Category: Landmark Supreme Court Cases

Landmark Supreme Court cases are those that take in to question the laws practiced throughout the nation or individual states for decades or even centuries. These cases tend to overturn legal decisions made with the creation of the Constitution and often lead to the creation of new laws or amendments.

They’re studied because they have historical and legal significance. The most significant cases are those that have had a lasting effect on the application of a certain law, often concerning your individual rights and liberties.

Though the judicial branch doesn’t directly make laws, the courts interpret laws through the cases brought before them. The American legal system is a Common Law system, which means that judges base their decisions on previous court rulings in similar cases. Therefore, previous decisions by a higher court are binding, and become part of the law.

For the most part, courts will try to stay consistent in deciding similar issues. This is called stare decisis, which is Latin for “let the decision stand.”

The U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals – must be followed by the federal trial courts. This is called following precedent. The precedent Landmark Supreme Court cases set generally lasts generations.

gomillion

Landmark Supreme Court Case: Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1960)

Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1960) is the 108th landmark Supreme Court case, third in the Elections module, featured in the KTB Prep American Government and Civics series designed to acquaint users with the origins, concepts, organizations, and policies of the United States government and political system. The goal is greater familiarization...

rochin

Landmark Supreme Court Case: Rochin v. California (1952)

Rochin v. California (1952) is the 97th landmark Supreme Court case, twelfth in the Criminal Rights module, featured in the KTB Prep American Government and Civics series designed to acquaint users with the origins, concepts, organizations, and policies of the United States government and political system. The goal is greater...

jencks

Landmark Supreme Court Case: Jencks v. United States (1957)

Jencks v. United States (1957) is the 107th landmark Supreme Court case, fourteenth in the Criminal Rights module, featured in the KTB Prep American Government and Civics series designed to acquaint users with the origins, concepts, organizations, and policies of the United States government and political system. The goal is...

watkins

Landmark Supreme Court Case: Watkins v. United States (1957)

Watkins v. United States (1957) is the 105th landmark Supreme Court case, tenth in the Speech, Press, and Protest module, featured in the KTB Prep American Government and Civics series designed to acquaint users with the origins, concepts, organizations, and policies of the United States government and political system. The...

yates

Landmark Supreme Court Case: Yates v. United States (1957)

Yates v. United States (1957) is the 104th landmark Supreme Court case, ninth in the Speech, Press, and Protest module, featured in the KTB Prep American Government and Civics series designed to acquaint users with the origins, concepts, organizations, and policies of the United States government and political system. The...

brown (2)

Landmark Supreme Court Case: Brown (2) v. Board of Education (1955)

Brown (2) v. Board of Education (1955) is the 102nd landmark Supreme Court case, fifteenth in the Politics, Society, Freedom, and Equality module, featured in the KTB Prep American Government and Civics series designed to acquaint users with the origins, concepts, organizations, and policies of the United States government and...