• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Acclaimed by researchers, students, and general readers, this informative, lively, and easy-to-use volume fills the public need for information about key recent and historical cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Now significantly updated, this new edition includes all the new major cases-over twenty five in total-handed down by the Court since the first edition was published in 2000. The new entries include many high-profile cases that have stirred public controversy, including: Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), granting the right to exclude homosexuals from leadership positions in the Boy Scouts; Bush v. Gore (2000), ceasing ballot recounts in the 2000 presidential election; PGA Tour v. Martin (2001), obliging the PGA to accommodate a disabled golfer; Lawrence v. Texas (2003), stating that a law criminalizing same-sex sodomy violates due process; Gratz/Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), stating that an affirmative action program to achieve diversity in universities may or may not violate the equal protection clause, depending on how it's implemented. In each of the over 100 cases summarized, author Tony Mauro succinctly describes the decision, provides background and facts of the case, the vote and highlights of the decision with verbatim excerpts, and, in conclusion, discusses the long-term impact of the decision on United States citizens and U.S. society. Topic search aids let readers easily trace the evolution and impact of rulings in particular issue areas. Added features also enhance the volume, including many new portraits, political cartoons, and drawings, a comprehensive bibliography and an easy-to-access case/subject index. A perfect starting point for research on Supreme Court decisions, this newly updated volume is an essential addition to every public, high school, and college library.

Proprietors of Charles River Bridge v. Proprietors of Warren Bridge
Proprietors of Charles River Bridge v. Proprietors of Warren Bridge

Decided February 12, 1837

36 U.S. 420

http://laws.findlaw.com/US/36/420.html

Decision

The needs and interests of the public can take precedence over property rights and contracts. A charter given by Massachusetts to build and operate a bridge over the Charles River did not grant an exclusive contract that would prevent construction of another, competing bridge. When the state authorized the second bridge, Massachusetts did not violate the Constitution's contract clause, which prohibits states from impairing contracts.

Background

By financing public works, the states played a major role in the economic development of the young nation. The state-built Erie Canal was a boon to the economy of New York. Other states supported transportation through direct ...

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