Landmark Supreme Court Cases

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US Supreme Court Building

This is a partial list of Landmark Supreme Court cases, with brief descriptions of the ruling.

First Amendment / Freedom of Speech and of the Press

Title Year Summary Ruling
New York Times v. Sullivan 1964 A chief of police sued the New York Times for libel for their reporting on civil rights protests. 9-0, Pro-New York Times
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 2009-2010 The organization of Citizens United, a non-profit and conservative organization, wanted to release an anti-Hillary Clinton documentary around the 2008 election. The Federal Election Commission (Often abbreviated to the FEC) denied the documentary to be released. 5-4, Pro-Citizens United

Fourth Amendment / Searches and Siezures

Title Year Summary Ruling
US v. Weeks 1913-1914 Without a search warrant, the police found their way into the home of Fremont Weeks, who was already in custody, and took papers that belonged to him. The police knew he was illegally sending lottery tickets through the mail. Clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. Unanimous, Pro-Weeks
New Jersey v. TLO 1984-1985 T.L.O. , An unknown 14-year-old female freshman, was searched by the school on suspicion that she was smoking cigarettes. The school found the suspected cigarettes and marijuana. Although she was in the wrong, she argued that her Fourth Amendment right had been broken and violated. 6-3, Pro-School (New Jersey)
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents 1970-1971 6 Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics fought their way into the home of Mr. Webster Bivens in 1965 with no warrant. Bivens then tried to sue the agents for humiliation and mental suffering. 6-3, Pro-Bivens


Title Year Summary Ruling
Roe v. Wade 1971-1973 Texas resident Norma McCorvey (Going under the pseudonym Jane Roe) attempted to get an abortion, only to find that abortion is illegal in Texas (Unless the woman's life is in danger). The outcome affected 46 states. Ironically, McCorvey became a Pro-Life activist and a Roman Catholic. She died February 18, 2017 at 69. 7-2, Pro-Roe and Abortion


Title Year Summary Ruling
Dred Scott v. Sanford 1856-1857



Right to an attorney

Private Property

Homosexual Agenda

Second Amendment