AP Required Supreme Court Cases
CON-2: Federalism reflects the dynamic distribution of power between national and state governments.
- McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) - Established supremacy of the U.S. Constitution and federal laws over state laws.
- United States v. Lopez (1995) - Congress may not use the commerce clause to make possession of a gun in a school zone a federal crime.
LOR-2: Provisions of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are continually being interpreted to balance the power of government and the civil liberties of individuals.
- Engel v. Vitale (1962) - School sponsorship of religious activities violates the establishment clause.
- Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) - Compelling Amish students to attend school past the eighth grade violates the free exercise clause.
- Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969) - Public school students have the right to wear black armbands in school to protest the Vietnam War.
- New York Times Co. v. United States (1971) - Bolstered the freedom of the press, establishing a “heavy presumption against prior restraint” even in cases involving national security.
- Schenck v. United States (1919) - Speech creating a “clear and present danger” is not protected by the First Amendment.
LOR-3: Protections of the Bill of Rights have been selectively incorporated by way of the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause to prevent state infringement of basic liberties.
- Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) - Guaranteed the right to an attorney for the poor or indigent in a state felony case.
- Roe v. Wade (1973) - Extended the right of privacy to a woman’s decision to have an abortion.
- McDonald v. Chicago (2010) - The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for self-defense is applicable to the states.
PRD-1: The 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause as well as other constitutional provisions have often been used to support the advancement of equality.
- Brown v. Board of Education (1954) - Race-based school segregation violates the equal protection clause.
PRD-2: The impact of federal policies on campaigning and electoral rules continues to be contested by both sides of the political spectrum.
- Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) - Political spending by corporations, associations, and labor unions is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment.
CON-3: The republican ideal in the U.S. is manifested in the structure and operation of the legislative branch.
- Baker v. Carr (1961) - Opened the door to equal protection challenges to redistricting and the development of the “one person, one vote” doctrine by ruling that challenges to redistricting did not raise “political questions” that would keep federal courts from reviewing such challenges.
- Shaw v. Reno (1993) - Majority minority districts, created under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, may be constitutionally challenged by voters if race is the only factor used in creating the district.
CON-5: The design of the judicial branch protects the Supreme Court’s independence as a branch of government, and the emergence and use of judicial review remains a powerful judicial practice.
- Marbury v. Madison (1803) - Established the principle of judicial review empowering the Supreme Court to nullify an act of the legislative or executive branch that violates the Constitution.
Additional Court Cases