March of 1992 Alfonso Lopez, Jr, a student in San Antonio, Texas. He brought a 38- caliber hand gun with five bullets to his high school. Lopez was charged with violating a Texas Statute prohibiting the carrying of a firearm on school grounds. The charge was dropped, and Lopez was charged with violating the Gun-Free school zone act. Lopez entered a plea of not guilty, stating that congress had exceeded it's authority by passing the act. His plea was denied and was sentenced to six months in prison and two years of supervised release. The Gun-Free school zone act "made it unlawful for a person to posses a firearm in a school zone." Lopez tried to argue that the Gun-Free school zone act was not a regulation of the channels of interstate commerce. The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the fifth circuit. To this end, the government had argued that possession of the gun in a school zone could result in a violent crime and continues to be against the law.
Students' freedom of speech and symbolic speech rights in schools is the subject of the Supreme Court landmark case Tinker v. Des Moines. Students in Des Moines, Iowa put together a silent protest against the Vietnam War. They plan was for each student to wear a black armband for the protest. However, the principle found out, and said any student who wore a black armband would be suspended. Many students ignored the principles message and wore the armbands anyways. The students did get suspended and many parents sued the school. They sued them because they state they are violating their children's first amendment rights. The A.U.S district court sided with the school because they believed the armbands could disrupt the learning of students. The students decided to take their case to the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court did side with the students in 1969 because they believed the students freedom of speech should be protected.
McDonald v. City of Chicago, case in which on June 28, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5–4) that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees "the right of the people to keep and bear arms". This applies to state, local, and federal governments. This case first came up in 2008. Otis McDonald, an African American custodian filed a law suit to challenge provisions of a 1982 Chicago law. This Chicago law banned the registration of handguns. Many associations challenged the Chicago law. Each association supposed that the law violated the second amendment. The second amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The second amendment is companied by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth amendment against the states. The district courts dismissed the lawsuits.
Roe is a girl from Texas who wanted to terminate her pregnancy through abortion. She wasn't allowed to do this because Texas law stated that no one was legally allowed to have an abortion, unless it was to save the pregnant woman's life. Roe wet to court and was give two chances to present two different arguments. Her lawyer stated that she should be allowed to do what she wanted to her own body because this particular subject falls under the fourteenth amendment. The fourteenth amendment is the right to privacy. This means that Roe had the right to terminate her pregnancy. The Supreme Courts decision was in favor of Roe. Her right to privacy was protected by the fourteenth amendment, which made the Supreme Court lean over and agree with Roe's side of the case. The decision gave a woman total autonomy over the pregnancy during the first trimester. It defined different levels of state interest for the second and third trimesters.
In Wisconsin v. Yoder, the Supreme Court ruled that Wisconsin’s compulsory school attendance law was unconstitutional when applied to the Amish. This violated their first amendment rights. Three fathers refused to enroll their children in school after eight grade. Due to Wisconsin's pursuant compulsory attendance law, they were charged. The fathers were fined and when they went to trial, their convictions were upheld. The case was argued on behalf of the Amish families, stating that putting the children in secondary school would affect their actions toward what their religion teaches them. They argued that attending school past the eighth grade would cause them to abandon their religion. They must be assimilated into society or migrate to another region. The court rejected these arguments arguing that the extra few years of school will not cause any harm. The children were not inactive during these years. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Amish, stating that compulsory school attendance does not apply to them under the free-exercise clause.
The Nixon administration tried to prevent the New York Times from publishing classified papers. The question was whether Freedom of the Press was protected among secrecy of information. The U.S. had been at war with Vietnam for six years. Over 59,000 American soldiers had died and the government was facing dissent among many Americans. Daniel Ellsberg leaked the secret papers. Ellsberg believed that Americans needed to know what was going on. Under the First Amendment, freedom of the press is protected. Nixon argued that it is classified information, therefore it should not be released. They believed it threatened national security. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of New York Times, saying that their rights are protected under the first amendment.
Clarence Earl Gideon was an unlikely hero. He was a man with an eighth-grade education who ran away from home when he was in middle school. He spent much of his early life as a wanderer. Gideon was charged with breaking and entering to commit a misdemeanor. He could not afford a lawyer, so Gideon presented his own case. The jury found Gideon guilty and was sentenced to 5 years in jail. Gideon filled out a petition for writ of habeas corpus. The judge refused to appoint counsel violated rights. The state of Florida only appointed counsel for poor defendants charged with capital crimes. The Supreme Court agreed to resolve his case after Gideon filed a handwritten petition.
Facts A New York State law required public schools to open each day with the Pledge of Allegiance and a nondenominational prayer in which the students recognized their dependence upon God. The law permitted the students to not participate in this event if it was offensive. One of the students parents sued the school because it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The ruling came out and it stated that the schools did violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Many people stated that permitting a student to absent themselves from this activity was unconstitutional. This is because the First Amendment was to stop government interaction with religion. The concurrence agreed and argued that any public interaction with religion was violating the Establishment Clause. The Dissent disagreed and argued that not all types of government interaction with religion is unconstitutional. The state of New York ruled against the public schools and stated their actions for conducting prayers was unconstitutional.
In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Brown v. Board of education was a cornerstone of the Civil Rights Movement. Laws keeping African Americans from using buses, schools, and other public places were demolished. Colored people were working hard to challenge segregation laws in public schools. In the lawsuit, Brown claimed that schools for blacks were not equal to schools for whites. It violated the fourteenth amendment, which states "denial to any person within its jurisdiction to equal protection of the laws." The Supreme Court believed that the African Americans were being deprived of a white education. The ruling stated that "separation, but equal has no place." The segregation in schools would be demolished, and no one would be deprived of a white education. The Brown v. Board of Education decision helped other African Americans boycott against segregation all over.
Gitlow v. New York: Gitlow v. New York, case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protection of free speech also applied to state governments. The Supreme Court ruled on June 8, 1925 that the first amendment protection of speech applied also to the state governments. Benjamin Gitlow was arrested due to criminal anarchy. People argued this was a violation of his first amendment. The first amendment was applicable to the state government through the fourteenth amendment. Oral arguments between the Supreme Court took place in April and November, 1923. The Supreme Court issue its ruling in June, 1925. The ruling broadened the freedom of speech among people. The majority opinion demanded that the court protects freedom of speech under the first amendment. All charges were dismissed against Gitlow.