Five Notable Cases in Supreme Court History

Over the years since the Supreme Court gained power throughout the states, there had been many notable cases.

Yet history has shown that there are cases which affected the country in general. Below are some of these cases in Supreme Court history which have made waves over the course of time.


1.       Marbury v. Madison, 1803

During such time, this had been the first instance for a law to be declared unconstitutional. It was during this hearing that the Court gained the power to examine the constitutionality of laws passed by the Congress.


2.       Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896

It was in this controversial hearing that the separation of blacks inside railroad cars was discussed. An individual named Homer Plessy refused to leave a car which prohibited colored people. Plessy was one-eighth black. The trial asserted that segregation was constitutional and thus, paved the way for the Jim Crow laws.


3.       Schenk v. United States, 1919

In 1918, Charles Schenk, the general secretary of the Socialist party, was arrested for discouraging young men from joining the military. He believed that it was against the Third Amendment, deeming the draft as slavery. It was during World War I and was seen as a “clear and present danger” to the country’s security.


4.       United States v. Nixon

Perhaps the most infamous scandal which rocked the United States during the 70s, Nixon sought immunity from being subjected to judicial powers. The Court deemed his plea as an unconstitutional power play and two weeks after the ruling, Nixon relinquished his position as president.


5.       Cruzan v. Missouri Dept. of Health

Nancy Cruzan’s family was seeking to withdraw her life-sustaining medical treatment, saying that she would have wanted it that way. The Supreme Court refused, as there wasn’t any clear and convincing evidence for practitioners to do so. Regulation of the “right to die” was there to defend individuals from any sort of abuse.

The cases mentioned asserted the power of the Supreme Court and the Constitution and serve as a lesson until this day. So if you’ve learned something according to what you have read, it would have to be that no one is above the law and that every citizen has the right to defend him or herself.