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Date Created: 11/17/15
POSC 225 Court Cases Strict Scrutiny Standard: - Most stringent standard of judicial review used by U.S. courts - Applied when a fundamental constitutional right is infringed (Bill of Rights or Due Process Clause) - To pass strict scrutiny…three tests o Must be justified by a compelling governmental interest Freedom of Religion: (First Amendment) Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940) Supreme Court ruled states could not require religious groups to get a special permit to solicit for religious purposes, even if the group’s message is unpleasant to those who hear it Everson v. Board of Education (1947) New Jersey law allowed reimbursements of money to parents who sent their children to school on buses operated by the public transportation system Children who attended Catholic schools also qualified for this transportation subsidy Court held that the law did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment due to the fact that services like bussing and police and fire protection for parochial schools are “separate and so indisputably marked off from the religious function” Law did not pay money to parochial schools nor support them in anyway Sherbert v. Verner (1963) Fired because she refused to work on Saturday (Sabbath Day) The state said she could not collect the benefits of unemployment Supreme Court overruled and held the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment Strict scrutiny test: scrutinizing government Wisconsin v. Yoder Amish children were granted the right to be taken out of public school after 8 grade in order to comply with religious teachings The interest of the state in universal education in this case was secondary to Amish religious values Bob Jones University v. United States (1983) Christian University that forbade interracial dating They were refused tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service on the basis of federal civil rights laws prohibiting tax exemptions for institutions that practiced discriminatory policies The university sued claiming free exercise of religion Supreme Court disagreed saying the government’s overriding interest in ending discrimination outweighed the school’s religious position Wallace v. Jaffree (1985) Alabama law required the school day begin with a moment of silent meditation or voluntary prayer Supreme Court struck it down saying the public schools are government institutions that they cannot be leading religious instruction Lynch v. Donnelly Christmas decorations Having a nativity scene on the government lawn on the court house is promoting religion Supreme Court allowed it because the nativity scene was in the same spot as non-religious decorations so the gov’t was promoting the holiday not religion Employment Division v. Smith (1990) Smith had been let go because he tested positive for his drugs He argued he was Native American and had used it in a ceremony for religious reasons The Supreme Court ruled the Free Exercise Clause permits the State to prohibit sacramental peyote use, and thus to deny unemployment benefits to persons discharged for use Lee v. Weisman (1992) Court struck down the recital of a prayer at public school graduation ceremonies as a form of coerced religious participation Zelman v. Simmons-Harris Scholarships to students and you could use the money to go to a school of your choice A citizen claims they do not want their tax dollars to go to religious institutions Scholarship did not say it had to be used for a religious school Allowance of school vouchers in relation to the 1 Amendment’s Establishment Clause Oklahoma Ballot Initiative-2010 Ban on sharia (Islamic) law from state courts Law then updated to include all foreign or religious laws Failed the lemon test Judges ruled unconstitutional saying it discriminates among religions They disagreed that the court didn’t use the strict scrutiny test Case is refiled and court changed their decision Religious Freedom Restoration Act Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Haileah (1993) Religion involved animal sacrifice City of Hialeah, Florida passed an ordinance “forbidding the “unnecessary killing of an animal in a public or private ritual or ceremony not for the primary purpose of food consumption” Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional because they claimed the ordinance was passed to target the religious group Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014) Challenged the Affordable Care Act—contraception requirement They argued the government failed the strict scrutiny test The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) applies to corporations since they are composed of individuals who use them to achieve desired needs Supreme Court allowed for-profit corporation to be exempt from law that its owners religiously objected to Freedom of Speech (First Amendment) Schenck v. United States (1919) Charles Schenck prosecuted because he had printed pamphlets urging young men to resist the draft during World War I Violated the Espionage Act of 1917, which made it a crime to call for draft resistance or utter disloyal statements about the U.S. Schenck petitioned the Court to have Espionage Act declared in violation of First Amendment Court disagreed saying his speech presented a public danger during the wartime (established the standard of clear and present danger) Roth v. United States (1957) (obscenity) Determined what constitutes obscene material You have to look at the dominant theme Brandenberg v. Ohio (1969) Established speech had to incite “imminent lawless action” Speech that advocates violence (but does not actually instigate violence) could be protected under the First Amendment Snyder v. Phelps Westboro Baptist church picketed the funeral of Matthew Snyder, an Iraq War veteran father sued for damages They Public concern , No captive audiences, and let police know—nonviolent Just because something is offensive doesn’t make it unconstitutional Jury awarded but SC overturned on Free Speech and Assembly grounds 8-1 decision in favor of stupid devilish hateful shit show church Stolen Valor Act 2006- Congress passes a law penalizing those who make false claims about winning awards or medals with a fine or up to six months imprisonment Xavier Alvarez is the first person convicted under this law Ran for a water board position in Los Angeles Claimed to be a Marine and win the Medal of Honor Supreme Court ruled that lies ARE protected under the First Amendment Congress had to rewrite law where people can only be penalized if they receive some type of benefit Texas v. Johnson (1989) Texas law made flag burning a crime punishable by a $2000 fine and year in prison Protestor burned flag at 1984 Republican National Convention Supreme Court overturned law with a 5-4 decision Court held that flag burning is a constitutionally protected form of political expression, prosecution would violate First Amendment rights Flag Protection Act of 1989 - Passed both houses and was signed into law by George Bush (senior) - Supreme Court struck down the Flag Protection Act as unconstitutional by 5-4 vote - Citizens Flag Alliance—lobbying campaign determined to overturn Johnson decision with a constitutional amendment United States v. Eichman (1990) Struck down the Flag Protection Act, ruling that the gov’ts interest in preserving the flag as a symbol does not outweigh the individual’s First Amendment right to disparage that symbol through expressive conduct Freedom of the Press (First Amendment) Near v. Minnesota (1931) Supreme Court struck down a Minnesota law that had been used to stop publication of embarrassing info about local political figures in a tabloid called the Saturday Press Chief Justice Hughes: even “miscreant purveyors of scandal” have constitutional right to publish without gov’t interference Restraint could only be imposed if the public interest was clearly jeopardized by publication (info that would create a major national security breach if released) Second Amendment United States v. Miller (1939) District of Columbia v. Heller D.C. had a ban on handguns (Firearms Control Regulations Act) nd Handguns are protected “arms” under the 2 Amendment First time Supreme Court directly addressed the right to bear arms The Fourth Amendment Weeks v. US Supreme Court created the Exclusionary Rule Which holds that evidence collected in violation of the US Constitution is inadmissible: cannot be used in a criminal trial (protection against unreasonable searches and seizures) Court unanimously held that the warrantless seizure of items from a private residence constitutes a violation of the Fourth Amendment Also prevents local officers from securing evidence by means prohibited under the federal exclusionary rule and giving it to their federal colleagues Can be very controversial (are we protecting the guilty?) The Sixth Amendment Powell v. Alabama (1932) Right to counsel in capital cases In re Oliver (1948) Right to a public trial Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) defendants MUST be provided with counsel before this, only some states provided counsel Not allowed an attorney after being arrested for a felony He claimed he had a right to an attorney under the sixth amendment A Florida STATE judge told Gideon that the 6 amendment didn’t apply to him because he wasn’t being charged with a FEDERAL crime, therefore; the state did not have to honor the right to an attorney Gideon wrote a letter to the Supreme Court asking to take his case From prison, Gideon petitioned the Supreme Court to use the Due Process Clause to “soak up” the 6 Amendment and get a new trial, this time with an attorney Due process clause because he was deprived of his liberty He applied for a writ of certiorari (orders the case to go immediately to the Supreme Court “to be made more certain”) Ruling: All people in the US, whether charged in federal or state court, have the right to an attorney (for felony charges) He got a retrial with an attorney Right to counsel in felony cases Pointer v. Texas (1965) Right to confrontation of witnesses Parker v. Gladden (1966) Right to an impartial jury Miranda v. Arizona (1966) Miranda rights created to make sure individuals know and understand that they have a right against self-incrimination and a right to be represented by an attorney Klopfer v. NC (1967) Right to a speedy trial Duncan v. LA (1968) Right to jury trial for serious crimes Argersinger v. Hamlin (1972) Counsel for all crimes w/ prison Batson v. Kentucky (1986) jurors cannot be dismissed solely because of race Maryland v. Craig (1990) Child abuse cases—children do not have to enter courtroom (not all states follow this decision) Dickerson v. U.S. (2000) Dickerson who was arrested for robbery claimed he was not read his Miranda Rights The court held that "Congress enacted section 3501 with the express purpose of legislatively overruling Miranda and restoring voluntariness as the test for admitting confessions in federal court." State vs. Couey (John Evander Couey) (2007) Kidnapped, raped, and murdered Jessica Lunsford of Florida Confessed to the entire crime but confession thrown out due to the fact that when it was recorded police had not granted Couey’s requests for a lawyer (rendered the confession invalid under the 5 and 6 Amendments) Death penalty conviction appealed Trial moved to Miami Still was convicted of the crime and sentenced to death Jessica Lunsford Act o Tighter restrictions on sex offenders (wearing electronic tracking devices) o Increased prison sentences for some convicted sex offenders Foster v. Chatman (current) Trying to figure out if Georgia is correctly following the ruling made in Batson v. Kentucky If they find they haven’t, retrials may have to occur To be determined… Capital Punishment (Eighth amendment) Furman v. Georgia (1972) Response from states and the public was strong States rewrote laws; many adopted bifurcated trials Majority supports death penalty (69%) Furman’s execution overturned due to the fact that there was no uniform policy of determining who is eligible for capital punishment, which caused it to be regarded as cruel and unusual punishment Required a degree of consistency in the application of the death penalty Forced state and national legislature to rethink their statues for capital offenses to assure that the death penalty would not be administered in a capricious or discriminatory manner violating the 8 and 14 Amendments Coker v. Georgia (1977) Banned capital punishment for people convicted of rape Atkins v. Virginia (2002) Banned capital punishment for mentally retarded criminals Kennedy v. Louisiana (2008) Kennedy raped his 8-year old stepdaughter Louisiana allows the death penalty for rape of a child under 12 Lower courts divided over whether death penalty can apply in rape cases th Supreme Court ruled that the 8 Amendment did not permit the states to punish the crime of rape of a child with the death penalty Baze v. Rees (2008) Challenge to lethal injection in Kentucky as cruel and unusual punishment State contended that it did not result in wanton pain or torture Upheld the constitutionality of a particular method of lethal injection for capital punishment Death penalty methods must “adjust” within a humane framework 14 th Amendment Barron v. Baltimore State action destroyed Barron’s private property (dumping sand and other materials in boat docking) Sued in state court anthloses then Baron sues in federal court His argument: The 5 Amendment’s Takings Clause says “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”—“Baltimore’s street repairs “took” my wharf from me. They should compensate me” Claimed violation of due process (the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person) Opinion of the court: Supreme Court said that due process clause only applied to the actions of the federal gov’t—bill of Rights only applied to federal government—take it up with Baltimore Bore loses but more importantly, this cases sets the precedent that the Bill of Rights did NOT apply to the states—the federal gov’t has to abide by BOR but not the states “The first ten amendment contain no expression indicating an intention to apply them to the State governments. This court cannot so apply them” Bill of Rights protects you only from the feds not from the states—only protected against state actions only if a state wants to protect people with a state Bill of Rights Court held this position until early 1900’s Palko v. Connecticut (1930’s) If the state of Connecticut does not have protection in double jeopardy than it doesn’t matter Supreme Court did not support the incorporation of the 5 Amendment protection against double jeopardy to the states Palko executed The court changed mine in 1960’s Gitlow v. New York (1925) A socialist distributed a left-wing manifesto Arrested under NY state anti-anarchy law Supreme Court ruled that the 1 amendment applies to the states via the 14 th amendment (establish selective incorporation) Mapp v. Ohio (1961) Exclusionary Rule Evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment could not be used in state law criminal prosecutions in state courts Selective incorporation McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) McDonald unable to legally own a handgun in Chicago 2nd Amendment is incorporated to the states via the 14 Amendment Privacy (an implied right) Griswold v. Connecticut Estelle Griswold convicted of violating a Connecticut law against advising others in the use of contraceptive devices when they counseled and prescribed birth control for a married couple at the Planned Parenthood offices Petitioned Supreme Court to overturn the conviction on the grounds that the Connecticut law violated her civil liberties, court agreed Justice Douglas: acknowledged the right to marital privacy is not mentioned in the Constitution, but neither is the right to associate, even though the 1 st amendment has interpreted that right—he argued there are places in the Constitution where “various guarantees create zones of privacy” including: st the right of association by the 1 amendment, prohibrdion against being forced by the gov’t to uphold soldiers by the 3 , guarantee against unreasonable searches by the 4 , protection against self-incrimination by the 5 , and assurance that personal rights should not be construed to be limited to those enumerated in the Constitution by the 9 th Legalized contraceptives among married couples—this right was soon extended to unmarried persons Eisenstadt v. Baird Extended Griswold to all citizens; married and single Roe v. Wade (1973) Roe not actually the name of the pregnant, unmarried woman Texas law only allowed abortion in the case where the mother would die Justice Blackmun established that the right to privacy was “broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy” Extended the right to privacy to abortion ONLY in the early stages of pregnancy—trimester framework Switched from penumbra to substantive due process*** Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) Sodomy illegal Officer went into house and found in the bedroom and engaged in sodomy Majority upheld GA law that criminalized sodomy No constitutional right to sexual privacy Lawrence v. Texas (2003) Texas prohibited sodomy among homosexual men Texas law criminalized only homosexual sodomy, unlike GA statute (applied to all) Justices voted against it because of equal protection clause BUT also…majority judges believed it violated substantive due process rights There is a constitutional right to sexual privacy Washington v. Glucksberg (1997) Applied ethical reasoning Fundamental liberties determined by history Issues of medical malpractice may arise No right to die Vacco v. Quill (1997) a New York ban on physician-assisted suicide was constitutional A legitimate state interest that was well within the authority of the state to regulate no constitutional guarantee of a "right to die” Gonzales v. Oregon (2006) Ruled in favor of physician assisted suicide Death with Dignity Act Controlled Substance Act is constitutional States determine “medical” reasoning Leaves door open for assisted suicide statutes