Supreme Court Summaries

Affordable Care Act

  • Last updated on April 18, 2021

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) (sometimes referred to as ‘Obamacare’) aims to make health insurance and health care more affordable and accessible to the American people. It does this by providing various subsidies for health insurance for people earning between 100% to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). It also expands the Medicaid program […]

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Marbury V Madison

  • Last updated on April 18, 2021

Marbury v Madison was one of the most important, if not the most important legal case in the United States. The case affirmed that the US Constitution is the paramount law by which the Supreme Court and Congress are held, and that Congress cannot pass laws that are in opposition to the Constitution. Marbury v […]

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The Declaration of Independence

  • Last updated on April 16, 2021

The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, and was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. In July 1776 North America’s British colonies sought independence, and the Declaration of Independence outlines the reasons why – they wanted to become their own separate nation free from […]

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Roe v Wade

  • Last updated on April 16, 2021

Roe V Wade was a monumental decision by the US Supreme Court in 1973 that ruled that a pregnant woman had the liberty to choose whether or not she wanted to have an abortion, and that this freedom was protected under the Constitution of the United States. The decision drew a line down the United […]

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Abortion

  • Last updated on March 25, 2021

Description: 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. Significance: With its controversial decision in Roe v. Wade (1973), the Supreme Court declared that women had the right to have an abortion, which it later interpreted […]

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Adams, John Quincy

  • Last updated on March 25, 2021

Significance: 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 […]

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Ableman v. Booth

  • Last updated on March 25, 2021

Significance: 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, […]

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Abrams v. United States

  • Last updated on March 25, 2021

Significance: 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 […]

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Academic freedom

  • Last updated on March 25, 2021

Description: Ability to freely exchange ideas and concepts in an academic setting. Significance: The Supreme Court has never granted academic freedom full constitutional status. It has ruled both for and against the protection of academic freedom on the basis of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. In many rulings, the Supreme Court recognized that citizens possess […]

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