• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court ruled the Fifth Amendment protection against double jeopardy applied to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court overturned Palko v. Connecticut[case]Palko v. Connecticut[Palko v. Connecticut] (1937) and struck down Benton’s second conviction in Maryland courts as a violation of his Fifth […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a local zoning ordinance that prohibited most unrelated groups from living together in a single-unit dwelling. The owner of a house in the small village of Belle Terre, New York, leased it to six unrelated college students. When cited for violating a zoning ordinance, the owners and tenants […]

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Beard, Charles Austin

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

One of the most widely read scholars of the twentieth century, Beard claimed that the Constitution was a political document and that the justices, individuals with faults and personal feelings, could err in their interpretations. Born the son of a North Carolina Unionist Quaker who had fled to Indiana during the Civil War (1861-1865), Beard […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court ruled that the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment forbids a prosecutor from using peremptory challenges to remove potential jurors because of their race. James Batson, an African AmericanAfrican Americans;juries[juries], was indicted for second-degree burglary. When the judge conducted a voir dire examination (preliminary check of suitability and qualifications) of the […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court held that states could not prohibit lawyers from advertising the prices of routine legal services. In 1974 lawyers John Bates and Van O’Steen placed an advertisement in a newspaper that announced “legal services at very reasonable fees” and listed several examples. Because the Arizona bar association’s ethics code prohibited such advertisements, the […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court held that the Bill of Rights did not protect citizens from actions by their state governments, a ruling that stood largely unaltered until the 1920’s. The First Amendment begins with the word “Congress,” apparently making the federal government its only target, but none of the other amendments in the Bill of Rights […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

While reaffirming that nude dancing is expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment, the Supreme Court nevertheless upheld a state’s general ban on complete nudity in public places. In Schad v. Borough of Mount Ephraim[case]Schad v. Borough of Mount Ephraim[Schad v. Borough of Mount Ephraim] (1981), the Supreme Court held that nonobscene nude dancing was […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

To decide whether a trial was delayed for an unreasonable period of time, the Supreme Court established a balancing test with four factors: length of the delay, reasons for the delay, the defendant’s assertion of the right to a speedy trial, and prejudice to the defendant from the delay. Two defendants, Barker and Manning, were […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court upheld a conviction for contempt of Congress, ruling that the public’s interest in opposing communist infiltration outweighed a person’s limited First Amendment right to refuse to answer questions. When Lloyd Barenblatt, a college professor, appeared before the House Un-American Activities CommitteeHouse Un-American Activities Committee, he refused to answer questions that dealt with […]

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Barbour, Philip P.

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

During his five years on the Supreme Court, Barbour supported states’ rights over the authority of the federal government. Barbour began practicing law in 1802. He was elected to Congress in 1814, where he served as Speaker of the House from 1821 to 1823. In Cohens v. Virginia[case]Cohens v. Virginia[Cohens v. Virginia];Barbour, Philip P.[Barbour, Philip […]

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Bankruptcy law

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Federal statutes that allow consumers and businesses unable to meet their financial obligations to discharge their debts and start over economically. Article I, section 8, clause 4, of the U.S. Constitution stipulates that Congress shall establish “uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States.” Business and personal finance is beset with a […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court held that although a corporation was a citizen for the purpose of diversity jurisdiction, the location of its citizenship was determined by the citizenship of its shareholders. The Bank of the United States attempted to sue a Georgia tax collector for recovery of property. The issue was whether the bank (as a […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court recognized that the comity clause gave corporations a conditional right to do business in other states, but it also allowed states to regulate or even prohibit such business by explicit legislation. An Alabama citizen refused to pay the bills of exchange of an out-of-state bank on the grounds that a foreign corporation […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court held that juries must be composed of a minimum of six persons. Historically, the Anglo-American trial jury has been composed of twelve members. In Williams v. Florida[case]Williams v. Florida[Williams v. Florida] (1970), nevertheless, the Supreme Court approved of the use of six-person juries in all noncapital cases. The state of Georgia, attempting […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court held that women may not be excluded from jury service in federal trials taking place in states where women were eligible for service under state law. After Edna Ballard, a leader of the “I Am” movement, was convicted for fraudulent use of the mails, she appealed her conviction on the grounds that […]

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Baldwin, Henry

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

As a justice, Baldwin supported states’ rights and viewed slaves as property, without civil rights. After receiving a Doctor of Laws degree from Yale University in 1797, Baldwin studied under Alexander J. Dallas in Philadelphia and was admitted to the bar. He then headed west to Ohio, getting only as far as Pittsburgh, where he […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court ruled for the first time that legislative malapportionment was not a political question but an issue that could be considered by the courts. Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.,Brennan, William J., Jr.;Baker v. Carr[Baker v. Carr] wrote the 6-2 majority opinion in this landmark case, ignoring warnings from Justices Felix Frankfurter and John […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court ruled that Con- gress could not use its taxing power to impose regulations on production, which were powers reserved to the states by the Tenth Amendment. In Hammer v. Dagenhart[case]Hammer v. Dagenhart[Hammer v. Dagenhart] (1918), the Supreme Court struck down the first federal child labor statute as an unconstitutional use of the […]

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Bail

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Money posted by persons accused of crimes as security for their appearance at trial. The U.S. Constitution offers guarantees against excessive bail, which were interpreted and generally upheld by the Supreme Court. The use of bail has been a part of the Anglo-American criminal justice system since the English Bill of Rights of 1689 gave […]

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Badger, George E.

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

A prominent lawyer and jurist, Badger was nominated by U.S. president Millard Fillmore to replace Supreme Court Justice John McKinley, who had died. In spite of his impeccable qualifications, political considerations prevented his confirmation. Badger achieved prominence as one of the foremost legal minds of the mid-nineteenth century, rivaled only by Supreme Court Justice Joseph […]

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Bad tendency test

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

A test first applied by the Supreme Court in 1919 according to which speech that had a “tendency” to incite unlawful acts was not constitutionally protected. Although usually associated with Debs v. United States[case]Debs v. United States[Debs v. United States] (1919), the bad tendency testFirst Amendment speech tests actually has its genesis in Schenck v. […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Based on an interpretation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1983, the Supreme Court struck down a private company’s fetal-protection policy that barred all women with childbearing capacity from jobs involving significant lead exposure. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1983, an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, required that pregnant […]

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Automobile searches

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The inspection by police and other government agents of the interiors of motor vehicles to look for evidence of unlawful activity. The framers of the Fourth Amendment were concerned about protecting people from unlawful government searches and seizures of their “houses” and “effects” when they drafted the amendment in the late eighteenth century. When the […]

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Assembly and association, freedom of

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The right of the people to gather peaceably and to associate with anyone they desire. The First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits Congress from making any law that limits “the right of the people peaceably to assemble,” but the Constitution does not mention freedom of association. Freedom of association has been inferred, however, from freedom […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the TVA, including its right to sell electricity. In a concurring opinion, Justice Louis D. Brandeis formulated influential guidelines concerning when the Court will decide constitutional questions. When the TVA sold “surplus power” to a private utility company, minority shareholders went to court to annul the agreement. Speaking […]

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Articles of Confederation

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

First written blueprint for organizing a compact of the American colonies. Drafted in stages from 1776 to 1777 but not ratified until 1781, the Articles of Confederation extended and revised the existing understanding of diffused authority and state autonomy. Richard Henry Lee, Samuel Adams, John Dickinson, and Roger Sherman, among others, assisted in the drafting […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court reaffirmed the principle that a governmental policy will not be judged unconstitutional solely because it has a disproportionate impact on a particular race. A nonprofit developer wanted to construct low- and moderate-income housing units in a largely white suburb of Chicago. A major goal of the project was to promote racial integration […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court ruled that when an involuntary confession is erroneously admitted in a criminal trial, an appellate court may confirm the conviction if it decides that the defendant would have been found guilty on the strength of the other evidence. Before the Fulminante decision, if a person was convicted in a trial in which […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments mandate that states must provide a poor defendant with a lawyer at the time of trial if the defendant could be imprisoned for any period of time. In Gideon v. Wainwright[case]Gideon v. Wainwright[Gideon v. Wainwright] (1963), the Supreme Court held that states must provide counselCounsel, […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In this case, one of a series that undermined 1950’s anticommunist legislation, the Supreme Court overturned the communist registration provision in the 1950 McCarran Act. A six-vote liberal majority on the Supreme Court voided the part of the 1950 McCarran Act requiring CommunistCommunism Party members to register with the Subversive Activities Control Board. This registration […]

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Appointment and removal power

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Authority to appoint and discharge persons from nonelective positions in the federal government The U.S. Constitution describes the power to appoint government officials in some detail. Article II, section 2, clause 2, provides that the president shall appoint ambassadors (and other diplomats), Supreme Court justices, and “all other Officers of the United States,” with the […]

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Appellate jurisdiction

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Power given to the Supreme Court by Article III, section 2, of the U.S. Constitution, as further defined by federal statute, to review and revise the final decisions of the highest state courts and to review cases from the U.S. court of appeals. The Supreme Court’s power, including its appellate jurisdiction, originates in the U.S. […]

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Antitrust law

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Set of statutes regulating economic competition by prohibiting anticompetitive agreements, monopolization, attempted monopolization, conspiracies to monopolize, and mergers and acquisitions that may tend to substantially injure competition. The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was a broad statute prohibiting various forms of attempted and actual monopolies and agreements that restrained trade. The act allowed people who […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

While acknowledging that the slave trade was contrary to principles of natural justice, the Supreme Court nevertheless recognized the authority of sovereign nations to enact laws allowing the practice. Pirates seized a Spanish vessel, The Antelope, carrying a large cargo of African slaves. A U.S. naval ship subsequently captured the ship with its cargo and […]

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Americans United for Separation of Church and State

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Private organization that, using legal channels, attempts to prevent any governmental aid to religious schools or social service providers. After the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township[case]Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township[Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township] (1947), permitting states to provide […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

At the height of the Cold War, the Supreme Court upheld the portions of the Taft-Hartley Act (1947) that required labor union leaders to sign an affidavit affirming that they were not presently members of the Communist Party. The Communications union, which had a record of some Communist Party infiltration, charged that the registration provisions […]

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American Civil Liberties Union

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to upholding the Bill of Rights and defending the civil liberties and civil rights of all Americans. The ACLU was founded in 1920 by Roger BaldwinBaldwin, Roger and other Progressive-era activists. It grew out of earlier organizations that had opposed the entry of the United States into World War I […]

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American Bar Association Committee on Federal Judiciary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Standing committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) that evaluates the qualifications of prospective candidates and presidential nominees for the federal bench, including the Supreme Court. The ABA committee directs its attention to the professional qualifications of nominees, defined as their integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament. Because the Supreme Court is at the head […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court first used the freedom of contract doctrine to overturn a state law as unconstitutional. In order to regulate insurance businesses, Louisiana prohibited its residents from entering into most types of insurance contracts with companies located outside the state. Allgeyer and Company was fined $1,000 for making such a contract with a New […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court held that a Christmas display focusing predominantly on religious symbols violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment. In Lynch v. Donnelly (1984),[case]Lynch v. Donnelly[Lynch v. Donnelly] the Supreme Court voted five to four to approve a governmentsponsored nativity scene that also included a reindeer, a clown, and a Santa Claus house. […]

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Alien rights and naturalization

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The rights held by people who are not citizens of the United States and the process by which people who are not citizens become citizens. The U.S. Constitution touches on the definition of citizenship only indirectly and makes no provisions for how aliens, or noncitizens, may become citizens. Moreover, although the amendments to the Constitution […]

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Alien land laws

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

State laws prohibiting Asian immigrants from owning real property, particularly agricultural land, mainly on the basis that they were “aliens ineligible to citizenship.” In the late 1800’s numerous JapaneseJapanese;alien land lawsJapanese;U.S. citizenship migrated to California, where many of them became farmers. They cultivated land, irrigating it when necessary, and helped develop California’s fruit and vegetable […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In this case, one of a series of decisions undermining 1950’s anticommunist legislation, the Supreme Court struck down registration provisions of the 1950 McCarran Act. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Subversive Activities Control Board could not prosecute CommunistCommunism Party members for failing to register with the board as mandated by the McCarran ActMcCarran […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Law of 1964, the Supreme Court found that an employer’s screening tests were discriminatory and that the employer must provide back pay for employees who suffered monetary loss due to racial discrimination. AfricanAfrican Americans;affirmative action[affirmative action] American employees in a North Carolina paper mill, the Albemarle Paper […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Reaffirming the strict scrutiny approach established in 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that a city ordinance imposed unjustifiable restrictions on a woman’s exercise of a fundamental constitutional right. An ordinance of Akron, Ohio, required that all abortions after the first trimester be performed in hospitals, that abortions not be performed before a twenty-four-hour waiting period, […]

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Agricultural issues

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Matters relating to the production of food crops from the land and the raising of livestock. As long as agriculture was largely a subsistence activity, it was generally held to be a matter of purely local concern in which the states had exclusive jurisdiction. However, as agriculture became increasingly commercialized, especially after the Civil War […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court held that the establishment clause did not prevent the use of public funds for sending public school teachers into parochial schools to provide remedial services. In Aguilar v. Felton (1985),[case]Aguilar v. Felton[Aguilar v. Felton] the Supreme Court voted five to four to strike down a program in which public school teachers went […]

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Affirmative action

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Programs of governmental agencies or private institutions designed to provide members of racial and ethnic minorities and women with access to opportunities in education and employment. Affirmative action is a highly controversial means of pursuing equal access to resources in education and employment. Although the term affirmative action first appeared in an official document in […]

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Advisory opinions

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Judicial decisions issued about a hypothetical case, usually at the request of the legislative or executive branch to determine the constitutionality of proposed legislation. Advisory opinions allow legislatures and executive officials to determine issues of constitutionality before proposed legislation is enacted. Although these opinions are commonly issued by some state and many foreign courts, the […]

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Advertising of lawyers

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Promotion of a lawyer’s or law firm’s services in any media including television and radio commercials, outdoor billboards, newspapers or magazines, and direct mailings where a fee was paid for placement. In 1977 the Supreme Court addressed the limitations on advertising for lawyers in Bates v. State Bar of Arizona[case]Bates v. State Bar of Arizona[Bates […]

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Admiralty and maritime law

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Laws and international treatises governing marine navigation and commerce, the transportation over water of property and people, and other issues involving navigable waters, including oceans, gulfs, coastal regions, and inland waterways. Article III, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution provides that federal judicial power shall extend to “all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction.” Virtually […]

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Administrative law

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Branch of law governing those who implement public policy when they are acting in their official capacity. Administrators, those who carry out public policy, have discretion in how they fulfill their responsibilities. Their discretion, however, is limited by the U.S. Constitution. If they are state administrators, their discretion is limited by both the U.S. Constitution […]

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Administrative assistant to chief justice

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

A person who assists the chief justice in a multitude of administrative duties. The chief justice assigns various duties to the administrative assistant, who is assisted by a small support staff. These duties include conducting research for the chief justice’s public addresses and statements, acting as a intermediary between the chief justice and others, such […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

This decision, in which the Supreme Court struck down a minimum-wage law, was a prime example of the Court’s commitment to the freedom of contract doctrine and laissez-faire principles. In 1918 Congress established a board with authority to set minimum wages for women and minors in the District of Columbia.Workers’ rights The stated purpose of […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black underscored a distinction between speech and action in upholding the conviction of civil rights demonstrators. Justice Hugo L. Black,Black, Hugo L.;Adderley v. Florida[Adderley v. Florida] writing for a five-member majority, upheld the conviction of civil rights protesters who demonstrated directly on the grounds of a county jail in Tallahassee, […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court required lower courts to use the standards of “strict scrutiny” when examining any preferences based on race. The Federal Highway Division provided premiums to general contractors for awarding contracts to firms owned by members of racial minorities recognized as having experienced social and economic disadvantages. Although the Adarand Constructors company was the […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Reaffirming that the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination was not applicable to the states, the Supreme Court reiterated that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporated only those procedural rights considered essential to a fair trial. When tried for murder, Admiral D. Adamson did not testify, because of his prior criminal record. The […]

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Adams, John Quincy

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

A strong advocate of a powerful federal judiciary, Adams was unable as president to make appointments that strengthened the Supreme Court. Admitted to the Massachusetts bar as a young man, Adams found the practice of law tedious and boring. Discontinuing his practice after four years to become a diplomat, he resumed practice between 1801 and […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court severely limited the extent to which the federal government could protect the rights of workers. The Erdman Act of 1898Erdman Act made it illegal to discharge or punish employees for union activity. Its main purpose was to prohibit yellow dog contracts,Yellow dog contracts which required workers to agree not to join a […]

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Academic freedom

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Ability to freely exchange ideas and concepts in an academic setting. In many rulings, the Supreme Court recognized that citizens possess constitutional rights of free speech and due process. However, when these citizens were faculty members at academic institutions, the Court also obligated them to respect their responsibilities to their students, their academic community, and […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Oliver Wendell Holmes, in his dissent to this 1919 case in which the Supreme Court upheld convictions of Russian anarchists on sedition charges, clarified and limited the clear and present danger test he had created. In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction and lengthy prison terms of five Russian anarchists who had […]

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Abortion

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Intentional expulsion or removal of the fetus from the womb except for the purpose of accomplishing a live birth or removing a dead fetus from the womb. Scarcely any constitutional issue provoked more controversy in the last half of the twentieth century than the issue of whether the U.S. Constitution protected a woman’s right to […]

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  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court held that the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was constitutional and ruled that a state court may not issue a writ of habeas corpus to release a person from federal custody. Joshua Glover, a fugitive slave from Missouri, found work in a Wisconsin mill. Under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, the […]

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Biographical Directory

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The brief sketches in this appendix offer highlights of the careers of American military and political leaders who played significant roles in the history of U.S. warfare. For fuller information on these figures and others, consult the pages referenced in the Index of Personages. Abrams, Creighton Williams, Jr. (1914–1974): A graduate of West Point, Abrams […]

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Time Line of U.S. Wars and Battles

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Dates assigned to each conflict are those that are generally regarded as the formal start and finish of each war. It should be noted that the United States did not enter the two world wars of the twentieth century until several years after those wars began. In order to provide fuller perspectives, this time line […]

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Bibliography

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

This bibliography contains annotated listings of standard reference works and atlases and categorized listings of books on specific topics in U.S. military history. The latter include titles on each of the major conflicts covered in this set. For additional titles on specific conflicts, see the Further Reading sections at the end of each chapter. Standard […]

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Further Reading

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Alexander, Yonah, and Dan Musch, eds.Terrorism and Homeland Security. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004. Ali, Tariq.Bush in Babylon: The Recolonization of Iraq. New York: Verso, 2003. Allard, Carl Kenneth.Somalia Operations: Lessons Learned. Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press, 1995. Anderson, Jon Lee.The Fall of Baghdad. New York: Penguin, 2004. Arnett, Peter.Live from the Battlefield. […]

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2003: Postwar Occupation of Iraq

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

On May 1, 2003, President George W. Bush boarded the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln that bore a banner, allegedly provided by the White House, proclaiming “Mission Accomplished.” The war against Iraq, begun on March 19, 2003, officially ended forty-three days later. Up to that moment, no comprehensive exit plan had been formulated. On May […]

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2003: Iraq War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Iraq War of 2003 was the second time that a U.S.-led coalition confronted the armed forces of Saddam Hussein. After Iraq’s invasion of oil-rich Kuwait in 1990, the Security Council of the United Nations (U.N.) authorized member nations to force Iraq out of Kuwait. In the resulting Gulf War of 1991, the coalition of […]

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2001: War on Terrorism

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The so-called war on terrorism is in some respects typical of other wars that the United States waged after 1917. In other respects, however, it is unique. In common with the two world wars in which the United States fought and the amorphous, quasi-military conflict known as the Cold War, the war on terrorism has […]

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2001: Invasion of Afghanistan

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The United States was not the first country to invade Afghanistan in modern times. In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, took Kabul, its capital city, within one week and then spent the next decade trying to defeat Afghanistan’s mujahideen insurgents. The mujahideen received aid from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and a loosely […]

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2001: Terrorist Attacks on the United States

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Around the beginning of the business day in the eastern United States, two American Airlines jetliners and two United Airlines jetliners were hijacked after taking off from Boston and Washington, D.C. Three of the four planes were deliberately smashed into targets in order to kill as many people and to do as much damage as […]

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2000: Terrorist Attack on the USS

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

On October 12, 2000, while the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole was refueling in the port of Aden in Yemen, it was attacked by two men who pulled alongside the ship in a small boat and caused an explosion that blew a large hole in the hull of the ship, killing seventeen people. Although Yemen was […]

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1998: Bombing of Military Sites in Iraq

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

At the conclusion of the Gulf War in early 1991, restrictions imposed on Iraq by the United Nations included an agreement that required United Nations (U.N.) inspectors to visit sites within the country for the purpose of verifying compliance with the treaty terms governing the production of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. Over the next […]

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1998: Missile Attacks on Afghanistan and Sudan

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

On August 7, 1998, two bombs exploded at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing more than 250 people and injuring more than 5,000. An Islamic terrorist group identified as the International Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders indirectly claimed responsibility for the bombings and threatened additional terrorist attacks on American targets […]

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1995: NATO Troops in Bosnia

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

On December 14, 1995, after being delayed by foul weather, the first troops of the United States Army crossed the Sava River and entered the Republic of Bosnia. The troops were part of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) force charged with implementing the peace treaty agreed to by Bosnia and its neighbors the previous […]

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1994: U.S. Troops in Bosnia

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

At dusk on the evening of April 10, 1994, two American F-16 jets from the American air base in Aviano, Italy, flew over Gorazde, Bosnia. The planes dropped three five-hundred-pound bombs on Serbian positions used to bombard the city, which had been designated by the United Nations as a safe zone for Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks). […]

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1992: Somalia Occupation

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

On December 4, 1992, U.S. president George Bush announced that U.S. forces would be sent to Somalia in order to provide security for the provision of emergency humanitarian assistance. This announcement followed months of civil war and famine in Somalia and many months of international debate about how best to deal with that country’s deteriorating […]

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1992: “No Fly” Zone in Iraq

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

On August 27, 1992, the United States, Great Britain, and France made a joint decision to establish a “no fly” zone in southern Iraq. The decision not to allow Iraqi aircraft south of the 32d parallel was controversial. There were those who doubted the humanitarian motives of the allies. The Iraqis saw the change as […]

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1991: Women in the Gulf War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Historically, there has been much debate about women serving in military and combat roles. The level of that debate increased when the United States armed forces were mobilized after the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in August, 1990. As the country watched, 33,000 women were among the 537,000 U.S. troops sent to Saudi Arabia. Women […]

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1991: Air War in the Gulf

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

During the early hours of August 2, 1990, Iraqi military forces occupied the tiny, oil-rich nation of Kuwait, Iraq’s Arab neighbor on the Northern Persian Gulf. Ordered by Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, the invasion employed hundreds of tanks and surprised nearly the entire world. Within twenty-four hours, Iraq had taken complete control of Kuwait and […]

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1991: Censorship During the Gulf War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Gulf War, which began as Operation Desert Shield to protect Saudi Arabia from Iraqi invasion and became Operation Desert Storm to liberate Iraqi-held Kuwait, involved world access to Persian Gulf oil. The United States fought to keep the mercurial Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, from military dominance in a sensitive region. Consequently, the United States […]

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1991: Gulf War

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In August, 1990, a number of factors contributed to Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s decision to invade and annex neighboring Kuwait. Since Kuwait’s independence, in June, 1961, Iraqi leaders had questioned the legitimacy of Kuwait’s sovereignty and the border demarcating the two countries. An important oil field straddled the ill-defined frontier, and Kuwait had been tapping […]

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Post-Cold War Conflicts

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

One of the most unexpected developments of the last years of the twentieth century and first years of the twenty-first century has been the failure of the ending of the Cold War to bring peace and stability to the world order. Although there has been a dramatic lessening of tensions between the United States and […]

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Post-Cold War Conflicts 1991–2005

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Post-Cold War Conflicts Campaigns, Battles, and Other Events 1991: Gulf War 1991: Censorship During the Gulf War 1991: Air War in the Gulf 1991: Women in the Gulf War 1992: “No Fly” Zone in Iraq 1992: Somalia Occupation 1994: U.S. Troops in Bosnia 1995: NATO Troops in Bosnia 1998: Missile Attacks on Afghanistan and Sudan […]

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Further Reading

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Allison, Graham T.Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. 2d ed. New York: Longman, 1999. Beck, Robert J.The Grenada Invasion: Politics, Law, and Foreign Policy Decisionmaking. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1993. Blight, James G., and Peter Kornbluh, eds.Politics of Illusion: The Bay of Pigs Invasion Reexamined. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 1998. Boot, Max.The Savage […]

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1989: Panama Occupation

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The generally amicable relations between the United States and Panama began to falter after Panamanian general Manuel Noriega came to power in Panama in 1987. Despite his history of involvement in drug trafficking, gun running, and money laundering, Noriega had been receiving support from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a friendly resource in Panama. […]

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1983: Censorship During the Grenada Occupation

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

On October 25, 1983, approximately six thousand U.S. Marines and paratroopers invaded the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada on the orders of President Ronald Reagan. Hostilities ended ten days later, and U.S. combat troops were withdrawn by December 15, 1983. Military commanders, supported by the Reagan administration, kept all news reporters out of Grenada during […]

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1983: Grenada Occupation

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Relations between Grenada, an independent republic within the British Commonwealth of Nations, and the United States began to deteriorate in the late 1970’s with the creation of a Grenadian Marxist government, the New Jewel Movement (NJM), led by moderate socialist Maurice Bishop. Beginning in 1979, Bishop established cordial relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba, […]

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1965: Dominican Republic Occupation

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Dominican Republic shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Republic of Haiti. The history of the Dominican Republic has been a tumultuous one, dating back to the time of its settlement by the Spanish conquistadores at the beginning of the sixteenth century. In 1930, a Dominican army officer trained by the United States, […]

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1962: Cuban Missile Crisis

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

When Fidel Castro’s revolutionary July 26 Movement assumed power in Cuba in 1959, it marked the end of U.S. political and economic dominance over the island. Ever since the late nineteenth century, the United States, supported by loyal Cuban politicians, had enjoyed control over all Cuba’s commerce and industry. Castro, however, refused to adhere to […]

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1961: Bay of Pigs Invasion

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionary forces overthrew Cuba’s government, establishing a revolutionary socialist regime in its place. Lands formerly owned by members of the upper classes and by U.S. companies were seized and redistributed, and many Cubans fled to the United States–primarily Florida–in exile. In 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionary forces overthrew […]

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Conflicts in the Caribbean

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

American interests in the Caribbean region go back to the pre-independence era, when Great Britain was developing trade relationships between its Caribbean and North American colonies. After the United States won its Revolutionary War during the early 1780’s, it stood as the only independent nation in the Western Hemisphere. In the early nineteenth century, a […]

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Conflicts in the Caribbean 1961–1989

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Conflicts in the Caribbean Campaigns, Battles, and Other Events 1961: Bay of Pigs Invasion 1962: Cuban Missile Crisis 1965: Dominican Republic Occupation 1983: Grenada Occupation 1983: Censorship During the Grenada Occupation 1989: Panama Occupation Further Reading

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Further Reading

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Anderson, David L., ed.Facing My Lai: Moving Beyond the Massacre. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997. Angers, Trent.The Forgotten Hero of My Lai: The Hugh Thompson Story. Lafayette, La.: Acadian House, 1999. Arnold, James.Tet Offensive 1968. Sterling Heights, Mich.: Osprey, 1991. Barnouw, Erik.Tube of Plenty: The Evolution of American Television. New York: Oxford University Press, […]

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March, 1973: U.S. Withdrawal from Vietnam

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Throughout the history of the United States, only the Civil War aroused as many conflicting emotions among citizens, officials, and soldiers as did the Vietnam War. Debate in the United States began in the early 1960’s over what means should be used to protect the Republic of South Vietnam. Division spread with time to questions […]

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April-June, 1970: Cambodia Invasion

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

In 1968, when Richard M. Nixon was voted into office, partly on the strength of his promise to bring peace to Vietnam, Cambodia was at peace. Its ruler, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, had successfully maneuvered to keep his country separate from the Vietnam War by allowing the North Vietnamese to use border provinces both as sanctuaries […]

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March, 1968: My Lai Massacre

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

The My Lai massacre occurred during the first hours of a March 16, 1968, operation carried out by a battalion-sized unit, code-named Task Force Barker, of the Americal Division of the U.S. Army. This unit, comprising three infantry companies (A, B, and C) supported by artillery, helicopters, and coastal patrol craft, was intended to sweep […]

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January-February, 1968: Battle of Hue

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

On January 31, 1968, the battle for Hue begin with a fierce bombardment and military assault by North Vietnamese army regulars (NVA) of the Fourth and Sixth Regiments and Viet Cong. Hue was overrun in the first hours, except for the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) Advisory compound in southern Hue and the Army […]

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January-February, 1968: Tet Offensive

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

On January 30, 1968, the Viet Cong and North Vietnam army opened a new phase of the war by launching surprise attacks on most major cities and towns of South Vietnam. The campaign began at the start of Tet, the Vietnamese celebration of the new year in the lunar calendar. The United States had nearly […]

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