AP Government Court Cases
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
1. The Supreme Court had to decide if the state had power over the federal government in regulating commerce based on Article I Section 8. 2. Aaron Ogden was granted a license to run a steam-driven ferry monopoly in New York. Thomas Gibbons, his previous competitor, decided to continue running his ferries in defiance of the monopoly, so Ogden decided to sue Gibbons for trying to block his business and won in all the New York courts. 3. In this trial, the Supreme Court decided that the federal government had ultimate authority in regulating interstate commerce, and that all state commerce laws had to comply with the Federal commerce laws. 4. I think that this case was judged fairly because this was obviously a case involving interstate commerce since Ogden had been running his fairy between New York and New Jersey. New York can not have any control over the affairs of New Jersey, and anything involving both states is directly a federal affair. Korematsu v. United States (1944)
1. The Supreme Court had to decide if the President and Congress overreached their war powers by restricting the rights of Japanese-Americans with Executive Order #9066 and Military Order #39. 2. President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order #9066 during World War II to force all Americans of Japanese decent to be sent to internment camps because they posed a threat to the United States. Korematsu, a man born on American soil, refused to go to an internment camp because he believed that he was an American citizen, and should be treated as one. 3. The Supreme Court decided that even though the executive order was on the shady side of the Constitution, it was justified because they were in a time of “emergency and peril”. 4. I disagree with this court decision because I think this was a violation of the fourteenth amendment made by the Supreme Court. I understand why the justices decided as they did, but their duty was to protect the Constitution, not to protect people from possible threats. This case also set a precedent which allows the president to do whatever is necessary to protect his people, even if it may be somewhat unconstitutional. McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
1. The Supreme Court had to decide if Congress had the authority to establish banks under Article I Section 8 and if Maryland’s law was unconstitutionally interfering with Congress’ constitutional power. 2. In 1818, Maryland started posing state taxes in Congress’ Second Bank of the United States that was chartered in 1816. The teller, James McCulloch, refused to pay the tax imposed upon his bank. 3. The Supreme Court unanimously decided that Congress had certain implied powers that were not written into the Constitution, but were necessary to uphold the law. This way, Congress had the power to establish banks so that they could uphold their constitutional duty to coin and regulate money. 4. I agree with this decision because implied powers are a necessary part of the Constitution because they’re needed by Congress to uphold their duties. Congress had to build a federal bank in New York to exercise its power to coin and regulate money. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
1. The Supreme Court had to deicide is Louisiana’s train seating discrimination laws were unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment. 2. Homer Plessy, a 7/8 Caucasian man, refused to move from his seat in a train station, directly violating Louisiana’s train discrimination law, which required every black must give up his train seat to a white man if asked. He was arrested and sent to jail for doing so. 3. The Supreme Court decided that this was not a violation of the 14th Amendment because the 14th Amendment only requires that all citizens of the United States must be treated equally. This meant that separate facilities could be made for people of other races or colors as long as they were equal to everyone else’s. 4. I think that the Supreme Court...
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