who shall open and close.
    • Unless the Court directs otherwise, each side is allowed one-half hour for argument. Counsel is not required to use all the allotted time. Any request for additional time to argue shall be presented by motion under Rule 21 in time to be considered at a scheduled Conference prior to the date of oral argument and no later than 7 days after the respondent's or appellee's brief on the merits is filed, and shall set out specifically and concisely why the case cannot be presented within the half-hour limitation. Additional time is rarely accorded.
    • Only one attorney will be heard for each side, except by leave of the Court on motion filed in time to be considered at a scheduled Conference prior to the date of oral argument and no later than 7 days after the respondent's or appellee's brief on the merits is filed. Any request for divided argument shall be presented by motion under Rule 21 and shall set out specifically and concisely why more than one attorney should be allowed to argue. Divided argument is not favored.
    • Regardless of the number of counsel participating in oral argument, counsel making the opening argument shall present the case fairly and completely and not reserve points of substance for rebuttal.
    • Oral argument will not be allowed on behalf of any party for whom a brief has not been filed.
    • By leave of the Court, and subject to paragraph 4 of this Rule, counsel for an amicus curiae whose brief has been filed as provided in Rule 37 may argue orally on the side of a party, with the consent of that party. In the absence of consent, counsel for an amicus curiae may seek leave of the Court to argue orally by a motion setting out specifically and concisely why oral argument would provide assistance to the Court not otherwise available. Such a motion will be granted only in the most extraordinary circumstances.

    Part VII. Practice and Procedure

    Rule 29. Filing and Service of Documents; Special Notifications; Corporate Listing

    • Any document required or permitted to be presented to the Court or to a Justice shall be filed with the Clerk.
    • A document is timely filed if it is received by the Clerk within the time specified for filing; or if it is sent to the Clerk through the United States Postal Service by first-class mail (including express or priority mail), postage prepaid, and bears a postmark, other than a commercial postage meter label, showing that the document was mailed on or before the last day for filing; or if it is delivered on or before the last day for filing to a third-party commercial carrier for delivery to the Clerk within 3 calendar days. If submitted by an inmate confined in an institution, a document is timely filed if it is deposited in the institution's internal mail system on or before the last day for filing and is accompanied by a notarized statement or declaration in compliance with 28 U.S.C. § 1746 setting out the date of deposit and stating that first-class postage has been prepaid. If the postmark is missing or not legible, or if the third-party commercial carrier does not provide the date the document was received by the carrier, the Clerk will require the person who sent the document to submit a notarized statement or declaration in compliance with 28 U.S.C. § 1746 setting out the details of the filing and stating that the filing took place on a particular date within the permitted time.
    • Any document required by these Rules to be served may be served personally, by mail, or by third-party commercial carrier for delivery within 3 calendar days on each party to the proceeding at or before the time of filing. If the document has been prepared as required by Rule 33.1, three copies shall be served on each other party separately represented in the proceeding. If the document has been prepared as required by Rule 33.2, service of a single copy on each other separately represented party suffices. If personal service is made, it shall consist of delivery at the office of the counsel of record, either to counsel or to an employee therein. If service is by mail or third-party commercial carrier, it shall consist of depositing the document with the United States Postal Service, with no less than first-class postage prepaid, or delivery to the carrier for delivery within 3 calendar days, addressed to counsel of record at the proper address. When a party is not represented by counsel, service shall be made on the party, personally, by mail, or by commercial carrier. Ordinarily, service on a party must be by a manner at least as expeditious as the manner used to file the document with the Court.
    • If the United States or any federal department, office, agency, officer, or employee is a party to be served, service shall be made on the Solicitor General of the United States, Room 5614, Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave., N. W., Washington, DC 20530-0001. When an agency of the United States that is a party is authorized by law to appear before this Court on its own behalf, or when an officer or employee of the United States is a party, the agency, officer, or employee shall be served in addition to the Solicitor General.In any proceeding in this Court in which the constitutionality of an Act of Congress is drawn into question, and neither the United States nor any federal department, office, agency, officer, or employee is a party, the initial document filed in this Court shall recite that 28 U.S.C. § 2403(a) may apply and shall be served on the Solicitor General of the United States, Room 5614, Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20530-0001. In such a proceeding from any court of the United States, as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 451, the initial document also shall state whether that court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2403(a), certified to the Attorney General the fact that the constitutionality of an Act of Congress was drawn into question. See Rule 14.1(e)(v).In any proceeding in this Court in which the constitutionality of any statute of a State is drawn into question, and neither the State nor any agency, officer, or employee thereof is a party, the initial document filed in this Court shall recite that 28 U.S.C. § 2403(b) may apply and shall be served on the Attorney General of that State. In such a proceeding from any court of the United States, as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 451, the initial document also shall state whether that court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2403(b), certified to the State Attorney General the fact that the constitutionality of a statute of that State was drawn into question. See Rule 14.1(e)(v).
    • Proof of service, when required by these Rules, shall accompany the document when it is presented to the Clerk for filing and shall be separate from it. Proof of service shall contain, or be accompanied by, a statement that all parties required to be served have been served, together with a list of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of counsel indicating the name of the party or parties each counsel represents. It is not necessary that service on each party required to be served be made in the same manner or evidenced by the same proof. Proof of service may consist of any one of the following: an acknowledgment of service, signed by counsel of record for the party served, and bearing the address and telephone number of such counsel;a certificate of service, reciting the facts and circumstances of service in compliance with the appropriate paragraph or paragraphs of this Rule, and signed by a member of the Bar of this Court representing the party on whose behalf service is made or by an attorney appointed to represent that party under the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, see 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(d)(6), or under any other applicable federal statute; ora notarized affidavit or declaration in compliance with 28 U.S.C. § 1746, reciting the facts and circumstances of service in accordance with the appropriate paragraph or paragraphs of this Rule, whenever service is made by any person not a member of the Bar of this Court and not an attorney appointed to represent a party under the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, see 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(d)(6), or under any other applicable federal statute.
    • Every document, except a joint appendix or amicus curiae brief, filed by or on behalf of a nongovernmental corporation shall contain a corporate disclosure statement identifying the parent corporations and listing any publicly held company that owns 10% or more of the corporation's stock. If there is no parent or publicly held company owning 10% or more of the corporation's stock, a notation to this effect shall be included in the document. If a statement has been included in a document filed earlier in the case, reference may be made to the earlier document (except when the earlier statement appeared in a document prepared under Rule 33.2), and only amendments to the statement to make it current need be included in the document being filed.

    Rule 30. Computation and Extension of Time

    • In the computation of any period of time prescribed or allowed by these Rules, by order of the Court, or by an applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period begins to run is not included. The last day of the period shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, federal legal holiday listed in 5 U.S.C. § 6103, or day on which the Court building is closed by order of the Court or the Chief Justice, in which event the period shall extend until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, federal legal holiday, or day on which the Court building is closed.
    • Whenever a Justice or the Clerk is empowered by law or these Rules to extend the time to file any document, an application seeking an extension shall be filed within the period sought to be extended. An application to extend the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari or to file a jurisdictional statement must be filed at least 10 days before the specified final filing date as computed under these Rules; if filed less than 10 days before the final filing date, such application will not be granted except in the most extraordinary circumstances.
    • An application to extend the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari, to file a jurisdictional statement, to file a reply brief on the merits, or to file a petition for rehearing shall be made to an individual Justice and presented and served on all other parties as provided by Rule 22. Once denied, such an application may not be renewed.
    • An application to extend the time to file any document or paper other than those specified in paragraph 3 of this Rule may be presented in the form of a letter to the Clerk setting out specific reasons why an extension of time is justified. The letter shall be served on all other parties as required by Rule 29. The application may be acted on by the Clerk in the first instance, and any party aggrieved by the Clerk's action may request that the application be submitted to a Justice or to the Court. The Clerk will report action under this paragraph to the Court as instructed.

    Rule 31. Translations

    Whenever any record to be transmitted to this Court contains material written in a foreign language without a translation made under the authority of the lower court, or admitted to be correct, the clerk of the court transmitting the record shall advise the Clerk of this Court immediately so that this Court may order that a translation be supplied and, if necessary, printed as part of the joint appendix.

    Rule 32. Models, Diagrams, Exhibits, and Lodgings

    • Models, diagrams, and exhibits of material forming part of the evidence taken in a case and brought to this Court for its inspection shall be placed in the custody of the Clerk at least two weeks before the case is to be heard or submitted.
    • All models, diagrams, exhibits, and other items placed in the custody of the Clerk shall be removed by the parties no more than 40 days after the case is decided. If this is not done, the Clerk will notify counsel to remove the articles forthwith. If they are not removed within a reasonable time thereafter, the Clerk will destroy them or dispose of them in any other appropriate way.
    • Any party or amicus curiae desiring to lodge non-record material with the Clerk must set out in a letter, served on all parties, a description of the material proposed for lodging and the reasons why the non-record material may properly be considered by the Court. The material proposed for lodging may not be submitted until and unless requested by the Clerk.

    Rule 33. Document Preparation: Booklet Format; 8 1/2- by 11-inch Paper Format

    • Booklet Format: Except for a document expressly permitted by these Rules to be submitted on 8 1/2- by 11-inch paper, see, e. g., Rules 21, 22, and 39, every document filed with the Court shall be prepared in a 6 1/8- by 9 1/4-inch booklet format using a standard typesetting process (e. g., hot metal, photocomposition, or computer typesetting) to produce text printed in typographic (as opposed to typewriter) characters. The process used must produce a clear, black image on white paper. The text must be reproduced with a clarity that equals or exceeds the output of a laser printer.The text of every booklet-format document, including any appendix thereto, shall be typeset in a Century family (e. g., Century Expanded, New Century Schoolbook, or Century Schoolbook) 12-point type with 2-point or more leading between lines. Quotations in excess of 50 words shall be indented. The typeface of footnotes shall be 10-point type with 2-point or more leading between lines. The text of the document must appear on both sides of the page.Every booklet-format document shall be produced on paper that is opaque, unglazed, and not less than 60 pounds in weight, and shall have margins of at least three-fourths of an inch on all sides. The text field, including footnotes, may not exceed 4 1/8 by 7 1/8 inches. The document shall be bound firmly in at least two places along the left margin (saddle stitch or perfect binding preferred) so as to permit easy opening, and no part of the text should be obscured by the binding. Spiral, plastic, metal, or string bindings may not be used. Copies of patent documents, except opinions, may be duplicated in such size as is necessary in a separate appendix.Every booklet-format document shall comply with the word limits shown on the chart in subparagraph 1(g) of this Rule. The word limits do not include the questions presented, the list of parties and the corporate disclosure statement, the table of contents, the table of cited authorities, the listing of counsel at the end of the document, or any appendix. The word limits include footnotes. Verbatim quotations required under Rule 14.1(f), if set out in the text of a brief rather than in the appendix, are also excluded. For good cause, the Court or a Justice may grant leave to file a document in excess of the word limits, but application for such leave is not favored. An application to exceed word limits shall comply with Rule 22 and must be received by the Clerk at least 15 days before the filing date of the document in question, except in the most extraordinary circumstances.Every booklet-format document shall have a suitable cover consisting of 65-pound weight paper in the color indicated on the chart in subparagraph 1(g) of this Rule. If a separate appendix to any document is filed, the color of its cover shall be the same as that of the cover of the document it supports. The Clerk will furnish a color chart upon request. Counsel shall ensure that there is adequate contrast between the printing and the color of the cover. A document filed by the United States, or by any other federal party represented by the Solicitor General, shall have a gray cover. A joint appendix, answer to a bill of complaint, motion for leave to intervene, and any other document not listed in subparagraph 1(g) of this Rule shall have a tan cover.Forty copies of a booklet-format document shall be filed.Word limits and cover colors for booklet-format documents are as follows [see table below]: Type of Document Word Limits Color of Cover (i) Petition for a Writ of Certiorari (Rule 14); Motion for Leave to File a Bill of Complaint and Brief in Support (Rule 17.3); Jurisdictional Statement (Rule 18.3); Petition for an Extraordinary Writ (Rule 20.2) 9,000 white (ii) Brief in Opposition (Rule 15.3); Brief in Opposition to Motion for Leave to File an Original Action (Rule 17.5); Motion to Dismiss or Affirm (Rule 18.6); Brief in Opposition to Mandamus or Prohibition (Rule 20.3(b)); Response to a Petition for Habeas Corpus (Rule 20.4) 9,000 orange (iii) Reply to Brief in Opposition (Rules 15.6 and 17.5); Brief Opposing a Motion to Dismiss or Affirm (Rule 18.8) 3,000 tan (iv) Supplemental Brief (Rules 15.8, 17, 18.10, and 25.5) 3,000 tan (v) Brief on the Merits for Petitioner or Appellant (Rule 24); Exceptions by Plaintiff to Report of Special Master (Rule 17) 15,000 light blue (vi) Brief on the Merits for Respondent or Appellee (Rule 24.2); Brief on the Merits for Respondent or Appellee Supporting Petitioner or Appellant (Rule 12.6); Exceptions by Party Other Than Plaintiff to Report of Special Master (Rule 17) 15,000 light red (vii) Reply Brief on the Merits (Rule 24.4) 6,000 yellow (viii) Reply to Plaintiff's Exceptions to Report of Special Master (Rule 17) 15,000 orange (ix) Reply to Exceptions by Party Other Than Plaintiff to Report of Special Master (Rule 17) 15,000 yellow (x) Brief for an Amicus Curiae at the Petition Stage or pertaining to a Motion for Leave to file a Bill of Complaint (Rule 37.2) 6,000 cream (xi) Brief for an Amicus Curiae in Support of the Plaintiff, Petitioner, or Appellant, or in Support of Neither Party, on the Merits or in an Original Action at the Exceptions Stage (Rule 37.3) 9,000 light green (xii) Brief for an Amicus Curiae in Support of the Defendant, Respondent, or Appellee, on the Merits or in an Original Action at the Exceptions Stage (Rule 37.3) 9,000 dark green (xiii) Petition for Rehearing (Rule 44) 3,000 tan A document prepared under Rule 33.1 must be accompanied by a certificate signed by the attorney, the unrepresented party, or the preparer of the document stating that the brief complies with the word limitations. The person preparing the certificate may rely on the word count of the word-processing system used to prepare the document. The word-processing system must be set to include footnotes in the word count. The certificate must state the number of words in the document. The certificate shall accompany the document when it is presented to the Clerk for filing and shall be separate from it. If the certificate is signed by a person other than a member of the Bar of this Court, the counsel of record, or the unrepresented party, it must contain a notarized affidavit or declaration in compliance with 28 U.S.C. § 1746.
    • 8 1/2- by 11-Inch Paper Format: The text of every document, including any appendix thereto, expressly permitted by these Rules to be presented to the Court on 8 1/2- by 11-inch paper shall appear double spaced, except for indented quotations, which shall be single spaced, on opaque, unglazed, white paper. The document shall be stapled or bound at the upper left-hand corner. Copies, if required, shall be produced on the same type of paper and shall be legible. The original of any such document (except a motion to dismiss or affirm under Rule 18.6) shall be signed by the party proceeding pro se or by counsel of record who must be a member of the Bar of this Court or an attorney appointed under the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, see 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(d)(6), or under any other applicable federal statute. Subparagraph 1(g) of this Rule does not apply to documents prepared under this paragraph.Page limits for documents presented on 8 1/2- by 11-inch paper are: 40 pages for a petition for a writ of certiorari, jurisdictional statement, petition for an extraordinary writ, brief in opposition, or motion to dismiss or affirm; and 15 pages for a reply to a brief in opposition, brief opposing a motion to dismiss or affirm, supplemental brief, or petition for rehearing. The exclusions specified in subparagraph 1(d) of this Rule apply.

    Rule 34. Document Preparation: General Requirements

    Every document, whether prepared under Rule 33.1 or Rule 33.2, shall comply with the following provisions:

    • Each document shall bear on its cover, in the order indicated, from the top of the page: the docket number of the case or, if there is none, a space for one;the name of this Court;the caption of the case as appropriate in this Court;the nature of the proceeding and the name of the court from which the action is brought (e. g., “On Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit”; or, for a merits brief, “On Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit”);the title of the document (e. g., “Petition for Writ of Certiorari,” “Brief for Respondent,” “Joint Appendix”);the name of the attorney who is counsel of record for the party concerned (who must be a member of the Bar of this Court except as provided in Rule 9.1) and on whom service is to be made, with a notation directly thereunder identifying the attorney as counsel of record and setting out counsel's office address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Only one counsel of record may be noted on a single document, except that counsel of record for each party must be listed on the cover of a joint appendix. The names of other members of the Bar of this Court or of the bar of the highest court of State acting as counsel, and, if desired, their addresses, may be added, but counsel of record shall be clearly identified. Names of persons other than attorneys admitted to a state bar may not be listed, unless the party is appearing pro se, in which case the party's name, address, and telephone number shall appear.The foregoing shall be displayed in an appropriate typographical manner and, except for identification of counsel, may not be set in type smaller than standard 11-point, if the document is prepared as required by Rule 33.1.
    • Every document exceeding five pages (other than a joint appendix), whether prepared under Rule 33.1 or Rule 33.2, shall contain a table of contents and a table of cited authorities (i. e., cases alphabetically arranged, constitutional provisions, statutes, treatises, and other materials) with references to the pages in the document where such authorities are cited.
    • The body of every document shall bear at its close the name of counsel of record and such other counsel, identified on the cover of the document in conformity with subparagraph 1(f) of this Rule, as may be desired.
    • Every appendix to a document must be preceded by a table of contents that provides a description of each document in the appendix.
    • All references to a provision of federal statutory law should ordinarily be cited to the United States Code, if the provision has been codified therein. In the event the provision has not been classified to the United States Code, citation should be to the Statutes at Large. Additional or alternative citations should be provided only if there is a particular reason why those citations are relevant or necessary to the argument.

    Rule 35. Death, Substitution, and Revivor; Public Officers

    • If a party dies after the filing of a petition for a writ of certiorari to this Court, or after the filing of a notice of appeal, the authorized representative of the deceased party may appear and, on motion, be substituted as a party. If the representative does not voluntarily become a party, any other party may suggest the death on the record and, on motion, seek an order requiring the representative to become a party within a designated time. If the representative then fails to become a party, the party so moving, if a respondent or appellee, is entitled to have the petition for a writ of certiorari or the appeal dismissed, and if a petitioner or appellant, is entitled to proceed as in any other case of nonappearance by a respondent or appellee. If the substitution of a representative of the deceased is not made within six months after the death of the party, the case shall abate.
    • Whenever a case cannot be revived in the court whose judgment is sought to be reviewed, because the deceased party's authorized representative is not subject to that court's jurisdiction, proceedings will be conducted as this Court may direct.
    • When a public officer who is a party to a proceeding in this Court in an official capacity dies, resigns, or otherwise ceases to hold office, the action does not abate and any successor in office is automatically substituted as a party. The parties shall notify the Clerk in writing of any such successions. Proceedings following the substitution shall be in the name of the substituted party, but any misnomer not affecting substantial rights of the parties will be disregarded.
    • A public officer who is a party to a proceeding in this Court in an official capacity may be described as a party by the officer's official title rather than by name, but the Court may require the name to be added.

    Rule 36. Custody of Prisoners in Habeas Corpus Proceedings

    • Pending review in this Court of a decision in a habeas corpus proceeding commenced before a court, Justice, or judge of the United States, the person having custody of the prisoner may not transfer custody to another person unless the transfer is authorized under this Rule.
    • Upon application by a custodian, the court, Justice, or judge who entered the decision under review may authorize transfer and the substitution of a successor custodian as a party.
    • An initial order respecting the custody or enlargement of the prisoner, and any recognizance or surety taken, shall continue in effect pending review in the court of appeals and in this Court unless for reasons shown to the court of appeals, this Court, or a judge or Justice of either court, the order is modified or an independent order respecting custody, enlargement, or surety is entered.

    Rule 37. Brief for an amicus curiae

    • An amicus curiae brief that brings to the attention of the Court relevant matter not already brought to its attention by the parties may be of considerable help to the Court. An amicus curiae brief that does not serve this purpose burdens the Court, and its filing is not favored. An amicus curiae brief may be filed only by an attorney admitted to practice before this Court as provided in Rule 5.
    • An amicus curiae brief submitted before the Court's consideration of a petition for a writ of certiorari, motion for leave to file a bill of complaint, jurisdictional statement, or petition for an extraordinary writ may be filed if accompanied by the written consent of all parties, or if the Court grants leave to file under subparagraph 2(b) of this Rule. An amicus curiae brief in support of a petitioner or appellant shall be filed within 30 days after the case is placed on the docket or a response is called for by the Court, whichever is later, and that time will not be extended. An amicus curiae brief in support of a motion of a plaintiff for leave to file a bill of complaint in an original action shall be filed within 60 days after the case is placed on the docket, and that time will not be extended. An amicus curiae brief in support of a respondent, an appellee, or a defendant shall be submitted within the time allowed for filing a brief in opposition or a motion to dismiss or affirm. An amicus curiae shall ensure that the counsel of record for all parties receive notice of its intention to file an amicus curiae brief at least 10 days prior to the due date for the amicus curiae brief, unless the amicus curiae brief is filed earlier than 10 days before the due date. Only one signatory to any amicus curiae brief filed jointly by more than one amicus curiae must timely notify the parties of its intent to file that brief. The amicus curiae brief shall indicate that counsel of record received timely notice of the intent to file the brief under this Rule and shall specify whether consent was granted, and its cover shall identify the party supported.When a party to the case has withheld consent, a motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief before the Court's consideration of a petition for a writ of certiorari, motion for leave to file a bill of complaint, jurisdictional statement, or petition for an extraordinary writ may be presented to the Court. The motion, prepared as required by Rule 33.1 and as one document with the brief sought to be filed, shall be submitted within the time allowed for filing an amicus curiae brief, and shall indicate the party or parties who have withheld consent and state the nature of the movant's interest. Such a motion is not favored.
    • An amicus curiae brief in a case before the Court for oral argument may be filed if accompanied by the written consent of all parties, or if the Court grants leave to file under subparagraph 3(b) of this Rule. The brief shall be submitted within 7 days after the brief for the party supported is filed, or if in support of neither party, within 7 days after the time allowed for filing the petitioner's or appellant's brief. Motions to extend the time for filing an amicus curiae brief will not be entertained. The 10-day notice requirement of subparagraph 2(a) of this Rule does not apply to an amicus curiae brief in a case before the Court for oral argument. An electronic version of every amicus curiae brief in a case before the Court for oral argument shall be transmitted to the Clerk of Court and to counsel for the parties at the time the brief is filed in accordance with guidelines established by the Clerk. The electronic transmission requirement is in addition to the requirement that booklet-format briefs be timely filed. The amicus curiae brief shall specify whether consent was granted, and its cover shall identify the party supported or indicate whether it suggests affirmance or reversal. The Clerk will not file a reply brief for an amicus curiae, or a brief for an amicus curiae in support of, or in opposition to, a petition for rehearing.When a party to a case before the Court for oral argument has withheld consent, a motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief may be presented to the Court. The motion, prepared as required by Rule 33.1 and as one document with the brief sought to be filed, shall be submitted within the time allowed for filing an amicus curiae brief, and shall indicate the party or parties who have withheld consent and state the nature of the movant's interest.
    • No motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief is necessary if the brief is presented on behalf of the United States by the Solicitor General; on behalf of any agency of the United States allowed by law to appear before this Court when submitted by the agency's authorized legal representative; on behalf of a State, Commonwealth, Territory, or Possession when submitted by its Attorney General; or on behalf of a city, county, town, or similar entity when submitted by its authorized law officer.
    • A brief or motion filed under this Rule shall be accompanied by proof of service as required by Rule 29, and shall comply with the applicable provisions of Rules 21, 24, and 33.1 (except that it suffices to set out in the brief the interest of the amicus curiae, the summary of the argument, the argument, and the conclusion). A motion for leave to file may not exceed 1,500 words. A party served with the motion may file an objection thereto, stating concisely the reasons for withholding consent; the objection shall be prepared as required by Rule 33.2.
    • Except for briefs presented on behalf of amicus curiae listed in Rule 37.4, a brief filed under this Rule shall indicate whether counsel for a party authored the brief in whole or in part and whether such counsel or a party made a monetary contribution intended to fund the preparation or submission of the brief, and shall identify every person other than the amicus curiae, its members, or its counsel, who made such a monetary contribution. The disclosure shall be made in the first footnote on the first page of text.

    Rule 38. Fees

    Under 28 U.S.C. § 1911, the fees charged by the Clerk are:

    • for docketing a case on a petition for a writ of certiorari or on appeal or for docketing any other proceeding, except a certified question or a motion to docket and dismiss an appeal under Rule 18.5, $300;
    • for filing a petition for rehearing or a motion for leave to file a petition for rehearing, $200;
    • for reproducing and certifying any record or paper, $1 per page; and for comparing with the original thereof any photographic reproduction of any record or paper, when furnished by the person requesting its certification, $.50 per page;
    • for a certificate bearing the seal of the Court, $10; and
    • for a check paid to the Court, Clerk, or Marshal that is returned for lack of funds, $35.

    Rule 39. Proceedings in forma pauperis

    • A party seeking to proceed in forma pauperis shall file a motion for leave to do so, together with the party's notarized affidavit or declaration (in compliance with 28 U.S.C. § 1746) in the form prescribed by the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Form 4. The motion shall state whether leave to proceed in forma pauperis was sought in any other court and, if so, whether leave was granted. If the United States district court or the United States court of appeals has appointed counsel under the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, or under any other applicable federal statute, no affidavit or declaration is required, but the motion shall cite the statute under which counsel was appointed.
    • If leave to proceed in forma pauperis is sought for the purpose of filing a document, the motion, and an affidavit or declaration if required, shall be filed together with that document and shall comply in every respect with Rule 21. As provided in that Rule, it suffices to file an original and 10 copies, unless the party is an inmate confined in an institution and is not represented by counsel, in which case the original, alone, suffices. A copy of the motion, and affidavit or declaration if required, shall precede and be attached to each copy of the accompanying document.
    • Except when these Rules expressly provide that a document shall be prepared as required by Rule 33.1, every document presented by a party proceeding under this Rule shall be prepared as required by Rule 33.2 (unless such preparation is impossible). Every document shall be legible. While making due allowance for any case presented under this Rule by a person appearing pro se, the Clerk will not file any document if it does not comply with the substance of these Rules or is jurisdictionally out of time.
    • When the documents required by paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Rule are presented to the Clerk, accompanied by proof of service as required by Rule 29, they will be placed on the docket without the payment of a docket fee or any other fee.
    • The respondent or appellee in a case filed in forma pauperis shall respond in the same manner and within the same time as in any other case of the same nature, except that the filing of an original and 10 copies of a response prepared as required by Rule 33.2, with proof of service as required by Rule 29, suffices. The respondent or appellee may challenge the grounds for the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis in a separate document or in the response itself.
    • Whenever the Court appoints counsel for an indigent party in a case set for oral argument, the briefs on the merits submitted by that counsel, unless otherwise requested, shall be prepared under the Clerk's supervision. The Clerk also will reimburse appointed counsel for any necessary travel expenses to Washington, D.C., and return in connection with the argument.
    • In a case in which certiorari has been granted, probable jurisdiction noted, or consideration of jurisdiction postponed, this Court may appoint counsel to represent a party financially unable to afford an attorney to the extent authorized by the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, or by any other applicable federal statute.
    • If satisfied that a petition for a writ of certiorari, jurisdictional statement, or petition for an extraordinary writ is frivolous or malicious, the Court may deny leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

    Rule 40. Veterans, Seamen, and Military Cases

    • A veteran suing under any provision of law exempting veterans from the payment of fees or court costs, may proceed without prepayment of fees or costs or furnishing security therefor and may file a motion for leave to proceed on papers prepared as required by Rule 33.2. The motion shall ask leave to proceed as a veteran and be accompanied by an affidavit or declaration setting out the moving party's veteran status. A copy of the motion shall precede and be attached to each copy of the petition for a writ of certiorari or other substantive document filed by the veteran.
    • A seaman suing under 28 U.S.C. § 1916 may proceed without prepayment of fees or costs or furnishing security therefor and may file a motion for leave to proceed on papers prepared as required by Rule 33.2. The motion shall ask leave to proceed as a seaman and be accompanied by an affidavit or declaration setting out the moving party's seaman status. A copy of the motion shall precede and be attached to each copy of the petition for a writ of certiorari or other substantive document filed by the seaman.
    • An accused person petitioning for a writ of certiorari to review a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces under 28 U.S.C. § 1259 may proceed without prepayment of fees or costs or furnishing security therefor and without filing an affidavit of indigency, but is not entitled to proceed on papers prepared as required by Rule 33.2, except as authorized by the Court on separate motion under Rule 39.

    Part VIII. Disposition of Cases

    Rule 41. Opinions of the Court

    Opinions of the Court will be released by the Clerk immediately upon their announcement from the bench, or as the Court otherwise directs. Thereafter, the Clerk will cause the opinions to be issued in slip form, and the Reporter of Decisions will prepare them for publication in the preliminary prints and bound volumes of the United States Reports.

    Rule 42. Interest and Damages

    • If a judgment for money in a civil case is affirmed, any interest allowed by law is payable from the date the judgment under review was entered. If a judgment is modified or reversed with a direction that a judgment for money be entered below, the courts below may award interest to the extent permitted by law. Interest in cases arising in a state court is allowed at the same rate that similar judgments bear interest in the courts of the State in which judgment is directed to be entered. Interest in cases arising in a court of the United States is allowed at the interest rate authorized by law.
    • When a petition for a writ of certiorari, an appeal, or an application for other relief is frivolous, the Court may award the respondent or appellee just damages, and single or double costs under Rule 43. Damages or costs may be awarded against the petitioner, appellant, or applicant, against the party's counsel, or against both party and counsel.

    Rule 43. Costs

    • If the Court affirms a judgment, the petitioner or appellant shall pay costs unless the Court otherwise orders.
    • If the Court reverses or vacates a judgment, the respondent or appellee shall pay costs unless the Court otherwise orders.
    • The Clerk's fees and the cost of printing the joint appendix are the only taxable items in this Court. The cost of the transcript of the record from the court below is also a taxable item, but shall be taxable in that court as costs in the case. The expenses of printing briefs, motions, petitions, or jurisdictional statements are not taxable.
    • In a case involving a certified question, costs are equally divided unless the Court otherwise orders, except that if the Court decides the whole matter in controversy, as permitted by Rule 19.2, costs are allowed as provided in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Rule.
    • To the extent permitted by 28 U.S.C. § 2412, costs under this Rule are allowed for or against the United States or an officer or agent thereof, unless expressly waived or unless the Court otherwise orders.
    • When costs are allowed in this Court, the Clerk will insert an itemization of the costs in the body of the mandate or judgment sent to the court below. The prevailing side may not submit a bill of costs.
    • In extraordinary circumstances the Court may adjudge double costs.

    Rule 44. Rehearing

    • Any petition for the rehearing of any judgment or decision of the Court on the merits shall be filed within 25 days after entry of the judgment or decision, unless the Court or a Justice shortens or extends the time. The petitioner shall file 40 copies of the rehearing petition and shall pay the filing fee prescribed by Rule 38(b), except that a petitioner proceeding in forma pauperis under Rule 39, including an inmate of an institution, shall file the number of copies required for a petition by such a person under Rule 12.2. The petition shall state its grounds briefly and distinctly and shall be served as required by Rule 29. The petition shall be presented together with certification of counsel (or of a party unrepresented by counsel) that it is presented in good faith and not for delay; one copy of the certificate shall bear the signature of counsel (or of a party unrepresented by counsel). A copy of the certificate shall follow and be attached to each copy of the petition. A petition for rehearing is not subject to oral argument and will not be granted except by a majority of the Court, at the instance of a Justice who concurred in the judgment or decision.
    • Any petition for the rehearing of an order denying a petition for a writ of certiorari or extraordinary writ shall be filed within 25 days after the date of the order of denial and shall comply with all the form and filing requirements of paragraph 1 of this Rule, including the payment of the filing fee if required, but its grounds shall be limited to intervening circumstances of a substantial or controlling effect or to other substantial grounds not previously presented. The petition shall be presented together with certification of counsel (or of a party unrepresented by counsel) that it is restricted to the grounds specified in this paragraph and that it is presented in good faith and not for delay; one copy of the certificate shall bear the signature of counsel (or of a party unrepresented by counsel). The certificate shall be bound with each copy of the petition. The Clerk will not file a petition without a certificate. The petition is not subject to oral argument.
    • The Clerk will not file any response to a petition for rehearing unless the Court requests a response. In the absence of extraordinary circumstances, the Court will not grant a petition for rehearing without first requesting a response.
    • The Clerk will not file consecutive petitions and petitions that are out of time under this Rule.
    • The Clerk will not file any brief for an amicus curiae in support of, or in opposition to, a petition for rehearing.
    • If the Clerk determines that a petition for rehearing submitted timely and in good faith is in a form that does not comply with this Rule or with Rule 33 or Rule 34, the Clerk will return it with a letter indicating the deficiency. A corrected petition for rehearing submitted in accordance with Rule 29.2 no more than 15 days after the date of the Clerk's letter will be deemed timely.

    Rule 45. Process; Mandates

    • All process of this Court issues in the name of the President of the United States.
    • In a case on review from a state court, the mandate issues 25 days after entry of the judgment, unless the Court or a Justice shortens or extends the time, or unless the parties stipulate that it issue sooner. The filing of a petition for rehearing stays the mandate until disposition of the petition, unless the Court orders otherwise. If the petition is denied, the mandate issues forthwith.
    • In a case on review from any court of the United States, as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 451, a formal mandate does not issue unless specially directed; instead, the Clerk of this Court will send the clerk of the lower court a copy of the opinion or order of this Court and a certified copy of the judgment. The certified copy of the judgment, prepared and signed by this Court's Clerk, will provide for costs if any are awarded. In all other respects, the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Rule apply.

    Rule 46. Dismissing Cases

    • At any stage of the proceedings, whenever all parties file with the Clerk an agreement in writing that a case be dismissed, specifying the terms for payment of costs, and pay to the Clerk any fees then due, the Clerk, without further reference to the Court, will enter an order of dismissal.
    • No mandate or other process will issue on a dismissal under this Rule without an order of the Court.

    Part IX. Definitions and Effective Date

    Rule 47. Reference to State Court and State Law

    The term “state court,” when used in these Rules, includes the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the courts of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the local courts of Guam. References in these Rules to the statutes of a State include the statutes of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Territory of Guam.

    Rule 48. Effective Date of Rules

    • These Rules, adopted January 12, 2010, will be effective February 16, 2010.
    • The Rules govern all proceedings after their effective date except to the extent that, in the opinion of the Court, their application to a pending matter would not be feasible or would work an injustice, in which event the former procedure applies.
    • In any case in which a petitioner or appellant has filed its brief on the merits prior to the effective date of these revised Rules, all remaining briefs in that case may comply with the October 1, 2007, version of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States rather than with these revised Rules.

    Appendix

    Appendix B: Tables, Lists, and Graphical Data

    Natural Courts

    Supreme Court Nominations, 1789–2010

    Glossary of Legal Terms

    A

    Accessory.A person not present at the commission of a criminal offense who commands, advises, instigates, or conceals the offense.

    Acquittal.Discharge of a person from a charge of guilt. A person is acquitted when a jury returns a verdict of not guilty; a person may also be acquitted when a judge determines that there is insufficient evidence to convict him or that a violation of due process precludes a fair trial.

    Adjudicate.To decide by the exercise of judicial authority.

    Affidavit.A voluntary, written statement of facts or charges affirmed under oath.

    A fortiori.With stronger force or more reason (in drawing a conclusion).

    Amicus curiae.A friend of the court; a person not a party to litigation who volunteers or is invited by the court to give his or her views on a case.

    Appeal.To take a case to a higher court for review. In general, the losing party in a trial court may appeal once to an appellate court as a matter of right. If he loses in the appellate court, appeal to a higher court is within the discretion of the higher court. Most appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court are at the Court's discretion.

    Appellant.The party that appeals a lower court decision to a higher court.

    Appellee.One who has an interest in upholding the decision of a lower court and is compelled to respond when the case is appealed to a higher court by the appellant.

    Arraignment.The formal process of charging a person with a crime, reading him the charge, asking whether he pleads guilty or not guilty, and entering his plea.

    Attainder, Bill of.A legislative act pronouncing a particular individual guilty of a crime without trial or conviction and imposing a sentence upon him or her.

    B

    Bail.The security, usually money, given as assurance of a prisoner's due appearance at a designated time and place (as in court) in order to procure in the interim his or her release from jail.

    Bailiff.A minor officer of a court usually serving as an usher or a messenger.

    Brief.A document prepared by counsel to serve as the basis for an argument in court and setting out the facts of and the legal arguments in support of the case at hand.

    Burden of proof.The need or duty of affirmatively proving a fact or facts in dispute.

    C

    Case Law.The law as defined by previously decided cases, distinct from statutes and other sources of law.

    Cause.A civil or criminal case, suit, litigation, or action.

    Certiorari, Writ of.An order issued by the Supreme Court, at its discretion, to order a lower court to prepare the record of a case and send it to the Court for review.

    Civil law.Body of law dealing with the private rights of individuals, as distinguished from criminal law.

    Class action.A lawsuit brought by one person or group on behalf of all persons similarly situated.

    Code.A collection of laws arranged systematically.

    Comity.Courtesy, respect; usually used in the legal sense to refer to the proper relationship between state and federal courts.

    Common law.Collection of principles and rules of action, particularly from unwritten English law, that derive their authority from long-standing usage and custom or from courts recognizing and enforcing these customs; sometimes used synonymously with case law.

    Consent decree.A court-sanctioned agreement settling a legal dispute and entered into by the consent of the parties.

    Contempt.Civil contempt—the failure to comply with an order by the court to do something for the benefit of another party; criminal contempt—when a person willfully exhibits disrespect for the court or obstructs the administration of justice.

    Conviction.Final judgment or sentence that the defendant is guilty as charged.

    Criminal law.Branch of law that deals with the enforcement of laws and the punishment of persons who, by breaking laws, commit crimes.

    D

    Declaratory judgment.A court pronouncement declaring a legal right or interpretation but not ordering a specific action.

    De facto.“In fact”; in reality.

    Defendant.The party denying or defending itself in a civil action against charges brought by a plaintiff; the person indicted in a criminal action for commission of an offense.

    De jure.“As a result of law”; as a result of official action.

    Deposition.Oral testimony by a witness in preparation of a case. It is taken outside of court in response to written or oral questions and committed to in writing.

    Dicta.See Obiter dictum.

    Dismissal.Order disposing of a case without a trial.

    Docket.See Trial docket.

    Due process.Fair and regular procedure. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments guarantee persons that they will not be deprived of life, liberty, or property by the government until fair and usual procedures have been followed.

    E

    Error, Writ of.An order issued by an appeals court to a lower court requiring it to send to the appeals court the record of a case in which it has entered a final judgment and which the appeals court will now review for error.

    Ex parte.“Only from one side” or “only on one side”; type of application to a court for some ruling or action on behalf of only one party.

    Ex post facto.“After the fact.” An ex post facto law makes an action a crime after it has already been committed or otherwise changes the legal consequences of some past action.

    Ex rel.“Upon information from”; usually used to describe legal proceedings begun by an official in the name of the state, but at the instigation of and with information from a private individual interested in the matter.

    G

    Grand jury.Group of twelve to twenty-three persons impaneled to hear in closed sessions evidence presented by the state against persons accused of crime and to issue indictments when a majority of the jurors find probable cause to believe that the accused has committed a crime; called a “grand” jury because it comprises a greater number of persons than a “petit” jury.

    Grand jury report.A public report released by a grand jury after an investigation into activities of public officials that fall short of criminal actions; often called “presentments.”

    Guilty.The word used by a defendant in entering a plea for having committed crime or other wrongdoing and by a jury in returning a verdict indicating that the defendant is legally responsible as charged.

    H

    Habeas corpus.“You have the body”; a writ issued to inquire whether a person is lawfully imprisoned or detained, demanding that the persons holding the prisoner justify his detention or release him. In current law, a habeas corpus appeal in a federal court allows a state prisoner to challenge his conviction or sentence as unconstitutional under federal law.

    I

    Immunity.A grant of exemption from prosecution in return for evidence or testimony.

    In camera.“In chambers”; refers to court hearings in private, without spectators or jurors present.

    In forma pauperis.“In the manner of a pauper”; without liability for court costs.

    In personam.“Against the person”; done or directed against a particular person.

    In re.“In the affair of“ or “concerning”; title of judicial proceedings in which there are no adversaries, but the matter itself—for example, a bankrupt's estate—requires judicial action.

    In rem.“Against a thing”; done or directed against the thing, not the person.

    Indictment.A formal, written statement based on evidence presented by the prosecutor from a grand jury that has decided by a majority vote that sufficient evidence exists to charge one or more persons with specified offenses.

    Information.A written set of accusations, similar to an indictment, but filed directly by a prosecutor (without the involvement of a grand jury).

    Injunction.A court order prohibiting the person to whom it is directed from performing a particular act.

    Interlocutory decree.A provisional decision of the court that temporarily settles an intervening matter before completion of a legal action.

    J

    Judgment.Official decision of a court based on the rights and claims of the parties to a case that was submitted for determination.

    Jurisdiction.The power of a court to hear the case in question; exists when the proper parties are present and when the issue to be decided is among those authorized to be handled by the particular court.

    Juries.See Grand jury and Petit jury.

    M

    Magistrate.A judicial officer having jurisdiction to try minor criminal cases and conduct preliminary examinations of persons charged with serious crimes.

    Mandamus.“We command”; an order issued by a superior court directing a lower court or other authority to perform a particular act.

    Moot.Unsettled, undecided. For example, a moot question is one that is no longer material; a moot case is one that has become hypothetical.

    Motion.Written or oral application to a court or a judge to obtain a rule or an order.

    N

    Nolo contendere.“I will not contest it”; plea entered by a defendant, at the discretion of the judge, that has the same legal effect as a plea of guilty but may not be cited in other proceedings as an admission of guilt.

    O

    Obiter dictum.Statement by a judge or justice expressing an opinion and included with (but is not essential to) an opinion resolving a case before the court. Dicta are not necessarily binding in future cases.

    P

    Parole.A conditional release from imprisonment by which a person who abides by the law and other restrictions that may be placed upon him is not required to serve the remainder of his sentence; failure to abide by the specified rules will result in being returned to prison.

    Per curiam.“By the court”; an unsigned opinion of the court or an opinion written by the whole court.

    Petit jury.A trial jury; originally a panel of twelve persons who tried to reach a unanimous verdict on questions of fact in criminal and civil proceedings. Since 1970 the Supreme Court has upheld the legality of state juries with fewer than twelve persons; called a “petit” jury because it comprises fewer persons than a “grand” jury.

    Petitioner.One who files a petition with a court seeking action or relief, including a plaintiff or an appellant; also a person who files for other court action where charges are not necessarily made, for example, requesting an order requiring another person or party to produce documents. (The opposing party is called the respondent.) When a writ of certiorari is granted by the Supreme Court, the parties to the case are called petitioner and respondent, in contrast to the appellant and appellee terms used in an appeal.

    Plaintiff.A party who brings a civil action or sues to obtain a remedy for injury to his rights. The party against whom action is brought is called the defendant.

    Plea bargaining.Negotiations between prosecutor and defendant aimed at exchanging a plea of guilty from the defendant for concessions by the prosecutor, such as a reduction of charges or a request for leniency.

    Pleas.See Guilty and Nolo contendere.

    Presentment.See Grand jury report.

    Prima facie.“At first sight”; referring to a fact or other evidence presumably sufficient to establish a defense or a claim unless otherwise contradicted.

    Probation.Process under which a person convicted of an offense, usually a first offense, receives a suspended sentence and is given his or her freedom, usually under the guardianship of an appointed officer.

    Q

    Quash.To overthrow, annul, or vacate; used in relation to actions taken involving subpoenas, indictments, and so on.

    R

    Recognizance.An obligation entered into before a court or magistrate requiring the performance of a specified act—usually to appear in court at a later date; is used as an alternative to bail for pretrial release.

    Remand.To send back; act by which a higher court returns for further action a decision to the court from which it came.

    Respondent.One who is compelled to answer the claims or questions posed in court by a petitioner. A defendant and an appellee may be called respondents, but the term also includes those parties who answer in court during actions where charges are not necessarily brought or where the Supreme Court has granted a writ of certiorari.

    S

    Seriatim.Separately; individually; one by one.

    Stare decisis.“Let the decision stand”; principle of adherence to settled cases; the doctrine that principles of law established in earlier judicial decisions should be accepted as authoritative in similar subsequent cases.

    Statute.A written law enacted by a legislature. A collection of statutes for a particular governmental division is called a code.

    Stay.To halt or suspend further judicial proceedings.

    Subpoena.An order to present one's self before a grand jury, court, or legislative hearing.

    Subpoena duces tecum.An order to produce specified documents or papers.

    T

    Tort.An injury or wrong to the person or property of another.

    Transactional immunity.Status that protects a witness from prosecution for any offense mentioned in or related to his testimony, regardless of independent evidence against him or her.

    Trial docket.A calendar prepared by the clerks of the court listing the cases set to be tried.

    U

    Use immunity.Status that protects a witness against the use of his own testimony against him for prosecution.

    V

    Vacate.To make void, annul, or rescind.

    W

    Writ.A written court order commanding the designated recipient to perform or not perform acts specified in the order.

    Acts of Congress Held Unconstitutional
    • Act of September 24, 1789 (1 Stat. 81, § 13, in Part).
    • Provision that “… [the U.S. Supreme Court] shall have power to issue … writs of mandamus, in cases warranted by the principles and usages of law, to any … persons holding office, under authority of the United States” as applied to the issue of mandamus to the Secretary of State requiring him to deliver to plaintiff a commission (duly signed by the President) as justice of the peace in the District of Columbia held an attempt to enlarge the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, fixed by Article III, § 2.
    • Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cr. (5 U.S.) 137 (1803).
    • Act of February 20, 1812 (2 Stat. 677).
    • Provisions establishing board of revision to annul titles conferred many years previously by governors of the Northwest Territory were held violative of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
    • Reichart v. Felps, 6 Wall. (73 U.S.) 160 (1868).
    • Act of March 6, 1820 (3 Stat. 548, § 8, Proviso).
    • The Missouri Compromise, prohibiting slavery within the Louisiana Territory north of 36° 30', except Missouri, held not warranted as a regulation of Territory belonging to the United States under Article IV, § 3, clause 2 (and see Fifth Amendment).
    • Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. (60 U.S.) 393 (1857).
    • Act of February 25, 1862 (12 Stat. 345, § 1); July 11, 1862 (12 Stat. 532, § 1); March 3, 1863 (12 Stat. 711, § 3), Each in Part Only.
    • “Legal tender clauses,” making noninterest-bearing United States notes legal tender in payment of “all debts, public and private,” so far as applied to debts contracted before passage of the act, held not within express or implied powers of Congress under Article I, § 8, and inconsistent with Article I, § 10, and Fifth Amendment.
    • Hepburn v. Griswold, 8 Wall. (75 U.S.) 603 (1870); overruled in Knox v. Lee (Legal Tender Cases), 12 Wall. (79 U.S.) 457 (1871).
    • Act of May 20, 1862 (§ 35, 12 Stat.); Act of May 21, 1862 (12 Stat. 407); Act of June 25, 1864 (13 Stat. 187); Act of July 23, 1866 (14 Stat. 216); Revised Statutes Relating to the District of Columbia, Act of June 22, 1874 (§§ 281, 282, 294, 304, 18 Stat. Pt. 2).
    • Provisions of law requiring, or construed to require, racial separation in the schools of the District of Columbia, held to violate the equal protection component of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
    • Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954).
    • Act of March 3, 1863 (12 Stat. 756, § 5).
    • “So much of the fifth section … as provides for the removal of a judgment in a State court, and in which the cause was tried by a jury to the circuit court of the United States for a retrial on the facts and law, is not in pursuance of the Constitution, and is void” under the Seventh Amendment.
    • The Justices v. Murray, 9 Wall. (76 U.S.) 274 (1870).
    • Act of March 3, 1863 (12 Stat. 766, § 5).
    • Provision for an appeal from the Court of Claims to the Supreme Court—there being, at the time, a further provision (§ 14) requiring an estimate by the Secretary of the Treasury before payment of final judgment, held to contravene the judicial finality intended by the Constitution, Article III.
    • Gordon v. United States, 2 Wall. (69 U.S.) 561 (1865). (Case was dismissed without opinion; the grounds upon which this decision was made were stated in a posthumous opinion by Chief Justice Taney printed in the appendix to volume 117 U.S. 697.)
    • Act of June 30, 1864 (13 Stat. 311, § 13).
    • Provision that “any prize cause now pending in any circuit court shall, on the application of all parties in interest … be transferred by that court to the Supreme Court…,” as applied in a case where no action had been taken in the Circuit Court on the appeal from the district court, held to propose an appeal procedure not within Article III, § 2.
    • The Alicia, 7 Wall. (74 U.S.) 571 (1869).
    • Act of January 24, 1865 (13 Stat. 424).
    • Requirement of a test oath (disavowing actions in hostility to the United States) before admission to appear as attorney in a federal court by virtue of any previous admission, held invalid as applied to an attorney who had been pardoned by the President for all offenses during the Rebellion—as ex post facto (Article I, § 9, clause 3) and an interference with the pardoning power (Article II, § 2, clause 1).
    • Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall. (71 U.S.) 333 (1867).
    • Act of March 2, 1867 (14 Stat. 484, § 29).
    • General prohibition on sale of naphtha, etc., for illuminating purposes, if inflammable at less temperature than 110 F., held invalid “except so far as the section named operates within the United States, but without the limits of any State,” as being a mere police regulation.
    • United States v. Dewitt, 9 Wall. (76 U.S.) 41 (1870).
    • Revised Statutes 5132, Subdivision 9 (Act of March 2, 1867, 14 Stat. 539).
    • Provision penalizing “any person respecting whom bankruptcy proceedings are commenced … who, within 3 months before the commencement of proceedings in bankruptcy, under the false color and pretense of carrying on business and dealing in the ordinary course of trade, obtains on credit from any person any goods or chattels with intent to defraud…,” held a police regulation not within the bankruptcy power (Article I, § 4, clause 4).
    • United States v. Fox, 95 U.S. 670 (1878).
    • Act of May 31, 1870 (16 Stat. 140, §§ 3, 4).
    • Provisions penalizing (1) refusal of local election official to permit voting by persons offering to qualify under State laws, applicable to any citizens; and (2) hindering of any person from qualifying or voting, held invalid under Fifteenth Amendment.
    • United States v. Reese, 92 U.S. 214 (1876).
    • Revised Statutes 5507 (Act of May 31, 1870, 16 Stat. 141, § 4).
    • Provision penalizing “every person who prevents, hinders, controls, or intimidates another from exercising … the right of suffrage, to whom that right is guaranteed by the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, by means of bribery…,” held not authorized by the Fifteenth Amendment.
    • James v. Bowman, 190 U.S. 127 (1903).
    • Revised Statutes 1977 (Act of May 31, 1870, 16 Stat. 144).
    • Provision that “all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts … as is enjoyed by white citizens…,” held invalid under the Thirteenth Amendment.
    • Hodges v. United States, 203 U.S. 1 (1906), overruled in Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., 392 U.S. 409, 441–443 (1968).
    • Revised Statutes of the District of Columbia, § 1064 (Act of June 17, 1870, 16 Stat. 154, § 3).
    • Provision that “prosecutions in the police court [of the District of Columbia] shall be by information under oath, without indictment by grand jury or trial by petit jury,” as applied to punishment for conspiracy held to contravene Article III, § 2, requiring jury trial of all crimes.
    • Callan v. Wilson, 127 U.S. 540 (1888).
    • Revised Statutes 4937–4947 (Act of July 8, 1870, 16 Stat. 210), and Act of August 14, 1876 (19 Stat. 141).
    • Original trademark law, applying to marks “for exclusive use within the United States,” and a penal act designed solely for the protection of rights defined in the earlier measure, held not supportable by Article I, § 8, clause 8 (copyright clause), nor Article I, § 8, clause 3, by reason of its application to intrastate as well as interstate commerce.
    • Trade-Mark Cases, 100 U.S. 82 (1879).
    • Act of July 12, 1870 (16 Stat. 235).
    • Provision making Presidential pardons inadmissible in evidence in Court of Claims, prohibiting their use by that court in deciding claims or appeals, and requiring dismissal of appeals by the Supreme Court in cases where proof of loyalty had been made otherwise than as prescribed by law, held an interference with judicial power under Article III, § 1, and with the pardoning power under Article II, § 2, clause 1.
    • United States v. Klein, 13 Wall. (80 U.S.) 128 (1872).
    • Revised Statutes 5519 (Act of April 20, 1871, 17 Stat. 13, § 2).
    • Section providing punishment in case “two or more persons in any State … conspire … for the purpose of depriving … any person … of the equal protection of the laws … or for the purpose of preventing or hindering the constituted authorities of any State … from giving or securing to all persons within such State … the equal protection of the laws…,” held invalid as not being directed at state action proscribed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
    • United States v. Harris, 106 U.S. 629 (1883).
    • In Baldwin v. Franks, 120 U.S. 678 (1887), an attempt was made to distinguish the Harris case and to apply the statute to a conspiracy directed at aliens within a State, but the provision was held not enforceable in such limited manner.
    • Act of March 3, 1873 (Ch. 258 § 2, 17 Stat. 599, Recodified in 39 U.S.C. § 3001(e)(2)).
    • Comstock Act provision barring from the mails any unsolicited advertisement for contraceptives, as applied to circulars and flyers promoting prophylactics or containing information discussing the desirability and availability of prophylactics, violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment.
    • Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp., 463 U.S. 60 (1983).
    • Act of June 22, 1874 (18 Stat. 1878, § 4).
    • Provision authorizing federal courts, in suits for forfeitures under revenue and custom laws, to require production of documents, with allegations expected to be proved therein to be taken as proved on failure to produce such documents, was held violative of the search and seizure provision of the Fourth Amendment and the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment.
    • Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616 (1886).
    • Act of March 1, 1875 (18 Stat. 336, §§ 1, 2).
    • Provision “That all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations … of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement; subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, and applicable alike to citizens of every race and color, regardless of any previous condition of servitude”—subject to penalty, held not to be supported by the Thirteenth or Fourteenth Amendments.
    • Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 (1883), as to operation within states.
    • Act of March 3, 1875 (18 Stat. 479, § 2).
    • Provision that “if the party [i.e., a person stealing property from the United States] has been convicted, then the judgment against him shall be conclusive evidence in the prosecution against [the] receiver that the property of the United States therein described has been embezzled, stolen, or purloined,” held to contravene the Sixth Amendment.
    • Kirby v. United States, 174 U.S. 47 (1899).
    • Act of July 12, 1876 (19 Stat. 80, § 6, in Part).
    • Provision that “postmasters of the first, second, and third classes … may be removed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate,” held to infringe the executive power under Article II, § 1, clause 1.
    • Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926).
    • Act of August 11, 1888 (25 Stat. 411).
    • Clause, in a provision for the purchase or condemnation of a certain lock and dam in the Monongahela River, that “… in estimating the sum to be paid by the United States, the franchise of said corporation to collect tolls shall not be considered or estimated…,” held to contravene the Fifth Amendment.
    • Monongahela Navigation Co. v. United States, 148 U.S. 312 (1893).
    • Act of May 5, 1892 (27 Stat. 25, § 4).
    • Provision of a Chinese exclusion act, that Chinese persons “convicted and adjudged to be not lawfully entitled to be or remain in the United States shall be imprisoned at hard labor for a period not exceeding 1 year and thereafter removed from the United States … (such conviction and judgment being had before a justice, judge, or commissioner upon a summary hearing),” held to contravene the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
    • Wong Wing v. United States, 163 U.S. 228 (1896).
    • Joint Resolution of August 4, 1894 (28 Stat. 1018, No. 41).
    • Provision authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to approve a second lease of certain land by an Indian chief in Minnesota (granted to lessor's ancestor by art. 9 of a treaty with the Chippewa Indians), held an interference with judicial interpretation of treaties under Article III, § 2, clause 1 (and repugnant to the Fifth Amendment).
    • Jones v. Meehan, 175 U.S. 1 (1899).
    • Act of August 27, 1894 (28 Stat. 553–560, §§ 27–37).
    • Income tax provisions of the tariff act of 1894. “The tax imposed by §§ 27 and 37, inclusive … so far as it falls on the income of real estate and of personal property, being a direct tax within the meaning of the Constitution, and, therefore, unconstitutional and void because not apportioned according to representation [Article I, § 2, clause 3], all those sections, constituting one entire scheme of taxation, are necessarily invalid” (158 U.S. 601, 637).
    • Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co., 157 U.S. 429 (1895), and rehearing, 158 U.S. 601 (1895).
    • Act of January 30, 1897 (29 Stat. 506).
    • Prohibition on sale of liquor “… to any Indian to whom allotment of land has been made while the title to the same shall be held in trust by the Government…,” held a police regulation infringing state powers, and not warranted by the commerce clause, Article I, § 8, clause 3.
    • Matter of Heff, 197 U.S. 488 (1905), overruled in United States v. Nice, 241 U.S. 591 (1916).
    • Act of June 1, 1898 (30 Stat. 428).
    • Section 10, penalizing “any employer subject to the provisions of this act” who should “threaten any employee with loss of employment … because of his membership in … a labor corporation, association, or organization” (the act being applicable “to any common carrier … engaged in the transportation of passengers or property … from one State … to another State…,” etc.), held an infringement of the Fifth Amendment and not supported by the commerce clause.
    • Adair v. United States, 208 U.S. 161 (1908).
    • Act of June 13, 1898 (30 Stat. 448, 459).
    • Stamp tax on foreign bills of lading, held a tax on exports in violation of Article I, § 9.
    • Fairbank v. United States, 181 U.S. 283 (1901).
    • Same (30 Stat. 448, 460).
    • Tax on charter parties, as applied to shipments exclusively from ports in United States to foreign ports, held a tax on exports in violation of Article I, § 9.
    • United States v. Hvoslef, 237 U.S. 1 (1915).
    • Same (30 Stat. 448, 461).
    • Stamp tax on policies of marine insurance on exports, held a tax on exports in violation of Article I, § 9.
    • Thames & Mersey Marine Ins. Co. v. United States, 237 U.S. 19 (1915).
    • Act of June 6, 1900 (31 Stat. 359, § 171).
    • Section of the Alaska Code providing for a six-person jury in trials for misdemeanors, held repugnant to the Sixth Amendment, requiring “jury” trial of crimes.
    • Rassmussen v. United States, 197 U.S. 516 (1905).
    • Act of March 3, 1901 (31 Stat. 1341, § 935).
    • Section of the District of Columbia Code granting the same right of appeal, in criminal cases, to the United States or the District of Columbia as to the defendant, but providing that a verdict was not to be set aside for error found in rulings during trial, held an attempt to take an advisory opinion, contrary to Article III, § 2.
    • United States v. Evans, 213 U.S. 297 (1909).
    • Act of June 11, 1906 (34 Stat. 232).
    • Act providing that “every common carrier engaged in trade or commerce in the District of Columbia … or between the several States … shall be liable to any of its employees … for all damages which may result from the negligence of any of its officers … or by reason of any defect … due to its negligence in its cars, engines … roadbed,” etc., held not supportable under Article I, § 8, clause 3 because it extended to intrastate as well as interstate commercial activities.
    • The Employers' Liability Cases, 207 U.S. 463 (1908). (The act was upheld as to the District of Columbia in Hyde v. Southern R. Co., 31 App. D.C. 466 (1908); and as to the Territories, in El Paso & N.E. Ry. v. Gutierrez, 215 U.S. 87 (1909).)
    • Act of June 16, 1906 (34 Stat. 269, § 2).
    • Provision of Oklahoma Enabling Act restricting relocation of the State capital prior to 1913, held not supportable by Article IV, § 3, authorizing admission of new States.
    • Coyle v. Smith, 221 U.S. 559 (1911).
    • Act of February 20, 1907 (34 Stat. 889, § 3).
    • Provision in the Immigration Act of 1907 penalizing “whoever … shall keep, maintain, control, support, or harbor in any house or other place, for the purpose of prostitution … any alien woman or girl, within 3 years after she shall have entered the United States,” held an exercise of police power not within the control of Congress over immigration (whether drawn from the commerce clause or based on inherent sovereignty).
    • Keller v. United States, 213 U.S. 138 (1909).
    • Act of March 1, 1907 (34 Stat. 1028).
    • Provisions authorizing certain Indians “to institute their suits in the Court of Claims to determine the validity of any acts of Congress passed since … 1902, insofar as said acts … attempt to increase or extend the restrictions upon alienation … of allotments of lands of Cherokee citizens …,” and giving a right of appeal to the Supreme Court, held an attempt to enlarge the judicial power restricted by Article III, § 2, to cases and controversies.
    • Muskrat v. United States, 219 U.S. 346 (1911).
    • Act of May 27, 1908 (35 Stat. 313, § 4).
    • Provision making locally taxable “all land [of Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes] from which restrictions have been or shall be removed,” held a violation of the Fifth Amendment, in view of the Atoka Agreement, embodied in the Curtis Act of June 28, 1898, providing tax-exemption for allotted lands while title in original allottee, not exceeding 21 years.
    • Choate v. Trapp, 224 U.S. 665 (1912).
    • Act of February 9, 1909 (§ 2, 35 Stat. 614, as Amended).
    • Provision of Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Act creating a presumption that possessor of cocaine knew of its illegal importation into the United States, held, in light of the fact that more cocaine is produced domestically than is brought into the country and in absence of any showing that defendant could have known his cocaine was imported, if it was, inapplicable to support conviction from mere possession of cocaine.
    • Turner v. United States, 396 U.S. 398 (1970).
    • Act of August 19, 1911 (37 Stat. 28).
    • A proviso in § 8 of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act fixing a maximum authorized expenditure by a candidate for Senator “in any campaign for his nomination and election,” as applied to a primary election, held not supported by Article I, § 4, giving Congress power to regulate the manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives.
    • Newberry v. United States, 256 U.S. 232 (1921), overruled in United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299 (1941).
    • Act of June 18, 1912 (37 Stat. 136, § 8).
    • Part of § 8 giving the Juvenile Court of the District of Columbia (proceeding upon information) concurrent jurisdiction of desertion cases (which were, by law, punishable by fine or imprisonment in the workhouse at hard labor for 1 year), held invalid under the Fifth Amendment which gives right to presentment by a grand jury in case of infamous crimes.
    • United States v. Moreland, 258 U.S. 433 (1922).
    • Act of March 4, 1913 (37 Stat. 988, Part of Par. 64).
    • Provision of the District of Columbia Public Utility Commission Act authorizing appeal to the United States Supreme Court from decrees of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals modifying valuation decisions of the Utilities Commission, held an attempt to extend the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to cases not strictly judicial within the meaning of Article III, § 2.
    • Keller v. Potomac Elec. Co., 261 U.S. 428 (1923).
    • Act of September 1, 1916 (39 Stat. 675).
    • The original Child Labor Law, providing “that no producer … shall ship … in interstate commerce … any article or commodity the product of any mill … in which within 30 days prior to the removal of such product therefrom children under the age of 14 years have been employed or permitted to work more than 8 hours in any day or more than 6 days in any week…,” held not within the commerce power of Congress.
    • Hammer v. Dagenhart, 247 U.S. 251 (1918).
    • Act of September 8, 1916 (39 Stat. 757, § 2(a), in Part).
    • Provision of the income tax law of 1916, that a “stock dividend shall be considered income, to the amount of its cash value,” held invalid (in spite of the Sixteenth Amendment) as an attempt to tax something not actually income, without regard to apportionment under Article I, § 2, clause 3.
    • Eisner v. Macomber, 252 U.S. 189 (1920).
    • Act of October 6, 1917 (40 Stat. 395).
    • The amendment of §§ 24 and 256 of the Judicial Code (which prescribe the jurisdiction of district courts) “saving … to claimants the rights and remedies under the workmen's compensation law of any State,” held an attempt to transfer federal legislative powers to the States—the Constitution, by Article III, § 2, and Article I, § 8, having adopted rules of general maritime law.
    • Knickerbocker Ice Co. v. Stewart, 253 U.S. 149 (1920).
    • Act of September 19, 1918 (40 Stat. 960).
    • Specifically, that part of the Minimum Wage Law of the District of Columbia which authorized the Wage Board “to ascertain and declare … (a) Standards of minimum wages for women in any occupation within the District of Columbia, and what wages are inadequate to supply the necessary cost of living to any such women workers to maintain them in good health and to protect their morals …,” held to interfere with freedom of contract under the Fifth Amendment.
    • Adkins v. Children's Hospital, 261 U.S. 525 (1923), overruled in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379 (1937).
    • Act of February 24, 1919 (40 Stat. 1065, § 213, in Part).
    • That part of § 213 of the Revenue Act of 1919 which provided that “… for the purposes of the title … the term ‘gross income’ … includes gains, profits, and income derived from salaries, wages, or compensation for personal service (including in the case of … judges of the Supreme and inferior courts of the United States … the compensation received as such) …” as applied to a judge in office when the act was passed, held a violation of the guaranty of judges' salaries, in Article III, § 1.
    • Evans v. Gore, 253 U.S. 245 (1920). Miles v. Graham, 268 U.S. 501 (1925), held it invalid as applied to a judge taking office subsequent to the date of the act. Both cases were overruled by O'Malley v. Woodrough, 307 U.S. 227 (1939).
    • Act of February 24, 1919 (40 Stat. 1097, § 402(c)).
    • That part of the estate tax law providing that “gross estate” of a decedent should include value of all property “to the extent of any interest therein of which the decedent has at any time made a transfer or with respect to which he had at any time created a trust, in contemplation of or intended to take effect in possession or enjoyment at or after his death (whether such transfer or trust is made or created before or after the passage of this act), except in case of a bona fide sale …” as applied to a transfer of property made prior to the act and intended to take effect “in possession or enjoyment” at death of grantor, but not in fact testamentary or designed to evade taxation, held confiscatory, contrary to Fifth Amendment.
    • Nicholds v. Coolidge, 274 U.S. 531 (1927).
    • Act of February 24, 1919, Title XII (40 Stat. 1138, Entire Title).
    • The Child Labor Tax Act, providing that “every person … operating … any … factory … in which children under the age of 14 years have been employed or permitted to work … shall pay … in addition to all other taxes imposed by law, an excise tax equivalent to 10 percent of the entire net profits received … for such year from the sale … of the product of such … factory…,” held beyond the taxing power under Article I, § 8, clause 1, and an infringement of state authority.
    • Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. (Child Labor Tax Case), 259 U.S. 20 (1922).
    • Act of October 22, 1919 (41 Stat. 298, § 2), Amending Act of August 10, 1917 (40 Stat. 277, § 4).
    • Act of August 24, 1921 (42 Stat. 187, Futures Trading Act).
    • Act of November 23, 1921 (42 Stat. 261, § 245, in Part).
    • Provision of Revenue Act of 1921 abating the deduction (4 percent of mean reserves) allowed from taxable income of life insurance companies in general by the amount of interest on their tax-exempts, and so according no relative advantage to the owners of the tax-exempt securities, held to destroy a guaranteed exemption.
    • National Life Ins. v. United States, 277 U.S. 508 (1928).
    • Act of June 10, 1922 (42 Stat. 634).
    • A second attempt to amend §§ 24 and 256 of the Judicial Code, relating to jurisdiction of district courts, by saving “to claimants for compensation for injuries to or death of persons other than the master or members of the crew of a vessel, their rights and remedies under the workmen's compensation law of any State …” held invalid on authority of Knickerbocker Ice Co. v. Stewart.
    • Washington v. Dawson & Co., 264 U.S. 219 (1924).
    • Act of June 2, 1924 (43 Stat. 313).
    • The gift tax provisions of the Revenue Act of 1924, applicable to gifts made during the calendar year, were held invalid under the Fifth Amendment insofar as they applied to gifts made before passage of the act.
    • Untermeyer v. Anderson, 276 U.S. 440 (1928).
    • Act of February 26, 1926 (44 Stat. 70, § 302, in Part).
    • Stipulation creating a conclusive presumption that gifts made within two years prior to the death of the donor were made in contemplation of death of donor and requiring the value thereof to be included in computing the death transfer tax on decedent's estate was held to effect an invalid deprivation of property without due process.
    • Heiner v. Donnan, 285 U.S. 312 (1932).
    • Act of February 26, 1926 (44 Stat. 95, § 701).
    • Provision imposing a special excise tax of $1,000 on liquor dealers operating in States where such business is illegal, was held a penalty, without constitutional support following repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment.
    • United States v. Constantine, 296 U.S. 287 (1935).
    • Act of March 20, 1933 (48 Stat. 11, § 17, in Part).
    • Clause in the Economy Act of 1933 providing “… all laws granting or pertaining to yearly renewable term war risk insurance are hereby repealed,” held invalid to abrogate an outstanding contract of insurance, which is a vested right protected by the Fifth Amendment.
    • Lynch v. United States, 292 U.S. 571 (1934).
    • Act of May 12, 1933 (48 Stat. 31).
    • Agricultural Adjustment Act providing for processing taxes on agricultural commodities and benefit payments therefor to farmers, held not within the taxing power under Article I, § 8, clause 1.
    • United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (1936).
    • Act of Joint Resolution of June 5, 1933 (48 Stat. 113, § 1).
    • Abrogation of gold clause in Government obligations, held a repudiation of the pledge implicit in the power to borrow money (Article I, § 8, clause 2), and within the prohibition of the Fourteenth Amendment, against questioning the validity of the public debt. (The majority of the Court, however, held plaintiff not entitled to recover under the circumstances.)
    • Perry v. United States, 294 U.S. 330 (1935).
    • Act of June 16, 1933 (48 Stat. 195, National Industrial Recovery Act).
    • Act of June 16, 1933 (48 Stat. 307, § 13).
    • Temporary reduction of 15 percent in retired pay of judges, retired from service but subject to performance of judicial duties under the Act of March 1, 1929 (45 Stat. 1422), was held a violation of the guaranty of judges' salaries in Article III, § 1.
    • Booth v. United States, 291 U.S. 339 (1934).
    • Act of April 27, 1934 (48 Stat. 646, § 6) Amending § 5(i) of Home Owners Loan Act of 1933.
    • Provision for conversion of state building and loan associations into federal associations, upon vote of 51 percent of the votes cast at a meeting of stockholders called to consider such action, held an encroachment on reserved powers of State.
    • Hopkins Savings Assn. v. Cleary, 296 U.S. 315 (1935).
    • Act of May 24, 1934 (48 Stat. 798).
    • Provision for readjustment of municipal indebtedness, though “adequately related” to the bankruptcy power, was held invalid as an interference with state sovereignty.
    • Ashton v. Cameron County Dist., 298 U.S. 513 (1936).
    • Act of June 19, 1934 (Ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1088, § 316, 18 U.S.C. § 1304).
    • Section 316 of the Communications Act of 1934, which prohibits radio and television broadcasters from carrying advertisements for privately operated casino gambling regardless of the station's or casino's location, violates the First Amendment's protections for commercial speech as applied to prohibited advertising of private casino gambling broadcast by stations located within a state where such gambling is illegal.
    • Greater New Orleans Broadcasting Ass'n v. United States, 527 U.S. 173 (1999).
    • Act of June 27, 1934 (48 Stat. 1283).
    • The Railroad Retirement Act, establishing a detailed compulsory retirement system for employees of carriers subject to the Interstate Commerce Act, held not a regulation of commerce within the meaning of Article I, § 8, clause 3, and violative of the due process clause (Fifth Amendment).
    • Railroad Retirement Board v. Alton R. Co., 295 U.S. 330 (1935).
    • Act of June 28, 1934 (48 Stat. 1289, Ch. 869).
    • The Frazier-Lemke Act, adding subsection (5) to § 75 of the Bankruptcy Act, designed to preserve to mortgagors the ownership and enjoyment of their farm property and providing specifically, in paragraph 7, that a bankrupt left in possession has the option at any time within 5 years of buying at the appraised value—subject meanwhile to no monetary obligation other than payment of reasonable rental, held a violation of property rights, under the Fifth Amendment.
    • Louisville Bank v. Radford, 295 U.S. 555 (1935).
    • Act of August 24, 1935 (49 Stat. 750).
    • Amendments of Agricultural Adjustment Act held not within the taxing power.
    • Rickert Rice Mills v. Fontenot, 297 U.S. 110 (1936).
    • Act of August 29, 1935 (Ch. 814 § 5(e), 49 Stat. 982, 27 U.S.C. § 205(e)).
    • The prohibition in section 5(e)(2) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act of 1935 on the display of alcohol content on beer labels is inconsistent with the protections afforded to commercial speech by the First Amendment. The government's interest in curbing strength wars among brewers is substantial, but, given the “overall irrationality” of the regulatory scheme, the labeling prohibition does not directly and materially advance that interest.
    • Rubin v. Coors Brewing Co., 514 U.S. 476 (1995).
    • Act of August 30, 1935 (49 Stat. 991).
    • Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935, held to impose, not a tax within Article I, § 8, but a penalty not sustained by the commerce clause (Article I, § 8, clause 3).
    • Carter v. Carter Coal Co., 298 U.S. 238 (1936).
    • Act of February 15, 1938 (Ch. 29, 52 Stat. 30).
    • District of Columbia Code § 22–1115, prohibiting the display of any sign within 500 feet of a foreign embassy if the sign tends to bring the foreign government into “public odium” or “public disrepute,” violates the First Amendment.
    • Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312 (1988).
    • Act of June 25, 1938 (52 Stat. 1040).
    • Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, § 301(f), prohibiting the refusal to permit entry or inspection of premises by federal officers held void for vagueness and as violative of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
    • United States v. Cardiff, 344 U.S. 174 (1952).
    • Act of June 30, 1938 (52 Stat. 1251).
    • Federal Firearms Act, § 2(f), establishing a presumption of guilt based on a prior conviction and present possession of a firearm, held to violate the test of due process under the Fifth Amendment.
    • Tot v. United States, 319 U.S. 463 (1943).
    • Act of August 10, 1939 (§ 201(d), 53 Stat. 1362, as Amended, 42 U.S.C. § 402(g)).
    • Provision of Social Security Act that grants survivors' benefits based on the earnings of a deceased husband and father covered by the Act to his widow and to the couple's children in her care but that grants benefits based on the earnings of a covered deceased wife and mother only to the minor children and not to the widower held violative of the right to equal protection secured by the Fifth Amendment's due process clause, since it unjustifiably discriminates against female wage earners required to pay social security taxes by affording them less protection for their survivors than is provided for male wage earners.
    • Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld, 420 U.S. 636 (1975).
    • Act of October 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 1169, § 401(g)); as Amended by Act of January 20, 1944 (58 Stat. 4, § 1).
    • Provision of Aliens and Nationality Code (8 U.S.C. § 1481(a)(8)), derived from the Nationality Act of 1940, as amended, that citizenship shall be lost upon conviction by court martial and dishonorable discharge for deserting the armed services in time of war, held invalid as imposing a cruel and unusual punishment barred by the Eighth Amendment and not authorized by the war powers conferred by Article I, § 8, clauses 11 to 14.
    • Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86 (1958).
    • Act of November 15, 1943 (57 Stat. 450).
    • Urgent Deficiency Appropriation Act of 1943, § 304, providing that no salary should be paid to certain named federal employees out of moneys appropriated, held to violate Article I, § 9, clause 3, forbidding enactment of bill of attainder or ex post facto law.
    • United States v. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303 (1946).
    • Act of September 27, 1944 (58 Stat. 746, § 401(j)); and Act of June 27, 1952 (66 Stat. 163, 267–268, § 349(a)(10)).
    • Section 401(J) of Immigration and Nationality Act of 1940, added in 1944, and § 49(a)(10) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 depriving one of citizenship, without the procedural safeguards guaranteed by the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, for the offense of leaving or remaining outside the country, in time of war or national emergency, to evade military service held invalid.
    • Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963).
    • Act of July 31, 1946 (Ch. 707, § 7, 60 Stat. 719).
    • District court decision holding invalid under First and Fifth Amendments statute prohibiting parades or assemblages on United States Capitol grounds is summarily affirmed.
    • Chief of Capitol Police v. Jeannette Rankin Brigade, 409 U.S. 972 (1972).
    • Act of June 25, 1948 (62 Stat. 760).
    • Provision of Lindbergh Kidnapping Act which provided for the imposition of the death penalty only if recommended by the jury held unconstitutional inasmuch as it penalized the assertion of a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to jury trial.
    • United States v. Jackson, 390 U.S. 570 (1968).
    • Act of August 18, 1949 (63 Stat. 617, 40 U.S.C. § 13k)
    • Provision, insofar as it applies to the public sidewalks surrounding the Supreme Court building, which bars the display of any flag, banner, or device designed to bring into public notice any party, organization, or movement held violative of the free speech clause of the First Amendment.
    • United States v. Grace, 461 U.S. 171 (1983).
    • Act of May 5, 1950 (64 Stat. 107).
    • Article 3(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice subjecting civilian ex-servicemen to court martial for crime committed while in military service held to violate Article III, § 2, and the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
    • Toth v. Quarles, 350 U.S. 11 (1955).
    • Act of May 5, 1950 (64 Stat. 107).
    • Insofar as Article 2(11) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice subjects civilian dependents accompanying members of the armed forces overseas in time of peace to trial, in capital cases, by court martial, it is violative of Article III, § 2, and the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
    • Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957).
    • Insofar as the aforementioned provision is invoked in time of peace for the trial of noncapital offenses committed on land bases overseas by employees of the armed forces who have not been inducted or who have not voluntarily enlisted therein, it is violative of the Sixth Amendment.
    • McElroy v. United States, 361 U.S. 281 (1960).
    • Insofar as the aforementioned provision is invoked in time of peace for the trial of noncapital offenses committed by civilian dependents accompanying members of the armed forces overseas, it is violative of Article III, § 2, and the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
    • Kinsella v. United States, 361 U.S. 234 (1960).
    • Insofar as the aforementioned provision is invoked in time of peace for the trial of a capital offense committed by a civilian employee of the armed forces overseas, it is violative of Article III, § 2, and the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
    • Grisham v. Hagan, 361 U.S. 278 (1960).
    • Act of August 16, 1950 (64 Stat. 451, as Amended).
    • Statutory scheme authorizing the Postmaster General to close the mails to distributors of obscene materials held unconstitutional in the absence of procedural provisions which would assure prompt judicial determination that protected materials were not being restrained.
    • Blount v. Rizzi, 400 U.S. 410 (1971).
    • Act of August 28, 1950 (§ 202(c)(1)(d), 64 Stat. 483, 42 U.S.C. § 402(c)(1)(c)).
    • District court decision holding invalid as a violation of the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment's due process clause a Social Security provision entitling a husband to insurance benefits through his wife's benefits, provided he received at least one-half of his support from her at the time she became entitled, but requiring no such showing of support for the wife to qualify for benefits through her husband, is summarily affirmed.
    • Califano v. Silbowitz, 430 U.S. 934 (1977).
    • Act of August 28, 1950 (§ 202(f)(1)(e), 64 Stat. 485, 42 U.S.C. § 402(f)(1)(d)).
    • Social Security Act provision awarding survivors' benefits based on earnings of a deceased wife to widower only if he was receiving at least half of his support from her at the time of her death, whereas widow receives benefits regardless of dependency, held violative of equal protection element of Fifth Amendment's due process clause because of its impermissible gender classification.
    • Califano v. Goldfarb, 430 U.S. 199 (1977).
    • Act of September 23, 1950 (Title 1, § 5, 64 Stat. 992).
    • Provision of Subversive Activities Control Act making it unlawful for member of Communist front organization to work in a defense plant held to be an overbroad infringement of the right of association protected by the First Amendment.
    • United States v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258 (1967).
    • Act of September 23, 1950 (64 Stat. 993, § 6).
    • Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950, § 6, providing that any member of a Communist organization, which has registered or has been ordered to register, commits a crime if he attempts to obtain or use a passport, held violative of due process under the Fifth Amendment.
    • Aptheker v. Secretary of State, 378 U.S. 500 (1964).
    • Act of September 28, 1950 (Title I, §§ 7, 8, 64 Stat. 993).
    • Provisions of Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 requiring in lieu of registration by the Communist Party registration by Party members may not be applied to compel registration or to prosecute for refusal to register of alleged members who have asserted their privilege against self-incrimination inasmuch as registration would expose such persons to criminal prosecution under other laws.
    • Albertson v. Subversive Activities Control Board, 382 U.S. 70 (1965).
    • Act of October 30, 1951 (§ 5(f)(ii), 65 Stat. 683, 45 U.S.C. § 231a(c)(3)(ii)).
    • Provision of Railroad Retirement Act similar to section voided in Goldfarb. (See No. 85.)
    • Railroad Retirement Bd. v. Kalina, 431 U.S. 909 (1977).
    • Act of June 27, 1952 (Ch. 477, § 244(e)(2), 66 Stat. 214, 8 U.S.C. § 1254 (c)(2)).
    • Provision of the immigration law that permits either House of Congress to veto the decision of the Attorney General to suspend the deportation of certain aliens violates the bicameralism and presentation requirements of lawmaking imposed upon Congress by Article I, §§ 1 and 7.
    • INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 (1983).
    • Act of June 27, 1952 (Title III, § 349, 66 Stat. 267).
    • Provision of Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 providing for revocation of United States citizenship of one who votes in a foreign election held unconstitutional under § 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment.
    • Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967).
    • Act of June 27, 1952 (66 Stat. 163, 269, § 352(a)(1)).
    • Section 352(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 depriving a naturalized person of citizenship for “having a continuous residence for three years” in state of his birth or prior nationality held violative of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
    • Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U.S. 163 (1964).
    • Act of August 16, 1954 (Ch. 736, 68a Stat. 521, 26 U.S.C. § 4371(1)).
    • A federal tax on insurance premiums paid to foreign insurers not subject to the federal income tax violates the Export Clause, Art. I, § 9, cl. 5, as applied to casualty insurance for losses incurred during the shipment of goods from locations within the United States to purchasers abroad.
    • United States v. IBM Corp., 517 U.S. 843 (1996).
    • Act of August 16, 1954 (68a Stat. 525, Int. Rev. Code of 1954, §§ 4401–4423).
    • Provisions of tax laws requiring gamblers to pay occupational and excise taxes may not be used over an assertion of one's privilege against self-incrimination either to compel extensive reporting of activities, leaving the registrant subject to prosecution under the laws of all the States with the possible exception of Nevada, or to prosecute for failure to register and report, because the scheme abridged the Fifth Amendment privilege.
    • Marchetti v. United States, 390 U.S. 39 (1968), and Grosso v. United States, 390 U.S. 62 (1968).
    • Act of August 16, 1954 (68a Stat. 560, Marijuana Tax Act, §§ 4741, 4744, 4751, 4753).
    • Provisions of tax laws requiring possessors of marijuana to register and to pay a transfer tax may not be used over an assertion of the privilege against self-incrimination to compel registration or to prosecute for failure to register.
    • Leary v. United States, 395 U.S. 6 (1969).
    • Act of August 16, 1954 (68a Stat. 728, Int. Rev. Code of 1954, §§ 5841, 5851).
    • Provisions of tax laws requiring the possessor of certain firearms, which it is made illegal to receive or to possess, to register with the Treasury Department may not be used over an assertion of the privilege against self-incrimination to prosecute one for failure to register or for possession of an unregistered firearm since the statutory scheme abridges the Fifth Amendment privilege.
    • Haynes v. United States, 390 U.S. 85 (1968).
    • Act of August 16, 1954 (68a Stat. 867, Int. Rev. Code of 1954, § 7302).
    • Provision of tax laws providing for forfeiture of property used in violating internal revenue laws may not be constitutionally used in face of invocation of privilege against self-incrimination to condemn money in possession of gambler who had failed to comply with the registration and reporting scheme held void in Marchetti v. United States, 390 U.S. 39 (1968).
    • United States v. United States Coin & Currency, 401 U.S. 715 (1971).
    • Act of July 18, 1956 (§ 106, Stat. 570).
    • Provision of Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Act creating a presumption that possessor of marijuana knew of its illegal importation into the United States held, in absence of showing that all marijuana in United States was of foreign origin and that domestic users could know that their marijuana was more likely than not of foreign origin, unconstitutional under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
    • Leary v. United States, 395 U.S. 6 (1969).
    • Act of August 10, 1956 (70a Stat. 35, § 772(f)).
    • Proviso of statute permitting the wearing of United States military apparel in theatrical productions only if the portrayal does not tend to discredit the armed force imposes an unconstitutional restraint upon First Amendment freedoms and precludes a prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 702 for unauthorized wearing of uniform in a street skit disrespectful of the military.
    • Schacht v. United States, 398 U.S. 58 (1970).
    • Act of August 10, 1956 (70a Stat. 65, Uniform Code of Military Justice, Articles 80, 130, 134).
    • Servicemen may not be charged under the Act and tried in military courts because of the commission of non-service connected crimes committed off-post and off-duty which are subject to civilian court jurisdiction where the guarantees of the Bill of Rights are applicable.
    • O'Callahan v. Parker, 395 U.S. 258 (1969).
    • Act of September 2, 1958 (§ 5601(b)(1), 72 Stat. 1399).
    • Provision of Internal Revenue Code creating a presumption that one's presence at the site of an unregistered still shall be sufficient for conviction under a statute punishing possession, custody, or control of an unregistered still unless defendant otherwise explained his presence at the site to the jury held unconstitutional because the presumption is not a legitimate, rational, or reasonable inference that defendant was engaged in one of the specialized functions proscribed by the statute.
    • United States v. Romano, 382 U.S. 136 (1965).
    • Act of September 2, 1958 (§ 1(25)(b), 72 Stat. 1446), and Act of September 7, 1962 (§ 401, 76 Stat. 469).
    • Federal statutes providing that spouses of female members of the Armed Forces must be dependent in fact in order to qualify for certain dependent's benefits, whereas spouses of male members are statutorily deemed dependent and automatically qualified for allowances, whatever their actual status, held an invalid sex classification under the equal protection principles of the Fifth Amendment's due process clause.
    • Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973).
    • Act of September 2, 1958 (Pub. l. 85–921, § 1, 72 Stat. 1771, 18 U.S.C. § 504(1)).
    • Exemptions from ban on photographic reproduction of currency “for philatelic, numismatic, educational, historical, or newsworthy purposes” violates the First Amendment because it discriminates on the basis of the content of a publication.
    • Regan v. Time, Inc., 468 U.S. 641 (1984).
    • Act of September 14, 1959 (§ 504, 73 Stat. 536).
    • Provision of Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 making it a crime for a member of the Communist Party to serve as an officer or, with the exception of clerical or custodial positions, as an employee of a labor union held to be a bill of attainder and unconstitutional.
    • United States v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437 (1965).
    • Act of October 11, 1962 (§ 305, 76 Stat. 840).
    • Provision of Postal Services and Federal Employees Salary Act of 1962 authorizing Post office Department to detain material determined to be “communist political propaganda” and to forward it to the addressee only if he requested it after notification by the Department, the material to be destroyed otherwise, held to impose on the addressee an affirmative obligation which amounted to an abridgment of First Amendment rights.
    • Lamont v. Postmaster General, 381 U.S. 301 (1965).
    • Act of October 15, 1962 (76 Stat. 914).
    • Provision of District of Columbia laws requiring that a person to be eligible to receive welfare assistance must have resided in the District for at least one year impermissibly classified persons on the basis of an assertion of the right to travel interstate and therefore held to violate the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
    • Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969).
    • Act of December 16, 1963 (77 Stat. 378, 20 U.S.C. § 754).
    • Provision of Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963 which in effect removed restriction against religious use of facilities constructed with federal funds after twenty years held to violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment inasmuch as the property will still be of considerable value at the end of the period and removal of the restriction would constitute a substantial governmental contribution to religion.
    • Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 672 (1971).
    • Act of July 30, 1965 (§ 339, 79 Stat. 409).
    • Section of Social Security Act qualifying certain illegitimate children for disability insurance benefits by presuming dependence but disqualifying other illegitimate children, regardless of dependency, if the disabled wage earner parent did not contribute to the child's support before the onset of the disability or if the child did not live with the parent before the onset of disability held to deny latter class of children equal protection as guaranteed by the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
    • Jimenez v. Weinberger, 417 U.S. 628 (1974).
    • Act of September 3, 1966 (§ 102(b), 80 Stat. 831), and Act of April 8, 1974 (§§ 6(a)(1) Amending § 3(d) of Act, 6(a)(2) Amending § 3(e)(2)(c), 6(a)(5) Amending § 3(s)(5), and 6(a) (6) Amending § 3(x)).
    • Those sections of the Fair Labor Standards Act extending wage and hour coverage to the employees of state and local governments held invalid because Congress lacks the authority under the commerce clause to regulate employee activities in areas of traditional governmental functions of the States.
    • National League of Cities v. Usery, 426 U.S. 833 (1976).
    • Act of November 7, 1967 (Pub. l. 90–129, § 201(8), 81 Stat. 368), as Amended by Act of August 13, 1981 (Pub. l. 97–35, § 1229, 95 Stat. 730, 47 U.S.C. § 399).
    • Communications Act provision banning noncommercial educational stations receiving grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from engaging in editorializing violates the First Amendment.
    • FCC v. League of Women Voters, 468 U.S. 364 (1984).
    • Act of January 2, 1968 (§ 163(a)(2), 81 Stat. 872).
    • District court decisions holding unconstitutional under Fifth Amendment's due process clause section of Social Security Act that reduced, perhaps to zero, benefits coming to illegitimate children upon death of parent in order to satisfy the maximum payment due the wife and legitimate children are summarily affirmed.
    • Richardson v. Davis, 409 U.S. 1069 (1972).
    • Act of January 2, 1968 (§ 203, 81 Stat. 882).
    • Provision of Social Security Act extending benefits to families whose dependent children have been deprived of parental support because of the unemployment of the father but not giving benefits when the mother becomes unemployed held to impermissibly classify on the basis of sex and violate the Fifth Amendment's due process clause.
    • Califano v. Westcott, 443 U.S. 76 (1979).
    • Act of June 19, 1968 (Pub. l. 90–351, § 701(a)), 82 Stat. 210, 18 U.S.C. § 3501.
    • A section of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 purporting to reinstate the voluntariness principle that had governed the constitutionality of custodial interrogations prior to the Court's decision in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 486 (1966), is an invalid attempt by Congress to redefine a constitutional protection defined by the Court. The warnings to suspects required by Miranda are constitution-based rules. Although the Miranda Court invited a legislative rule that would be “at least as effective” in protecting a suspect's right to remain silent, § 3501 is not an adequate substitute.
    • Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428 (2000).
    • Act of June 19, 1968 (Pub. l. 90–351, § 802), 82 Stat. 213, 18 U.S.C. § 2511(c), as Amended by the Act of October 21, 1986 (Pub. l. 99–508, § 101(c)(1)(a)), 100 Stat. 1851.
    • A federal prohibition on disclosure of the contents of an illegally intercepted electronic communication violates the First Amendment as applied to a talk show host and a community activist who had played no part in the illegal interception, and who had lawfully obtained tapes of the illegally intercepted cellular phone conversation. The subject matter of the disclosed conversation, involving a threat of violence in a labor dispute, was “a matter of public concern.” Although the disclosure prohibition well serves the government's “important” interest in protecting private communication, in this case “privacy concerns give way when balanced against the interest in publishing matters of public importance.”
    • Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514 (2001).
    • Act of June 22, 1970 (Ch. III, 84 Stat. 318).
    • Provision of Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1970 which set a minimum voting age qualification of eighteen in state and local elections held to be unconstitutional because beyond the powers of Congress to legislate.
    • Oregon v. Mitchell, 400 U.S. 112 (1970).
    • Act of December 29, 1970 (§ 8(a), 84 Stat. 1598, 29 U.S.C. § 637 (a)).
    • Provision of Occupational Safety and Health Act authorizing inspections of covered work places in industry without warrants held to violate Fourth Amendment.
    • Marshall v. Barlow's, Inc., 436 U.S. 307 (1978).
    • Act of January 11, 1971 (§ 2, 84 Stat. 2048).
    • Provision of Food Stamp Act disqualifying from participation in program any household containing an individual unrelated by birth, marriage, or adoption to any other member of the household violates the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
    • Department of Agriculture v. Moreno, 413 U.S. 528 (1973).
    • Act of January 11, 1971 (§ 4, 84 Stat. 2049).
    • Provision of Food Stamp Act disqualifying from participation in program any household containing a person 18 years or older who had been claimed as a dependent child for income tax purposes in the present or preceding tax year by a taxpayer not a member of the household violates the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
    • Dept. of Agriculture v. Murry, 413 U.S. 508 (1973).
    • Act of December 10, 1971 (Pub. l. 92–178, § 801, 85 Stat. 570, 26 U.S.C. § 9012(f)).
    • Provision of Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act limiting to $1,000 the amount that independent committees may expend to further the election of a presidential candidate financing his campaign with public funds is an impermissible limitation of freedom of speech and association protected by the First Amendment.
    • FEC v. National Conservative Political Action Comm., 470 U.S. 480 (1985).
    • Federal Election Campaign Act of February 7, 1972 (86 Stat. 3), as Amended by the Federal Campaign Act Amendments of 1974 (88 Stat. 1263), Adding or Amending 18 U.S.C. §§ 608(a), 608(e), and 2 U.S.C. § 437(c).
    • Provisions of election law that forbid a candidate or the members of his immediate family from expending personal funds in excess of specified amounts, that limit to $1,000 the independent expenditures of any person relative to an identified candidate, and that forbid expenditures by candidates for federal office in excess of specified amounts violate the First Amendment speech guarantees; provisions of the law creating a commission to oversee enforcement of the Act are an invalid infringement of constitutional separation of powers in that they devolve responsibilities upon a commission four of whose six members are appointed by Congress and all six of whom are confirmed by the House of Representatives as well as by the Senate, not in compliance with the appointments clause.
    • Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).
    • Act of April 8, 1974 (Pub. l. 93–259, §§ 6(d)(1), 28(a)(2)), 88 Stat. 61, 74; 29 U.S.C. §§ 216(b), 630(b).
    • The Fair Labor Standards Act Amendments of 1974, amending the Age Discrimination in Employment Act [ADEA] to subject states to damages actions in federal courts, exceeds congressional power under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Age is not a suspect classification under the Equal Protection Clause, and the ADEA is “so out of proportion to a remedial or preventive object that it cannot be understood as responsive to, or designed to prevent, unconstitutional behavior.”
    • Kimel v. Florida Bd. of Regents, 528 U.S. 62 (2000).
    • Act of April 8, 1974 (Pub. l. 93–259, 6(a)(6), 6(d)(1), 29 U.S.C. §§ 203(x), 216(b)).
    • The Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1974 subjecting nonconsenting states to suits for damages brought by employees in state courts violates the principle of sovereign immunity implicit in the constitutional scheme. Congress lacks power under Article I to subject nonconsenting states to suits for damages in state courts.
    • Alden v. Maine, 527 U.S. 706 (1999).
    • Act of May 11, 1976 (Pub. l. 92–225, § 316, 90 Stat. 490, 2 U.S.C. § 441(b)).
    • Provision of Federal Election Campaign Act requiring that independent corporate campaign expenditures be financed by voluntary contributions to a separate segregated fund violates the First Amendment as applied to a corporation organized to promote political ideas, having no stockholders, and not serving as a front for a business corporation or union.
    • FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Inc., 479 U.S. 238 (1986).
    • Act of May 11, 1976 (Pub. l. 94–283, § 112(2), 90 Stat. 489, 2 U.S.C. § 441a(d)(3)).
    • The Party Expenditure Provision of the Federal Election Campaign Act, which limits expenditures by a political party “in connection with the general election campaign of a [congressional] candidate,” violates the First Amendment when applied to expenditures that a political party makes independently, without coordination with the candidate.
    • Colo. Repub. Federal Campaign Comm. v. FEC, 518 U.S. 604 (1996).
    • Act of October 1, 1976 (Title II, 90 Stat. 1446); Act of October 12, 1979 (101(c), 93 Stat. 657).
    • Provisions of appropriations laws rolling back automatic pay increases for federal officers and employees is unconstitutional as to Article III judges because, the increases having gone into effect, they violate the security of compensation clause of Article III, § 1.
    • United States v. Will, 449 U.S. 200 (1980).
    • Act of October 19, 1976 (Pub. l. 94–553, § 101(c)), 17 U.S.C § 504(c).
    • Section 504(c) of the Copyright Act, which authorizes a copyright owner to recover statutory damages, in lieu of actual damages, “in a sum of not less than $500 or more than $20,000 as the court considers just,” does not grant the right to a jury trial on the amount of statutory damages. The Seventh Amendment, however, requires a jury determination of the amount of statutory damages.
    • Feltner v. Columbia Pictures Television, 523 U.S. 340 (1998).
    • Act of November 6, 1978 (§ 241(a), 92 Stat. 2668, 28 U.S.C. § 1471).
    • Assignment to judges who do not have tenure and guarantee of compensation protections afforded Article III judges of jurisdiction over all proceedings arising under or in the bankruptcy act and over all cases relating to proceedings under the bankruptcy act is invalid, inasmuch as judges without Article III protection may not receive at least some of this jurisdiction.
    • Northern Pipeline Const. Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., 458 U.S. 50 (1982).
    • Act of November 9, 1978 (Pub. l. 95–621, § 202(c)(1), 92 Stat. 3372, 15 U.S.C. § 3342(c)(1)).
    • Decision of Court of Appeals holding unconstitutional provision giving either House of Congress power to veto rules of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on certain natural gas pricing matters is summarily affirmed on the authority of Chadha. (See No. 90 on p. 1266.)
    • Process Gas Consumers Group v. Consumer Energy Council, 463 U.S. 1216 (1983).
    • Act of May 30, 1980 (94 Stat. 399, 45 U.S.C. § 1001 et. Seq.) as Amended by the Act of October 14, 1980 (94 Stat. 1959).
    • Acts of Congress applying to bankruptcy reorganization of one railroad and guaranteeing employee benefits is repugnant to the requirement of Article I, § 8, cl. 4, that bankruptcy legislation be “uniform.”
    • Railway Labor Executives' Assn. v. Gibbons, 455 U.S. 457 (1982).
    • Act of May 28, 1980 (Pub. l. 96–252, § 21(a), 94 Stat. 393, 15 U.S.C. § 57a–1(a)).
    • Decision of Court of Appeals holding unconstitutional provision of FTC [Federal Trade Commission] Improvements Act giving Congress power by concurrent resolution to veto final rules of the FTC is summarily affirmed on the basis of Chadha. (See No. 90 on p. 1266.)
    • United States Senate v. FTC, 463 U.S. 1216 (1983).
    • Act of January 12, 1983 (Pub. l. 97–459, § 207, 96 Stat. 2519, 25 U.S.C. § 2206).
    • Section of Indian Land Consolidation Act providing for escheat to tribe of fractionated interests in land representing less than 2 percent of a tract's total acreage violates the Fifth Amendment's takings clause by completely abrogating rights of intestacy and devise.
    • Hodel v. Irving, 481 U.S. 704 (1987).
    • Act of April 20, 1983, 97 Stat. 69 (Pub. l. 98–21 § 101(b)(1) (Amending 26 U.S.C. § 3121(b)(5)).
    • The 1983 extension of the Social Security tax to then-sitting judges violates the compensation clause of Article III, § 1. The clause “does not prevent Congress from imposing a non-discriminatory tax laid generally upon judges and other citizens…, but it does prohibit taxation that singles out judges for specially unfavorable treatment.” The 1983 Social Security law gave 96 percent of federal employees “total freedom” of choice about whether to participate in the system, and structured the system in such a way that “virtually all” of the remaining 4 percent of employees—except the judges—could opt to retain existing coverage. By requiring then-sitting judges to join the Social Security System and pay Social Security taxes, the 1983 law discriminated against judges in violation of the Compensation Clause.
    • United States v. Hatter, 532 U.S. 557 (2001).
    • Act of October 30, 1984 (Pub. l. 98–608, § 1(4)), 98 Stat. 3173, 25 U.S.C. § 2206.
    • Section 207 of the Indian Land Consolidation Act, as amended in 1984, effects an unconstitutional taking of property without compensation by restricting a property owner's right to pass on property to his heirs. The amended section, like an earlier version held unconstitutional in Hodel v. Irving [No. 131, see p. 1270], provides that certain small interests in Indian land will escheat to the tribe upon death of the owner. None of the changes made in 1984 cures the constitutional defect.
    • Babbitt v. Youpee, 519 U.S. 234 (1997).
    • Act of January 15, 1985 (Pub. l. 99–240, § 5(d)(2)(c), 99 Stat. 1842, 42 U.S.C. § 2021e(d)(2)(c)).
    • “Take-title” incentives contained in the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985, designed to encourage states to cooperate in the federal regulatory scheme, offend principles of federalism embodied in the Tenth Amendment. These incentives, which require that non-participating states take title to waste or become liable for generators' damages, cross the line distinguishing encouragement from coercion. Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states, nor may it force a transfer from generators to state governments. A required choice between two unconstitutionally coercive regulatory techniques is also impermissible.
    • New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992).
    • Act of December 12, 1985 (Pub. l. 99–177, § 251, 99 Stat. 1063, 2 U.S.C. § 901).
    • That portion of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act which authorizes the Comptroller General to determine the amount of spending reductions which must be accomplished each year to reach congressional targets and which authorizes him to report a figure to the President which the President must implement violates the constitutional separation of powers inasmuch as the Comptroller General is subject to congressional control (removal) and cannot be given a role in the execution of the laws.
    • Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S. 714 (1986).
    • Act of October 30, 1986 (Pub. l. 99–591, Title VI, § 6007(f), 100 Stat. 3341, 49 U.S.C. App. § 2456(f)).
    • The Metropolitan Washington Airports Act of 1986, which transferred operating control of two Washington, D.C., area airports from the Federal Government to a regional airports authority, violates separation of powers principles by conditioning that transfer on the establishment of a Board of Review, composed of Members of Congress and having veto authority over actions of the airports authority's board of directors.
    • Metropolitan Washington Airports Auth. v. Citizens for the Abatement of Aircraft Noise, 501 U.S. 252 (1991).
    • Act of November 17, 1986 (Pub. l. 99–662, Title IV, § 1402(a), 26 U.S.C. §§ 4461, 4462).
    • The Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) violates the Export Clause of the Constitution, Art. I, § 9, cl. 5, to the extent that the tax applies to goods loaded for export at United States ports. The HMT, which requires shippers to pay a uniform charge of 0.125 percent of cargo value on commercial cargo shipped through the Nation's ports, is an impermissible tax rather than a permissible user fee. The value of export cargo does not correspond reliably with federal harbor services used by exporters, and the tax does not, therefore, represent compensation for services rendered.
    • United States v. United States Shoe Corp., 523 U.S. 360 (1998).
    • Act of April 28, 1988 (Pub. l. 100–297, § 6101, 102 Stat. 424, 47 U.S.C. § 223(b)).
    • Provision insofar as it bans indecent as well as obscene commercial interstate telephone messages violates the speech clause of the First Amendment.
    • Sable Communications v. FCC, 492 U.S. 115 (1989).
    • Act of October 17, 1988 (Pub. l. 100–497, § 11(d)(7), 102 Stat. 2472, 25 U.S.C. § 2710(d)(7)).
    • A provision of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act authorizing an Indian tribe to sue a state in federal court to compel performance of a duty to negotiate in good faith toward the formation of a compact violates the Eleventh Amendment. In exercise of its powers under Article I, Congress may not abrogate states' Eleventh Amendment immunity from suit in federal court. Pennsylvania v. Union Gas Co., 491 U.S. 1 (1989), is overruled.
    • Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44 (1996).
    • Act of October 28, 1989 (Pub. l. 101–131, 103 Stat. 777, 18 U.S.C. § 700).
    • The Flag Protection Act of 1989, criminalizing burning and certain other forms of destruction of the United States flag, violates the First Amendment. Most of the prohibited acts involve disrespectful treatment of the flag, and evidence a purpose to suppress expression out of concern for its likely communicative impact.
    • United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990).
    • Act of November 30, 1989 (Pub. l. 101–194, § 601, 103 Stat. 1760, 5 U.S.C. App. § 501).
    • Section 501(b) of the Ethics in Government Act, as amended in 1989 to prohibit Members of Congress and federal employees from accepting honoraria, violates the First Amendment as applied to Executive Branch employees below grade GS-16. The ban is limited to expressive activity and does not include other outside income, and the “speculative benefits” of the ban do not justify its “crudely crafted burden” on expression.
    • United States v. National Treasury Employees Union, 513 U.S. 454 (1995).
    • Act of July 26, 1990 (Pub. l. 101–336, Title I), 104 Stat. 330, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111–12117.
    • Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), exceeds congressional power to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment, and violates the Eleventh Amendment, by subjecting states to suits brought by state employees in federal courts to collect money damages for the state's failure to make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. Rational basis review applies, and consequently states “are not required by the Fourteenth Amendment to make special accommodations for the disabled, so long as their actions towards such individuals are rational.” The legislative record of the ADA fails to show that Congress identified a pattern of irrational state employment discrimination against the disabled. Moreover, even if a pattern of discrimination by states had been found, the ADA's remedies would run afoul of the “congruence and proportionality” limitation on Congress's exercise of enforcement power.
    • Board of Trustees of Univ. of Ala. v. Garrett, 531 U.S. 356 (2001).
    • Act of November 28, 1990 (Pub. l. 101–624, Title XIX, Subtitle b), 104 Stat. 3854, 7 U.S.C. §§ 6101 et Seq.
    • The Mushroom Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act violates the First Amendment by imposing mandatory assessments on mushroom handlers for the purpose of funding generic advertising to promote mushroom sales. The mushroom program differs “in a most fundamental respect” from the compelled assessment on fruit growers upheld in Glickman v. Wileman Brothers & Elliott (1997). There the mandated assessments were “ancillary to a more comprehensive program restricting marketing autonomy,” while here there is “no broader regulatory system in place.” The mushroom program contains no marketing orders that regulate how mushrooms may be produced and sold, no exemption from the antitrust laws, and nothing else that forces mushroom producers to associate as a group to make cooperative decisions. But for the assessment for advertising, the mushroom growing business is unregulated.
    • United States v. United Foods, Inc., 533 U.S. 405 (2001).
    • Act of November 29, 1990 (Pub. l. 101–647, § 1702, 104 Stat. 4844, 18 U.S.C. § 922q).
    • The Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990, which makes it a criminal offense to knowingly possess a firearm within a school zone, exceeds congressional power under the commerce clause. It is “a criminal statute that by its terms has nothing to do with ‘commerce’ or any sort of economic enterprise.” Possession of a gun at or near a school “is in no sense an economic activity that might, through repetition elsewhere, substantially affect any sort of interstate commerce.”
    • United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995).
    • Act of December 19, 1991 (Pub. l. 102–242, § 476, 105 Stat. 2387, 15 U.S.C. § 78aa-1).
    • Section 27A(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as added in 1991, requiring reinstatement of any section 10(b) actions that were dismissed as time barred subsequent to a 1991 Supreme Court decision, violates the Constitution's separation of powers to the extent that it requires federal courts to reopen final judgments in private civil actions. The provision violates a fundamental principle of Article III that the federal judicial power comprehends the power to render dispositive judgments.
    • Plaut v. Spendthrift Farm, Inc., 514 U.S. 211 (1995).
    • Act of October 5, 1992 (Pub. l. 102–385, §§ 10(b) and 10(c), 106 Stat. 1487, 1503; 47 U.S.C. § 532(j) and § 531 Note, Respectively).
    • Section 10(b) of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, which requires cable operators to segregate and block indecent programming on leased access channels if they do not prohibit it, violates the First Amendment. Section 10(c) of the Act, which permits a cable operator to prevent transmission of “sexually explicit” programming on public access channels, also violates the First Amendment.
    • Denver Area Educ. Tel. Consortium v. FCC, 518 U.S. 727 (1996).
    • Act of October 24, 1992, Title XIX, 106 Stat. 3037 (Pub. l. 102–486), 26 U.S.C. §§ 9701–9722.
    • The Coal Industry Retiree Health Benefit Act of 1992 is unconstitutional as applied to the petitioner Eastern Enterprises. Pursuant to the Act, the Social Security Commissioner imposed liability on Eastern for funding health care benefits of retirees from the coal industry who had worked for Eastern prior to 1966. Eastern had transferred its coal-related business to a subsidiary in 1965. Four Justices viewed the imposition of liability on Eastern as a violation of the Takings Clause, and one Justice viewed it as a violation of substantive due process.
    • Eastern Enterprises v. Apfel, 524 U.S. 498 (1998).
    • Act of October 27, 1992 (Pub. l. 102–542, 15 U.S.C. § 1122).
    • The Trademark Remedy Clarification Act [TRCA], which provided that states shall not be immune from suit under the Trademark Act of 1946 (Lanham Act) “under the Eleventh Amendment … or under any other doctrine of sovereign immunity,” did not validly abrogate state sovereign immunity. Congress lacks power to do so in exercise of Article I powers, and the TRCA cannot be justified as an exercise of power under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The right to be free from a business competitor's false advertising is not a “property right” protected by the due process clause.
    • College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Ed. Expense Bd., 527 U.S. 666 (1999).
    • Act of October 28, 1992 (106 Stat. 4230, Pub. l. 102–560, 29 U.S.C. § 296).
    • The Patent and Plant Variety Remedy Clarification Act, which amended the patent laws to expressly abrogate states' sovereign immunity from patent infringement suits, is invalid. Congress lacks power to abrogate state immunity in exercise of Article I powers, and the Patent Remedy Clarification Act cannot be justified as an exercise of power under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Section 5 power is remedial, yet the legislative record reveals no identified pattern of patent infringement by states and the act's provisions are “out of proportion to a supposed remedial or preventive object.”
    • Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Ed. Expense Bd. v. College Savings Bank, 527 U.S. 627 (1999).
    • Act of November 16, 1993 (Pub. l. 103–141, 107 Stat. 1488, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000bb–2000bb-4).
    • The Religious Freedom Restoration Act [RFRA], which directed use of the compelling interest test to determine the validity of laws of general applicability that substantially burden the free exercise of religion, exceeds congressional power under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Congress's power under Section 5 to “enforce” the Fourteenth Amendment by “appropriate legislation” does not extend to defining the substance of the Amendment's restrictions. This RFRA appears to do. RFRA “is so far out of proportion to a supposed remedial or preventive object that it cannot be understood as responsive to, or designed to prevent, unconstitutional behavior.”
    • City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997).
    • Act of November 30, 1993 (Pub. l. 103–159, 107 Stat. 1536).
    • Interim provisions of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that require state and local law enforcement officers to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers are inconsistent with the Constitution's allocation of power between federal and state governments. In New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992), the Court held that Congress may not compel states to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program, and “Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the State's officers directly.”
    • Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 98 (1997).
    • Act of September 13, 1994 (Pub. l. 103–322, § 40302), 108 Stat. 1941, 42 U.S.C. § 13981.
    • A provision of the Violence Against Women Act that creates a federal civil remedy for victims of gender-motivated violence exceeds congressional power under the commerce clause and under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The commerce power does not authorize Congress to regulate “noneconomic violent criminal conduct based solely on that conduct's aggregate effect on interstate commerce.” The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits only state action, and affords no protection against purely private conduct. Section 13981 is not aimed at the conduct of state officials, at private conduct.
    • United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000).
    • Act of February 8, 1996 (110 Stat. 56, 133–34, Pub. l. 104–104, Title V, § 502, 47 U.S.C. §§ 223(a), 223(d)).
    • Two provisions of the Communications Decency Act of 1996—one that prohibits knowing transmission on the Internet of obscene or indecent messages to any recipient under 18 years of age, and the other that prohibits the knowing sending or displaying of patently offensive messages in a manner that is available to anyone under 18 years of age—violate the First Amendment.
    • Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844 (1997).
    • Act of February 8, 1996 (Pub. L. 104–104, § 505), 110 Stat. 136, 47 U.S.C. § 561.
    • Section 505 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which required cable TV operators that offer channels primarily devoted to sexually oriented programming to prevent signal bleed either by fully scrambling those channels or by limiting their transmission to designated hours when children are less likely to be watching, violates the First Amendment. The provision is content-based, and therefore can only be upheld if narrowly tailored to promote a compelling governmental interest. The measure is not narrowly tailored, since the Government did not establish that the less restrictive alternative found in section 504 of the Act—that of scrambling a channel at a subscriber's request—would be ineffective.
    • United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc., 529 U.S. 803 (2000).
    • Act of April 9, 1996 (110 Stat. 1200, Pub. L. 104–130, 2 U.S.C. §§ 691 et Seq).
    • The Line Item Veto Act, which gives the president the authority to “cancel in whole” three types of provisions that have been signed into law, violates the presentment clause of Article I, section 7. In effect, the law grants to the president “the unilateral power to change the text of duly enacted statutes.” This Line Item Veto Act authority differs in important respects from the president's constitutional authority to “return” (veto) legislation: the statutory cancellation occurs after rather than before a bill becomes law, and can apply to a part of a bill as well as the entire bill.
    • Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417 (1998).
    • Act of April 26, 1996 (Pub. L. 104–134 § 504(a)(16)), 110 Stat. 1321-55.
    • A restriction in the appropriations act for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) that prohibits funding for any organization that participates in litigation that challenges a federal or state welfare law constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment. Moreover, the restrictions on LSC advocacy “distort [the] usual functioning” of the judiciary, and are “inconsistent with accepted separation-of-powers principles.” “An informed, independent judiciary presumes an informed, independent bar,” yet the restriction “prohibits speech and expression on which courts must depend for the proper exercise of judicial power.”
    • Legal Services Corp. v. Velazquez, 531 U.S. 533 (2001).
    • Act of September 30, 1996 (Pub. L. 104–208, § 121), 110 Stat. 3009–26, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252, 2256.
    • Two sections of the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 that extend the federal prohibition against child pornography to sexually explicit images that appear to depict minors but that were produced without using any real children violate the First Amendment. These provisions cover any visual image that “appears to be” of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and any image promoted or presented in a way that “conveys the impression” that it depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The rationale for excepting child pornography from First Amendment coverage is to protect children who are abused and exploited in the production process, yet the act's prohibitions extend to “virtual” pornography that does not involve children in the production process.
    • Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234 (2002).
    • Act of November 21, 1997 (Pub. L. 105–115, § 127), 111 Stat. 2328, 21 U.S.C. § 353a.
    • Section 127 of the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997, which adds section 503a of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to exempt “compounded drugs” from the regular FDA approval process if providers comply with several restrictions, including that they refrain from advertising or promoting the compounded drugs, violates the First Amendment. The advertising restriction does not meet the Central Hudson test for acceptable government regulation of commercial speech. The government failed to demonstrate that the advertising restriction is “not more extensive than is necessary” to serve its interest in preventing the drug compounding exemption from becoming a loophole by which large-scale drug manufacturing can avoid the FDA drug approval process. There are several nonspeech means by which the government might achieve its objective.
    • Thompson v. Western States Medical Center, 535 U.S. 357 (2002).
    • Act of March 27, 2002, Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, Pub. l. 107–155, §§ 213, 318; 2 U.S.C. §§ 315(d)(4), 441k.
    • Section 213 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), which amended the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) to require political parties to choose between coordinated and independent expenditures during the post-nomination, pre-election period, is unconstitutional because it burdens parties' right to make unlimited independent expenditures. Section 318 of BCRA, which amended FECA to prohibit persons “17 years old or younger” from contributing to candidates or political parties, is invalid as violating the First Amendment rights of minors.
    • McConnell v. Federal Election Comm'n, 540 U.S. 93 (2003).
    • Act of April 30, 2003 (Pub. L. 108–21), §§ 401(a)(1), 401(d)(2), 117 Stat. 667, 670; 18 U.S.C. §§ 3553(b)(1), 3742(e).
    • Two provisions of the Sentencing Reform Act, one that makes the guidelines mandatory, and one that sets forth standards governing appeals of departures from the mandatory guidelines, are invalidated. The Sixth Amendment right to jury trial limits sentence enhancements that courts may impose pursuant to the guidelines.
    • United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005).
    • Act of March 27, 2002, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-155, § 203; 2 U.S.C. § 441b(b)(2).
    • In McConnell v. Federal Election Comm'n, 540 U.S. 93 (2003), the Court held that § 203 was not facially overbroad, and, in Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. v. Federal Election Comm'n, 546 U.S. 410 (2006), it held that it had not purported to resolve future as-applied challenges. Now it holds that § 203 is unconstitutional as applied to issue ads that mention a candidate for federal office, when such ads are not the “functional equivalent” of express advocacy for or against the candidate.
    • Federal Election Comm'n v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc., 551 U.S. 449 (2007).
    • Act of March 27, 2002, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-155, § 319(a) and (b); 2 U.S.C. § 441a-1(a) and (b).
    • A subsection of BCRA providing that, if a “self-financing” candidate for the House of Representatives spends more than a specified amount, then his opponent may accept more contributions than otherwise permitted, violates the First Amendment. A subsection with disclosure requirements designed to implement the asymmetrical contribution limits also violates the First Amendment.
    • Davis v. Federal Election Commission, 554 U.S. __ (2008).
    • Act of March 27, 2002, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-155, § 203; 2 U.S.C. § 441b.
    • A subsection of BCRA barring corporations and labor unions from using their treasury funds for independent expenditures to engage in “express advocacy” on behalf of candidates for federal office violates the First Amendment.
    • Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. __ (2010).
    • Act of Dec. 9, 1999, Punishing Depictions of Animal Cruelty Act, Pub. L. 106-152, 18 U.S.C. § 48.
    • The law making it a crime to sell or market videos or other depictions of animals being illegally wounded, tortured or killed was struck down as violating the free-speech guarantee of the First Amendment.
    • United States v. Stevens, 559 U.S. __ (2010).

    Sources: Compiled from Library of Congress, The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, S. Doc. 108–17 (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, 2002); Library of Congress, The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, supplement, S. Doc. 108–19 (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, 2004); and Library of Congress, The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, supplement, S. Doc. 110–17 (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, 2008).

    Chronology of Major Decisions of the Court, 1790–2010

    Every Supreme Court decision begins with a dispute between two people. The interests they assert and defend may be personal, corporate, or official, but they all arise from a fundamental clash between two points of view.

    Early on, the Court made clear that it would adhere to the language of the Constitution in Article III, Section 2, and refuse to rule on theoretical situations or hypothetical cases. It would resolve only actual “cases and controversies” in which there were real collisions of rights and powers. To decide a hypothetical case, said the justices, would be to exceed their constitutional function.

    The individuals who bring their complaints before the justices are as diverse as the nation. William Marbury wished to secure his appointment as a justice of the peace. Dred Scott sought his freedom. Linda Brown wanted to attend her neighborhood school. Clarence Gideon believed he should have a lawyer to defend him in court. Richard Nixon wanted to keep his White House tapes confidential. The Court resolved their cases, as it has done each case of the thousands that have arrived before it, on the basis of their particular facts.

    The immediate impact of each is simply to answer the claims of Marbury, Scott, Brown, Gideon, or Nixon, settling one particular situation. Many of the Court's rulings have no further effect. But often—as in these cases—the decision has a larger significance, upholding or striking down similar laws or practices or claims, establishing the Court's authority in new areas, or finding that some areas lie outside its competence.

    To the Supreme Court, wrote Richard Kluger in the foreword to Simple Justice,

    the nation has increasingly brought its most vexing social and political problems. They come in the guise of private disputes between only the litigating parties, but everybody understands that this is a legal fiction and merely a convenient political device. American society thus reduces its most troubling controversies to the scope—and translates them into the language—of a lawsuit.

    Although the progress of cases to the Supreme Court is slow, the body of issues before the Court in a particular period does reflect public concerns. “Virtually all important decisions of the Supreme Court are the beginnings of conversations between the Court and the people and their representatives,” Alexander M. Bickel wrote in The Supreme Court and the Idea of Progress.

    Most major cases decided by the Court from 1790 until 1860 involved the balance between state and federal power. Questions of war powers and policies came to the Court during the Civil War; matters of civil rights and state powers questions followed during the era of Reconstruction. As the nation's economy flourished and grew, cases concerning the relationship of government and business became everyday matters at the Court. For the contemporary Court, the questions before it deal with everything from individual rights and liberties to the powers of the presidency.

    Following are summary descriptions of the Supreme Court's major rulings from the first, Chisholm v. Georgia in 1793, through those issued in January 2010. The summaries consist of a general subject heading, the case name, its citation, the vote by which it was decided, the date it was announced, the justice writing the major opinion, the dissenting justices, and a summary statement of the ruling. (In some early cases, the vote or the exact date of its announcement is unavailable.)

    1790–1799

    Ex Post Facto Laws

    Calder v. Bull3 Dall. 386, decided by a 4–0 vote, August 8, 1798. Chase wrote the Court's opinion.

    The Constitution's ban on ex post facto laws does not forbid a state to nullify a man's title to certain property. The ban applies only to laws making certain actions criminal after they had been committed. It was not intended to protect property rights.

    Federal Courts

    Chisholm v. Georgia2 Dall. 419, decided by a 4–1 vote, February 18, 1793. Jay wrote the Court's major opinion; Iredell dissented.

    Citizens of one state have the right to sue another state in federal court, without the consent of the defendant state.

    Adoption of the Eleventh Amendment reversed this ruling, barring such suits from federal court unless the defendant state consented.

    Taxes

    Hylton v. United States3 Dall. 171, decided without dissent, March 8, 1796. The participating justices—Chase, Paterson, and Iredell—submitted opinions; Cushing, Wilson, and Ellsworth did not participate; Wilson filed an opinion.

    The Court upheld Congress's power to tax carriages. It declared that the only “direct” taxes required by the Constitution to be apportioned among the states were head taxes and taxes on land.

    This definition remained in force until 1895 when the Court held that income taxes were direct and must be apportioned. The addition of the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution overturned that ruling.

    Treaties

    Ware v. Hylton3 Dall. 199, decided by a 4–0 vote, March 7, 1796. Chase delivered the major opinion for the Court; Iredell did not participate in the decision, but placed an opinion in the record.

    Treaties made by the United States override conflicting state laws. The 1783 Treaty of Paris with Britain, ending the Revolutionary War, provided that neither Britain nor the United States would block the efforts of the other nation's citizens to secure repayment of debts in the other country. This provision rendered invalid Virginia's law allowing debts owed by Virginians to British creditors to be “paid off” through payments to the state.

    1800–1809

    Federal Courts

    Bank of the United States v. Deveaux5 Cr. 61, decided without dissent, March 15, 1809. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion; Livingston did not participate.

    The Court strictly interpreted the “diversity” requirement in federal cases—the rule that certain cases could be heard in federal, not state, courts simply because the two parties were residents of different states. Cases involving corporations, the Court held, could only come into federal courts for this reason if all the stockholders of the corporation lived in a state other than that of the opposing party. This strict rule resulted in very little corporate litigation in the federal courts until 1844 when it was revised.

    Judicial Review

    Marbury v. Madison1 Cr. 137, decided without dissent, February 24, 1803. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion.

    Congress may not expand or contract the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction. Therefore, Congress exceeded its power when, in Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789, it authorized the Supreme Court to issue writs of mandamus in original cases ordering federal officials to perform particular acts. Although William Marbury had a right to receive his commission as a justice of the peace—already signed and sealed, but not delivered—the Court lacked the power, under its original jurisdiction, to order its delivery.

    The immediate effect of the decision was to absolve the Jefferson administration of the duty to install several of President Adams's last-minute appointments in such posts.

    The more lasting significance was the establishment of the Court's power of judicial review, the power to review Acts of Congress and declare invalid those it found in conflict with the Constitution.

    1810–1819

    Contracts

    Fletcher v. Peck6 Cr. 87, decided without dissent, March 16, 1810. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion; Johnson filed a separate opinion.

    The Constitution forbids a state to impair the obligation of contracts. This prohibition denies a state legislature the power to annul titles to land secured under a land grant approved by a previous session of the legislature.

    Dartmouth College v. Woodward4 Wheat. 519, decided by a 5–1 vote, February 2, 1819. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion; Duvall dissented.

    The Constitution's ban on state action impairing the obligation of contracts denies a state the power to alter or repeal private corporate charters, such as that between New Hampshire and the trustees of Dartmouth College establishing that institution.

    Sturges v. Crowninshield4 Wheat. 122, decided without dissent, February 17, 1819. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion.

    The Constitution's grant of power to Congress to enact a uniform bankruptcy law does not deny states the power to pass insolvency statutes, at least until Congress enacts a bankruptcy law.

    However, the constitutional ban on state action impairing the obligation of contracts denies a state the power to enact a law freeing debtors from liability for debts contracted before the law's passage.

    Judicial Review

    Martin v. Hunter's Lessee1 Wheat. 304, decided without dissent, March 20, 1816. Story wrote the Court's opinion; Marshall did not participate.

    The Court upheld as constitutional Section 25 of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which gave the Supreme Court the power to review the rejection, by state courts, of federally based challenges to a state law or state action.

    Powers of Congress

    McCulloch v. Maryland4 Wheat. 316, decided without dissent, March 6, 1819. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion.

    In a broad definition of the Constitution's grant to Congress of the power to enact all laws that are “necessary and proper” to execute the responsibilities given the legislative branch by the Constitution, the Court ruled that Congress had the authority to charter a national bank in the exercise of its fiscal and monetary powers.

    The necessary and proper clause empowered Congress to adopt any appropriate and legitimate means for achieving a legislative goal; it was not confined to using only those means that were indispensable to reaching the desired end.

    The Court also held that the national bank was immune to state taxation. Observing that the “power to tax involves the power to destroy,” the Court began to develop the doctrine that one government may not tax certain holdings of another government.

    1820–1829

    Commerce

    Gibbons v. Ogden9 Wheat. 1, decided without dissent, March 2, 1824. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion.

    In its first definition of Congress's power over interstate commerce, the Court ruled that Congress could regulate all commerce affecting more than one state. The Court defined commerce as intercourse, including navigation and other modes of transportation, as well as commercial transactions. The Court also declared that the congressional authority to regulate commerce is superior to state power to regulate the same commerce.

    This decision laid the foundation for the modern interpretation of the power that gives Congress virtually exclusive control over all business, even that which only indirectly affects interstate commerce.

    Willson v. Blackbird Creek Marsh Co.2 Pet. 245, decided without dissent, March 20, 1829. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion.

    A state may exercise its police power to regulate matters affecting interstate commerce if Congress has not enacted conflicting legislation.

    Contracts

    Ogden v. Saunders12 Wheat. 213, decided by a 4–3 vote, February 18, 1827. Washington wrote the Court's major opinion; Marshall, Story, and Duvall dissented.

    The contract clause does not deny states the power to enact insolvency statutes that provide for the discharge of debts contracted after its passage.

    Mason v. Haile12 Wheat. 370, decided by a 6–1 vote in the January 1827 term. Thompson wrote the Court's opinion; Washington dissented.

    The contract clause does not prevent a state from abolishing imprisonment as a punishment for debtors who fail to pay their obligations. Modifying the remedy for defaulting on a contract does not inevitably impair the obligation incurred under the contract.

    Federal Courts

    Osborn v. Bank of the United States9 Wheat. 738, decided with one dissenting vote, March 18, 1824. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion; Johnson dissented.

    The Court upheld the right of the Bank of the United States to sue state officials in federal court. It held that the Eleventh Amendment—allowing states to be sued in federal court by citizens of another state only with the consent of the defendant state—did not deny federal courts jurisdiction over a case brought against a state official for actions under an unconstitutional state law or in excess of his legal authority. (See Chisholm v. Georgia.)

    Foster v. Neilson2 Pet. 253, decided without dissent in the January 1829 term. Marshall delivered the Court's opinion.

    The Court refused to rule in a boundary dispute involving territory east of the Mississippi River claimed by both the United States and Spain. Marshall described the matter as a “political question” that was not the business of the judiciary to resolve.

    Judicial Review

    Cohens v. Virginia6 Wheat. 264, decided without dissent, March 3, 1821. Marshall delivered the Court's opinion.

    For the second time, the Court reaffirmed the constitutionality of Section 25 of the Judiciary Act of 1789, under which the Supreme Court was empowered to review state court rulings denying federal claims. (See Martin v. Hunter's Lessee.)

    Powers of Congress

    Wayman v. Southard10 Wheat. 1, decided without dissent, February 12, 15, 1825. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion.

    The Court for the first time recognized the power of Congress to delegate portions of its legislative authority. In this case the Court sanctioned the right of Congress to set an objective and then authorize an administrator to promulgate rules and regulations to achieve that objective. The right to delegate such authority provides the basis for creation of the federal regulatory agencies.

    Powers of the President

    Martin v. Mott12 Wheat. 19, decided without dissent, February 2, 1827. Story wrote the Court's opinion.

    A president's decision to call out the militia is not subject to judicial review and is binding on state authorities. As a result of congressional delegation of power to the president, the decision to call out the militia, the Court said, “belongs exclusively to the President, and … his decision is conclusive upon all other persons.”

    Taxes

    Brown v. Maryland12 Wheat. 419, decided by a 6–1 vote, March 12, 1827. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion; Thompson dissented.

    The Court reinforced its broad interpretation of congressional power over commerce, ruling that a state unconstitutionally infringed on that power when it taxed imported goods still the property of the importer and in their original package.

    Weston v. City Council of Charleston2 Pet. 449, decided by a 4–2 vote, March 18, 1829. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion; Johnson and Thompson dissented.

    A city tax on United States stock impermissibly hinders the exercise of the federal power to borrow money.

    1830–1839

    Bills of Credit

    Craig v. Missouri4 Pet. 410, decided by a 4–3 vote, March 12, 1830. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion; Johnson, Thompson, and McLean dissented.

    The constitutional provision barring states from issuing bills of credit denies a state the power to issue state loan certificates.

    Briscoe v. Bank of the Commonwealth of Kentucky11 Pet. 257, decided by a 6–1 vote, February 11, 1837. McLean wrote the Court's opinion; Story dissented.

    The constitutional ban on state bills of credit is not violated by a state law authorizing issuance of notes by a state-chartered bank, in which the state owns all the stock.

    Commerce

    New York v. Miln11 Pet. 102, decided by a 6–1 vote, February 16, 1837. Barbour wrote the Court's opinion; Story dissented.

    The Court upheld a New York statute, which required all ships arriving in New York to report lists of passengers, against a challenge that the statute interfered with federal power to regulate foreign commerce. The state law was a valid exercise of state police power to protect public welfare against an influx of paupers, the majority said.

    Contracts

    Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge11 Pet. 420, decided by a 4–3 vote, February 12, 1837. Taney wrote the Court's opinion; Story, Thompson, and McLean dissented.

    Charters granted by a state should never be assumed to limit the state's power of eminent domain. Absent an explicit grant of exclusive privilege, a corporate charter granted by the state should not be interpreted as granting such a privilege and thereby limiting the state's power to charter a competing corporation.

    The Court rejected the claim of the owners of the Charles River Bridge that their charter implicitly granted them a monopoly of the foot passenger traffic across the river and was impaired by state action authorizing construction of a second bridge over that same river.

    Federal Courts

    Kendall v. United States ex rel. Stokes12 Pet. 524, decided by votes of 9–0 and 6–3, March 12, 1838. Thompson wrote the Court's opinion; Taney, Barbour, and Catron dissented in part.

    Federal courts—if they have jurisdiction over a controversy—have the power to issue a writ of mandamus to an executive branch official ordering him to take some ministerial action, which he is required by law to perform. The Court distinguished between ministerial actions of executive officials, which are prescribed by law or regulation and about which there is little discretion, and policy or political actions of those officials, which are beyond the reach of the courts.

    Individual Rights

    Barron v. Baltimore7 Pet. 243, decided without dissent, February 16, 1833. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion.

    The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to protect persons only against the action of the federal, not state, government. The Court rejected the effort of a wharf owner to invoke the Fifth Amendment to compel the city of Baltimore to compensate him for the value of his wharf which, he claimed, was rendered useless as a result of city action.

    State Powers

    Worcester v. Georgia6 Pet. 515, decided by a 5–1 vote, March 3, 1832. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion; Baldwin dissented; Johnson did not participate.

    Federal jurisdiction over Indian affairs is exclusive, leaving no room for state authority. States lack any power to pass laws affecting Indians living in Indian territory within their borders. The Court reversed the conviction, under Georgia law, of two missionaries who had failed to comply with a state law requiring the licensing of all white persons living in Indian territory. (This case is one of a pair known as the Cherokee Cases.)

    1840–1849

    Commerce

    Thurlow v. Massachusetts, Fletcher v. Rhode Island, Peirce v. New Hampshire (License Cases)5 How. 504, decided without dissent, March 6, 1847. Taney, McLean, Catron, Daniel, Woodbury, and Grier wrote separate opinions.

    States may require that all sales of intoxicating liquors within their borders be licensed, including imported liquor. This requirement is a valid exercise of state police power.

    Smith v. Turner, Norris v. Boston (Passenger Cases)7 How. 283, decided by a 5–4 vote, February 7, 1849. McLean wrote the Court's opinion; Taney, Daniel, Nelson, and Woodbury dissented.

    In apparent contradiction of New York v. Miln, the Court struck down state laws that placed a head tax on each passenger brought into a U.S. port. The revenue was intended to support immigrant paupers, but the majority held that such laws conflicted with federal power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce—even though Congress had not acted in this area.

    Federal Courts

    Louisville Railroad Company v. Letson2 How. 497, decided without dissent, March 15, 1844. Wayne wrote the Court's opinion. Taney did not participate.

    Effectively overruling Bank of the United States v. Deveaux (1809), the Court declared that a corporation would be assumed to be a citizen of the state in which it was chartered. This assumed citizenship, for purposes of diversity jurisdiction, facilitated the movement of corporate litigation into federal courts.

    Luther v. Borden7 How. 1, decided by a 5–1 vote, January 3, 1849. Taney delivered the Court's opinion; Woodbury dissented; Catron, McKinley, and Daniel did not participate.

    The guaranty clause of the Constitution—stating that the United States will guarantee to each state a republican form of government—is enforceable only through the political branches, not the judiciary.

    The Court refused to resolve a dispute between two competing political groups, each of which asserted it was the lawful government of Rhode Island. This dispute was a “political question,” held the Court, that it would leave to Congress.

    Foreign Affairs

    Holmes v. Jennison14 Pet. 540, decided by a 4–4 vote, March 4, 1840. Taney wrote an opinion for himself, Story, McLean, and Wayne; Barbour, Baldwin, Catron, and Thompson filed separate opinions; McKinley did not participate.

    A fugitive from Canada, detained in Vermont, sought release through a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. After the state supreme court denied his petition, he asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review that action. The Court divided 4–4 over whether it had jurisdiction in the case. Taney, Story, McLean, and Wayne held that the Court did have jurisdiction; Barbour, Baldwin, Catron, and Thompson disagreed.

    The 4–4 vote meant that the Court dismissed the case. But its significance came in Taney's declaration that states were forbidden by the Constitution to take any independent role in foreign affairs, and therefore a state governor could not surrender a fugitive within his jurisdiction to a foreign country who sought the fugitive's return.

    Interstate Boundaries

    Rhode Island v. Massachusetts4 How. 591, decided by 8–0 and 7–1 votes in the January 1846 term. McLean wrote the Court's opinion; Taney dissented in part.

    This decision was the Court's first resolving an interstate boundary dispute. The Court affirmed its jurisdiction over these matters, a point upon which Taney dissented, and then resolved the dispute in favor of Massachusetts, the state that had challenged the Court's jurisdiction to hear the case.

    Slavery

    Prigg v. Pennsylvania16 Pet. 539, decided by 8–1 and 5–4 votes, March 1, 1842. Story wrote the Court's opinion. McLean dissented; Taney, Thompson, and Daniel dissented in part.

    The Court struck down a Pennsylvania law concerning procedures for the return of fugitive slaves to owners in other states, finding the law in conflict with the federal Fugitive Slave Act. McLean dissented on this point. Story declared that federal power over fugitive slaves was exclusive, denying states any power to enact any laws on that subject. On this point the three justices dissented.

    Taxes

    Dobbins v. Erie County16 Pet. 435, decided without dissent, March 4, 1842. Wayne wrote the Court's opinion.

    Extending the principle adopted in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) that the power to tax involves the power to destroy, the Court held that states could not tax the income of federal officials.

    This decision, together with that in Collector v. Day, 11 Wall. 113, (1871), which held that the federal government could not tax the incomes of state officials, led to numerous intergovernmental tax immunities that were not removed until 1939 when Dobbins and Collector were overruled.

    1850–1859

    Commerce

    Cooley v. Board of Wardens of Port of Philadelphia12 How. 299, decided by a 7–2 vote, March 2, 1852. Curtis wrote the Court's opinion; McLean and Wayne dissented.

    Adopting the “selective exclusiveness doctrine,” the majority ruled that Congress had exclusive power to regulate commerce that was national in nature and demanded uniform regulation. The states retained the authority to regulate commerce that was local in nature.

    Pennsylvania v. Wheeling and Belmont Bridge13 How. 518, decided by a 7–2 vote, February 6, 1852. McLean wrote the Court's opinion; Taney and Daniel dissented.

    A bridge built across the Ohio River was so low that it obstructed interstate commerce, the Court ruled, and so it must either be raised so that ships could pass under it or be taken down.

    In its first legislative reversal of a Supreme Court decision, Congress passed a law declaring that the bridge did not interfere with interstate commerce and requiring ships to be refitted so that they could pass under the bridge. The Court upheld this statute in 1856.

    Contracts

    Dodge v. Woolsey18 How. 331, decided by a 6–3 vote, April 8, 1856. Wayne wrote the majority opinion; Campbell, Catron, and Daniel dissented.

    A state may not revoke a tax exemption included in a charter, grant, or contract. The Constitution's ban on state action impairing the obligation of contracts forbids revocation. With this ruling the Court declared unconstitutional part of the Ohio constitution, the first time it had nullified part of a state's constitution.

    Due Process

    Murray's Lessee v. Hoboken Land and Improvement Co.18 How. 272, decided by a unanimous vote, February 19, 1856. Curtis wrote the Court's opinion.

    The due process clause of the Fifth Amendment limits the legislature as well as the executive and the judiciary. The Fifth Amendment “cannot be construed as to leave Congress free to make any process ‘due process of law’ by its mere will.”

    With this decision the Court began to define due process, stating that any process in conflict with specific constitutional provisions or the “settled modes and usages” of proceedings in English and early American practice was not due process of law.

    Federal Courts

    Ableman v. Booth, United States v. Booth21 How. 506, decided by a unanimous Court, March 7, 1859. Taney wrote the Court's opinion.

    State courts lack the power to issue writs of habeas corpus ordering federal courts or federal officers to release a prisoner whose detention they cannot justify.

    The Court overturned state court action using the writ to order federal officials to release a man convicted in federal courts of violating the Federal Fugitive Slave Act.

    Slavery

    Scott v. Sandford19 How. 393, decided by a 7–2 vote, March 6, 1857. Each justice submitted a separate opinion. Taney's is considered the formal opinion of the Court; McLean and Curtis dissented.

    In what many think the most ill-considered decision in Supreme Court history, the majority declared unconstitutional the already repealed Missouri Compromise of 1820. Congress, the Court declared, did not have the authority to prohibit slavery in the territories. The majority also held that blacks were not and could not become citizens of the United States and therefore were not entitled to its privileges and immunities. This part of the decision was overturned by ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    1860–1869

    Commerce

    Paul v. Virginia8 Wall. 168, decided by a unanimous vote, November 1, 1869. Field wrote the opinion.

    Insurance is a local business, not interstate commerce. The states, not Congress, are responsible for regulating insurance practices, even though insurance transactions crossed state lines. The Court reversed this ruling in 1944, but Congress quickly returned authority to regulate insurance to the states.

    Ex Post Facto Laws

    Cummings v. Missouri4 Wall. 277, Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall. 333, decided by votes of 5–4, January 14, 1867. Field wrote the majority opinion; Chase, Swayne, Davis, and Miller dissented.

    Neither the states nor the federal government may constitutionally require persons who wish to practice certain professions or exercise certain civil rights to take a “test oath” affirming past as well as present loyalty to the United States.

    The Court held invalid state and federal test oaths, enacted to exclude persons who had supported the Confederacy from certain offices and certain professions. These requirements, held the Court, violated the constitutional prohibitions on ex post facto laws and bills of attainder.

    Extradition

    Kentucky v. Dennison24 How. 66, decided by a unanimous Court, March 14, 1861. Taney wrote the opinion.

    The federal government lacks the power to enforce the constitutional provision that a “person charged in any state with treason, felony or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another state, shall, on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.”

    The Constitution imposes a moral obligation upon a governor to surrender a fugitive sought and requested by another governor, but that obligation cannot be enforced in the federal courts.

    Federal Courts

    Mississippi v. Johnson4 Wall. 475, decided by a unanimous Court, April 15, 1867. Chase wrote the opinion.

    The Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction over the political acts of the president; it has no power to issue an order directing him to stop enforcing acts of Congress, even if those acts are challenged as unconstitutional.

    Ex parte McCardle7 Wall. 506, decided by a unanimous vote, April 12, 1869. Chase wrote the opinion.

    The Constitution authorizes Congress to make exceptions to the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. That grant includes the power to revoke the Court's appellate jurisdiction over cases already argued and awaiting decision before it. Without jurisdiction over a case, the Court can do nothing but dismiss it.

    Congress had revoked the Court's jurisdiction over cases in which lower courts denied prisoners' petitions for release through a writ of habeas corpus. Congress did so because it feared that in this particular case, seeking release of a southern editor held by military authorities for “impeding” the Reconstruction effort, the Court would declare the Reconstruction Acts unconstitutional.

    Powers of the President

    The Prize Cases2 Black 635, decided by a 5–4 vote, March 10, 1863. Grier wrote the majority opinion; Taney, Catron, Clifford, and Nelson dissented.

    These cases arose out of the capture of four ships seized while trying to run the Union blockade of Confederate ports that Lincoln instituted in April and Congress sanctioned in July 1861.

    The Court sustained the president's power to proclaim the blockade without a congressional declaration of war. A state of war already existed, the majority said, and the president was obligated “to meet it in the shape it presented itself, without waiting for Congress to baptize it with a name.”

    Ex parte Milligan4 Wall. 2, decided by 9–0 and 5–4 votes, April 3, 1866. Full opinions in the case were not announced until December 17, 1866. Davis wrote the majority opinion; Chase, Miller, Swayne, and Wayne dissented in part.

    The president lacks the power to authorize military tribunals to try civilians in areas where civil courts are still functioning.

    Five justices said that even Congress and the president acting together lacked this power.

    State Powers

    Texas v. White7 Wall. 700, decided by a 5–3 vote, April 12, 1869. Chase wrote the majority opinion; Grier, Swayne, and Miller dissented in part.

    States lack the power to secede from the Union. From a legal point of view, Texas and the other states that had approved ordinances of secession had never left the Union.

    Taxes

    Woodruff v. Parham8 Wall. 123, decided without dissent, November 8, 1869. Miller wrote the majority opinion.

    States may tax goods “imported” from other states. The constitutional ban on state taxes on imports or exports applies only to goods coming from or going to foreign countries.

    States may tax goods from other states, once interstate transportation of those goods has ended, even if they are still in their original packages.

    Veazie Bank v. Fenno8 Wall. 533, decided by a 7–2 vote, December 31, 1869. Chase wrote the majority opinion; Nelson and Davis dissented.

    Congress may use its power to tax as a regulatory tool to support or enforce exercise of another constitutional power, even if the tax is designed to eliminate the matter taxed.

    The Court sustained a federal statute that placed a 10 percent tax on the circulation of state bank notes in order to give the untaxed national bank notes a competitive edge and drive the state notes out of the market. The Court said the tax was a legitimate means through which Congress could regulate currency.

    1870–1879

    Civil Rights

    Hall v. DeCuir95 U.S. 485, decided without dissent, January 14, 1878. Waite wrote the opinion.

    A state law forbidding racial discrimination on common carriers operating in the state impermissibly infringes upon the federal power to regulate interstate commerce. Equal access to steamboat accommodations is a matter that requires national, uniform regulation and thus is outside the proper scope of state regulation.

    Commerce

    Henderson v. Wickham, Commissioners of Immigration v. The North German Lloyd92 U.S. 259, Chy Lung v. Freeman, 92 U.S. 275, decided without dissent, March 20, 1876. Miller wrote the opinion.

    A state may not require shipowners to give bond for each alien their ships bring into its ports. Despite the argument that this requirement would reduce the potential burden that immigrants place upon state finances, this bond requirement impermissibly interferes with the federal power to regulate foreign commerce.

    This ruling resulted in the first general federal immigration law in U.S. history, enacted in 1882.

    Currency

    Hepburn v. Griswold (First Legal Tender Case)8 Wall. 603, decided by a 4–3 vote, February 7, 1870. Chase wrote the majority opinion; Davis, Miller, and Swayne dissented.

    The Court declared unconstitutional acts of Congress that substituted paper money for gold as legal tender for the payment of debts contracted prior to adoption of the first legal tender act in 1862.

    The statute had been enacted to help the Union finance the Civil War, but the Court held it an improper exercise of Congress's implied powers under the “necessary and proper” clause.

    Knox v. Lee, Parker v. Davis (Second Legal Tender Case)12 Wall. 457, decided by a 5–4 vote, May 1, 1871. Strong wrote the majority opinion; Chase, Nelson, Clifford, and Field dissented.

    Overturning Hepburn v. Griswold, the majority held that Congress had exercised its implied powers properly when it made paper money legal tender for the payment of debts. The fact that the two justices appointed to the Court since the first decision supported the reversal led to charges that the Court had been “packed.”

    Federal Courts

    Bradley v. Fisher13 Wall. 335, decided by a 7–2 vote, April 8, 1872. Field wrote the majority opinion; Davis and Clifford dissented.

    Setting out the doctrine of judicial immunity, the Court ruled that judges may not be sued for their official actions, no matter how erroneous or injurious those actions may be.

    Jury Trials

    Walker v. Sauvinet92 U.S. 90, decided by a 7–2 vote, April 24, 1876. Waite wrote the majority opinion; Clifford and Field dissented.

    The Seventh Amendment guarantee of a jury trial in suits involving more than $20 affects only federal, not state, trials.

    Privileges and Immunities

    The Slaughterhouse Cases (The Butchers' Benevolent Association of New Orleans v. The Crescent City Livestock Landing and Slaughterhouse Co., Esteben v. Louisiana)16 Wall. 36, decided by a 5–4 vote, April 14, 1873. Miller wrote the majority opinion; Chase, Field, Swayne, and Bradley dissented.

    Louisiana did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment when it granted a monopoly on the slaughterhouse business to one company for all of New Orleans. The right of other butchers to do business is neither a “privilege and immunity” of U.S. citizenship protected by the Fourteenth Amendment nor an aspect of the “property” protected by the amendment's due process guarantee.

    Bradwell v. Illinois16 Wall. 130, decided by an 8–1 vote, April 15, 1873. Miller wrote the majority opinion; Chase dissented.

    A state does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of the privileges and immunities of U.S. citizenship when it refuses on the grounds of gender to license a woman to practice law in its courts. The right to practice law is not a privilege or immunity of U.S. citizenship.

    Minor v. Happersett21 Wall. 162, decided by a unanimous vote, March 29, 1875. Waite wrote the opinion.

    The privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not guarantee women the right to vote. A state therefore does not violate that amendment's guarantee when it denies a woman the right to vote. “[T]he Constitution of the United States does not confer the right of suffrage on anyone,” the Court said.

    State Powers

    Munn v. Illinois94 U.S. 113, decided by a 7–2 vote, March 1, 1877. Waite wrote the majority opinion; Field and Strong dissented.

    The state police power includes the right of states to regulate private business. The Court sustained a state law setting the maximum rate that grain elevator operators could charge for grain storage. Private property dedicated to public use was subject to government regulation.

    Taxes

    Low v. Austin13 Wall. 29, decided by a unanimous vote, January 29, 1872. Field wrote the opinion.

    The constitutional ban on state taxes on imports or exports prohibits state taxes on goods imported from foreign countries so long as those goods retain their character as imports.

    Voting Rights

    United States v. Reese92 U.S. 214, decided by an 8–1 vote, March 27, 1876. Waite wrote the majority opinion; Hunt dissented.

    The Fifteenth Amendment, forbidding states to deny anyone the right to vote because of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, did not give anyone the right to vote. It simply guaranteed the right to be free from racial discrimination in the exercise of the right to vote—a right granted under state, not federal, laws.

    Congress therefore exceeded its power to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment when it enacted laws that penalized state officials who denied blacks the right to vote, refused to count votes, or obstructed citizens from voting.

    United States v. Cruikshank92 U.S. 542, decided by a unanimous vote, March 27, 1876. Waite wrote the Court's opinion.

    The Court dismissed indictments brought against Louisiana citizens accused of using violence and fraud to prevent blacks from voting. Because the indictments did not charge that these actions were motivated by racial discrimination, they were not federal offenses. “We may suspect,” Waite wrote, “that race was the cause of the hostility but it is not so averred.”

    1880–1889

    Civil Rights

    Civil Rights Cases109 U.S. 3, decided by an 8–1 vote, October 15, 1883. Bradley wrote the Court's opinion; Harlan dissented.

    Neither the Thirteenth nor the Fourteenth Amendment empowers Congress to enact a law barring discrimination against blacks in privately owned public accommodations. The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits only state-sponsored discrimination, not private discriminatory acts, the Court held. Private discrimination does not violate the Thirteenth Amendment because “such an act of refusal has nothing to do with slavery or involuntary servitude.”

    The decision effectively blocked further attempts by Congress in the post–Civil War period to end private racial discrimination; not until 1964 did Congress enact and the Court sustain a federal law prohibiting discrimination in privately owned public accommodations.

    Commerce

    Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway Co. v. Illinois118 U.S. 557, decided by a 6–3 vote, October 25, 1886. Miller wrote the majority opinion; Waite, Bradley, and Gray dissented.

    States may not regulate the rates charged by railroads which form part of an interstate network, even if the state regulates only for the intrastate portion of a trip. Such state regulation infringes upon the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

    Kidd v. Pearson128 U.S. 1, decided without dissent, October 22, 1888. Lamar wrote the opinion.

    The Court upheld a state law that forbade the manufacture of liquor in the state—even if it was for sale and consumption outside the state. This law did not infringe federal power to regulate interstate commerce, held the Court. Manufacture of goods is not commerce and cannot be regulated as interstate commerce.

    Contracts

    Stone v. Mississippi101 U.S. 814, decided without dissent, May 10, 1880. Waite wrote the opinion.

    A state may not permanently contract away any portion of its police power, its power to act to protect the general welfare. Mississippi therefore did not act in violation of the contract clause when it amended its constitution to ban lotteries. This state action had been challenged as impairing the earlier obligation of another legislature that chartered a state lottery corporation.

    Due Process

    Hurtado v. California110 U.S. 516, decided by a 7–1 vote, March 3, 1884. Matthews wrote the majority opinion; Harlan dissented; Field did not participate.

    The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not require states to use grand jury indictments or presentments in capital offenses.

    Equal Protection

    Yick Wo v. Hopkins118 U.S. 356, decided by a unanimous vote, May 10, 1886. Matthews wrote the Court's opinion.

    The Fourteenth Amendment protects persons, not just citizens. Holding that a city's arbitrary enforcement of a fire hazard ordinance had discriminated against Chinese laundry owners in violation of the amendment's equal protection clause, the Court said that guarantee applied “to all persons within the territorial jurisdiction, without regard to any differences of race, of color, or of nationality.”

    Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Co.118 U.S. 394, decided by a unanimous vote, May 10, 1886. Harlan wrote the opinion; Waite made a preliminary announcement.

    Before the Court heard arguments in this case, involving a tax dispute between a county, a state, and a railroad, Waite announced that the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applied to protect corporations as well as individuals. Corporations were established to be “persons” within the meaning of that amendment and able to invoke its protection.

    Federal Courts

    Wisconsin v. Pelican Insurance Company127 U.S. 265, decided without dissent, May 14, 1888. Gray wrote the opinion.

    States may not invoke the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to enforce their criminal laws against nonresidents. The Supreme Court refused to enforce the order of a Wisconsin court against a Louisiana corporation for failing to comply with Wisconsin laws.

    Immigration

    Chae Chan Ping v. United States (Chinese Exclusion Case)130 U.S. 581, decided by a unanimous vote, May 13, 1889. Field wrote the opinion.

    The power of Congress over the entry of aliens, derived from the need to preserve the nation's sovereign status, is exclusive and absolute. The Court sustained an act of Congress that barred the entry of Chinese aliens into the United States.

    Powers of Congress

    Kilbourn v. Thompson103 U.S. 168, decided by a unanimous vote, January 24, February 28, 1881. Miller wrote the opinion.

    The power of Congress to investigate is not unlimited, nor is its power to punish witnesses who refuse to cooperate with such an investigation. Investigations must be confined to subject areas over which Congress has jurisdiction, their purpose must be enactment of legislation, and they may not merely inquire into the private affairs of citizens. Contempt citations issued against witnesses who refuse to cooperate in investigations that do not meet these standards are invalid.

    This assertion was the first of the Court's authority to review the propriety of congressional investigations. The Court subsequently modified the standards laid out in this case, but its basic limitations on the power of Congress to investigate remain in effect.

    Search and Seizure

    Boyd v. United States116 U.S. 616, decided without dissent, February 1, 1886. Bradley wrote the opinion.

    The Court held that a revenue statute compelling a defendant to produce in court his private papers was unconstitutional as an unreasonable search and seizure violating the Fourth Amendment and as compelled self-incrimination in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

    State Powers

    Mugler v. Kansas123 U.S. 623, decided by an 8–1 vote, December 5, 1887. Harlan wrote the majority opinion; Field dissented.

    The Court upheld a state law that forbade the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor in the state. Rejecting a challenge to this law as abridging the privileges and immunities of U.S. citizenship, as well as the due process guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court held the law a proper exercise of the state police power to safeguard the public health and morals.

    Taxes

    Head Money Cases112 U.S. 580, decided by a unanimous vote, December 8, 1884. Miller wrote the opinion.

    The constitutional requirement that indirect taxes be uniform is met if the tax operates the same upon all subjects being taxed; an indirect tax is not unconstitutional simply because the subject being taxed is not distributed uniformly throughout the United States.

    Voting Rights

    Ex parte Siebold100 U.S. 371, decided by a 7–2 vote, March 8, 1880. Bradley wrote the majority opinion; Field and Clifford dissented.

    Confirming federal power to protect the electoral process in congressional elections in the states, the Court upheld federal laws making it a federal crime for state election officers to neglect their duty in congressional elections. The Court upheld the convictions of two state officials tried and convicted for stuffing the ballot box.

    Ex parte Yarbrough110 U.S. 651, decided by a unanimous Court, March 3, 1884; Miller wrote the opinion.

    The Court upheld as a valid exercise of congressional power to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment legislation penalizing persons who conspired to stop blacks from exercising their right to vote. The Court upheld the convictions of several members of the Ku Klux Klan for intimidating a black man to stop him from voting. In some cases, the Court held, the Fifteenth Amendment does confer the right to vote, as well as the right to be free of racial discrimination in voting, and Congress has the power to enforce that right.

    1890–1899

    Citizenship

    United States v. Wong Kim Ark169 U.S. 649, decided by a 6–2 vote, March 28, 1898. Gray wrote the majority opinion; Fuller and Harlan dissented; McKenna did not participate.

    Children born in the United States to resident alien parents are citizens of the United States even if their parents are barred from becoming citizens because of their race.

    This decision was the Court's first interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment's clause that defines U.S. citizens as all persons born in the United States.

    Civil Rights

    Louisville, New Orleans and Texas Railway Co. v. Mississippi133 U.S. 587, decided by a 7–2 vote, March 3, 1890. Brewer wrote the majority opinion; Harlan and Bradley dissented.

    Mississippi does not infringe on the federal commerce power when it requires railroads doing business in the state to provide separate accommodations for black and white passengers. The state supreme court viewed this as applying solely to intrastate railroad operations. The Supreme Court accepted those findings and held the requirement no burden on interstate commerce.

    Plessy v. Ferguson163 U.S. 537, decided by an 7–1 vote, May 18, 1896. Brown wrote the Court's opinion; Harlan dissented; Brewer did not participate.

    A state law requiring trains to provide separate but equal facilities for black and white passengers does not infringe upon federal authority to regulate interstate commerce nor is it in violation of the Thirteenth or Fourteenth Amendments. The train was local; a legal distinction between the two races did not destroy the legal equality of the two races guaranteed by the Thirteenth Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment protected only political, not social, equality, the majority said.

    In dissent, Harlan declared that the “Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” The “separate but equal” doctrine remained in effect until Brown v. Board of Education (1954).

    Commerce

    United States v. E. C. Knight Co.156 U.S. 1, decided by an 8–1 vote, January 21, 1895. Fuller wrote the majority opinion; Harlan dissented.

    In its first interpretation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Court ruled that the act did not apply to a trust that refined more than 90 percent of the sugar sold in the country.

    Congress had no constitutional power to regulate manufacture, the Court stated, even though much of the refined sugar was intended for sale in interstate commerce. Such sales would affect interstate commerce only indirectly. Congressional authority extended only to regulation of matters that directly affected interstate commerce.

    This distinction between matters affecting interstate commerce directly or indirectly significantly modified the Court's decision in Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), which held that the Constitution gave Congress authority to regulate intrastate matters that affected other states.

    The holding in Knight was gradually eroded by later decisions.

    In re Debs158 U.S. 564, decided by a 9–0 vote, May 27, 1895. Brewer wrote the Court's opinion.

    Eugene V. Debs and other leaders of the 1894 Pullman strike challenged their contempt convictions for violating a federal court injunction that was intended to break the strike. A lower court upheld the validity of the injunction under the Sherman Antitrust Act.

    The Supreme Court affirmed the validity of the injunction—and Debs's conviction—but on the broader grounds of national sovereignty, which the Court said gave the federal government authority to remove obstructions to interstate commerce and transportation of the mails.

    Compacts

    Virginia v. Tennessee148 U.S. 503, decided without dissent, April 3, 1893. Field wrote the opinion.

    A compact to resolve a boundary dispute between two states need not be approved formally by Congress in order to be permissible. The Constitution does declare that “no state shall, without the consent of Congress, … enter into any Agreement or Compact with another state,” but this requirement of formal consent applies only to compacts tending to increase the political power of the states at the expense of national authority or the federal government.

    Due Process

    Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Co. v. Minnesota134 U.S. 418, decided by a 6–3 vote, March 24, 1890. Blatchford wrote the majority opinion; Bradley, Gray, and Lamar dissented.

    If a state deprives a company of the power to charge reasonable rates without providing judicial review of those rate limitations, the state is depriving the company of its property without due process of law.

    Courts have the power to decide on the reasonableness of rates set by states for companies to charge and due process requires that an opportunity for judicial review be provided.

    Allgeyer v. Louisiana165 U.S. 578, decided without dissent, March 1, 1897. Peckham wrote the opinion.

    The liberty protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment against denial by states included the freedom to make a contract. The Court struck down a state law that forbade its citizens to obtain insurance from out-of-state companies.

    This decision was the first recognition by the Court of the protected “freedom of contract” that the justices would use subsequently to strike down minimum wage and maximum hour laws.

    Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company v. Chicago166 U.S. 226, decided by a 7–1 vote, March 1, 1897. Harlan wrote the majority opinion; Brewer dissented; Fuller did not participate.

    The Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of due process requires a state, when it takes private property for public use, to provide just compensation to the property owner.

    Holden v. Hardy169 U.S. 366, decided by a 7–2 vote, February 28, 1898. Brown wrote the majority opinion; Brewer and Peckham dissented.

    The Court upheld, against a due process challenge, Utah's law that limited the number of hours that miners could work in underground mines. The “freedom of contract” is subject to certain limitations imposed by the state in the exercise of its police power to protect the health of workers in hazardous conditions.

    Smyth v. Ames169 U.S. 466, decided by a 7–0 vote, March 7, 1898. Harlan wrote the opinion; Fuller and McKenna did not participate.

    Corporations are persons within the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of due process. That guarantee requires states to set railroad rates sufficiently high to ensure the railroad companies a fair return on the value of the investment and just compensation for the use of their property. To ensure compliance with this standard, federal courts have the power to review the rates.

    Federal Courts

    United States v. Texas143 U.S. 621, decided by a 7–2 vote, February 29, 1892. Harlan wrote the majority opinion; Fuller and Lamar dissented.

    By joining the Union, states acquiesce in the constitutional provision extending federal judicial power over all cases in which the United States is a party, including those brought by the United States against a state. The Court rejected Texas's argument that the Court lacked jurisdiction over such a case.

    California v. Southern Pacific Railway Co.157 U.S. 220, decided by a 7–2 vote, March 18, 1895. Fuller wrote the majority opinion; Harlan and Brewer dissented.

    The Supreme Court does not have original jurisdiction over cases brought by a state against its own citizens; such suits are generally to be brought in state courts, not federal courts.

    Self-Incrimination

    Counselman v. Hitchcock142 U.S. 547, decided by a unanimous vote, January 11, 1892. Blatchford wrote the opinion.

    Only a grant of complete and absolute immunity against prosecution for an offense revealed in compelled testimony is sufficient to justify waiver of the Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled self-incrimination.

    The Court struck down as insufficient the existing federal immunity statute that protected a witness only against the actual use of his testimony as evidence against him, not against its indirect use to obtain other evidence against him.

    Taxes

    Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co.158 U.S. 601, decided by a 5–4 vote, May 20, 1895. Fuller wrote the majority opinion; Harlan, Jackson, Brown, and White dissented.

    Taxes on income derived from real estate and personal property are direct taxes. They therefore must be apportioned among the states according to population. The Court struck down the first general income tax law enacted by Congress and overruled earlier decisions that defined head taxes and taxes on land as the only two forms of direct taxation.

    The decision led to adoption and ratification in 1913 of the Sixteenth Amendment, which exempted income taxes from the Constitution's apportionment requirement.

    Treaties

    Geofroy v. Riggs133 U.S. 258, decided by a unanimous vote, February 3, 1890. Field wrote the opinion.

    It is within the scope of the treaty power of the United States to regulate the inheritance by aliens of land and other property in the United States. The Court declared that the treaty power was unlimited except by the Constitution. Field observed: “It would not be contended that it extends so far as to authorize what the Constitution forbids.”

    Voting Rights

    Williams v. Mississippi170 U.S. 213, decided by a unanimous vote, April 25, 1898. McKenna delivered the opinion.

    A state does not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when it requires eligible voters to be able to read, write, and interpret or understand any part of the Constitution.

    1900–1905

    Commerce

    Champion v. Ames188 U.S. 321, decided by a 5–4 vote, February 23, 1903. Harlan wrote the majority opinion; Fuller, Brewer, Peckham, and Shiras dissented.

    In its first recognition of a federal “police” power, the Court sustained a federal law banning the shipment of lottery tickets in interstate commerce. Just as states might regulate intrastate matters to protect the health, welfare, and morals of their residents, so might Congress exercise its authority to regulate interstate commerce for the same purposes.

    Northern Securities Co. v. United States193 U.S. 197, decided by a 5–4 vote, March 14, 1904. Harlan wrote the majority opinion; Fuller, White, Holmes, and Peckham dissented.

    A holding company formed solely to eliminate competition between two railroad lines was a combination in restraint of trade and therefore in violation of the federal antitrust act.

    This was a major modification of the Knight decision (1895). The majority now held that although the holding company itself was not in interstate commerce, it sufficiently affected that commerce by restraining it and therefore came within the scope of the federal antitrust statute.

    Swift and Co. v. United States196 U.S. 375, decided by a unanimous vote, January 30, 1905. Holmes wrote the opinion.

    Congress can regulate local commerce that is part of an interstate current of commerce. This opinion was the first enunciation of the “stream-of-commerce” doctrine.

    The Court held that meatpackers who combined to fix the price of livestock and meat bought and sold in Chicago stockyards were in violation of the federal antitrust act because the meatpacking operation was the middle part of an interstate transaction in which cattle were shipped from out of the state into Chicago for slaughter and packing and then shipped to other states for sale.

    Due Process

    Lochner v. New York198 U.S. 45, decided by a 5–4 vote, April 17, 1905. Peckham wrote the majority opinion for the Court; Day, Harlan, Holmes, and White dissented.

    The Court struck down a New York law limiting the hours bakery employees could work. The majority found the law a denial of due process, infringing upon the freedom of contract. Because there was no sufficient health reason for the limit, it could not be justified as an exercise of the state's police power.

    Privileges and Immunities

    Maxwell v. Dow176 U.S. 581, decided by an 8–1 vote, February 26, 1900. Peckham wrote the majority opinion; Harlan dissented.

    The right to be tried by a jury of twelve persons is not one of the privileges and immunities of U.S. citizenship protected by the Fourteenth Amendment against violation by states.

    The Court upheld a state court judgment reached by a jury composed of eight persons, instead of twelve as required in federal courts.

    Taxes

    Knowlton v. Moore178 U.S. 41, decided by a 5–3 vote, May 14, 1900. White wrote the majority opinion; Harlan and McKenna dissented; Brewer dissented in part; Peckham did not participate.

    The constitutional requirement that indirect taxes be uniform does not require that the tax rate be uniform, only that the same rate be applied to the same class in the same manner throughout the United States.

    McCray v. United States195 U.S. 27, decided by a 6–3 vote, May 31, 1904. White wrote the Court's opinion; Fuller, Brown, and Peckham dissented.

    Congress may use its taxing power as a regulatory “police” power. So long as the tax produces some revenue, the Court will not examine the motivation for imposing the tax.

    The Court upheld a federal statute that placed a high tax on oleomargarine colored yellow to resemble butter. That tax was obviously designed to eliminate the competition to butter, but it was lawful on its face. The Court had no power to “restrain the exercise of a lawful power on the assumption that a wrongful purpose or motive has caused the power to be exerted.”

    This ruling came little more than a year after the Court held that Congress could also use its interstate commerce power as a police power; the two decisions substantially increased congressional power to regulate commerce in the United States.

    Territories

    The Insular Casesdecided May 27, 1901.

    DeLima v. Bidwell182 U.S. 1, decided by a 5–4 vote; Brown wrote the majority opinion; Gray, McKenna, Shiras, and White dissented.

    Downes v. Bidwell182 U.S. 244, decided by a 5–4 vote; Brown wrote the majority opinion; Fuller, Harlan, Brewer, and Peckham dissented.

    In these two cases the Court ruled that as a result of U.S. annexation of Puerto Rico, the island was no longer a foreign country, but neither was it a part of the United States included within the full protection of the Constitution. The Constitution applied automatically only to states, the Court held, and it was up to Congress, in the exercise of its power to govern territories, to determine whether the Constitution should apply in particular territories.

    In a third case, Dorr v. United States, 195 U.S. 138 (1904), the Court adopted the “incorporation theory,” still in effect, under which the Constitution automatically applies in territories that have been formally incorporated into the United States either through ratified treaty or act of Congress, but not to unincorporated territories.

    1906–1910

    Commerce

    Adair v. United States208 U.S. 161, decided by a 6–2 vote, January 27, 1908. Harlan wrote the majority opinion; Holmes and McKenna dissented; Moody did not participate.

    A federal law prohibiting contracts that required an employee to promise not to join a labor union as a condition of employment exceeded federal authority to regulate interstate commerce and violated the “freedom of contract.”

    This decision, later overruled, placed “yellow dog” contracts beyond the reach of federal power. It was one of several decisions of the early twentieth century in which the Court ruled against the interests of the labor movement.

    Loewe v. Lawler (Danbury Hatters Case)208 U.S. 274, decided by a unanimous vote, February 3, 1908. Fuller wrote the opinion.

    A union attempting to organize workers in a factory in one state by boycotting stores elsewhere that sell its products (secondary boycotts) is a combination in restraint of trade and in violation of the federal antitrust law.

    This decision led to adoption of provisions in the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 exempting labor unions from suits brought under the antitrust laws.

    Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    Weems v. United States217 U.S. 349, decided by a 4–2 vote, May 2, 1910. McKenna wrote the majority opinion; White and Harlan dissented; Moody and Lurton did not participate.

    A Philippine law providing for a punishment of twelve years at hard labor in chains for the crime of falsifying an official document was “cruel and unusual punishment” prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.

    Federal Courts

    Ex parte Young209 U.S. 123, decided by an 8–1 vote, March 23, 1908. Peckham wrote the majority opinion; Harlan dissented.

    Federal judges may properly enjoin, temporarily, the enforcement of a state law challenged as unconstitutional. The injunction may remain in effect until the validity of the law is determined.

    Self-Incrimination

    Twining v. New Jersey211 U.S. 78, decided by an 8–1 vote, November 9, 1908. Moody delivered the majority opinion; Harlan dissented.

    The Fourteenth Amendment does not automatically extend the Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled self-incrimination—or other provisions of the Bill of Rights—to state defendants. The constitutional rights of state defendants are not impaired when a judge or prosecutor comments adversely upon their failure to testify in their own defense.

    State Powers

    Georgia v. Tennessee Copper Co.206 U.S. 230, decided by a unanimous vote, May 13, 1907. Holmes wrote the opinion.

    In one of the first environmental cases to come to the Court, the justices declared that a state could ask a federal judge to order a company in another state to cease polluting the air shared by the two states.

    Muller v. Oregon208 U.S. 412, decided by a unanimous vote, February 24, 1908. Brewer wrote the opinion.

    The Court upheld Oregon's law setting maximum hours for women working in laundries. The Court relied on the argument that longer working hours might impair the childbearing function of women. State limitation of those hours was therefore justified as a health measure, properly within the state police power.

    1911–1915

    Commerce

    Standard Oil Co. v. United States221 U.S. 1, decided by an 8–1 vote, May 15, 1911. White wrote the majority opinion; Harlan dissented in part.

    Only unreasonable combinations and undue restraints of trade are illegal under the federal antitrust act. In this decision, which resulted in the breakup of the Standard Oil monopoly, a majority of the Court for the first time adopted the so-called “rule of reason.” Previously, the Court had held that any combination that restrained trade, whether “reasonable” or “unreasonable,” was a violation of the federal statute.

    Houston, East and West Texas Railway Co. v. United States; Texas and Pacific Railway Co. v. United States (Shreveport Rate Cases)234 U.S. 342, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 8, 1914. Hughes wrote the majority opinion; Lurton and Pitney dissented.

    Congress may regulate intrastate rail rates if they are so intertwined with interstate rail rates that it is impossible to regulate the one without regulating the other. This so-called “Shreveport Doctrine” was eventually expanded to allow regulation of other intrastate matters that affected interstate commerce.

    Contempt

    Gompers v. Buck's Stove and Range Co.221 U.S. 418, decided by a unanimous Court, May 15, 1911. Lamar wrote the opinion.

    Civil contempt and criminal contempt are distinguished by the character and purpose of the penalty imposed for them. The purpose of a punishment for civil contempt is remedial—to convince a witness to testify, for example—while the purpose of punishment for criminal contempt is clearly punitive, to vindicate the authority of the court.

    Civil contempt ends whenever the person held in contempt decides to comply with the court; criminal contempt is punished by a fixed sentence.

    Due Process

    Frank v. Mangum237 U.S. 309, decided by a 7–2 vote, April 12, 1915. Pitney wrote the majority opinion; Holmes and Hughes dissented.

    The Court upheld a state conviction for murder although the trial court atmosphere was dominated by anti-Semitism and hostility. The majority reasoned that review of the conviction by Georgia's highest state court guaranteed the defendant due process.

    Federal Courts

    Muskrat v. United States219 U.S. 346, decided by a unanimous vote, January 23, 1911. Day wrote the opinion.

    The Court dismissed a case that Congress had authorized certain Indians to bring in order to test the constitutionality of certain laws. No actual dispute or conflict of rights and interests existed here, the Court held, and therefore there was no “case or controversy” properly within its power to resolve.

    Interstate Relations

    Virginia v. West Virginia238 U.S. 202, decided by a unanimous vote, June 14, 1915. Hughes wrote the opinion.

    In one of the longest-running disputes to come before the Court, the justices held in 1915 that West Virginia owed Virginia some $12 million—its share of the pre–Civil War state debts of Virginia, which West Virginia had agreed to assume upon its becoming a separate state.

    Search and Seizure

    Weeks v. United States232 U.S. 383, decided by a unanimous vote, February 24, 1914. Day wrote the opinion.

    A person whose Fourth Amendment rights to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure are violated by federal agents has the right to require that evidence obtained in the search be excluded from use against him in federal courts.

    This was the Court's first decision adopting the so-called exclusionary rule.

    State Powers

    Coyle v. Smith221 U.S. 559, decided by a 7–2 vote, May 29, 1911. Lurton wrote the Court's opinion; McKenna and Holmes dissented.

    States are admitted into the Union on an equal footing with all other states; Congress may not place any restrictions on matters wholly under the state's control as a condition of entry. This ruling invalidated a congressional requirement that Oklahoma's state capital remain in Guthrie for seven years after statehood was granted.

    Hadacheck v. Los Angeles239 U.S. 394, decided by a unanimous vote, December 12, 1915. McKenna wrote the opinion.

    Zoning power is part of the state police power, enabling the state to control the use to which certain lands are put. A city's use of this power to forbid brickmaking in a certain area is valid and does not deny due process to a brickmaker, even if it puts him out of business.

    Voting Rights

    Guinn v. United States238 U.S. 347, decided by an 8–0 vote, June 21, 1915. White wrote the opinion; McReynolds did not participate.

    The Court declared an Oklahoma “grandfather clause” for voters an unconstitutional evasion of the Fifteenth Amendment guarantee that states would not deny citizens the right to vote because of their race. Oklahoma law imposed a literacy test upon potential voters, but exempted all persons whose ancestors voted in 1866. The Court said that although race, color, or previous servitude were not mentioned in the law, selection of a date prior to adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment was intended to disenfranchise blacks in “direct and positive disregard” of the amendment.

    United States v. Mosley238 U.S. 383, decided by a 7–1 vote, June 21, 1915. Holmes wrote the opinion; Lamar dissented; McReynolds did not participate.

    The Court upheld congressional power to regulate elections tainted with fraud and corruption, sustaining provisions of the 1870 Enforcement Act implementing the Fifteenth Amendment. In Ex parte Yarbrough (1884) the Court had backed congressional power to penalize persons who used violence and intimidation to prevent blacks from voting.

    1916–1920

    Commerce

    Hammer v. Dagenhart247 U.S. 251, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 3, 1918. Day wrote the majority opinion; Holmes, McKenna, Brandeis, and Clarke dissented.

    Narrowing the federal “police” power, the Court struck down a federal statute that prohibited the shipment in interstate commerce of any goods produced by child labor.

    Labor was an aspect of manufacture, an intrastate matter not subject to federal control, the majority held. Furthermore, Congress could prohibit shipments in interstate commerce only of goods that were in themselves harmful. Because products made by children were not themselves harmful, Congress had no authority to forbid their shipment.

    This decision and a 1922 ruling that Congress had used its taxing power unconstitutionally in a second law intended to bring an end to child labor were overruled in 1941. (See United States v. Darby.)

    Due Process

    Bunting v. Oregon243 U.S. 426, decided by a 5–3 vote, April 9, 1917. McKenna wrote the majority opinion; White, McReynolds, and Van Devanter dissented; Brandeis did not participate.

    Extending its decision in Muller v. Oregon (1908), the Court upheld an Oregon law setting ten hours as the maximum permissible workday for all industrial workers.

    Buchanan v. Warley245 U.S. 60, decided by a 9–0 vote, November 5, 1917. Day wrote the opinion.

    City ordinances that segregate neighborhoods by restricting some blocks to white residents only and other blocks to black residents only violate the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of due process.

    This decision led to the growth of private restrictive covenants under which neighbors would agree to sell or rent their homes only to persons of the same race. The Court upheld such private covenants in Corrigan v. Buckley, 271 U.S. 323 (1926).

    Freedom of Expression

    Schenck v. United States249 U.S. 47, decided by a 9–0 vote, March 3, 1919. Holmes wrote the opinion.

    In its first decision dealing with the extent of the First Amendment's protection for speech, the Court sustained the Espionage Act of 1917 against a challenge that it violated the guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

    The First Amendment is not an absolute guarantee, the Court said. Freedom of speech and press may be constrained if “the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”

    Powers of Congress

    Clark Distilling Co. v. Western Maryland Railway242 U.S. 311, decided by a 7–2 vote, January 8, 1917. White wrote the majority opinion; Holmes and Van Devanter dissented.

    States have the power, under the federal Webb-Kenyon Act of 1913, to ban the entry of intoxicating liquor into their territory. The act had been challenged as an unconstitutional delegation of power, but the Court held it permissible because the statute established the precise conditions under which states might act.

    Selective Draft Law Cases245 U.S. 366, decided by a 9–0 vote, January 7, 1918. White wrote the opinion.

    Congress is authorized to institute a compulsory draft of persons into the armed forces under its power to raise armies and under the necessary and proper clause. Moreover, service in the military is one of the duties of a citizen in a “just government.” Compulsory conscription is not involuntary servitude in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment.

    Taxes

    Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co.240 U.S. 1, decided by a 7–2 vote, January 24, 1916. White wrote the majority opinion; McKenna and Pitney dissented.

    With two other cases decided the same day, the Court sustained the 1913 general income tax law enacted after ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment. This decision completed the action necessary to nullify the Court's 1895 ruling that income taxes were direct taxes that must be apportioned among the states according to population. The Sixteenth Amendment exempted income taxes from the apportionment requirement.

    Treaties

    Missouri v. Holland252 U.S. 416, decided by a 7–2 vote, April 19, 1920. Holmes wrote the majority opinion; Van Devanter and Pitney dissented.

    In order to implement a treaty, Congress may enact legislation that otherwise might be an unconstitutional invasion of state sovereignty.

    After lower courts ruled an act of Congress protecting migratory birds an unconstitutional invasion of state powers, the U.S. government negotiated a treaty with Canada for the protection of the birds. After the Senate ratified it, Congress again enacted protective legislation to fulfill the terms of the treaty. Sustaining this second act, the Court wrote: “It is obvious that there may be matters of the sharpest exigency for the national well-being that an act of Congress could not deal with but that a treaty followed by such an act could.”

    1921–1925

    Commerce

    Duplex Printing Press Co. v. Deering254 U.S. 443, decided by a 6–3 vote, January 3, 1921. Pitney wrote the majority opinion. Brandeis, Holmes, and Clarke dissented.

    Reading the Clayton Act narrowly, the majority held that federal courts were prohibited from issuing injunctions only against normal labor union operations. A secondary boycott was a combination in restraint of trade, which was illegal, and could therefore be the target of a federal court injunction.

    Double Jeopardy

    United States v. Lanza260 U.S. 377, decided by an 8–0 vote, December 11, 1922. Taft delivered the opinion.

    Where both federal and state law make the same act a crime, the double jeopardy guarantee of the Fifth Amendment does not prohibit a federal prosecution and a state prosecution of the same defendant for the same crime.

    Due Process

    Moore v. Dempsey261 U.S. 86, decided by a 6–2 vote, February 19, 1923. Holmes wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds and Sutherland dissented.

    Mob domination of the atmosphere of a trial can deny a defendant his right to a fair trial guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.

    Adkins v. Children's Hospital261 U.S. 525, decided by a 5–3 vote, April 9, 1923. Sutherland wrote the majority opinion; Taft, Holmes, and Sanford dissented; Brandeis did not participate.

    The Court struck down an act of Congress setting a minimum wage for women and children workers in the District of Columbia. The majority found this law a price-fixing measure, in violation of the freedom of contract protected by the Fifth Amendment against infringement by federal action.

    Federal Courts

    Massachusetts v. Mellon, Frothingham v. Mellon262 U.S. 447, decided by a unanimous Court, June 4, 1923. Sutherland wrote the opinion.

    Rejecting state and taxpayer challenges to a federal grant-in-aid program as unconstitutional, the Court held that the taxpayer lacked “standing” to sue, because her share of the federal revenues expended in the challenged program was too minute to constitute the personal interest one must have in a matter in order to bring a challenge in federal court.

    Freedom of Speech

    Gitlow v. New York268 U.S. 652, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 8, 1925. Sanford wrote the majority opinion; Holmes and Brandeis dissented.

    The First Amendment prohibition against government abridgment of the freedom of speech applies to the states as well as to the federal government. The freedoms of speech and press “are among the fundamental personal rights and ‘liberties’ protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment from impairment by the states,” the Court asserted, even though it rejected Gitlow's free speech claim. This ruling was the first of a long line of rulings holding that the Fourteenth Amendment extended the guarantees of the Bill of Rights to state, as well as federal, action.

    Personal Liberty

    Pierce v. Society of Sisters268 U.S. 510, decided by a unanimous vote, June 1, 1925. McReynolds wrote the Court's opinion.

    A state law that requires all children in the first eight grades to attend public, rather than private or parochial, schools violates the Fourteenth Amendment due process guarantee of “personal liberty.” Implicit in this liberty is the right of parents to choose the kind of education they want for their children.

    Powers of Congress

    Newberry v. United States256 U.S. 232, decided by a 5–4 vote, May 2, 1921. McReynolds wrote the majority opinion; White, Pitney, Brandeis, and Clark dissented in part.

    The Court reversed the conviction of Truman H. Newberry for violating a federal law limiting campaign expenditures in a primary election. Congress, the Court held, lacks power to regulate primary campaigns because a primary was “in no real sense part of the manner of holding the election.”

    Dillon v. Gloss256 U.S. 368, decided by a unanimous vote, May 16, 1921. Van Devanter wrote the opinion.

    The power of Congress to designate the manner in which the states shall ratify proposed amendments to the Constitution includes the power to set a “reasonable” time period within which the states must act.

    Search and Seizure

    Carroll v. United States267 U.S. 132, decided by a 7–2 vote, March 2, 1925. Taft delivered the majority opinion; McReynolds and Sutherland dissented.

    The Court enlarged the scope of permissible searches conducted without a warrant. Federal agents could make warrantless searches of automobiles when they had a reasonable suspicion of illegal actions.

    State Powers

    Ponzi v. Fessenden258 U.S. 254, decided by a unanimous vote, March 27, 1922. Taft wrote the opinion.

    With federal consent, a state court may issue a writ of habeas corpus to federal officials, directing them to present a federal prisoner to state court for trial.

    Taxes

    Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co.259 U.S. 20, decided by an 8–1 vote, May 15, 1922. Taft wrote the majority opinion; Clarke dissented.

    In its second decision frustrating congressional efforts to end child labor, the Court invalidated a federal law that imposed a 10 percent tax on the net profits of any company that employed children under a certain age. The Court said the tax was an impermissible use of Congress's police power because Congress intended it as a penalty rather than a source of revenue. In United States v. Darby (1941) the Court overruled both Drexel Furniture and Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918).

    1926–1930

    Civil Rights

    Corrigan v. Buckley271 U.S. 323, decided by a unanimous vote, May 24, 1926. Sanford wrote the opinion.

    Civil rights are not protected by the Fifth, Thirteenth, or Fourteenth Amendments against the discriminatory actions of private individuals. Therefore no constitutional protection exists for individuals who have been discriminated against by private restrictive covenants, under which residents of one race living in a neighborhood agree among themselves not to sell or rent their homes to members of another race.

    Due Process

    Tumey v. Ohio273 U.S. 510, decided by a unanimous vote, March 7, 1927. Taft wrote the opinion.

    The Fourteenth Amendment due process guarantee assures a defendant a trial before an impartial judge. A state, therefore, may not allow a city's mayor to serve as judge in cases, when half the fines collected go into the city treasury. A defendant is denied due process when he is tried before a judge with a direct, personal, pecuniary interest in ruling against him.

    Buck v. Bell274 U.S. 200, decided by an 8–1 vote, May 2, 1927. Holmes wrote the majority opinion; Butler dissented.

    Virginia did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment's due process guarantee when it sterilized, without her consent, a mentally defective mother.

    Freedom of Association

    Whitney v. California274 U.S. 357, decided by a unanimous vote, May 26, 1927. Sanford wrote the opinion.

    The Court upheld a state law that made it a crime to organize and participate in a group that advocated the overthrow by force of the established political system. The law was challenged as a violation of the First Amendment freedoms of speech and assembly.

    Jury Trials

    Patton v. United States281 U.S. 276, decided by a 7–0 vote, April 14, 1930. Sutherland wrote the opinion; Hughes did not participate.

    The three essential elements of a jury trial required in federal courts by the Sixth Amendment are a panel of twelve jurors, supervision by a judge, and a unanimous verdict.

    Powers of the President

    Myers v. United States272 U.S. 52, decided by a 6–3 vote, October 25, 1926. Taft wrote the majority opinion; Holmes, Brandeis, and McReynolds dissented.

    This decision upheld the president's power to remove certain postmasters from office without congressional consent. The Court held that the statute creating the positions—which also provided for removal only with congressional consent—was an unconstitutional incursion upon executive power. The Court implied that the removal power was virtually unlimited, extending even to members of independent regulatory agencies.

    Search and Seizure

    Olmstead v. United States277 U.S. 438, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 4, 1928. Taft wrote the majority opinion; Brandeis, Holmes, Butler, and Stone dissented.

    Wiretaps do not violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures where no entry of private premises occurred.

    State Powers

    Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co.272 U.S. 365, decided by a 6–3 vote, November 22, 1926. Sutherland wrote the majority opinion; Butler, McReynolds, and Van Devanter dissented.

    A city's zoning ordinance excluding apartment houses from certain neighborhoods is an appropriate use of the police power and does not violate due process in denying an individual the right to use his property as he desires. If the classification of land use in a zoning ordinance is “fairly debatable,” it will be upheld.

    Taxes

    J. W. Hampton Jr. & Co. v. United States276 U.S. 394, decided by a unanimous vote, April 9, 1928. Taft wrote the opinion.

    Imposition of protective tariffs is a permissible exercise of the power to tax, a power that may be used to regulate as well as to raise revenue.

    Voting Rights

    Nixon v. Herndon273 U.S. 536, decided by a unanimous vote, March 7, 1927. Holmes wrote the opinion.

    The Court invalidated a Texas law that excluded blacks from voting in primary elections of the Democratic Party. The Court declared the Texas “white primary” law unconstitutional as a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    1931–1934

    Contracts

    Home Building and Loan Assn. v. Blaisdell290 U.S. 398, decided by a 5–4 vote, January 8, 1934. Hughes wrote the majority opinion; Sutherland, Van Devanter, Butler, and McReynolds dissented.

    The Court upheld an emergency state mortgage moratorium law against challenge that it violated the constitutional ban on state action impairing the obligation of contracts.

    Freedom of Speech

    Stromberg v. California283 U.S. 359, decided by a 7–2 vote, May 18, 1931. Hughes wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds and Butler dissented.

    A state violates the First Amendment guarantee of free speech when it penalizes persons who raise a red flag as a symbol of opposition to organized government. The Court did not directly address the First Amendment issue in this case but held instead that the language of the statute was impermissibly vague. Although aimed at curbing symbolic speech that advocated the unlawful overthrow of the government, the statute's language conceivably permitted punishment for the flying of any banner symbolizing advocacy of a change in government, even through peaceful means.

    Freedom of the Press

    Near v. Minnesota283 U.S. 697, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 1, 1931. Hughes wrote the majority opinion; Butler, Van Devanter, McReynolds, and Sutherland dissented.

    A state law that bars continued publication of a newspaper that prints malicious or defamatory articles is a prior restraint of the press in violation of the First Amendment.

    This decision marked the first time the Court specifically enforced the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press to strike down a state law because it infringed too far on that freedom.

    Right to Counsel

    Powell v. Alabama287 U.S. 45, decided by a 7–2 vote, November 7, 1932. Sutherland wrote the majority opinion; Butler and McReynolds dissented.

    Under the particular circumstances of this, the “First Scottsboro Case,” in which a number of young black men charged with raping two white women were tried in a hostile community atmosphere, the failure of the trial court to provide the defendants the effective aid of an attorney for their defense constituted a denial of due process.

    State Powers

    Nebbia v. New York291 U.S. 502, decided by a 5–4 vote, March 5, 1934. Roberts wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds, Butler, Van Devanter, and Sutherland dissented.

    The Court abandoned its “public interest” rationale for determining which areas of business were properly subject to state regulation—a line of cases begun in Munn v. Illinois (1877).

    In this case the Court upheld a New York law that set an acceptable range of prices to be charged for milk. States could regulate almost any business in the interest of the public good, so long as the regulation was reasonable and effected through appropriate means, the Court said.

    Voting Rights

    Nixon v. Condon286 U.S. 73, decided by a 5–4 vote, May 2, 1932. Cardozo wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds, Butler, Sutherland, and Van Devanter dissented.

    Exclusion of blacks from primary elections—as a result of action by the Democratic Party—denies them equal protection of the laws and is impermissible under the Fourteenth Amendment.

    The political party, the Court held, acted as the agent of the state when it denied blacks the opportunity to participate in primary elections.

    After the Court's decision in Nixon v. Herndon (1927), the Texas legislature authorized the state party executive committee to set voting qualifications for its primary, and the party excluded blacks. The Court held this action unconstitutional, saying that neither the state nor political parties could exclude blacks from primaries on the basis of race alone.

    Wood v. Broom287 U.S. 1, decided by a 5–4 vote, October 18, 1932. Hughes wrote the majority opinion; Brandeis, Stone, Cardozo, and Roberts dissented.

    When Congress in the Apportionment Act of 1929 omitted the requirement that electoral districts for congressional elections be contiguous, compact, and equal, it effectively repealed similar requirements in previous laws.

    Lacking statutory authority, federal courts therefore could not act to correct malapportionment in state districts.

    1935

    Commerce

    Railroad Retirement Board v. Alton Railroad Co.295 U.S. 330, decided by a 5–4 vote, May 6, 1935. Roberts wrote the majority opinion; Hughes, Brandeis, Cardozo, and Stone dissented.

    Congress exceeded its authority when it enacted the Railroad Retirement Act of 1934, which set up a comprehensive pension system for railroad workers, the Court held, invalidating the act. The pension plan was unrelated to interstate commerce, the majority said, and several parts of the act violated the guarantee of due process.

    Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States295 U.S. 495, decided by a unanimous vote, May 27, 1935. Hughes wrote the opinion.

    Congress exceeded its powers to delegate legislative powers and to regulate interstate commerce when it enacted the National Industrial Recovery Act. The section of the statute that permitted the president to approve “fair competition” codes under certain conditions left the chief executive with too much discretionary power. Furthermore, the statute regulated matters that affected interstate commerce indirectly and so were not within federal power to regulate.

    Currency

    Gold Clause Cases (Norman v. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Co.294 U.S. 240, Nortz v. United States, 294 U.S. 317, Perry v. United States, 294 U.S. 330), decided by a 5–4 vote, February 18, 1935. Hughes wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds, Butler, Sutherland, and Van Devanter dissented.

    The power of Congress to regulate the value of currency permits it to abrogate clauses in private contracts requiring payment in gold. But the federal power to borrow money “on the credit of the United States” prohibits Congress from abrogating such clauses contained in government bonds and other federal contracts.

    Jury Trials

    Norris v. Alabama294 U.S. 587, decided by an 8–0 vote, April 1, 1935. Hughes wrote the opinion; McReynolds did not participate.

    In the “Second Scottsboro Case,” the Court set aside the conviction of the black defendant because blacks had been consistently barred from service on both the grand jury and trial jury in this case.

    Powers of Congress

    Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan293 U.S. 388, decided by an 8–1 vote, January 7, 1935. Hughes wrote the majority opinion; Cardozo dissented.

    The Court declared invalid a provision of the National Industrial Recovery Act that authorized the president to prohibit from interstate commerce oil produced in violation of state regulations controlling the amount of production. The Court said this congressional delegation of power was unconstitutionally broad, leaving too much to the discretion of the president. This ruling was the first of the Court's decisions striking down New Deal legislation.

    Powers of the President

    Humphrey's Executor v. United States295 U.S. 602, decided by a unanimous vote, May 27, 1935. Sutherland wrote the opinion.

    The Court denied the president the power to remove members of independent regulatory agencies without the consent of Congress and limited sharply the executive removal power given such broad scope in Myers v. United States (1926).

    Voting Rights

    Grovey v. Townsend295 U.S. 45, decided by a unanimous vote, April 1, 1935. Roberts wrote the opinion.

    The Texas Democratic Party did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment by deciding to confine membership in the party to white citizens. A political party was a private organization, the Court ruled, and the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee did not reach private action. (See Nixon v. Herndon, 1927; Nixon v. Condon, 1932.)

    1936

    Due Process

    Brown v. Mississippi297 U.S. 278, decided by a unanimous Court, February 17, 1936. Hughes wrote the opinion.

    States may not use coerced confessions as evidence at the trial of persons from whom the confessions were obtained by torture. Use of a person's involuntary statements to convict him is a clear denial of due process of law.

    Morehead v. New York ex rel. Tipaldo298 U.S. 587, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 1, 1936. Butler wrote the majority opinion; Hughes, Brandeis, Cardozo, and Stone dissented.

    The Court struck down a New York minimum wage law for women and children workers, declaring all minimum wage laws a violation of due process. The decision was overruled the following year with West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish.

    Freedom of the Press

    Grosjean v. American Press Co.297 U.S. 233, decided by a unanimous vote, February 10, 1936. Sutherland wrote the opinion.

    A state law that taxes the gross receipts of certain newspapers and not others is a prior restraint on the press in violation of the First Amendment. Although labeled a tax on the privilege of doing business, the law had actually been written so that the tax fell only on those newspapers that opposed the governor.

    Powers of Congress

    Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority297 U.S. 288, decided by votes of 8–1 and 5–4, February 17, 1936. Hughes wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds, Brandeis, Stone, Roberts, and Cardozo dissented in part.

    The Court implicitly upheld the statute authorizing the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority. It sustained the authority of the TVA to enter into a contract for the sale of the excess energy generated by a TVA-operated dam. Construction of the dam was within the federal power to defend the nation and improve navigation, the Court said. The Constitution gave the federal government unfettered power to dispose of government property.

    This statute was one of only two major early New Deal laws declared valid by the Court.

    Carter v. Carter Coal Co.298 U.S. 238, decided by a 6–3 vote, May 18, 1936. Sutherland wrote the majority opinion; Hughes wrote a separate opinion; Cardozo, Brandeis, and Stone dissented.

    Striking down the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935, the Court found that Congress had unconstitutionally delegated its legislative powers to private parties in that statute when it allowed a majority of coal mine operators to set mandatory wage and hours standards for the entire coal industry.

    The Court also held unconstitutional those provisions giving miners collective bargaining rights. Such labor relations were local in nature and not subject to regulation by Congress under its interstate commerce powers.

    Powers of the President

    United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp.299 U.S. 304, decided by a 7–1 vote, December 21, 1936. Sutherland wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds dissented; Stone did not participate.

    The Court upheld an act of Congress authorizing the president, at his discretion, to embargo arms shipments to foreign belligerents in a South American war.

    The plenary nature of the federal government's power over foreign affairs permitted Congress greater latitude in delegating power to the president in international relations than in internal matters. Sutherland described the power of the president in foreign affairs as “plenary and exclusive.” The president is “the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations.”

    Spending Power

    United States v. Butler297 U.S. 1, decided by a 6–3 vote, January 6, 1936. Roberts wrote the majority opinion; Stone, Brandeis, and Cardozo dissented.

    In its first interpretation of Congress's power to spend for the general welfare, the Court held that Congress could not combine that power with the power to tax in order to regulate a matter that was outside the scope of federal authority—in this instance, agricultural production.

    The ruling declared unconstitutional the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, which sought to regulate agricultural production by taxing processors of basic food commodities and then using the revenue from that tax to pay benefits to farmers who reduced their production of those commodities.

    1937

    Commerce

    National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp.301 U.S. 1, decided by a 5–4 vote, April 12, 1937. Hughes wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds, Butler, Sutherland, and Van Devanter dissented.

    The federal power to regulate interstate commerce permits Congress to regulate intrastate matters that directly burden or obstruct interstate commerce. In this case, the Court found that a dispute between management and labor that threatened to close down a Pennsylvania steel factory directly affected interstate commerce because the factory was in a stream of commerce.

    This decision, in which the Court finally abandoned its narrow view of the federal power to regulate interstate commerce, sustained the constitutionality of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.

    Due Process

    West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish300 U.S. 379, decided by a 5–4 vote, March 29, 1937. Hughes wrote the majority opinion; Butler, McReynolds, Sutherland, and Van Devanter dissented.

    The Court upheld Washington State's law setting minimum wages for women and children workers. The Court overruled Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1923) in which it had declared minimum wage laws to be in violation of freedom of contract, and Morehead v. Tipaldo (1936).

    Palko v. Connecticut302 U.S. 319, decided by an 8–1 vote, December 6, 1937. Cardozo wrote the majority opinion; Butler dissented.

    The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not require states to observe the double jeopardy guarantee of the Fifth Amendment. The promise that an individual will not be tried twice for the same crime is “not of the very essence of a scheme of ordered liberty,” and therefore due process does not mandate its application to the states.

    Freedom of Assembly

    DeJonge v. Oregon299 U.S. 353, decided by an 8–0 vote, January 4, 1937. Hughes wrote the opinion; Stone did not participate.

    The First Amendment guarantee of the freedom of assembly prohibits a state from making it a crime to organize and participate in a meeting at which no illegal action was discussed, even if the meeting was held under the auspices of an association that had as its goal the forcible overthrow of the government.

    For the first time, the Court recognized that the right of assembly was on an equal footing with the rights of free speech and free press and that the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of assembly was applicable to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Spending Power

    Steward Machine Co. v. Davis301 U.S. 548, decided by a 5–4 vote, May 24, 1937. Cardozo wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds, Butler, Sutherland, and Van Devanter dissented.

    A system to induce employers to participate in the federal unemployment compensation program by taxing them and then giving those who participate a tax credit is a valid exercise of the taxing and spending powers to regulate interstate commerce. While not in commerce, employment affects commerce and therefore falls within the reach of federal regulation.

    Helvering v. Davis301 U.S. 619, decided by a 7–2 vote, May 24, 1937. Cardozo wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds and Butler dissented.

    Effectively overturning its ruling in United States v. Butler (1936), the Court sustained the Social Security Act of 1935. This statute placed a tax on employees and employers, the revenue from which was used to pay benefits to retired employees. Such a program was an appropriate combination of the power to tax and the power to spend for the general welfare, the Court said.

    Voting Rights

    Breedlove v. Suttles302 U.S. 277, decided by a unanimous vote, December 6, 1937. Butler wrote the opinion.

    The Court upheld a Georgia law that required all inhabitants of the state between the ages of twenty-one and sixty to pay an annual poll tax of $1.00. Under the state constitution payment of the tax was a prerequisite to voting in any election. The Court ruled that the tax did not constitute denial of equal protection in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, nor did it violate the Fifteenth Amendment ban on racial discrimination in voting.

    1938

    Civil Rights

    Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada305 U.S. 337, decided by a 6–2 vote, December 12, 1938. Hughes wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds and Butler dissented.

    A state denies equal protection of the laws to a black student when it refuses him admission to its all-white law school, even though it volunteers to pay his tuition at any law school in an adjacent state. By providing a law school for whites but not for blacks the state has created a privilege for one race and denied it to another.

    This decision was the first in a series that culminated in abandonment of the “separate but equal” doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).

    Freedom of the Press

    Lovell v. City of Griffin303 U.S. 444, decided by an 8–0 vote, March 28, 1938. Hughes wrote the opinion; Cardozo did not participate.

    A city ordinance that prohibits circulation on public streets of handbills or literature of any kind without written permission from the city manager is an unconstitutional prior restraint on freedom of the press. (In subsequent cases, the Court said that a city could regulate the manner of distributing handbills.)

    Right to Counsel

    Johnson v. Zerbst304 U.S. 458, decided by a 6–2 vote, May 23, 1938. Black wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds and Butler dissented; Cardozo did not participate.

    The Sixth Amendment guarantee that in “all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence” means that federal courts may not deprive anyone of liberty or life unless he has been provided the aid of an attorney at his trial or has explicitly waived his right to that aid.

    1939

    Commerce

    Mulford v. Smith307 U.S. 38, decided by a 7–2 vote, April 17, 1939. Roberts wrote the majority opinion; Butler and McReynolds dissented.

    Congress has authority to limit the amount of any commodity shipped in interstate commerce. The imposition of marketing quotas on certain agricultural commodities is valid; such quotas are at the “throat” of interstate commerce.

    The Court sustained the validity of the second agricultural adjustment act against challenge that the marketing quotas limited production, an area which Congress had no authority to regulate.

    Federal Courts

    Coleman v. Miller307 U.S. 433, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 5, 1939. Hughes wrote the majority opinion; Butler and McReynolds dissented.

    It is up to Congress, not the Court, to resolve political questions such as, what is a “reasonable” time period for the ratification by states of proposed constitutional amendments and whether a state that has rejected a constitutional amendment may later reverse itself and ratify the amendment.

    Freedom of Assembly

    Hague v. Congress of Industrial Organizations307 U.S. 496, decided by a 5–2 vote, June 5, 1939. There was no Court opinion; Roberts, Stone, and Hughes wrote separate concurring opinions; McReynolds and Butler dissented; Frankfurter and Douglas did not participate.

    The right to speak and assemble in public may not be arbitrarily prohibited by federal, state, or local governments. Three members of the majority found this right to be a privilege and immunity of national citizenship; two justices found it implicit in the personal liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause. This latter, broader view, which secured the right to all persons, not just citizens, was eventually accepted by a majority of the Court's members.

    Taxes

    Graves v. New York ex rel. O'Keefe306 U.S. 466, decided by a 7–2 vote, March 27, 1939. Stone wrote the Court's opinion; Butler and McReynolds dissented.

    The Court specifically overruled two earlier decisions, Collector v. Day (1871) and Dobbins v. Erie County (1842), that held that the income of state and federal government employees was immune from taxation by the nonemploying governing body. Graves led to the demise of most intergovernmental tax immunities.

    Voting Rights

    Lane v. Wilson307 U.S. 268, decided by a 6–2 vote, May 22, 1939. Frankfurter wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds and Butler dissented; Douglas did not participate.

    In Guinn v. United States (1915) the Court had held unconstitutional an Oklahoma “grandfather clause” exemption to a literacy test requirement for voters. The state legislature then adopted a second voting registration law that exempted from registration all those who had voted in the 1914 election, conducted while the “grandfather clause” was still in effect. The new law required all other potential voters to register within a two-week period. The Supreme Court held the second law invalid as a violation of the Fifteenth Amendment ban on racial discrimination in voting.

    1940

    Freedom of Religion

    Cantwell v. Connecticut310 U.S. 296, decided by a unanimous vote, May 20, 1940. Roberts wrote the opinion.

    States may limit the free exercise of religion only by statutes that are narrowly drawn and applied in a nondiscriminatory manner. Therefore, a state may not convict a sidewalk preacher for breach of the peace under a general ordinance which sweeps in “a great variety of conduct under a general and indefinite characterization” and leaves too much discretion to the officials applying it. Furthermore, such activity may not be penalized under a general breach of the peace statute if there is no evidence that this speech, although insulting to some religions, caused any disturbance or threatened any “clear and present menace to public peace.”

    Likewise, a state statute that requires persons who wish to solicit for religious causes to obtain permits, but allows state officials discretion in determining which causes are religious is arbitrary and therefore violates the First Amendment guarantee of the free exercise of religion.

    This case was the first in which the Court specifically applied the First Amendment's guarantee of free exercise of religion against state action.

    Minersville School District v. Gobitis310 U.S. 586, decided by an 8–1 vote, June 3, 1940. Frankfurter wrote the majority opinion; Stone dissented.

    In this first “flag-salute” case, the Court sustained a state law requiring all school children to pledge allegiance to the U.S. flag. The requirement had been challenged by Jehovah's Witnesses, for whom the pledge conflicted with their religious beliefs. They argued that the compulsory pledge violated their First Amendment freedom of religion.

    Religious liberty must give way to political authority so long as that authority is not used directly to promote or restrict religion, the Court said. The “mere possession of religious convictions … does not relieve the citizen from the discharge of political responsibilities.”

    In 1943 the Court reversed this decision with its ruling in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.

    Taxes

    Sunshine Anthracite Coal Co. v. Adkins310 U.S. 381, decided by an 8–1 vote, May 20, 1940. Douglas wrote the majority opinion; McReynolds dissented.

    The use of the tax power as a penalty is an appropriate means for Congress to employ in regulating interstate commerce. The Court upheld the second coal conservation act, which placed a high tax on coal sold in interstate commerce but exempted from payment those producers who agreed to abide by industry price and competition regulations.

    1941

    Commerce

    United States v. Darby312 U.S. 100, decided by a unanimous vote, February 3, 1941. Stone wrote the opinion.

    Congress has authority to prohibit the shipment in interstate commerce of any goods manufactured in violation of federally established minimum wage and maximum hours standards. This decision overruled Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918), in which the Court held that Congress had no power to prohibit the shipment in interstate commerce of goods made by children.

    Edwards v. California314 U.S. 160, decided by a unanimous vote, November 24, 1941. Byrnes wrote the opinion.

    A state impermissibly obstructs interstate commerce when it penalizes persons who bring indigent persons into the state to reside there. The Court in this ruling struck down California's “anti-Okie” law.

    In a concurring opinion, four justices held the right to travel to be one of the privileges and immunities of national citizenship protected by the Fourteenth Amendment from abridgment by the states.

    Freedom of Assembly

    Cox v. New Hampshire312 U.S. 569, decided by a unanimous vote, March 31, 1941. Hughes wrote the Court's opinion.

    The First Amendment guarantees of free speech and assembly do not bar states from setting the time, place, and manner of parades on public streets so that they do not interfere unduly with other use of the streets. Such ordinances must be precisely drawn and applied in a nondiscriminatory fashion.

    Voting Rights

    United States v. Classic313 U.S. 299, decided by a 5–3 vote, May 26, 1941. Stone wrote the majority opinion; Black, Murphy, and Douglas dissented. Hughes did not participate.

    Congress has the power to regulate primary elections when the primary is an integral part of the process of selecting candidates for federal office.

    This decision overruled Newberry v. United States (1921), which had limited congressional regulation to general elections.

    1942

    Commerce

    Wickard v. Filburn317 U.S. 111, decided by a unanimous vote, November 9, 1942. Jackson wrote the opinion.

    The federal power to prevent burdens on interstate commerce permits the federal government to regulate matters that are neither interstate nor commerce. The Court made this point in sustaining a penalty levied against a farmer who had produced for his own consumption more wheat than he was allotted under the 1938 Agricultural Adjustment Act. The Court held that Congress had the power to prevent home-grown wheat from competing with wheat sold in interstate commerce.

    This decision is regarded as the high point in the Court's broad interpretation of federal regulatory powers authorized under the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.

    Equal Protection

    Skinner v. Oklahoma316 U.S. 535, decided by a unanimous vote, June 1, 1942. Douglas wrote the opinion.

    A state law that provides for involuntary sterilization of certain felons violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because it does not treat all persons convicted of the same crime in the same manner.

    This decision was the first recognition by the Court that individuals have certain constitutionally protected “fundamental interests”—in this case, procreation—with which a state may interfere only if it shows a compelling need.

    Freedom of Speech

    Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire315 U.S. 568, decided by a unanimous vote, March 9, 1942. Murphy wrote the opinion.

    A state does not violate the First Amendment by enacting a precisely drawn and narrowly applied law making it a crime to use, in public, “fighting words”—words so insulting as to provoke violence from the person to whom they are directed. Fighting words, the lewd and obscene, profanity, and libelous statements are among the classes of speech that have so little value in advancing thought or ideas that they fall outside the protection of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

    Right to Counsel

    Betts v. Brady316 U.S. 455, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 1, 1942. Roberts wrote the majority opinion; Black, Douglas, and Murphy dissented.

    The Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause does not require states to supply defense counsel to defendants too poor to employ their own attorney.

    This decision was overturned by Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963.

    War Powers

    Ex parte Quirin317 U.S. 1, decided by a unanimous vote, July 31, 1942. Stone wrote the opinion; Murphy did not participate.

    The Supreme Court upheld the conviction of seven Nazi saboteurs by a presidentially established military commission, instead of by a civilian jury. Congress had already provided for the trial of spies by military commission, and the acts charged against the saboteurs were acts of war. The guarantee of jury trial under the Sixth Amendment applies to civilian—not military—courts.

    This decision firmly established the power of civil courts to review the jurisdiction of presidential military commissions.

    1943

    Due Process

    McNabb v. United States318 U.S. 332, decided by a 7–1 vote, March 1, 1943. Frankfurter wrote the majority opinion; Reed dissented; Rutledge did not participate.

    A person accused of a federal crime must be taken before a judicial officer for arraignment without delay after arrest.

    Freedom of Religion

    Murdock v. Pennsylvania319 U.S. 105, decided by a 5–4 vote, May 3, 1943. Douglas wrote the majority opinion; Reed, Frankfurter, Roberts, and Jackson dissented.

    A city ordinance that requires licenses for all persons taking orders for or delivering goods door-to-door and imposes a daily tax of $1.50 on the privilege is unconstitutional when applied to Jehovah's Witnesses who go from house to house soliciting new members and selling religious literature. “A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the federal Constitution,” the majority said.

    This decision overruled that of the previous year in Jones v. Opelika, 316 U.S. 584 (1942), in which the Court upheld such license fees as applied to Jehovah's Witnesses on the grounds that these activities were primarily commercial and so outside the protection of the First Amendment.

    West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette319 U.S. 624, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 14, 1943. Jackson wrote the majority opinion; Roberts, Reed, and Frankfurter dissented.

    The First Amendment guarantee of the free exercise of religion protects the right of persons to remain silent and forbids the government to compel them to participate in a symbolic display of patriotic unity that conflicts with their religious beliefs.

    The Court upheld the right of Jehovah's Witnesses' children to refuse to participate in compulsory flag salute ceremonies in public schools. The decision overruled Minersville School District v. Gobitis (1940).

    War Powers

    Hirabayashi v. United States320 U.S. 81, decided by a unanimous vote, June 21, 1943. Stone wrote the Court's opinion.

    The Court upheld the wartime curfew law placed on Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast as an appropriate exercise by the president and Congress of the federal war powers.

    The curfew law, by making a classification based solely on race, did not violate the Fifth Amendment. In this instance, consideration of race was relevant to the national security.

    1944

    Commerce

    United States v. South-Eastern Underwriters Assn.322 U.S. 533, decided by a 4–3 vote, June 5, 1944. Black wrote the majority opinion; Stone and Frankfurter dissented; Jackson dissented in part; Roberts and Reed did not participate.

    Insurance transactions are matters in interstate commerce subject to regulation under the federal antitrust act.

    This ruling overturned a long line of decisions, beginning in 1869, that held that purely financial and contractual transactions, such as insurance, were not in commerce, even if they involved parties in different states, and were therefore not subject to federal regulation.

    Because this ruling called into question the validity of all state insurance regulations, Congress quickly passed a statute permitting states to continue to regulate insurance. The Court upheld that statute in Prudential Insurance Co. v. Benjamin, 328 U.S. 408 (1946).

    Powers of Congress

    Yakus v. United States321 U.S. 414, decided by a 6–3 vote, March 27, 1944. Stone wrote the majority opinion; Roberts, Murphy, and Rutledge dissented.

    The Court sustained portions of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942 giving the federal price administrator discretionary power to enforce the act, including the maximum prices set under it. The law was challenged as an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power. The Court held that the standards for decisions under the law were “sufficiently definite and precise” and said it was “unable to find in them an unauthorized delegation of legislative power.”

    Voting Rights

    Smith v. Allwright321 U.S. 649, decided by an 8–1 vote, April 3, 1944. Reed wrote the majority opinion; Roberts dissented.

    When party primaries are part of the machinery for choosing state and national officials, the action of any political party to exclude blacks from voting in primaries is “state action” within the prohibitions of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. This ruling reversed Grovey v. Townsend (1935).

    War Powers

    Korematsu v. United States323 U.S. 214, decided by a 6–3 vote, December 18, 1944. Black wrote the majority opinion; Roberts, Murphy, and Jackson dissented.

    The Court upheld the removal of Japanese-Americans to relocation centers at inland camps away from the West Coast. It held that the removal program was within the combined war powers of the president and Congress.

    In this case, for the first time, a majority of the Court said it would give classifications by race increased attention to ensure that racial antagonism did not lie at the base of the classification. In this instance, however, the Court held that military necessity warranted the racial classification.

    1946

    Bills of Attainder

    United States v. Lovett328 U.S. 303, decided by an 8–0 vote, June 3, 1946. Black wrote the Court's opinion; Jackson did not participate.

    Congress violated the ban on bills of attainder by passing a section of an appropriations law that prohibited payment of salaries to three specifically named federal employees until they were reappointed and reconfirmed to their positions.

    Civil Rights

    Morgan v. Virginia328 U.S. 373, decided by a 7–1 vote, June 3, 1946. Reed wrote the Court's opinion; Burton dissented; Jackson did not participate.

    A state law requiring segregated seating on interstate buses is an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce. Where interstate commerce is involved, bus seating requires uniform national rules; otherwise the constant shifting of seats and rearrangement demanded by various state laws will burden interstate commerce.

    Freedom of Religion

    Girouard v. United States328 U.S. 61, decided by a 5–3 vote, April 22, 1946. Douglas wrote the majority opinion; Stone, Reed, and Frankfurter dissented; Jackson did not participate.

    The oath that persons must swear to become naturalized citizens does not expressly require them to swear to bear arms in defense of the United States. Therefore, a person who meets all other qualifications for naturalization should not be barred from citizenship because he is unwilling to bear arms, an activity that conflicts with his religious beliefs.

    This decision overturned three earlier rulings in which the Court had interpreted the naturalization oath to require a willingness to bear arms. The decisions had barred from citizenship two women, who would not have been required to serve in the armed forces in any event, and a fifty-four-year-old divinity school professor unlikely to be called for duty because of his age.

    Voting Rights

    Colegrove v. Green328 U.S. 549, decided by a 4–3 vote, June 10, 1946. Frankfurter wrote the majority opinion; Black, Douglas, and Murphy dissented; Jackson did not participate.

    The Court declined to compel the rural-dominated Illinois legislature to redraw congressional districts. The districts had not been reconfigured since 1901, resulting in population disparities of as much as nine to one between rural and urban regions within the state. The Court said this matter was a political question beyond judicial power to resolve.

    1947

    Contempt

    United States v. United Mine Workers330 U.S. 258, decided by a divided Court, March 6, 1947. Vinson wrote the majority opinion; Murphy and Rutledge dissented; Black, Frankfurter, Douglas, and Jackson dissented in part.

    The same action may constitute civil and criminal contempt. The justices upheld the conviction of the United Mine Workers of America and its president, John L. Lewis, for both types of contempt for failure to obey a court order forbidding a strike.

    Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    Louisiana ex rel. Francis v. Resweber329 U.S. 459, decided by a 5–4 vote, January 13, 1947. Reed wrote the majority opinion; Burton, Douglas, Murphy, and Rutledge dissented.

    Assuming without argument that the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment applied to state as well as federal actions, the Court nevertheless held that this ban was not violated by the state's execution of a man whose first execution attempt failed because the electric chair did not work.

    Freedom of Religion

    Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township330 U.S. 1, decided by a 5–4 vote, February 10, 1947. Black wrote the majority opinion; Jackson, Frankfurter, Rutledge, and Burton dissented.

    State reimbursement of parents for the cost of transporting their children to parochial schools does not violate the First Amendment clause barring government establishment of religion. Such reimbursements aid parents and children, not the church-affiliated schools.

    This decision was the first in which the Court specifically applied the First Amendment's establishment clause to state action.

    Jury Trials

    Fay v. New York332 U.S. 261, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 23, 1947. Jackson wrote the majority opinion; Black, Murphy, Douglas, and Rutledge dissented.

    The Court upheld New York's “blue ribbon” jury system saying that panels of specially qualified jurors disproportionately representing upper economic and social strata were not deliberately discriminatory and did not violate the Constitution.

    Offshore Lands

    United States v. California332 U.S. 19, decided by a 6–2 vote, June 23, 1947. Black wrote the majority opinion; Frankfurter and Reed dissented; Jackson did not participate.

    The federal government, not the states, owns the tidelands immediately adjacent to the states and the oil therein. The Court reaffirmed this ruling in two subsequent cases, but then sustained—as an exercise of Congress's unrestricted power to dispose of government property—an act of Congress giving coastal states rights to the tidelands oil (Alabama v. Texas, 347 U.S. 272, 1954).

    Powers of Congress

    United Public Workers v. Mitchell330 U.S. 75, decided by a 4–3 vote, February 10, 1947. Reed wrote the majority opinion; Black, Douglas, and Rutledge dissented; Murphy and Jackson did not participate.

    The Court sustained the 1939 Hatch Act, upholding the power of Congress to impose limitations on the political activity of government employees.

    1948

    Equal Protection

    Shelley v. Kraemer334 U.S. 1, decided by a 6–0 vote, May 3, 1948. Vinson wrote the opinion; Reed, Jackson, and Rutledge did not participate.

    The Fourteenth Amendment does not bar private parties from entering into racially restrictive covenants, which exclude blacks from buying or renting homes in “covenanted” neighborhoods, but it does prohibit state courts from enforcing such covenants. Such enforcement constitutes state action denying equal protection of the laws.

    Freedom of Religion

    Illinois ex rel. McCollum v. Board of Education333 U.S. 203, decided by an 8–1 vote, March 8, 1948. Black wrote the majority opinion; Reed dissented.

    The First Amendment clause barring establishment of religion is violated by a voluntary “released time” program in which religious instruction is given to public school students in the public school during school time.

    The Court in 1952 sustained a released time program in which students left the school premises to receive religious instruction (Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306).

    1949

    Freedom of Speech

    Terminiello v. Chicago337 U.S. 1, decided by a 5–4 vote, May 16, 1949. Douglas wrote the majority opinion; Vinson, Frankfurter, Jackson, and Burton dissented.

    The Court reversed the conviction, for breach of the peace, of a speaker whose remarks in a meeting hall provoked a near-riot among protesters gathered outside.

    Without deciding whether the First Amendment guarantee of free speech protected such inciteful speech, the majority held that the trial court's definition of breach of the peace was so broad that it included speech that was clearly protected by the First Amendment.

    Search and Seizure

    Wolf v. Colorado338 U.S. 25, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 27, 1949. Frankfurter wrote the majority opinion; Douglas, Murphy, and Rutledge dissented.

    The Fourth Amendment protection of individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents applies against searches by state, as well as federal, agents.

    State judges, however, are not required to exclude from use evidence obtained by searches in violation of this guarantee.

    1950

    Civil Rights

    Sweatt v. Painter339 U.S. 629, decided by a unanimous vote, June 5, 1950. Vinson wrote the opinion.

    A state may not deny admission to its law school to a black even if there is a “black” law school available. The Court found the facilities of the “black” school inferior to those provided by the “white” school, therefore violating the “separate but equal” doctrine.

    McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education339 U.S. 637, decided by a unanimous vote, June 5, 1950. Vinson wrote the opinion.

    Going beyond Sweatt and eroding the “separate but equal” doctrine even more, the Court ruled that once a black was admitted to a state university, the state could not deny him the right to use all its facilities, including the library, lunchroom, and classrooms.

    Freedom of Association

    American Communications Assn. v. Douds339 U.S. 382, decided by a 5–1 vote, May 8, 1950. Vinson wrote the majority opinion; Black dissented. Douglas, Clark, and Minton did not participate.

    The Taft-Hartley Act can properly require each officer of a labor union to file an affidavit swearing that he was not a member of or affiliated with the Communist Party. The Court held that Congress could properly impose this requirement as part of its power to prevent political strikes obstructing interstate commerce.

    Search and Seizure

    United States v. Rabinowitz339 U.S. 56, decided by a 5–3 vote, February 20, 1950. Minton wrote the majority opinion; Frankfurter, Jackson, and Black dissented; Douglas did not participate.

    The Fourth Amendment guarantee of security against unreasonable searches permits a warrantless search, incident to a lawful arrest, of the person arrested and the premises where the arrest occurs.

    1951

    Excessive Bail

    Stack v. Boyle342 U.S. 1, decided by an 8–0 vote, November 5, 1951. Vinson wrote the opinion; Minton did not participate.

    The amount of bail required of twelve Communist Party leaders prosecuted under the Smith Act of 1940 was excessive and violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of excessive bail.

    Freedom of Association

    Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath341 U.S. 123, decided by a 5–3 vote, April 30, 1951. Burton wrote the majority opinion; Vinson, Reed, and Minton dissented; Clark did not participate.

    The attorney general has the power to prepare and distribute a list of subversive organizations to aid the work of the federal Loyalty Review Board. But, the Court ruled, to list an organization without affording it a hearing violated the organization's constitutional rights.

    Garner v. Board of Public Works341 U.S. 716, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 4, 1951. Clark wrote the majority opinion; Burton, Frankfurter, Black, and Douglas dissented.

    A loyalty oath for public employees was not a denial of due process or invalid as a bill of attainder or an ex post facto law.

    Freedom of Speech

    Kunz v. New York340 U.S. 290, decided by an 8–1 vote, January 15, 1951. Vinson wrote the majority opinion; Jackson dissented.

    A New York City ordinance that barred worship services on public streets without a permit is an unconstitutional prior restraint on the exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and free exercise of religion.

    Feiner v. New York340 U.S. 315, decided by a 6–3 vote, January 15, 1951. Vinson wrote the majority opinion; Black, Douglas, and Minton dissented.

    The First Amendment is not violated by the conviction, for breach of the peace, of a street speaker who refused to stop speaking after police asked him to desist. The police had acted not to suppress speech but to preserve public order, a legitimate reason for limiting speech.

    This decision, read with the decisions in Terminiello v. Chicago (1949) and Kunz v. New York (1951) demonstrate the Court's difficulty in defining precisely the circumstances in which a state might properly curtail free speech.

    Dennis v. United States341 U.S. 494, decided by a 6–2 vote, June 4, 1951. Vinson wrote the majority opinion; Black and Douglas dissented; Clark did not participate.

    Convictions under the Smith Act of 1940 for speaking and teaching about communist theory advocating forcible overthrow of the government do not abridge First Amendment rights.

    1952

    Excessive Bail

    Carlson v. Landon342 U.S. 524, decided by a 5–4 vote, March 10, 1952. Reed wrote the majority opinion; Black, Frankfurter, Burton, and Douglas dissented.

    Five alien members of the Communist Party could be detained without bail pending the outcome of deportation proceedings. Denial of bail was justified because deportation was not a criminal proceeding.

    Powers of the President

    Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer (Steel Seizure Case)343 U.S. 579, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 2, 1952. Black wrote the majority opinion; Vinson, Reed, and Minton dissented.

    President Truman exceeded his power in seizing the nation's steel mills to prevent a strike. The president had based the seizure order on his general powers as commander in chief and chief executive. But the Court held he could not take such action without express authorization from Congress.

    Search and Seizure

    Rochin v. California342 U.S. 165, decided by an 8–0 vote, January 2, 1952. Frankfurter wrote the opinion; Minton did not participate.

    State police officers who used a stomach pump to obtain evidence of drugs—which a suspect had swallowed in their presence—violated Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.

    1953

    Voting Rights

    Terry v. Adams345 U.S. 461, decided by an 8–1 vote, May 4, 1953. Black wrote the majority opinion; Minton dissented.

    The all-white Texas Jaybird Party primary, held before the regular Democratic Party primary, whose winners usually then won the Democratic nomination and election to county offices, is unconstitutional. It was an integral part of the election process and the exclusion of blacks from this primary violated the Fifteenth Amendment.

    War Powers

    Rosenberg v. United States346 U.S. 273, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 19, 1953. Vinson wrote the majority opinion; Frankfurter, Black, and Douglas dissented.

    The Court, after meeting in special session, lifted a stay of execution for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and sentenced to death.

    Justice Douglas had granted the stay so that lower courts might consider the argument of the Rosenbergs' attorney that the espionage act had been repealed by subsequent passage of the Atomic Energy Act of 1946. The Rosenbergs were convicted of having conveyed atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. They were executed as soon as the Court lifted the stay.

    1954

    Civil Rights

    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka347 U.S. 483, decided by a unanimous vote, May 17, 1954. Warren wrote the opinion.

    Separate public schools for black and white students are inherently unequal, and their existence violates the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    In the companion case of Bolling v. Sharpe (347 U.S. 497), the Court ruled that the congressionally mandated segregated public school system in the District of Columbia violated the Fifth Amendment's due process guarantee of personal liberty.

    In Brown the Court specifically overruled the “separate but equal” doctrine first enunciated in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) so far as it applied to public schools. The ruling also led to the abolition of state-sponsored segregation in other public facilities.

    1955

    Civil Rights

    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka349 U.S. 294, decided by a unanimous vote, May 31, 1955. Warren wrote the opinion.

    The Court laid out guidelines for ending segregation in public schools. The Court placed primary responsibility on local school officials, recognizing that local factors would call for different treatment and timing, but admonishing the boards to proceed toward desegregation “with all deliberate speed.”

    Federal district courts were to retain jurisdiction over school desegregation cases. They could grant school districts additional time to complete desegregation once the process was begun, but the school boards had the burden of justifying such delays.

    1956

    Self-Incrimination

    Ullmann v. United States350 U.S. 422, decided by a 7–2 vote, March 26, 1956. Frankfurter wrote the majority opinion; Douglas and Black dissented.

    The Court sustained the Immunity Act of 1950, which provided that witnesses cannot claim their privilege against self-incrimination if the government grants them immunity from prosecution.

    Slochower v. Board of Education of New York City350 U.S. 551, decided by a 5–4 vote, April 9, 1956. Clark wrote the majority opinion; Reed, Burton, Harlan, and Minton dissented.

    The provision of New York City's charter that provided for summary dismissal of employees who invoked the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination violated the due process guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    State Powers

    Pennsylvania v. Nelson350 U.S. 497, decided by a 6–3 vote, April 2, 1956. Warren wrote the majority opinion; Reed, Minton, and Burton dissented.

    States may not punish persons for seditious activity against the federal government.

    Congress has preempted that field by passing federal legislation on that subject.

    1957

    Due Process

    Mallory v. United States354 U.S. 449, decided by a unanimous vote, June 24, 1957. Frankfurter delivered the opinion.

    The Court reversed the criminal conviction of a man interrogated without being informed of his constitutional rights and held for an unnecessarily long period between arrest and arraignment. Such practices deprived him of his liberty without due process of law.

    Freedom of Speech

    Yates v. United States354 U.S. 298, decided by votes of 6–1 and 4–3, June 17, 1957. Harlan wrote the majority opinion; Clark dissented; Black and Douglas dissented in part; Brennan and Whittaker did not participate.

    To prosecute persons for violating the Smith Act by advocating the forcible overthrow of the government, the United States must show active engagement on the part of the defendant—overt acts, not just abstract arguments. The decision made it much more difficult for the government to obtain convictions under the Smith Act.

    Obscenity

    Roth v. United States, Alberts v. California354 U.S. 476, decided by votes of 6–3 and 7–2, June 24, 1957. Brennan wrote the majority opinion; Harlan dissented in Roth, but concurred in Alberts; Black and Douglas dissented.

    Obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Material is obscene, the Court said, if the average person would consider that its dominant theme appealed to prurient interest.

    This definition of obscenity was the first offered by the Court. It was modified in several subsequent decisions and finally replaced with another standard in Miller v. California (1973).

    Powers of Congress

    Watkins v. United States354 U.S. 178, decided by a 6–1 vote, June 17, 1957. Warren wrote the majority opinion; Clark dissented; Burton and Whittaker did not participate.

    Declaring that “there is no congressional power to expose for the sake of exposure,” the Court held that congressional investigations may be undertaken only in aid of the legislative function. House and Senate instructions to their investigating committees must therefore fully spell out the investigating committee's purpose and jurisdiction.

    Furthermore, a witness may refuse with impunity to answer questions if they are not pertinent to the investigation. “It is the duty of the investigative body, upon objection of the witness on grounds of pertinency, to state … the subject under inquiry at the time and the manner in which the propounded questions are pertinent thereto,” the majority said.

    This reversed the contempt conviction of a labor union officer who answered questions about his own association with the Communist Party but refused to answer similar questions about other people.

    1958

    Civil Rights

    Cooper v. Aaron358 U.S. 1, decided by a unanimous vote, September 12, 1958. Warren wrote the opinion; each justice personally signed it.

    Standing firm against defiance of its 1954 and 1955 decisions declaring public school segregation unconstitutional, the Court refused a request by Little Rock, Arkansas, school officials for a delay in desegregation of their public schools. Local school officials had made the request after Gov. Orval Faubus called out the state national guard to block the entrance to a Little Rock high school to prevent entry by black students. Federal troops were eventually sent to the city to restore order and protect the black students, and the school board asked for delay of further desegregation efforts. The Court convened a special session in late summer of 1958 to hear the case.

    In a sharp rebuke to Faubus and state legislators, the Court said that the rights of black children could “neither be nullified openly and directly by state legislators or state executive officials nor nullified indirectly by them by evasive schemes for segregation.”

    Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    Trop v. Dulles356 U.S. 86, decided by a 5–4 vote, March 31, 1958. Warren wrote the majority opinion; Frankfurter, Burton, Clark, and Harlan dissented.

    The Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment prohibits the use of expatriation or denaturalization as punishment for persons found guilty of desertion from the armed forces in wartime.

    Freedom of Association

    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson357 U.S. 449, decided by a unanimous vote, June 30, 1958. Harlan wrote the opinion.

    The freedom to associate with others is implicit in the freedoms of speech and assembly guaranteed by the First Amendment. The right to associate carries with it the right of privacy in that association.

    A state court order requiring the NAACP to produce its membership lists is therefore an unconstitutional restraint on NAACP members' right of association. The state did not show a sufficient interest in the disclosure of the lists to justify the limitation such disclosure placed on freedom of association.

    Personal Liberty

    Kent v. Dulles357 U.S. 116, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 16, 1958. Douglas wrote the majority opinion; Clark, Harlan, Burton, and Whittaker dissented.

    The freedom to travel is part of the personal liberty protected by the due process guarantee of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

    Congress has not authorized the secretary of state to withhold passports from citizens because of their beliefs or associations.

    Powers of the President

    Wiener v. United States357 U.S. 349, decided by a unanimous vote, June 30, 1958. Frankfurter wrote the opinion.

    This decision reinforced the “nature of the office” approach to the presidential removal power. The Court held that where the duties of the office included quasi-judicial functions, and, where there was no statutory provision for removal, the president lacked the power to remove an incumbent official from his post simply to replace him with a person of his own choice.

    1959

    Powers of Congress

    Barenblatt v. United States360 U.S. 109, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 8, 1959. Harlan wrote the majority opinion; Warren, Black, Brennan, and Douglas dissented.

    Retreating from Watkins, the Court held that the First Amendment rights of witnesses appearing before congressional investigating committees may be limited when the public interest outweighs the private interest.

    In this case, the federal government's interest in preserving itself against those who advocated the forceful overthrow of that government outweighed the right of the witness, a teacher, to conduct a classroom discussion on the theoretical nature of communism.

    Voting Rights

    Lassiter v. Northampton County Board of Elections360 U.S. 45, decided by a unanimous vote, June 8, 1959. Douglas delivered the opinion.

    North Carolina can require that all persons must be able to read and write a section of the state constitution in English before being allowed to vote. Such a provision, applied in a nondiscriminatory way, did not violate the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, or Seventeenth Amendments, the Court held.

    1960

    Search and Seizure

    Elkins v. United States364 U.S. 206, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 27, 1960. Stewart wrote the majority opinion; Frankfurter, Clark, Harlan, and Whittaker dissented.

    The Court abandoned the “silver platter” doctrine that permitted use—in federal court—of evidence illegally seized by state authorities and handed over to federal authority. The Court held that such a practice violated the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure.

    Voting Rights

    Gomillion v. Lightfoot364 U.S. 339, decided by a unanimous vote, November 14, 1960. Frankfurter wrote the opinion.

    It is unconstitutional, a violation of the Fifteenth Amendment guarantee of the right to vote, for a state legislative districting plan to exclude almost all black voters from voting in city elections in Tuskegee, Alabama.

    1961

    Equal Protection

    Hoyt v. Florida368 U.S. 57, decided by a unanimous vote, November 20, 1961. Harlan wrote the opinion.

    States do not violate the equal protection guarantee by generally excluding women from jury duty. The exclusion was rational in light of the state's interest in preventing interference with women's traditional functions as wives, homemakers, and mothers, the Court said.

    Freedom of Association

    Communist Party v. Subversive Activities Control Board367 U.S. 1, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 5, 1961. Frankfurter wrote the majority opinion; Warren, Black, Douglas, and Brennan dissented.

    The Court upheld provisions of the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 requiring the Communist Party to register with the Justice Department, list its officials, and file financial statements. The Court rejected the party's arguments that the registration provisions were unconstitutional as a bill of attainder and a violation of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and association.

    Scales v. United States367 U.S. 203, Noto v. United States, 367 U.S. 290, decided by 5–4 votes, June 5, 1961. Harlan wrote the majority opinions; Warren, Black, Douglas, and Brennan dissented.

    The First Amendment freedoms of speech and association are not violated by laws providing penalties for active membership in a group specifically intending to bring about the violent overthrow of the government. The Court upheld Scales's conviction, but reversed Noto's, finding insufficient evidence in the latter case to justify the conviction.

    Search and Seizure

    Mapp v. Ohio367 U.S. 643, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 19, 1961. Clark wrote the majority opinion; Stewart, Harlan, Frankfurter, and Whittaker dissented.

    Evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure must be excluded from use at state as well as federal trials. With this decision, the Court overruled Wolf v. Colorado (1949).

    1962

    Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    Robinson v. California370 U.S. 660, decided by a 6–2 vote, June 25, 1962. Stewart wrote the majority opinion; Clark and White dissented; Frankfurter did not participate.

    It is a violation of the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment for a state to make narcotics addiction a criminal offense.

    Freedom of Religion

    Engel v. Vitale370 U.S. 421, decided by a 6–1 vote, June 25, 1962. Black wrote the majority opinion; Stewart dissented; Frankfurter and White did not participate.

    Public school officials may not require pupils to recite a state-composed prayer at the beginning of each school day, even though the prayer is denominationally neutral and pupils who so desire may be excused from reciting it.

    Official state-sanctioned prayers, the Court held, are unconstitutional attempts by government to establish religion.

    Voting Rights

    Baker v. Carr369 U.S. 186, decided by a 6–2 vote, March 26, 1962. Brennan wrote the majority opinion; Frankfurter and Harlan dissented; Whittaker did not participate.

    The Court for the first time held that constitutional challenges to the maldistribution of voters among legislative districts might properly be resolved by federal courts. The Court rejected the doctrine set out in Colgrove v. Green (1946) that all such apportionment challenges were “political questions” beyond the proper reach of the federal courts.

    1963

    Federal Courts

    Fay v. Noia372 U.S. 391, decided by a 6–3 vote, March 18, 1963. Brennan wrote the majority opinion; Harlan, Clark, and Stewart dissented.

    In some circumstances, a state prisoner may challenge his imprisonment by obtaining a federal writ of habeas corpus even if he has not appealed his conviction through the state court system.

    The requirement that a state prisoner “exhaust” all state remedies before challenging his conviction in federal courts simply means that a state prisoner must have tried all state remedies still available to him at the time he comes into federal court seeking the writ.

    Freedom of Association

    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Button371 U.S. 415, decided by a 6–3 vote, January 14, 1963. Brennan wrote the majority opinion; Harlan, Clark, and Stewart dissented.

    A state law, directed against the NAACP, which forbids solicitation of clients by an agent of an organization that litigates cases in which it is not a party and has no pecuniary interest, impermissibly infringes on the First Amendment right of association. “Abstract discussion is not the only species of communication which the Constitution protects; the First Amendment also protects vigorous advocacy, certainly of lawful ends, against government intrusion,” the Court wrote.

    Freedom of Religion

    School District of Abington Township v. Schempp374 U.S. 203, decided by an 8–1 vote, June 17, 1963. Clark wrote the opinion; Stewart dissented.

    State-ordered recitation of the Lord's Prayer and the reading of the Bible in the public school system as a devotional exercise violates the establishment clause.

    Freedom of Speech

    Edwards v. South Carolina372 U.S. 229, decided by an 8–1 vote, February 25, 1963. Stewart wrote the majority opinion; Clark dissented.

    The Court reversed the breach-of-the-peace convictions of student demonstrators who had marched peacefully to protest racial discrimination. The Court held that the breach-of-the-peace statute was unconstitutionally broad and had been used in this case to penalize the exercise of free speech, assembly, and petition for redress of grievances “in their most pristine and classic form,” a clear violation of the First Amendment.

    Right to Counsel

    Gideon v. Wainwright372 U.S. 335, decided by a unanimous vote, March 18, 1963. Black delivered the Court's opinion.

    The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment extends to state as well as federal defendants the Sixth Amendment guarantee that all persons charged with serious crimes will be provided the aid of an attorney. Betts v. Brady (1942) is overruled. States are required to appoint counsel for defendants who cannot afford to pay their own attorneys' fees.

    Search and Seizure

    Ker v. California374 U.S. 23, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 10, 1963. Clark wrote the majority opinion; Warren, Brennan, Douglas, and Goldberg dissented in part.

    The same standards apply to determine whether federal and state searches and seizures are reasonable and therefore permissible under the Fourth Amendment. (The justices disagreed over whether the warrantless search at issue in this case was reasonable.)

    Voting Rights

    Gray v. Sanders372 U.S. 368, decided by an 8–1 vote, March 18, 1963. Douglas wrote the majority opinion; Harlan dissented.

    Georgia's “county unit” system of electing officers to state posts violates the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment by giving more weight to the votes of people in rural counties than urban counties. The idea of political equality, inherent in the U.S. system, held the Court, “can mean only one thing—one person, one vote.”

    1964

    Civil Rights

    Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County377 U.S. 218, decided by a 7–2 vote, May 25, 1964. Black wrote the majority opinion; Clark and Harlan dissented in part.

    Losing patience with state defiance of its school desegregation decisions, the Court declared that there had been “entirely too much deliberation and not enough speed.” It was unconstitutional, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause, for Prince Edward County, Virginia, to close its schools, to avoid the impact of desegregation.

    Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States379 U.S. 241, decided by a unanimous vote, December 14, 1964. Clark wrote the opinion.

    The commerce power may be used to prohibit racial discrimination in privately owned public accommodations. This decision effectively overturned the Court's 1883 Civil Rights Cases and sustained Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That section prohibited discrimination, on the basis of race, religion, or national origin, in accommodations that catered to interstate travelers or that served food or provided entertainment, a substantial portion of which was shipped through interstate commerce.

    Freedom of Association

    Aptheker v. Secretary of State378 U.S. 500, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 22, 1964. Goldberg wrote the majority opinion; Clark, Harlan, and White dissented.

    The Court declared unconstitutional a section of the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 that denied passports—and thus the right to travel—to persons who belonged to organizations listed as subversive by the attorney general. The law was too broad; it failed to distinguish between persons who joined such organizations with the full knowledge of their subversive purpose and persons who joined with less knowledge.

    Freedom of the Press

    New York Times Co. v. Sullivan376 U.S. 254, decided by a unanimous vote, March 9, 1964. Brennan wrote the opinion.

    The First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press protects the press from libel suits for defamatory reports on public officials unless the officials prove that the reports were made with actual malice. Actual malice is defined as “with knowledge that it [the defamatory statement] was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”

    Until this decision, libelous statements were not protected by the First Amendment.

    Right to Counsel

    Escobedo v. Illinois378 U.S. 478, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 22, 1964. Goldberg wrote the majority opinion; Harlan, Stewart, White, and Clark dissented.

    The Court expanded a suspect's right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment, holding that confessions obtained by police who had not advised the suspect of his right to counsel—or acceded to his requests for counsel—were inadmissible as evidence.

    Self-Incrimination

    Malloy v. Hogan378 U.S. 1, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 15, 1964. Brennan wrote the majority opinion; Harlan, Clark, White, and Stewart dissented.

    The Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination is extended to state defendants through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Murphy v. Waterfront Commission of New York378 U.S. 52, decided by a unanimous vote, June 15, 1964. Goldberg wrote the opinion.

    The Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled self-incrimination protects witnesses immunized by either state or federal officials from prosecution in either jurisdiction based on their testimony.

    Voting Rights

    Wesberry v. Sanders376 U.S. 1, decided by a 6–3 vote, February 17, 1964. Black wrote the majority opinion; Clark dissented in part; Harlan and Stewart dissented.

    Substantial disparity in the population of congressional districts within a state is unconstitutional, violating the provision for election of members of the House of Representatives “by the people of the several states.” Congressional voting districts within a state must be as nearly equal in population as possible.

    Reynolds v. Sims377 U.S. 533, decided by an 8–1 vote, June 15, 1964. Warren wrote the majority opinion; Harlan dissented.

    The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires application of the “one person, one vote” apportionment rule to both houses of a state legislature.

    1965

    Contraception

    Griswold v. Connecticut381 U.S. 479, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 7, 1965. Douglas wrote the majority opinion; Stewart and Black dissented.

    A state unconstitutionally interferes with personal privacy when it prohibits anyone, including married couples, from using contraceptives. There is a right of personal privacy implicit in the Constitution, although there is disagreement on its exact source.

    Due Process

    Pointer v. Texas380 U.S. 400, decided by a unanimous vote, April 5, 1965. Black wrote the opinion.

    The Sixth Amendment guarantee of the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses is applied to state defendants by the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause.

    Federal Courts

    Dombrowski v. Pfister380 U.S. 479, decided by a 5–2 vote, April 26, 1965. Brennan wrote the majority opinion; Harlan and Clark dissented; Black and Stewart did not participate.

    Federal courts need not abstain from ordering state officials to halt enforcement of a law justifiably attacked as in violation of the First Amendment, even if the person seeking the order has not yet exhausted all state procedures for challenging that law.

    Self-Incrimination

    Griffin v. California380 U.S. 609, decided by a 6–2 vote, April 28, 1965. Douglas wrote the majority opinion; Stewart and White dissented; Warren did not participate.

    The Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled self-incrimination, as applied to the states through the due process guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment, is infringed when a judge or prosecutor comments adversely during a trial upon a defendant's failure to testify in his own behalf.

    Albertson v. Subversive Activities Control Board382 U.S. 70, decided by an 8–0 vote, November 15, 1965. Brennan wrote the opinion; White did not participate.

    The Court overturned convictions of Communist Party members who were ordered to register personally with the attorney general by the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950. The registration orders violated the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

    Voting Rights

    Harman v. Forssenius380 U.S. 528, decided by a unanimous vote, April 27, 1965. Warren wrote the opinion.

    A Virginia law imposing special registration requirements on persons not paying the state's poll tax violates the Twenty-fourth Amendment's ban on poll taxes in federal elections.

    1966

    Freedom of Association

    Elfbrandt v. Russell384 U.S. 11, decided by a 5–4 vote, April 18, 1966. Douglas wrote the majority opinion; White, Clark, Harlan, and Stewart dissented.

    An Arizona loyalty oath violates the First Amendment freedom of association by penalizing persons for membership in certain groups whether or not they joined the group with the specific intent of engaging in unlawful acts.

    Self-Incrimination

    Miranda v. Arizona384 U.S. 436, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 13, 1966. Warren wrote the majority opinion; Clark, Harlan, Stewart, and White dissented.

    The due process guarantee requires that suspects in police custody be informed of their right to remain silent, that anything they say may be used against them, and that they have the right to counsel—before any interrogation can permissibly take place.

    Voting Rights

    South Carolina v. Katzenbach383 U.S. 301, decided by an 8–1 vote, March 7, 1966. Warren wrote the majority opinion; Black dissented.

    The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a proper exercise of congressional power to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment ban on racial discrimination in voting.

    Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections383 U.S. 663, decided by a 6–3 vote, March 24, 1966. Douglas wrote the majority opinion; Black, Harlan, and Stewart dissented.

    State laws that condition the right to vote upon payment of a tax violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    1967

    Civil Rights

    Loving v. Virginia388 U.S. 1, decided by a unanimous vote, June 12, 1967. Warren wrote the opinion.

    A state law punishing persons who enter into interracial marriages violates both the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. “Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry or not marry a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the state,” the Court declared.

    This decision was the first in which the Court explicitly held classifications by race “inherently suspect” and justifiable only by compelling reasons.

    Due Process

    Klopfer v. North Carolina386 U.S. 213, decided by a unanimous vote, March 13, 1967. Warren wrote the Court's opinion.

    The Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial applies in state, as well as federal, proceedings.

    In re Gault387 U.S. 1, decided by a 7–2 vote, May 15, 1967. Fortas wrote the majority opinion; Harlan and Stewart dissented.

    Juveniles have some—but not all—due process privileges in juvenile court proceedings. The privilege against self-incrimination and the right to counsel do apply.

    Washington v. Texas388 U.S. 14, decided by a unanimous vote, June 12, 1967. Warren wrote the opinion.

    Compulsory process to obtain witnesses in the defendant's favor is so fundamental to the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a fair trial that it is applicable to state trials through the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Freedom of Association

    Keyishian v. Board of Regents385 U.S. 589, decided by a 5–4 vote, January 23, 1967. Brennan wrote the majority opinion; Clark, Harlan, Stewart, and White dissented.

    New York State's teacher loyalty oath requirement is invalid as too vague and uncertain. Membership in the Communist Party alone is not sufficient reason to disqualify a teacher from public school employment.

    United States v. Robel389 U.S. 258, decided by a 6–2 vote, December 11, 1967. Warren wrote the majority opinion; White and Harlan dissented; Marshall did not participate.

    The Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 violates the First Amendment freedom of association by forbidding a member of a group listed as subversive by the attorney general to take a job in a defense industry.

    Right to Counsel

    United States v. Wade388 U.S. 218, decided by a unanimous vote, June 12, 1967. Brennan wrote the opinion.

    A police line-up identification of a suspect—made without the suspect's attorney present—is inadmissible as evidence at trial.

    Search and Seizure

    Warden v. Hayden387 U.S. 294, decided by an 8–1 vote, May 29, 1967. Brennan wrote the majority opinion; Douglas dissented.

    Law enforcement searches for “mere evidence” are just as constitutional and reasonable as searches for implements and products of crime.

    Katz v. United States389 U.S. 347, decided by a 7–1 vote, December 18, 1967. Stewart wrote the majority opinion for the Court; Black dissented; Marshall did not participate.

    The Court abandoned its view, set out in Olmstead v. United States (1928), that electronic surveillance and wiretapping were not “searches and seizures” within the scope of the Fourth Amendment. The amendment protects people, not places; it protects what an individual seeks to preserve as private, even in a place accessible to the public.

    1968

    Civil Rights

    Green v. County School Board of New Kent County391 U.S. 430, decided by a unanimous vote, May 27, 1968. Brennan wrote the opinion.

    Local school district officials have an affirmative duty to eliminate segregation “root and branch” from public schools, the Court said, striking down a “freedom-of-choice” plan that would have maintained segregated schools in New Kent County, Virginia. “The burden on a school board today is to come forward with a [desegregation] plan that promises realistically to work and … to work now,” the Court declared.

    Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co.392 U.S. 409, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 17, 1968. Stewart wrote the majority opinion; Harlan and White dissented.

    The 1866 Civil Rights Act bars private as well as state-backed discrimination on the basis of race in the sale and rental of housing.

    This decision reinterpreted congressional authority to enforce the Thirteenth Amendment, which was intended to remove “the badges of slavery.” In the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, the Court had held that Congress had no authority to enforce the guarantees of the Thirteenth Amendment against private acts of discrimination.

    Due Process

    Duncan v. Louisiana391 U.S. 145, decided by a 7–2 vote, May 20, 1968. White wrote the majority opinion; Harlan and Stewart dissented.

    The Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of due process requires states to provide trial by jury to persons accused of serious crimes.

    Federal Courts

    Flast v. Cohen392 U.S. 83, decided by an 8–1 vote, June 10, 1968. Warren wrote the majority opinion; Harlan dissented.

    Modifying Frothingham v. Mellon (1923), the Court held that a federal taxpayer may have the requisite standing to bring a federal challenge to federal spending and taxing programs as unconstitutional.

    To prove the necessary personal interest in such programs, the Court ruled, the taxpayer must establish a logical connection between his taxpayer status and the claim before the court. This connection or “nexus” must be shown so that the federal courts not become merely forums for the airing of generalized grievances about government programs and policies.

    Search and Seizure

    Terry v. Ohio392 U.S. 1, decided by an 8–1 vote, June 10, 1968. Warren wrote the majority opinion; Douglas dissented.

    The Court upheld the police practice of “stop and frisk,” saying that when a police officer observes unusual conduct and suspects a crime is about to be committed, he may “frisk” a suspect's outer clothing for dangerous weapons. Such searches do not violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.

    1969

    Due Process

    Benton v. Maryland395 U.S. 784, decided by a 6–2 vote, June 23, 1969. Marshall wrote the opinion; Stewart and Harlan dissented.

    Overruling Palko v. Connecticut (1937), the Court declared that the Fourteenth Amendment due process guarantee extends the double jeopardy guarantee of the Fifth Amendment against state, as well as federal, action.

    Freedom of Speech

    Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District393 U.S. 503, decided by a 7–2 vote, February 24, 1969. Fortas wrote the majority opinion; Harlan and Black dissented.

    Students have the right to engage in peaceful nondisruptive protest, the Court said, recognizing that the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech protects symbolic as well as oral speech.

    The wearing of black armbands to protest the Vietnam War is “closely akin” to the “pure speech” protected by the First Amendment, the majority said, and therefore a public school ban on this form of protest, which did not disrupt the school's work or offend the rights of others, violated these students' rights.

    Personal Liberty

    Shapiro v. Thompson, Washington v. Legrant, Reynolds v. Smith394 U.S. 618, decided by a 6–3 vote, April 21, 1969. Brennan wrote the majority opinion; Warren, Black, and Harlan dissented.

    The right to travel is constitutionally protected. State or federal requirements that a person reside within a jurisdiction for one year before becoming eligible for welfare assistance violate individual rights to due process and equal protection of the laws.

    No compelling government interest was presented to justify this infringement on the right to travel.

    Powers of Congress

    Powell v. McCormack395 U.S. 486, decided by a 7–1 vote, June 16, 1969. Warren wrote the opinion; Stewart dissented.

    The House of Representatives lacks authority to exclude a duly elected representative who meets the constitutional qualifications of age, residence, and citizenship. The House acted unconstitutionally when it voted to exclude Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, D-N.Y., for misconduct and misuse of public funds.

    The Court did not deny the interest of Congress in maintaining its own integrity, but said such interest could be maintained by the use of each chamber's power to punish and expel its members.

    The Court rejected the argument that the case presented a “political question,” holding that a determination of Powell's right to his seat required only the interpretation of the Constitution, the traditional function of the Court.

    Search and Seizure

    Chimel v. California395 U.S. 752, decided by a 6–2 vote, June 23, 1969. Stewart wrote the opinion; White and Black dissented.

    Overruling United States v. Rabinowitz (1950), the Court narrowed the limits of permissible searches conducted without a warrant incident to lawful arrest to the immediate area around the suspect from which he could obtain a weapon or destroy evidence. A person's entire dwelling cannot be searched simply because he is arrested there.

    Voting Rights

    Kirkpatrick v. Preisler394 U.S. 526, decided by a 6–3 vote, April 7, 1969. Brennan wrote the majority opinion; Harlan, Stewart, and White dissented.

    Congressional districts with population variances of 3.1 percent from mathematical equality are unconstitutional unless the state can show that such variations are unavoidable.

    Gaston County v. U.S.395 U.S. 285, decided by a 7–1 vote, June 2, 1969. Harlan wrote the majority opinion; Black dissented.

    The Court denied a county's request—under provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act—to reinstate a literacy test for voters. The combination of such a test, the Court ruled, with previous deprivation of educational opportunity for blacks in the county, would abridge the right to vote on account of race.

    1970

    Due Process

    In re Winship397 U.S. 358, decided by a 5–3 vote, March 31, 1970. Brennan wrote the majority opinion; Burger, Black, and Stewart dissented.

    The Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of due process requires that juveniles, like adult defendants, be found guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The Supreme Court forbade states to use a lesser standard of proof in juvenile proceedings.

    Williams v. Florida399 U.S. 78, decided by a 7–1 vote, June 22, 1970. White wrote the majority opinion; Marshall dissented; Blackmun did not participate.

    A six-member jury in noncapital state cases is constitutional. The number twelve is a “historical accident”; a jury can perform just as well with six members as it can with twelve.

    Voting Rights

    Oregon v. Mitchell, Texas v. Mitchell, United States v. Idaho, United States v. Arizona400 U.S. 112, decided by a 5–4 vote on lowered voting age, by an 8–1 vote on residency requirements, and by a unanimous vote on literacy test ban, December 21, 1970.

    Black wrote the opinion; Burger, Harlan, Stewart, and Blackmun dissented on the question of age; Harlan dissented on the residency issue.

    Congress has the power to lower the voting age for federal—but not for state and local—elections, to restrict state residency requirements to thirty days for voters in presidential elections, and to ban literacy tests as voter qualification devices in any election.

    1971

    Civil Rights

    Griggs v. Duke Power Co.401 U.S. 424, decided by an 8–0 vote, March 8, 1971. Burger wrote the opinion; Brennan did not participate.

    In its first case implicitly upholding the right of Congress to bar employment discrimination based on race, the Court held that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from requiring a high school diploma or score on a general intelligence test as a condition for employment or promotion if neither test is related to job skills and if both tend to disqualify more black than white applicants.

    Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Board of Education402 U.S. 1, decided by a unanimous vote, April 20, 1971. Burger wrote the opinion.

    Busing, racial balance ratios, and gerrymandered school districts are all permissible interim methods of eliminating the vestiges of state-imposed segregation from southern schools.

    There were limits to the remedies that might be used to eliminate the remnants of segregation, the Court said, but no fixed guidelines setting such limits could be established. The Court acknowledged that there might be valid objections to busing when so much time or distance is involved as to risk the children's health or to impinge significantly on the education process.

    Due Process

    McKeiver v. Pennsylvania, In re Burrus403 U.S. 528, decided by votes of 6–3 and 5–4, June 21, 1971. Blackmun wrote the majority opinion; Douglas, Black, and Marshall dissented, joined in Burrus by Brennan.

    The Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury does not extend to juvenile defendants.

    Equal Protection

    Graham v. Richardson403 U.S. 365, decided by a unanimous vote, June 14, 1971. Blackmun wrote the Court's opinion.

    Extending the equal protection guarantee to aliens, the Court struck down an Arizona law denying welfare benefits to aliens who lived in the United States less than fifteen years and a Pennsylvania law denying benefits to all resident aliens. The Court held that all classification by alienage was “suspect,” requiring especially close scrutiny to ensure compliance with the equal protection guarantee.

    Reed v. Reed404 U.S. 71, decided by a 7–0 vote, November 22, 1971. Burger wrote the opinion.

    The Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection invalidates a state law that automatically prefers a father over a mother as executor of a son's estate. “To give a mandatory preference to members of either sex over members of the other … is to make the very kind of arbitrary legislative choice forbidden by the equal protection clause,” the Court said in its first opinion declaring a state law unconstitutional on the grounds that it discriminated against women.

    Federal Courts

    Younger v. Harris401 U.S. 37, decided by an 8–1 vote, February 23, 1971. Black wrote the majority opinion; Douglas dissented.

    Federal judges should not normally issue orders to state officials to halt enforcement of a state law or ongoing state proceedings—at least without a showing that continued enforcement of the law threatens to do irreparable injury to the person seeking the order.

    Freedom of Religion

    Lemon v. Kurtzman403 U.S. 602, decided by a unanimous vote, June 28, 1971. Burger wrote the opinion; Marshall did not participate.

    In this case the Court established a three-part test to determine whether state aid to parochial schools violated the First Amendment's ban on government action “establishing” religion.

    State aid is permissible, the Court said, if it is intended to achieve a secular legislative purpose, if its primary effect neither advances nor inhibits religion, and if it does not foster excessive government entanglement with religion.

    Applying this test, the Court declared invalid a state law authorizing supplemental salary grants to certain parochial school teachers and another state law authorizing reimbursement to parochial schools for teachers' salaries, textbooks, and instructional materials; the Court found that both laws fostered an excessive entanglement between government and religion.

    Freedom of the Press

    New York Times Co. v. United States, United States v. The Washington Post403 U.S. 713, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 30, 1971. The opinion was unsigned; each justice wrote a separate opinion. Burger, Blackmun, and Harlan dissented.

    The Court in its brief per curiam opinion denied the government's request for a court order barring continued publication in the New York Times and the Washington Post of articles based on classified documents detailing the history of U.S. involvement in Indochina, popularly known as the Pentagon Papers.

    Any request for prior restraint of the press bears a “heavy presumption against its constitutional validity,” the Court said, and the government had failed to show sufficient justification for imposing such restraint.

    Self-Incrimination

    Harris v. New York401 U.S. 222, decided by a 5–4 vote, February 24, 1971. Burger wrote the majority opinion; Black, Douglas, Brennan, and Marshall dissented.

    Voluntary statements made by a defendant not properly warned of his constitutional rights may be used in court to impeach his credibility if he takes the witness stand in his own defense and contradicts the earlier statements.

    1972

    Due Process

    Johnson v. Louisiana406 U.S. 356, Apodaca v. Oregon, 406 U.S. 404, decided by a 5–4 vote, May 22, 1972. White wrote the majority opinion; Douglas, Brennan, Stewart, and Marshall dissented.

    The constitutional guarantee of a jury trial applied to state courts does not require that the jury's verdict be unanimous. Lack of unanimity on the question of guilt does not constitute evidence of a reasonable doubt of guilt.

    Furman v. Georgia, Jackson v. Georgia, Branch v. Texas408 U.S. 238, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 29, 1972. The Court's opinion was unsigned; each justice filed a separate opinion. Burger, Blackmun, Powell, and Rehnquist dissented.

    The Court nullified all death penalty statutes in the United States. It held that the procedures the statutes provided for judges and juries to follow in deciding when and whether to impose a sentence of death upon a defendant left so much discretion to the judge and jury that the result was arbitrary, irrational, and deprived defendants of due process of law.

    Freedom of the Press

    Branzburg v. Hayes, In re Pappas, United States v. Caldwell408 U.S. 665, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 29, 1972. White wrote the majority opinion; Douglas, Brennan, Stewart, and Marshall dissented.

    The constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press does not privilege news reporters to refuse—without risking contempt charges—to provide information to grand juries concerning a crime or the sources of evidence concerning a crime.

    Official Immunity

    United States v. Brewster408 U.S. 501, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 29, 1972. Burger wrote the opinion; Brennan, Douglas, and White dissented.

    The constitutional immunity conferred on members of Congress by the “speech or debate clause” does not protect them from prosecution for accepting a bribe to vote a certain way on a legislative matter.

    The holding cleared the way for prosecution of former senator Daniel B. Brewster, D-Md. (1963–1969), who had been indicted in 1969 on charges of accepting $24,000 in bribes from the mail order firm of Spiegel Incorporated to influence his vote on changes in postal rates. Taking a bribe is illegal, the majority wrote, and is no part of the legislative process. It is therefore subject to prosecution and punishment in the nation's courts.

    Right to Counsel

    Argersinger v. Hamlin407 U.S. 25, decided by a unanimous vote, June 12, 1972. Douglas wrote the opinion.

    The right of counsel applies in trials for all offenses, state and federal, where a jail sentence is a possible penalty.

    Self-Incrimination

    Kastigar v. United States406 U.S. 441, decided by a 5–2 vote, May 22, 1972. Powell wrote the opinion; Douglas and Marshall dissented; Rehnquist and Brennan did not participate.

    The narrowed witness immunity provisions of the 1970 Organized Crime Control Act do not infringe upon the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. In any subsequent prosecution of an immunized witness, the government must demonstrate that the evidence is derived from sources independent of testimony given under a grant of immunity.

    1973

    Abortion

    Roe v. Wade410 U.S. 113, Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, decided by 7–2 votes, January 22, 1973. Blackmun wrote the majority opinions; Rehnquist and White dissented.

    The right to privacy, grounded in the Fourteenth Amendment's due process guarantee of personal liberty, encompasses and protects a woman's decision whether or not to bear a child. This right is impermissibly abridged by state laws that make abortion a crime.

    During the first trimester of pregnancy, the decision to have an abortion should be left entirely to a woman and her physician. The state can forbid abortions by nonphysicians. During the second trimester, the state may regulate the abortion procedure in ways reasonably related to maternal health. And during the third trimester, the state may, if it wishes, forbid all abortions except those necessary to save the life of the woman.

    Civil Rights

    Keyes v. Denver School District No. 1413 U.S. 921, decided by a 7–1 vote, June 21, 1973. Brennan wrote the majority opinion; Rehnquist dissented; White did not participate.

    This decision was the Court's first definition of the responsibility of school officials to act to desegregate public schools in a district where racial segregation had never been required by law (de jure).

    The Court held that school officials were constitutionally obligated to desegregate a school system if the segregation there had resulted from intentional school board policies. In the case of racially segregated schools within a system, the burden of proof was on the school board to prove such segregation was not a result of intentional board actions.

    Equal Protection

    San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez411 U.S. 1, decided by a 5–4 vote, March 21, 1973. Powell wrote the majority opinion; Marshall, Douglas, Brennan, and White dissented.

    The right to an education is not a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. Wealth is not a suspect way of classifying persons. Therefore, the equal protection guarantee does not require that courts give the strictest scrutiny to state decisions to finance public schools from local property taxes, a decision resulting in wide disparities among districts in the amount spent per pupil.

    States do not deny anyone the opportunity for an education by adopting this means of financing public education. Financing public schools from local property taxes rationally furthers a legitimate state purpose and so is upheld.

    Obscenity

    Miller v. California413 U.S. 15, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 21, 1973. Burger wrote the majority opinion; Brennan, Stewart, Marshall, and Douglas dissented.

    States have the power, without violating the First Amendment, to regulate material that is obscene in its depiction or description of sexual conduct. Material is obscene if the average person, applying contemporary local community standards, would find that it appeals to the prurient interest, and if it depicts in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law, and if the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

    This definition of obscenity was the first approved by of a majority of the justices since 1957; it was less stringent than the prevailing standard and consequently gave the states more control over obscene materials.

    Voting Rights

    Mahan v. Howell, City of Virginia Beach v. Howell, Weinberg v. Prichard410 U.S. 315, decided by a 5–3 vote, February 21, 1973. Rehnquist wrote the opinion; Brennan, Douglas, and Marshall dissented; Powell did not participate.

    The Court's decision in this case relaxed the requirement that state legislative districts be as nearly equal as possible—holding that states may apply more flexible standards in drawing new state legislative districts than in congressional redistricting.

    The decision approved a Virginia plan permitting a 16 percent variation between the largest and smallest population districts.

    1974

    Civil Rights

    Milliken v. Bradley418 U.S. 717, decided by a 5–4 vote, July 25, 1974. Burger wrote the majority opinion; Douglas, Brennan, Marshall, and White dissented.

    A multidistrict remedy for school segregation, such as busing school children across district lines, can be ordered by a federal court only when there has been a finding that all the districts involved have been responsible for the segregation to be remedied.

    The Court reversed a lower court's order directing busing across city, county, and district lines to desegregate the schools of Detroit, Michigan. The majority ordered the lower court to devise a remedy that would affect only the city schools.

    Equal Protection

    Geduldig v. Aiello417 U.S. 484, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 17, 1974. Stewart wrote the majority opinion; Douglas, Brennan, and Marshall dissented.

    California did not violate the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by excluding from its disability insurance program women unable to work because of pregnancy-related disabilities.

    Women were not denied equal protection by this exclusion because, the majority said, “there is no risk from which men are protected and women are not.” The decision to exclude the risk of pregnancy from the risks insured by the state plan was a rational one in light of the state interest in maintaining a low-cost, self-supporting insurance fund.

    Federal Courts

    Edelman v. Jordan415 U.S. 651, decided by a 5–4 vote, March 25, 1974. Rehnquist wrote the majority opinion; Brennan, Douglas, Marshall, and Blackmun dissented.

    The Eleventh Amendment immunity of states from federal lawsuits brought by citizens without the state's consent protects a state from a federal court order directing it to spend money to remedy past abuses.

    Federal judges may order a state to halt enforcement of a law that violates due process and equal protection, but that order may only reach future action—it may not require the state to remedy past damages inflicted under the invalid law.

    In 1976 the Court substantially modified the reach of this decision, holding unanimously in Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer, Bitzer v. Matthews, 427 U.S. 445, that federal courts could order states to pay retroactive benefits to persons against whom the state had discriminated in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Powers of the President

    United States v. Nixon418 U.S. 683, decided by an 8–0 vote, July 24, 1974. Burger wrote the opinion; Rehnquist did not participate.

    Neither the separation of powers nor the need to preserve the confidentiality of presidential communications alone can justify an absolute executive privilege of immunity from judicial demands for evidence to be used in a criminal trial.

    The Court held that President Richard Nixon must comply with a subpoena for tapes of certain White House conversations, sought for use as evidence against White House aides charged with obstruction of justice in regard to the investigation of the break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate Office Building in June 1972.

    1975

    Civil Rights

    Albemarle Paper Co. v. Moody422 U.S. 405, decided by a 7–1 vote, June 25, 1975. Stewart wrote the majority opinion; Burger dissented; Powell did not participate.

    Back pay awards to victims of employment discrimination are the rule, not the exception, in cases won under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Back pay awards carry out the intent of Congress to make persons whole for injuries suffered on account of unlawful discrimination and should not be restricted to cases in which the employer is found to have acted in bad faith.

    Equal Protection

    Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld420 U.S. 636, decided by an 8–0 vote, March 19, 1975. Brennan wrote the opinion; Douglas did not participate.

    Social Security law that provides survivors' benefits for widows with small children, but not for widowers with small children, violates the guarantee of due process by providing working women with fewer benefits for their Social Security contributions than it provides to working men. “It is no less important for a child to be cared for by its sole surviving parent when that parent is male rather than female,” wrote Brennan, pointing out that the intended purpose of this benefit was to allow a mother not to work, but to stay home and care for her children.

    Free Speech

    Bigelow v. Virginia421 U.S. 809, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 16, 1975. Blackmun wrote the opinion; Rehnquist and White dissented.

    Commercial advertising enjoys some First Amendment protection; Valentine v. Chrestensen, 316 U.S. 52 (1942), held that the manner in which such ads were distributed could be regulated—not advertising itself.

    The Court reversed the conviction of a newspaper editor in Virginia for violating a state law against “encouraging” abortions by running an advertisement including information on legal abortions available in New York. This law was an improper effort by the state to control what its citizens could hear or read, the Court held.

    Jury Trials

    Taylor v. Louisiana419 U.S. 522, decided by an 8–1 vote, January 21, 1975. White wrote the opinion; Rehnquist dissented.

    State laws generally exempting women from jury duty are unconstitutional because they violate the Sixth Amendment requirement that juries be drawn from a fair cross-section of the community.

    The Court overruled its 1961 decision in Hoyt v. Florida, which upheld this general exclusion of women from jury duty as rational in light of the state's interest in preventing interference with women's traditional functions as wives, homemakers, and mothers.

    1976

    Civil Rights

    Washington v. Davis426 U.S. 229, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 7, 1976. White wrote the majority opinion; Brennan and Marshall dissented.

    Job qualification tests are not unconstitutional simply because more black than white job applicants fail them. Some racially discriminatory purpose must be found in order for such a test to be in violation of the constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection. “Disproportionate impact is not irrelevant, but it is not the sole touchstone of an invidious racial discrimination forbidden by the Constitution.”

    Runyon v. McCrary, Fairfax-Brewster School Inc. v. Gonzales, Southern Independent School Association v. McCrary427 U.S. 160, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 25, 1976. Stewart wrote the opinion; White and Rehnquist dissented.

    Racially segregated private schools that refuse to admit black students violate the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which gave “all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States the same right … to make and enforce contracts … as is enjoyed by white citizens.” That law bans this type of private discrimination.

    Pasadena Board of Education v. Spangler427 U.S. 424, decided by a 6–2 vote, June 28, 1976. Rehnquist wrote the opinion; Brennan and Marshall dissented; Stevens did not participate.

    Once a school board has implemented a racially neutral plan for assignment of students to city schools, it is not constitutionally required to continue juggling student assignments in order to maintain a certain racial balance in the student body of each school.

    Commerce

    National League of Cities v. Usery, California v. Usery426 U.S. 833, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 24, 1976. Rehnquist wrote the opinion; Brennan, White, Marshall, and Stevens dissented.

    Congress exceeded its power to regulate interstate commerce when it extended federal minimum wage and overtime standards to cover state and local government employees by its 1974 amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Determination of state government employees' wages and hours is one of the “attributes of sovereignty attaching to every state government, which may not be impaired by Congress.”

    Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    Gregg v. Georgia428 U.S. 153, Proffitt v. Florida, 428 U.S. 242, Jurek v. Texas, 428 U.S. 262, decided by 7–2 votes, July 2, 1976. Stewart wrote the opinion in Gregg; Stevens wrote the opinion in Jurek; Powell wrote the opinion in ProffItt; Brennan and Marshall dissented.

    As a punishment for persons convicted of first degree murder, death is not in and of itself cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

    The Eighth Amendment requires the sentencing judge or jury to consider the individual character of the offender and the circumstances of the particular crime before deciding whether to impose a death sentence. A two-part proceeding—one for the determination of guilt or innocence and a second for determining the sentence—provides an opportunity for such individualized consideration prior to sentencing.

    Woodson v. North Carolina428 U.S. 280, Roberts v. Louisiana, 428 U.S. 325, decided by votes of 5–4, July 2, 1976. Stewart wrote the opinion in Woodson; Stevens wrote the opinion in Roberts; Burger, White, Rehnquist, and Blackmun dissented.

    States may not make death the mandatory penalty for first degree murder. Such mandatory sentences fail to meet the constitutional requirement for consideration of the individual offender and offense prior to the decision to impose the death penalty.

    Equal Protection

    Craig v. Boren429 U.S. 190, decided by a 7–2 vote, December 20, 1976. Brennan wrote the opinion; Burger and Rehnquist dissented.

    A classification based on gender is invalid unless it is substantially related to the achievement of an important government objective.

    Using this rule, the Court declared unconstitutional a state law that permitted the sale of 3.2 beer to women at age eighteen but not to men until age twenty-one. The law was not substantially related to the state's expressed goal of promoting traffic safety.

    Federal Courts

    Stone v. Powell, Wolff v. Rice428 U.S. 465, decided by a 6–3 vote, July 6, 1976. Powell wrote the opinion; Brennan, Marshall, and White dissented.

    A state prisoner's claim that illegally obtained evidence was used to convict him cannot serve as a basis for a federal court order of his release through a writ of habeas corpus—unless the state failed to provide the prisoner an opportunity for full and fair hearing of his challenge to the evidence.

    Freedom of Association

    Elrod v. Burns427 U.S. 347, decided by a 5–3 vote, June 28, 1976. Brennan wrote the opinion; Burger, Powell, and Rehnquist dissented; Stevens did not participate.

    Patronage firing—the discharge by an official of the public employees who do not belong to his party—violates the First Amendment freedom of political association.

    Freedom of Speech

    Buckley v. Valeo424 U.S. 1, decided by votes of 8–0, 7–1, and 6–2, January 31, 1976. The opinion was unsigned; Burger, Blackmun, Rehnquist, White, and Marshall all dissented in part; Stevens did not participate.

    The First Amendment guarantee of freedom of expression is impermissibly infringed by the limits placed by the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments on the amount a candidate for federal office may spend. The vote was 7–1; White dissented.

    The majority did find limits permissible for candidates who accepted public financing of their campaigns for the presidency.

    The Court upheld, 6–2, the law's limits on the amount individuals and political committees could contribute to candidates. The limit was only a marginal restriction on a contributor's First Amendment freedom, justified by the interest in preventing corruption, the majority said. Burger and Blackmun dissented.

    The Court upheld, 6–2, the system of public financing set up for presidential campaigns and elections. Burger and Rehnquist dissented. Burger also dissented from the majority's decision to uphold the law's requirements for public disclosure of campaign contributions of more than $100 and campaign expenditures of more than $10.

    The Court unanimously agreed that the Federal Election Commission, as set up by the 1974 law, was unconstitutional as a violation of the separation of powers.

    Freedom of the Press

    Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart427 U.S. 539, decided by a unanimous vote, June 30, 1976. Burger wrote the opinion.

    A gag order severely limiting what the press can report about pretrial proceedings in a mass murder case violates the First Amendment guarantee of a free press.

    If ever permissible, this sort of prior restraint of publication can be justified only by the most extreme circumstances. In most situations, judges concerned about preserving a defendant's right to a fair trial by an unbiased jury have many less drastic means of ensuring that potential jurors are not prejudiced by publicity.

    Taxes

    Michelin Tire Corp. v. Wages423 U.S. 276, decided by an 8–0 vote, January 14, 1976. Brennan wrote the opinion; Stevens did not participate.

    The Court overruled Low v. Austin (1872), which forbade states to tax imported goods so long as those goods retained their character as imports.

    The export-import clause of the Constitution, the Court held, did not bar a county from imposing a property tax on imported goods stored prior to sale, so long as the tax did not discriminate against imported goods.

    1977

    Civil Rights

    Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corporation429 U.S. 252, decided by a 5–3 vote, January 11, 1977. Powell wrote the opinion; White dissented; Brennan and Marshall dissented in part; Stevens did not participate.

    Without any showing of discriminatory motive, the refusal of a village to rezone property to permit building of a housing development for low- and moderate-income persons of both races does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection.

    Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    Coker v. Georgia433 U.S. 584, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 29, 1977. White wrote the opinion; Burger and Rehnquist dissented.

    A death sentence for the crime of rape is an excessive and disproportionate penalty forbidden by the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishments.

    Taxes

    Complete Auto Transit Inc. v. Brady430 U.S. 274, decided by a unanimous vote, March 8, 1977. Blackmun wrote the opinion.

    The commerce clause—granting Congress the power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce—does not forbid a state to tax an interstate enterprise doing business within the state for the “privilege” of doing business there.

    Such taxes are permissible so long as the taxed activity has a sufficient nexus with the taxing state, the tax does not discriminate against interstate commerce, is fairly apportioned, and is related to services provided by the state.

    Voting Rights

    United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburgh v. Carey430 U.S. 144, decided by a 7–1 vote, March 1, 1977. White wrote the opinion; Burger dissented; Marshall did not participate.

    The Court upheld the use of racial criteria by the state of New York in its 1974 state legislative redistricting plan drawn to comply with the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Even if the result of the redistricting dilutes the vote of a white ethnic minority—in this case the Hasidic Jewish community of Brooklyn—the Constitution “does not prevent a state subject to the Voting Rights Act from deliberately creating or preserving black majorities in particular districts in order to ensure that its reapportionment plan” complies with the act.

    1978

    Civil Rights

    Regents of the University of California v. Bakke438 U.S. 265, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 28, 1978. Powell announced the judgment of the Court; Stevens and Brennan filed separate opinions; Stevens was joined by Burger, Rehnquist, and Stewart; Brennan was joined by Marshall, White, and Blackmun.

    A special state medical school admissions program under which a certain number of slots were set aside for minority group members, and white applicants were denied the opportunity to compete for them, violates Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Title VI forbids exclusion of anyone, because of race, from participation in a federally funded program.

    Admissions programs that consider race as one of several factors involved in the decision to admit an applicant are not unconstitutional in and of themselves. “Government may take race into account when it acts not to demean or insult any racial group, but to remedy disadvantages cast on minorities by past racial prejudice, at least when appropriate findings have been made by judicial, legislative, or administrative bodies with competence to act in this area.”

    Federal Courts

    Monell v. Department of Social Services436 U.S. 658, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 6, 1978. Brennan wrote the opinion; Burger and Rehnquist dissented.

    City officials, municipalities, and municipal agencies are not immune from civil rights damage suits filed under the Civil Rights Act of 1871.

    Cities may be held liable for damages if action pursuant to official policy violates someone's constitutional rights. Cities are not liable if their employees or agents infringe someone's rights in the course of their duties.

    Freedom of Speech

    First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti435 U.S. 765, decided by a 5–4 vote, April 26, 1978. Powell wrote the opinion; White, Brennan, Marshall, and Rehnquist dissented.

    State law banning corporate expenditures relative to a referendum issue that does not materially affect corporate business impermissibly abridges political speech protected by the First Amendment. “If the speakers here were not corporations, no one would suggest that the state could silence their proposed speech. It is the type of speech indispensable to decision making in a democracy, and this is no less true because the speech comes from a corporation rather than an individual,” the majority said.

    Jury Trials

    Ballew v. Georgia435 U.S. 223, decided by a unanimous vote, March 21, 1978. Blackmun wrote the opinion.

    In order to fulfill the constitutional guarantee of trial by jury, state juries must be composed of at least six members.

    Official Immunity

    Butz v. Economou438 U.S. 478, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 29, 1978. White wrote the opinion; Burger, Rehnquist, Stewart, and Stevens dissented.

    Federal officials are not absolutely immune from damage suits based upon actions taken in the performance of their official duties. Even when carrying out directives from Congress, federal officials are subject to the restraints of the Constitution.

    Search and Seizure

    Zurcher v. The Stanford Daily436 U.S. 547, decided by a 5–3 vote, May 31, 1978. White wrote the opinion; Stewart, Marshall, and Stevens dissented; Brennan did not participate.

    The Fourth Amendment does not preclude or limit the use of search warrants for searches of places owned or occupied by innocent third parties not suspected of any crime.

    The First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press does not require that information concerning a crime in the possession of a newspaper be sought by a subpoena rather than a search warrant.

    1979

    Civil Rights

    United Steelworkers of America v. Weber, Kaiser Aluminum v. Weber, United States v. Weber443 U.S. 193, decided by a 5–2 vote, June 27, 1979. Brennan wrote the opinion; Burger and Rehnquist dissented; Powell and Stevens did not participate.

    Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act forbids racial discrimination in employment but does not forbid employers to adopt voluntarily race-conscious affirmative action programs to encourage minority participation in areas of work in which they have traditionally been underrepresented.

    Columbus Board of Education v. Penick, Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman443 U.S. 449, decided by 7–2 and 5–4 votes, July 2, 1979. White wrote the opinion; Rehnquist and Powell dissented in both; Burger and Stewart dissented in Dayton.

    School boards operating segregated school systems at the time of the 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education are under an affirmative duty to end that segregation—even if it was not imposed as a result of state law. The Court upheld systemwide busing orders for Dayton and Columbus, Ohio, where segregated schools had not been required by law since 1888.

    Due Process

    Davis v. Passman442 U.S. 228, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 5, 1979. Brennan wrote the opinion; Burger, Powell, Rehnquist, and Stewart dissented.

    An individual denied due process and equal protection by federal action can bring a federal suit for damages based on the Fifth Amendment guarantee.

    For the first time, the Court provided a constitutional basis for job discrimination charges by congressional employees, who are not protected by the guarantees of the federal civil rights laws.

    Equal Protection

    Orr v. Orr440 U.S. 268, decided by a 6–3 vote, March 5, 1979. Brennan wrote the opinion; Powell, Rehnquist, and Burger dissented.

    States violate the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection when they allow women, but not men, to receive alimony as part of a divorce settlement.

    Jury Trial

    Burch v. Louisiana441 U.S. 130, decided by a unanimous vote, April 17, 1979. Rehnquist wrote the opinion.

    A state deprives a defendant of his constitutional right to a jury trial when it allows him to be convicted by the nonunanimous vote of a six-person jury.

    Official Immunity

    United States v. Helstoski442 U.S. 477, decided by a 5–3 vote, June 18, 1979. Burger wrote the opinion, Brennan dissented; Stevens and Stewart dissented in part; Powell did not participate.

    The Constitution's provision immunizing members of Congress from being questioned outside Congress “for any Speech or Debate in either House” forbids the government, in prosecuting a member for accepting a bribe in return for a legislative act, to introduce evidence of the legislative act. The constitutional provision was intended to preclude prosecution of members for legislative acts.

    Hutchinson v. Proxmire443 U.S. 111, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 26, 1979. Burger wrote the opinion; Brennan dissented; Stewart dissented in part.

    The Constitution's speech or debate clause does not protect a senator from being sued for libel as a result of statements made in press releases and newsletters.

    An individual who does not seek to thrust himself into the public eye or otherwise draw public attention, but who is drawn into public notice by events outside his control, is not a public figure subject to the “actual malice” standard set out by the Supreme Court for libel suits brought by public officials.

    Right of Access

    Gannett Co. Inc. v. DePasquale443 U.S. 368, decided by a 5–4 vote, July 2, 1979. Stewart wrote the opinion; Blackmun, Brennan, White, and Marshall dissented in part.

    The Constitution's guarantee of the right to a public trial is intended for the benefit of the defendant, not the public. Members of the public cannot use that guarantee as the basis for their constitutional right to attend a criminal trial.

    A judge may constitutionally exclude press and public from a pretrial hearing to avoid publicity prejudicial to the defendant and to protect his right to a fair trial.

    1980

    Abortion

    Harris v. McRae448 U.S. 297, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 30, 1980. Stewart wrote the opinion; Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, and Stevens dissented.

    Congress did not act unconstitutionally when it restricted federal funding of medically necessary abortions. The Court upheld the so-called Hyde Amendment, which denies federal reimbursement for abortions under the Medicaid program except when the abortion is necessary to save the pregnant woman's life or to terminate a pregnancy caused by promptly reported rape or incest.

    In a companion decision the same day, the Court upheld similar state restrictions on public funding of abortions, Williams v. Zbaraz, Miller v. Zbaraz, United States v. Zbaraz, 448 U.S. 358.

    Civil Rights

    Fullilove v. Klutznick448 U.S. 448, decided by a 6–3 vote, July 2, 1980. Burger announced the Court's decision; Stewart, Rehnquist, and Stevens dissented.

    Congress may make limited use of racial quotas to remedy past discrimination. The Court upheld as constitutional a provision in the 1977 Public Works Employment Act that set aside for minority businesses 10 percent of federal funds provided for local public works projects.

    Right of Access

    Richmond Newspapers Inc. v. Virginia448 U.S. 555, decided by a 7–1 vote, July 2, 1980. Burger announced the Court's decision; Rehnquist dissented; Powell did not participate.

    The First Amendment guarantees citizens and members of the press the right to attend criminal trials. In some situations, a judge may limit that access to protect the defendant's right to a fair trial, but such closure should be explained and limited.

    Right to Counsel

    Rhode Island v. Innis446 U.S. 291, decided by 9–0 and 6–3 votes, May 12, 1980. Stewart wrote the opinion; Marshall, Brennan, and Stevens dissented.

    The Court defined “interrogation”—a critical word in Miranda v. Arizona (1966)—as meaning the direct questioning of a suspect and the use of other “techniques of persuasion.” Interrogation, said the Court, includes “words or actions on the part of police officers that they should have known were reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.” The Court was unanimous in that holding although it declined, 6–3, to find that interrogation had occurred in this particular case.

    Search and Seizure

    Payton v. New York, Riddick v. New York445 U.S. 573, decided by a 6–3 vote, April 15, 1980. Stevens wrote the opinion; Burger, White, and Rehnquist dissented.

    Police may not enter a home to arrest its occupant without an arrest warrant or the consent of the occupant—unless an immediate arrest is imperative under emergency circumstances.

    Voting Rights

    Mobile v. Bolden446 U.S. 55, decided by a 6–3 vote, April 22, 1980. Stewart wrote the opinion; Brennan, White, and Marshall dissented.

    The Mobile, Alabama, at-large system for electing city commissioners is constitutional unless it is shown to be intentionally discriminatory. Its effect—the fact that no black officials had been elected—is not enough to prove it unconstitutional.

    1981

    Abortion

    H. L. v. Matheson450 U.S. 398, decided by a 6–3 vote, March 23, 1981. Burger wrote the opinion; Marshall, Brennan, and Blackmun dissented.

    A pregnant minor's right of privacy is not violated by a Utah law requiring a doctor to notify her parents before providing her with an abortion. The law does not give parents a veto, but does require that they be notified.

    Due Process

    Chandler v. Florida449 U.S. 560, decided by an 8–0 vote, January 26, 1981. Burger wrote the opinion; Stevens did not participate.

    Nothing in the Constitution—neither the guarantee of due process nor the promise of a fair trial—forbids states from permitting television cameras in a courtroom to broadcast criminal trials.

    Equal Protection

    Rostker v. Goldberg453 U.S. 57, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 25, 1981. Rehnquist wrote the opinion; White, Marshall, and Brennan dissented.

    Congress did not violate the Constitution by excluding women from the military draft. Because they are barred by law and policy from combat, they are not “similarly situated” with men for purposes of draft registration, and therefore Congress may treat the sexes differently in this context.

    Powers of the President

    Dames & Moore v. Regan453 U.S. 654, decided by a 9–0 vote, July 2, 1981. Rehnquist wrote the opinion.

    President Jimmy Carter acted within the scope of his authority over foreign affairs when he reached a financial agreement with Iran that resulted in the release of Americans held hostage in that country, including the agreement to nullify all federal court orders attaching Iranian assets in the United States and to transfer them back to Iran.

    It was also within the president's power to agree that all pending claims against Iran be transferred to an international tribunal for resolution. Congress in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977, and a number of other earlier laws, gave the president powers broad enough to authorize these actions.

    1982

    Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    Enmund v. Florida458 U.S. 782, decided by a 5–4 vote, July 2, 1982. White wrote the Court's opinion; Burger, O'Connor, Powell, and Rehnquist dissented.

    It is cruel and unusual punishment, disproportionate to the actions of the defendant, for the driver of a getaway car to be sentenced to death after he is convicted of first-degree murder for his role in killings he neither committed nor witnessed.

    Equal Protection

    Plyler v. Doe, Texas v. Certain Named and Unnamed Undocumented Alien Children457 U.S. 202, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 15, 1982. Brennan wrote the opinion; Burger, Rehnquist, White, and O'Connor dissented.

    Aliens in the United States are guaranteed the equal protection of the law by the Fourteenth Amendment, even if they have entered the country illegally. Texas may not deny illegal alien children a free public education; there is neither national policy nor sufficient state interest to justify this action.

    Youngberg v. Romeo457 U.S. 307, decided by a 9–0 vote, June 18, 1982. Powell wrote the opinion.

    Mentally retarded persons in state institutions have a constitutional right to safe conditions, freedom of movement, and sufficient training to enable them to move freely and safely within that institution.

    Freedom of Expression

    Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico457 U.S. 853, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 25, 1982. Brennan announced the Court's decision; Burger, Powell, Rehnquist, and O'Connor dissented.

    The First Amendment limits a local school board's power to remove certain books from public school libraries. It is impermissible for a board to remove a book because it contains unpopular ideas; it is permissible to remove vulgar and irrelevant books.

    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Claiborne Hardware Co.458 U.S. 886, decided by an 8–0 vote, July 2, 1982. Stevens wrote the opinion; Marshall did not participate.

    The First Amendment protection for speech and expressive conduct includes a nonviolent boycott by civil rights demonstrators of the stores of white merchants. Violence, however, is not protected, and a state court may assess damages against those responsible for violence in such a setting. But any liability for damages must be based on the individual's participation in violent activity, not simply on his membership in the boycotting group.

    Official Immunity

    Nixon v. Fitzgerald457 U.S. 731, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 24, 1982. Powell wrote the opinion; White, Brennan, Marshall, and Blackmun dissented.

    Presidents are absolutely immune from civil damages suits for all official actions taken while in office. The electoral process and the impeachment mechanism provide sufficient remedy for presidential wrongdoing.

    Harlow v. Fitzgerald457 U.S. 800, decided by an 8–1 vote, June 24, 1982. Powell wrote the Court's opinion; Burger dissented.

    Presidential aides do not have absolute immunity from civil rights damage suits by individuals who claim to have been denied their rights by those aides acting in their official capacity. Like other executive officials, they enjoy qualified immunity from such damage suits. Immunity attaches when the challenged conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.

    1983

    Abortion

    Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health Inc., Akron Center for Reproductive Health Inc. v. Akron462 U.S. 416, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 15, 1983. Powell wrote the opinion; White, Rehnquist, and O'Connor dissented.

    An Akron, Ohio, ordinance unconstitutionally required that all abortions after the first trimester be performed in full-service hospitals; that physicians obtain parental consent before performing an abortion on a patient younger than sixteen; that physicians recite to women seeking abortions certain information about fetal development, alternatives to abortion, and possible abortion complications; that the attending physician inform a patient of the risks associated with her own pregnancy or abortion; that there be a twenty-four-hour waiting period between the time consent is signed for an abortion and the time it is performed; and that fetal remains be given a “humane” disposal.

    Planned Parenthood Association of Kansas City, Missouri v. Ashcroft, Ashcroft v. Planned Parenthood Association of Kansas City, Missouri462 U.S. 476, decided by 5–4 and 6–3 votes, June 15, 1983. Powell wrote the opinion; Blackmun, Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissented in part; O'Connor, White, and Rehnquist dissented in part.

    Missouri law requiring “unemancipated” minors to have parental or judicial consent for abortion is permissible, because it provides an alternative to parental consent. It is also appropriate for the law to require pathological examination of tissue from an abortion and that a second physician be present at late-term abortions. But the law is unconstitutional in requiring that all abortions after the first trimester be performed in a hospital.

    Civil Rights

    Bob Jones University v. United States, Goldsboro Christian Schools v. United States461 U.S. 574, decided by an 8–1 vote, May 24, 1983. Burger wrote the opinion; Rehnquist dissented.

    The Internal Revenue Service acted within its authority when it denied tax-exempt status to private schools that discriminate against blacks. In light of the clear national policy against racial discrimination in education, the IRS was correct in its 1970 declaration that it would no longer grant tax-exempt status to discriminatory private schools.

    The national interest in eradicating racial discrimination in education “substantially outweighs whatever burden denial of tax benefits places” on the exercise of First Amendment freedom of religion.

    Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    Solem v. Helm463 U.S. 277, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 28, 1983. Powell wrote the opinion; Burger, White, Rehnquist, and O'Connor dissented.

    South Dakota violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment when it imposed a life sentence without possibility of parole on a man convicted on seven separate occasions of nonviolent felonies. This was the first time the Court had used this constitutional provision to judge the relative severity of a prison sentence.

    Freedom of Religion

    Mueller v. Allen463 U.S. 388, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 29, 1983. Rehnquist wrote the opinion; Marshall, Brennan, Blackmun, and Stevens dissented.

    The First Amendment permits Minnesota to grant parents a state income tax deduction for the cost of tuition, textbooks, and transportation for their elementary and secondary school children. The deduction is available to public school patrons as well as private school patrons, and therefore any benefit to church-run schools is the result of individual choices, not state design.

    Powers of Congress

    Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha, United States House of Representatives v. Chadha, United States Senate v. Chadha462 U.S. 919, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 23, 1983. Burger wrote the opinion; White and Rehnquist dissented.

    The one-house legislative veto, under which Congress claimed the power to review and veto executive branch decisions implementing laws, is unconstitutional. It violates the separation of powers between executive and legislative branches, and it runs counter to the “single, finely wrought and exhaustively considered procedure” the Constitution prescribes for the enactment of legislation: approval by both chambers and signature of the president.

    With this decision, invalidating a device included in one form or another in more than two hundred laws enacted since 1932, the Court struck down at one time more provisions in more federal laws than it had invalidated in its entire history.

    Voting Rights

    Karcher v. Daggett462 U.S. 725, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 22, 1983. Brennan wrote the opinion; Burger, Powell, Rehnquist, and White dissented.

    A state must adhere as closely as possible to the “one person, one vote” standard of reapportionment. When precise equality is not achieved, the state must prove the variations are necessary to achieve some other important state goal. New Jersey did not prove this for its congressional redistricting plan that had a variation of less than 1 percent between the least and most populous districts. Therefore, its plan was invalid.

    Brown v. Thomson462 U.S. 835, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 22, 1983. Powell wrote the opinion; Brennan, White, Marshall, and Blackmun dissented.

    Wyoming law, requiring that each county have at least one representative in the state House of Representatives, is constitutional even though there is an 89 percent population variance between the largest and smallest counties. That result is permissible because the state has a legitimate interest in assuring each county its own representative.

    1984

    Civil Rights

    Firefighters Local Union No. 1794 v. Stotts467 U.S. 561, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 11, 1984. White wrote the Court's opinion; Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissented.

    Federal judges may not override valid seniority systems to preserve the jobs of black workers hired under an affirmative action plan. Such good-faith seniority systems are expressly immunized from challenge as discriminatory under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    Due Process

    Schall v. Martin, Abrams v. Martin467 U.S. 253, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 4, 1984. Rehnquist wrote the opinion; Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissented.

    For the first time, the Court upheld as constitutional a law providing for the preventive pretrial detention of suspects. The Court held that New York's law permitting pretrial detention of juveniles, when there is a serious risk that the juvenile may commit a serious crime before trial, falls within the bounds set by the constitutional guarantee of due process.

    Equal Protection

    Grove City College v. Bell465 U.S. 555, decided by a 6–3 vote, February 28, 1984. White wrote the opinion; Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissented.

    Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments—barring sex discrimination in any “program or activity” receiving federal aid, does not apply to every program at an institution—but only to the particular program receiving aid.

    Freedom of Association

    Roberts v. U.S. Jaycees468 U.S. 609, decided by a 7–0 vote, July 3, 1984. Brennan wrote the opinion; Burger and Blackmun did not participate.

    Minnesota may invoke its public accommodations law to require the Jaycees, a large, nonexclusive membership organization, to admit women as full members. The state's interest in equal treatment for women outweighs any First Amendment freedom the Jaycees might assert.

    Freedom of Religion

    Lynch v. Donnelly465 U.S. 668, decided by a 5–4 vote, March 5, 1984. Burger wrote the opinion; Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, and Stevens dissented.

    The inclusion of a nativity scene in a city-sponsored holiday display does not violate the First Amendment ban on establishment of religion. The Constitution, held the Court, “affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any.”

    Right to Counsel

    Nix v. Williams467 U.S. 431, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 11, 1984. Burger wrote the opinion; Brennan and Marshall dissented.

    The Court approved an “inevitable discovery” exception to the exclusionary rule, permitting the use of evidence taken illegally if the prosecution shows that it would ultimately have been discovered by lawful means.

    Search and Seizure

    United States v. Leon468 U.S. 897, decided by a 6–3 vote, July 5, 1984. White wrote the opinion; Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissented.

    Illegally obtained evidence may be used by the prosecution at trial if the police who seized it had a search warrant and thought they were acting legally. This ruling was the Court's first adoption of a “good faith” exception to the exclusionary rule it had adopted seventy years earlier in Weeks v. United States, barring all use of such evidence at trial.

    This decision was limited to a situation in which police had a warrant and executed a search in accord with it, only to have the warrant later found defective. In such a case, there was no deterrent effect to excluding the evidence, and exclusion exacted too high a price from society, the Court held.

    Self-Incrimination

    New York v. Quarles467 U.S. 649, decided by 5–4 and 6–3 votes, June 12, 1984. Rehnquist wrote the opinion; O'Connor, Stevens, Marshall, and Brennan dissented.

    The Court recognized a “public safety” exception to the rule set out in Miranda v. Arizona (1966), which denies prosecutors use of evidence obtained from a suspect who was not advised first of his constitutional rights. This decision was the first exception to that rule.

    The Court reasoned that in some situations, concern for the public safety dictates that police immediately ask a suspect a particular question, such as “Where's the gun?” In these cases, the suspect's reply and any evidence it leads to may be used against him.

    1985

    Equal Protection

    Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center Inc.473 U.S. 432, decided by 9–0 and 6–3 votes, July 1, 1985. White wrote the opinion; Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissented in part.

    Laws that treat the mentally retarded differently from other citizens are constitutional so long as they are a rational means to a legitimate end. Using that test, the Court struck down a city's zoning ordinance-based denial of a permit for a group home for mentally retarded adults in a residential neighborhood. That requirement was based on an irrational prejudice against the retarded, an impermissible basis for a city's action.

    Freedom of Religion

    Wallace v. Jaffree472 U.S. 38, decided by a 6–3 vote, June 4, 1985. Stevens wrote the opinion; Burger, Rehnquist, and White dissented.

    Moment-of-silence laws intended to restore prayer to the nation's public schools are unconstitutional. The Court struck down an Alabama law that permitted a moment of silence for prayer or meditation at the beginning of each school day. The history of the law made clear that it was intended as an endorsement of religion, to encourage students to pray. Such state endorsement of religion is a violation of the First Amendment's establishment clause.

    Aguilar v. Felton473 U.S. 402, decided by a 5–4 vote, July 1, 1985. Brennan wrote the opinion; Burger, White, Rehnquist, and O'Connor dissented.

    New York's system for providing remedial and counseling services to disadvantaged students who attend nonpublic schools violates the First Amendment because it uses federal funds to send teachers and other educational personnel into private and parochial schools to provide services to these students during the regular school day. Therefore, like the Grand Rapids system held unconstitutional the same day in Grand Rapids School District v. Ball, 473 U.S. 373, it practically and symbolically advances religion by providing services the private or parochial school would otherwise have to provide itself.

    Freedom of Speech

    Federal Election Commission v. National Conservative Political Action Committee, Democratic Party of the United States v. National Conservative Political Action Committee470 U.S. 480, decided by a 7–2 vote, March 18, 1985. Rehnquist wrote the opinion; Marshall and White dissented.

    Congress cannot limit independent spending by political action committees in presidential campaigns. The First Amendment guarantee of free speech is violated by the $1,000 limit imposed by the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments on independent expenditures by PACs to promote or prevent the election of publicly funded presidential candidates.

    Powers of Congress

    Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority469 U.S. 528, decided by a 5–4 vote, February 19, 1985. Blackmun wrote the opinion; Burger, Powell, Rehnquist, and O'Connor dissented.

    Neither the Tenth Amendment nor any other specific provision of the Constitution limits Congress when it exercises its power to regulate commerce in such a fashion as to curtail the power of the states. The federal minimum wage and overtime law, the Fair Labor Standards Act, applies to the employees of a city owned and operated transit system. The Court overruled its 1976 decision in National League of Cities v. Usery, which found that the Tenth Amendment forbade the application of this law to employees of state and local governments.

    The Framers of the Constitution intended for the political process and the structure of the federal government to protect state prerogatives. States must use their political power to persuade Congress, not the courts, to change federal laws they find too burdensome.

    Right to Counsel

    Ake v. Oklahoma470 U.S. 68, decided by an 8–1 vote, February 26, 1985. Marshall wrote the opinion; Rehnquist dissented.

    Indigents seeking to defend themselves with a claim of insanity are entitled to the aid of a court-appointed psychiatrist, paid for by the government. Defendants in capital cases must also be provided psychiatric counsel when their sentence depends in part upon a finding that they pose a future danger to the community.

    Search and Seizure

    Tennessee v. Garner471 U.S. 1, decided by a 6–3 vote, March 27, 1985. White wrote the opinion; O'Connor, Burger, and Rehnquist dissented.

    Police may not use deadly force to stop a fleeing felon unless they have reason to believe that he might kill or seriously injure persons nearby. “A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead,” declared the Court.

    1986

    Abortion

    Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists476 U.S. 747, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 11, 1986. Blackmun wrote the opinion; White, Rehnquist, O'Connor, and Burger dissented.

    Reaffirming Roe v. Wade (1973), the Court struck down a Pennsylvania law designed to discourage women from having abortions. Among the provisions invalidated as unduly burdening a woman's private decision to have an abortion were those that set out specific methods for ensuring that a woman gave “informed consent,” required physicians to report certain information about the abortion and to take special care to preserve the life of the fetus in abortions performed after a certain point in pregnancy.

    Civil Rights

    Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education476 U.S. 267, decided by a 5–4 vote, May 19, 1986. Powell announced the decision; Brennan, Marshall, Stevens, and Blackmun dissented.

    An affirmative action plan voluntarily adopted by a school board, under which white teachers with more seniority were laid off to preserve the jobs of newly hired black teachers, is unconstitutional, a denial to the white teachers of the equal protection of the law. The primary flaw was that the plan was adopted without any showing that the school board had previously discriminated against black teachers. In a separate opinion, O'Connor emphasized that affirmative action, carefully used, was an appropriate remedy for past or present discrimination by a public employer.

    Local 28 of Sheet Metal Workers International Assn. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission478 U.S. 421, decided by a 5–4 vote, July 2, 1986. Brennan wrote the opinion; Burger, White, Rehnquist, and O'Connor dissented.

    Court-ordered minority quotas for union admission do not violate Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination in employment based on race, sex, religion, or national origin.

    Local 93 of International Association of Firefighters v. City of Cleveland478 U.S. 501, decided by a 6–3 vote, July 2, 1986. Brennan wrote the opinion; Burger, White, and Rehnquist dissented.

    Race-based promotions do not violate Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act when they are part of a consent decree settling a job bias case against a city, and when the promotion plan is for a limited period of time.

    Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    Lockhart v. McCree476 U.S. 162, decided by a 6–3 vote, May 5, 1986. Rehnquist wrote the opinion; Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissented.

    Opponents of the death penalty may be excluded from juries in capital cases if they oppose capital punishment so strongly that they cannot objectively assess the evidence in the case. They may be excluded even if their exclusion increases the likelihood that the jury will convict the defendant.

    Neither the requirement that a jury be drawn from a fair cross-section of the community nor the requirement that the jury be impartial is offended by excluding opponents of capital punishment. An impartial jury is simply one composed of jurors who will conscientiously apply the law and find the facts.

    Ford v. Wainwright477 U.S. 399, decided by 7–2 and 5–4 votes, June 26, 1986. Marshall wrote the opinion; Rehnquist and Burger dissented; White and O'Connor dissented in part.

    The Constitution forbids the execution of an insane prisoner, the Court ruled, 5–4. By a 7–2 vote, it also held inadequate Florida's procedures for deciding whether a death row inmate had lost the ability to understand the reason for his execution. Current procedures permitted that decision to be made entirely within the executive branch without any judicial participation.

    Equal Protection

    Vasquez v. Hillery474 U.S. 254, decided by a 6–3 vote, January 14, 1986. Marshall wrote the Court's opinion; Burger, Powell, and Rehnquist dissented.

    Anyone indicted by a grand jury selected in a racially discriminatory fashion has the right to a new trial, regardless of how long ago the indictment occurred.

    Batson v. Kentucky476 U.S. 79, decided by a 7–2 vote, April 30, 1986. Powell wrote the opinion; Burger and Rehnquist dissented.

    Prosecutors may not use peremptory challenges to exclude someone from jury service on the basis of race. The Court ruled that such action, when based on racial stereotypes, including the assumption that black jurors will not fairly consider the state's case against a black defendant, violates the right to a fair trial and equal right to jury service.

    Freedom of Association

    Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut479 U.S. 208, decided by a 5–4 vote, December 10, 1986. Marshall wrote the opinion; Rehnquist, Stevens, O'Connor, and Scalia dissented.

    States violate the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of association by requiring political parties to hold “closed” primary elections in which only party members may vote. Parties themselves may make that decision, but they may not be required to do so by the states.

    Gay Rights

    Bowers v. Hardwick478 U.S. 186, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 30, 1986. White wrote the opinion; Blackmun, Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissented.

    The Constitution's guarantees of personal liberty and privacy do not protect private consensual homosexual conduct between consenting adults. The Court upheld Georgia's law against sodomy, which banned oral and anal sex.

    Powers of Congress

    Bowsher v. Synar, Senate v. Synar, O'Neill v. Synar478 U.S. 714, decided by a 7–2 vote, July 7, 1986. Burger wrote the opinion; White and Blackmun dissented.

    Congress violated the constitutional separation of powers among the judicial, legislative, and executive branches when it included in the 1985 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction law a provision giving the comptroller general the power to tell the president what fixed-percentage cuts he must make in federal spending to meet the targets set by the bill. The comptroller general is removable from office only at the initiative of Congress, which places this position under congressional, not executive, control.

    Voting Rights

    Davis v. Bandemer478 U.S. 109, decided by 6–3 and 7–2 votes, June 30, 1986. White wrote the opinion; Burger, O'Connor, and Rehnquist dissented in part; Powell and Stevens dissented in part.

    Political gerrymanders are subject to constitutional challenge and review by federal courts, even if the disputed districts meet the “one person, one vote” test, the Court held. But, 7–2, it upheld Indiana's 1981 reapportionment plan that heavily favored Republicans, saying that more than one election's results are necessary to prove a gerrymander unconstitutional.

    1987

    Civil Rights

    United States v. Paradise480 U.S. 149, decided by a 5–4 vote, February 25, 1987. Brennan wrote the opinion; Rehnquist, O'Connor, Scalia, and White dissented.

    A federal judge acted constitutionally when he imposed a one-black-for-one-white promotion quota on Alabama's state police. The action was appropriate in light of the state agency's long resistance to efforts to remedy past discrimination against blacks.

    Johnson v. Transportation Agency of Santa Clara County480 U.S. 616, decided by a 6–3 vote, March 25, 1987. Brennan wrote the opinion; Rehnquist, Scalia, and White dissented.

    The Court upheld an affirmative action plan adopted voluntarily by a county agency that resulted in the promotion of a woman over a man who had scored somewhat higher during the qualifying process. Affirmative action, carefully used, does not violate Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act or the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    Tison v. Arizona481 U.S. 137, decided by a 5–4 vote, April 21, 1987. O'Connor wrote the opinion; Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, and Stevens dissented.

    It is not unconstitutional to execute persons convicted of being accomplices to murder if their participation in the crime was major and they displayed reckless indifference to the value of human life.

    McCleskey v. Kemp481 U.S. 279, decided by a 5–4 vote, April 22, 1987. Powell wrote the opinion; Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, and Stevens dissented.

    Statistics showing that black defendants are more likely than white defendants to be sentenced to death are not enough to establish that a particular black defendant was denied equal protection when he was given the death penalty.

    Due Process

    United States v. Salerno481 U.S. 739, decided by a 6–3 vote, May 26, 1987. Rehnquist wrote the opinion; Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissented.

    The preventive detention provisions of a 1984 federal anticrime statute are constitutional. It does not violate either due process or the ban on excessive bail for a judge to invoke the law to keep in jail, before trial, a suspect who is considered a danger to the community.

    Freedom of Religion

    Edwards v. Aguillard482 U.S. 578, decided by a 7–2 vote, June 19, 1987. Brennan wrote the opinion; Rehnquist and Scalia dissented.

    A Louisiana law requiring public schools that teach the theory of evolution also to teach “creation science,” violates the establishment clause because the state legislature enacted it for the purpose of promoting religion.

    1988

    Cruel and Unusual Punishment

    Thompson v. Oklahoma487 U.S. 815, decided by a 5–3 vote, June 29, 1988. Stevens wrote the opinion; Rehnquist, White, and Scalia dissented; Kennedy did not participate.

    It is unconstitutional for a state to execute a capital defendant who was younger than sixteen at the time of his offense, if his sentence was imposed under a law that does not set a minimum age at which defendants are subject to the death penalty.

    Freedom of Association

    New York State Club Association v. City of New York487 U.S. 1, decided by a 9–0 vote, June 20, 1988. White wrote the opinion.

    Cities can constitutionally forbid discrimination in any place of public accommodation, including large private clubs used by their members for business purposes.

    Powers of Congress

    South Carolina v. Baker485 U.S. 505, decided by a 7–1 vote, April 20, 1988. Brennan wrote the opinion; O'Connor dissented; Kennedy did not participate.

    Neither the Tenth Amendment nor the doctrine of intergovernmental tax immunity is violated by the decision of Congress, in the 1982 Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act, to deny a federal income tax exemption for interest earned on state and local government bonds issued in unregistered form.

    Morrison v. Olson487 U.S. 654, decided by a 7–1 vote, June 29, 1988. Rehnquist wrote the opinion; Scalia dissented; Kennedy did not participate.

    Congress did not violate the separation of powers or usurp executive power when it authorized, as part of the 1978 Ethics in Government Act, the appointment of independent counsels to investigate and prosecute high government officials. The Constitution permits Congress to vest the appointment power of such officials in the judicial branch.

    1989

    Abortion

    Webster v. Reproductive Health Services492 U.S. 490, decided by a 5–4 vote, July 3, 1989. Rehnquist announced the Court's decision; Blackmun, Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissented.

    Without overturning Roe v. Wade (1973), the Court upheld Missouri's law barring the use of public facilities or public employees to perform abortions and requiring physicians to test for the viability of any fetus believed to be more than twenty weeks old.

    Civil Rights

    Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co.488 U.S. 469, decided by a 6–3 vote, January 23, 1989. O'Connor wrote the opinion; Marshall, Brennan, and Blackmun dissented.

    A minority set-aside plan adopted by Richmond, Virginia, to ensure that 30 percent of city funds granted for construction projects went to minority-owned firms was too rigid and insufficiently justified by past findings of specific discrimination. The Court said a state or local government's affirmative action plan could survive constitutional scrutiny only if the government had a compelling interest in creating the program and it was narrowly tailored to that interest.

    Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio490 U.S. 642, decided by a 5–4 vote, June 5, 1989. White wrote the Court's opinion; Blackmun, Brennan, Marshall, and Stevens dissented.

    Citing statistics that show a particular group is underrepresented in a particular workforce is not sufficient to demonstrate racial discrimination, the Court held. The decision made it more difficult for workers to prove discrimination and made it easier for employers to rebut charges by demonstrating tha