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Main article: Freedom of religion in the United States. Main article: Right to petition in the United States. New York: Facts on File. August 22, Retrieved July 15, The Media, the Public and Agricultural Biotechnology. Lists of United States Supreme Court cases. Landmark decisions Pending cases. Hidden categories: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list Articles with short description. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.

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Gingles , U. Strickland , U. Shaw v. Reno, U. Durham vs. Charlotte had the same interests, and did not have independent local needs that would be better served by having a more locally-oriented representative. Miller v. Johnson , U. Plaintiffs challenged the newly drawn districts as racial gerrymanders. The Supreme Court held for the plaintiffs, and established the rule for racial gerrymandering claims: if a district is drawn predominantly on the basis of race, it violates the Equal Protection Clause.

Bush v. Vera , U.


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To survive strict scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause and avoid being struck down as a racial gerrymander, a district must be reasonably compact. The Texas Legislature decided to draw one new Hispanic-majority district in South Texas, one new African-American-majority district in Dallas County, and one new Hispanic-majority district in the Houston area. In addition, the legislature reconfigured a district in the Houston area to increase its percentage of African Americans. The legislature used sophisticated software that allowed it to redistrict with racial data at the census block level.

The Supreme Court struck down three districts, holding that race was the predominant factor in drawing the lines.

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In these districts, the court concluded that districts drawn to satisfy Section 2 of the VRA must not subordinate traditional redistricting principles more than reasonably necessary. Shelby County v. As a result, redistricting plans and other changes in voting laws, such as voter identification requirements, need not be approved before they take effect.

Attorney General or the U. District Court for the District of Columbia a determination that the change neither had the purpose nor would have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or membership in a language minority group. It balanced the exceptional conditions surrounding implementation of the Voting Rights Act with the basic principles of the 10th Amendment.

The 10th Amendment reserves to the states all powers not specifically granted to the federal government. This includes the power to regulate elections. In addition, the principle of equal sovereignty among the states frowns upon their disparate treatment. It also found that the exceptional conditions that gave rise to the Voting Rights Act no longer existed. Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v.

Alabama , No. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act does not require a covered jurisdiction to maintain a specific numerical minority percentage when redistricting. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case to the district court for several reasons. Cooper v. Harris , No. This case represents a synthesis of earlier cases on the requirements of Section 2 as set out in Gingles, and the now well-developed case law on racial gerrymandering that began with Shaw v.

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The state argued the case on two primary grounds. First, the state argued the increase in the percentage of black voters in the district was required to avoid a potential vote dilution challenge under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Second, the state argued that any gerrymandering that had transpired was strictly partisan. Summary : Connecticut voters challenged the redrawing of Senate and House districts by the Apportionment Board.

The complaint alleged that the plan was a political gerrymander that favored the Republican Party. It should be noted, that in Larios v.

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In Larios , Plaintiffs challenged the congressional and House plans and the and Senate plans enacted by the Georgia General Assembly on various grounds. A three-judge federal district court upheld the congressional plan but struck down the legislative plans as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. The order regarding the Senate plan was stayed pending preclearance of the plan. The overall range of both the House plan and the Senate plan was 9. The plans also systematically paired Republican incumbents while reducing the number of Democratic incumbents who were paired.

The plans tended to ignore the traditional districting principles used in Georgia in previous decades, such as keeping districts compact, not allowing the use of point contiguity, keeping counties whole, and preserving the cores of prior districts. Davis v. Bandemer , U. The court required that, in order to prove partisan discrimination, a plaintiff political group must prove that those drawing a plan had an intent to discriminate against them, and that the plan had a discriminatory effect on them.

The court assumed that a discriminatory intent would not be hard to prove. As Justice Byron White said for the majority, "We think it most likely that whenever a legislature redistricts, those responsible for the legislation will know the likely political composition of the new districts and will have a prediction as to whether a particular district is a safe one for a Democratic or Republican candidate or is a competitive district that either candidate might win. On the other hand, a discriminatory effect, until at least publication, has been impossible to prove.

The court said:. Such a finding of unconstitutionality must be supported by evidence of continued frustration of the will of a majority of the voters or effective denial to a minority of voters of a fair chance to influence the political process. Merely showing that the minority is likely to lose elections held under the plan is not enough. We cannot presume. Vieth v. Jubelirer , U. During that time, no lower court successfully created a manageable legal standard under which to scrutinize partisan gerrymanders.

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The majority of justices in this case held that this particular challenge also failed to prove a violation of the Constitution. Four of the five justices in the majority went further, stating that they believed no such standard existed and that partisan gerrymandering claims should be excluded from federal courts under the political question doctrine.

However, the fifth justice in the majority—Kennedy—would not go that far. In his view, partisan gerrymandering claims might be justiciable, possibly under the First Amendment.


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