| Background of the Case
| Constitutional Issue
| Supreme Court Decision and Dissenting Opinion
| Marbury v. Madison(1803)
| John Adams appointed new justices on his last day in office under the Organic Act. Adams signed the commissions, but they weren’t delivered before his term ended. When Jefferson took office, he refused to honor the commissions, claiming that they were invalid because they weren’t delivered by the end of Adams’s term. William Marbury, one of the selected Justices of Peace, applied to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus to get James Madison, Jefferson’s Secretary of State, to deliver the commissions.
| The constitutional issue was whether or not the Court could use judicial review to check the power of the Legislative and Executive branches. The second issue was whether or not the request would violate Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789.
| The Supreme Court rendered a unanimous decision in favor of Madison. This decision stated that Marbury had the right to his commission, but the Supreme Court does not have the power to issue this order. The Supreme Court stated that it cannot force Jefferson and Madison to appoint Marbury.
| McCulloch v. Maryland(1819)
| Maryland put a statute in act taxing all branches in the banks of Maryland. The statute also stated that banks couldn’t issue bank notes unless they were on a stamped paper issued by the state. McCulloch, a cashier of a bank, issued bank notes that went against the law and also refused to pay the taxes set by the state of Maryland. Maryland tried to sue McCulloch.
| The constitutional issue was the dispersion of power between state and federal government. This particular issue is located in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.
| The Supreme Court rendered a unanimous decision in favor of McCulloch. The decision stated that Maryland does not have the power to tax institutions created by Congress. Article I, Section 8 supports this statement with the facts that states do not have the power to tax federal government.
| Tinker v. Des Moines(1969)
| Three students enrolled in public schools in Des Moines, Iowa, were suspended from school for wearing black armbands to protest the U.S. and government’s involvement in Vietnam. Tinker sued the schools that his two children were suspended from.
| The constitutional issue was whether or not the school violated the student’s freedom of speech (First Amendment) by suspending the students for refusing to take off the armbands.
| The Supreme Court rendered a 7-2 decision in favor of Tinker. To support this decision, the Supreme Court stated that the students have the right to express their freedom of speech because while schools can set rules, they cannot ban a silent expression that is not disrupting the work of the school or infringing the other student’s rights.Dissenting Opinion: The case had students who refused to obey the rules set by school officials, having a negative effect on the school and country.
| Plessy v. Ferguson(1896)
| Plessy, a man who was one-eighth black, attempted to sit in an all-white railroad car and refused to sit in an all-black carriage car. Plessy was arrested for violating an 1890 Louisiana statute that stated “separate but equal” railroad accommodations. In a trial with Ferguson presiding, Plessy was found guilty. Plessy then filed for writs of prohibition and certiorari, claiming that Ferguson’s decision violated his rights stated in the Fourteenth Amendment.
| The constitutional issue was whether or not the “Separate but Equal” Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was violated when Plessy was arrested for not sitting in the all-black carriage car.
| The Supreme Court rendered a 7-1 decision in favor of Ferguson. The Supreme Court upheld Louisiana law, stating that the Fourteenth Amendment was not supposed to give African Americans social equality, only political and civil equality with white people. Therefore, the “Separate but Equal” Clause was...
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