Landmark Supreme Court Cases
Marbury v. Madison, 1803
This case established the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review over Congress, ultimately giving the Supreme Court the power to interpret the constitution. It helped define the boundaries between the executive and judicial branches of the government.
McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819
This case established the federal government’s implied powers over states. The state of Maryland began imposing a tax on all banknotes not charted by Maryland banks, but the Supreme court ruled this unconstitutional because it was an attempt to violate the powers of the federal government.
Brown v. Board of Education,1954
This case established that “separate but equal” had no place in the public education system, ending segregation in schools.
Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963
This case established the right of a criminal defendant to have an attorney even if they could not personally afford one.
Miranda v. Arizona, 1966
This case established the requirement that police must advise people in custody of their rights before questioning them, hence the creation of the Miranda Rights.
Loving v. Virginia, 1967
This case established laws that forbid interracial marriages as unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment.
Roe v. Wade, 1973
Ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.
United States v. Nixon, 1974
This case established that sitting Presidents could not use their executive powers to withhold evidence during a criminal investigation.
Obergefell v. Hodges, 2015
Ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage and on recognizing same-sex marriages duly performed in other jurisdictions are unconstitutional under the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Chambers of Congress
The two chambers of Congress are the Senate and the House of Representatives. The major differences between the two chambers are listed below.
Expectations and Benefits of Citizenship
Being a citizen of the United States comes with certain legal obligations and expectations. A citizen is required to obey the law, serve as a juror if called, and pay taxes.
Citizens are also expected to be informed on issues and vote in elections, volunteer in their community, and serve in the military if they are interested. However, voter turnout tends to be low in young voters and high in older voters.
Being a good citizen also means following cultural expectations: picking up trash and not littering, being kind to neighbors and strangers, and performing other duties of a good citizen.
Sometimes citizens are expected to forgo their rights in order to maintain order for the common good. For example, citizens are guaranteed the right to assemble and protest, but performing said assembly in the middle of a U.S. highway is dangerous. Citizens may forfeit the right to assemble in order to maintain the common good and order.