Cherokee Nation v Georgia

In Cherokee Nation v Georgia, 30 U.S. (5 Peters) 1 (1831), members of the Cherokee Nation sought to enjoin the state of Georgia from seizing their land. However, the U.S. Supreme Court held that it lacked the authority to enforce the rights of Native American "nations" against the states. The Facts in Cherokee Nation v Georgia [...]

craig v missouri

In Craig v Missouri, 29 U.S. 410 (1830), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a Missouri statute authorizing loan certificates issued by the state violated Article I, section 10 of the Constitution, which prohibits states from issuing bills of credit. The Facts of Craig v Missouri Section 10 of Article I of the Constitution states that [...]

Trinity Lutheran Church v Pauley

The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to consider Trinity Lutheran Church v Pauley, a case involving whether the state of Missouri violated the Constitution when it denied the Trinity Lutheran Church’s application for Missouri’s Scrap Tire Grant Program so that it could resurface its playground. The Court’s decision should resolve a circuit split regarding whether [...]

murr v wisconsin

Murr v Wisconsin is one of the October 2016 Term’s most-anticipated cases. The regulatory takings case will address whether two legally distinct but commonly owned contiguous parcels must be combined for takings analysis purposes. The Court’s decision is expected to have a significant impact on the legal interests of property owners, local governments, and real [...]

Weston v City Council of Charleston

In Weston v City Council of Charleston, 27 U.S. 449 (1829), the Supreme Court held that a city ordinance taxing interest-bearing stock of the United States was unconstitutional. The Court specifically found that the tax burdened the enumerated power of Congress "to borrow money on the credit of the United States." The Facts in Weston v City [...]

october 2016 Supreme Court term

The U.S. Supreme Court will return from its summer recess at the end of the month. The justices have already agreed to consider a number of significant criminal law cases over 2016-2017 Term. This post offers a brief preview. Bravo-Fernandez et al. v. United States: The bribery case considers when cases can be retried under [...]

Willson v Black Bird Creek Marsh Company

In Willson v Black Bird Creek Marsh Company, 27 U.S. (2 Pet.) 245 (1829), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a Delaware state law authorizing the building of a dam did not unconstitutionally usurp Congress's powers under the Commerce Clause because the federal government had not enacted legislation addressing the issue. The Court’s decision was [...]

Brown v Maryland: Import Taxes on Foreign Goods

Brown v Maryland

In Brown v Maryland, 12 Wheat. 419 (1827), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a Maryland law requiring importers of foreign goods to obtain a license violated the Constitution’s prohibition on import taxes and undermined federal authority over interstate and foreign commerce. The decision established the “original package doctrine,” under which state taxes could not [...]

Ogden v Saunders: The Contracts Clause

Ogden v Saunders

debtorIn Ogden v Saunders, 25 U.S. 213 (1827), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a New York bankruptcy law did not violate the Constitution’s Contracts Clause. The case is also most remembered as the only decision from which Chief Justice John Marshall dissented. The Obligation of Contracts Clause Article I, Section 10 provides that “No State shall . [...]

Wayman v Southard: The Limits of Non-delegation

Wayman v Southard

In Wayman v Southard, 23 U.S. 10 Wheat. 1 1 (1825), the U.S. Supreme Court first grappled with the doctrine of non-delegation, under which one branch of government can’t delegate its constitutionally authorized power to another. In the decision, Chief Justice John Marshall distinguished between "important" subjects and mere details, which the Court held Congress [...]