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EEOC v. Abercrombie: Religious Rights in the Workplace

EEOC v. Abercrombie

On June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court, in EEOC v. Abercrombie, held that an employer could be held liable for not being able to accommodate a religious practice under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, even though the employee or job applicant did not expressly request an accommodation. In a term of [...]

Miranda vs Arizona: The Bedrock of Criminal Law

Nearly 50 years later, the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Miranda vs Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), remains one of the Court’s most influential Fifth Amendment rulings.

By a vote of 5-4, the majority held that in Miranda vs Arizona the prosecution may not use statements obtained from a defendant during custodial interrogation, unless it “demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self- incrimination." The Facts of the Case The Court considered four separate cases, all of which [...]

Johnson v. M’Intosh: The Power to Grant Land

In Johnson v. M’Intosh, 21 U.S. 543 (1823), the U.S. Supreme Court addressed whether Native Americans had the power to give, and of private individuals to receive, title to land.

The justices ultimately answered, in the case of Johnson v. M'Intosh, in the negative, citing the power of Congress to extinguish aboriginal title. The Facts of the Case The case involved two competing claims to land located in the Northwest Territory, formally part of the colony of Virginia. Thomas Johnson purchased land from Piankeshaw Native [...]


The 5-4 majority in City of Los Angeles v. Patel, 576 U. S. ____ (2015), held that the ordinance was facially unconstitutional because it does not allow for hotel operators to engage in pre-compliance review by challenging the reasonableness of the subpoena in court. The Facts of the Case Los Angeles Municipal Code § 41.49 [...]


Accordingly, the Court invalidated a statute enacted by the State of New Hampshire seeking to alter the charter of Dartmouth College and convert it to a public university. The Facts of the Case In 1769 the British Crown granted a charter to Dartmouth College, which set forth the purpose of the school, established a governance [...]

In Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 14 U.S. 304 (1816), the U.S. Supreme Court first asserted its authority to overrule a state court decision regarding an issue of federal law. The Court’s landmark decision was rooted in the Court’s appellate jurisdiction conferred under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Supremacy Clause.

The Court’s landmark decision was rooted in the Court’s appellate jurisdiction conferred under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Supremacy Clause. The Facts of the Case The dispute revolved around the ownership of land in Virginia known as the Northern Neck Proprietary, which was originally owned by Lord Fairfax. The state [...]

Reed v. Town of Gilbert

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an Arizona town’s sign ordinance violates the First Amendment. The Court’s unanimous decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert established that regulations that are facially content-based must be subject to strict scrutiny regardless of their motivations. Gilbert, Arizona (Town), has a comprehensive Sign Code that [...]

New York v. Connecticut

In New York v. Connecticut, 4 U.S. 1 (1799), the U.S. Supreme Court first exercised its original jurisdiction to decide a legal dispute between two states. The dispute involved a strip of land over which the states of New York and Connecticut both claimed jurisdiction. The New York v. Connecticut case involved a tract of land [...]

Calder v. Bull: The Ex Post Facto Clause

calder v. bull

In Calder v. Bull, 3 U.S. 386 (1798), the U.S. Supreme Court first interpreted the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution. The justices held that the clause only applies to certain criminal acts. Calder v. Bull centered around Caleb Bull and his wife, the stated beneficiaries in the will of Norman Morrison when [...]

Arizona Redistricting Again


On June 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s use of an independent commission to adopt congressional districts. In her majority opinion in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, 576 U. S. ____ (2015), Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg acknowledged that partisan gerrymandering has plagued the country since its founding and still has [...]