oh, goody! a pop quiz!
Marbury v. Madison - late 18th century - established judicial review under the federal Constitution; held that Congress could not expand the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, which is defined by Art III of the Constituion; statutory provision conferring mandamus power on the Supreme Court struck down; first case of a federal statute being held invalid because it conflicted with the Constitution.
Brown v. Board of Education - 1950s - unanimous decision of the Supreme Court holding that “separate but equal” state facilities in a state school system was inherently unequal, and therefore in breach of the 14th Amendment; began school desegregation by federal courts. Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson.
Roe v. Wade - 1973 - found that the Constitution had a right to privacy which protected a women’s right to abortion in the early stages of a pregnancy; decided under the 14th Amendment.
Plessy v. Ferguson - late 19th century - held that providing separate “but equal” facilities for African-Americans on public transit was constitutional, under the 14th Amendment. Subsequently overturned by Brown v. Board of Education. There was one dissent, by Justice Harlan; his grandson sat on the Court in Brown v. Board of Education, which overturned Plessy on much the same grounds as the first Justice Harlan had suggested in his dissent.
Gideon v. Wainright - early 1960s - held that states were obliged to provide defence counsel at public expense to individuals charged with criminal offences; due process clause of the 14th Amendment.
Dred Scott v. San[d]ford* - 1857 - divided Court held that African-Americans by their nature could never be citizens; federal government had no power to prohibit slavery in territories; Dred Scott did not become free by moving to a free state.
- there’s some dispute about how Sandford spelled his name - with a D or without. It appears in both forms on the various court pleadings.