Bank Markazi v. Peterson

In Bank Markazi v. Peterson, 578 U. S. ____ (2016), the U.S. Supreme Court held that Section 8772 of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 does not violate the separation of powers. Congress enacted the statute to ensure that assets held by the Bank of Iran would be available to [...]

Draft-Law-Cases

In Arver v. United States, 245 U.S. 366 (1918), the U.S. Supreme Court held that Congress was authorized under the Constitution to compel military service pursuant to the Selective Service Act of 1917. The consolidated cases are also known as the “Selective Draft Law Cases.”  The Facts of the Case Congress enacted the Selective Service [...]

Standard Oil Company of New Jersey v. United States

In Standard Oil Company of New Jersey v. United States, 221 U.S. 1 (1911), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Standard Oil Company was guilty of operating a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. While the Court upheld the application of the anti-trust law under the Commerce Clause, it limited the reach of the Sherman Anti-Trust [...]

Luis v. the United States

In Luis v. United States 578 U.S. ____(2016), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the pretrial freeze of a criminal defendant's legitimate, untainted assets violates the Sixth Amendment right to counsel of choice. While the significant constitutional issue divided the eight-member Court, the justices were able to reach a plurality. The Facts of Luis v. United [...]

The Nineteenth Amendment: Women’s Right to Vote

nineteenth ammendment

The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920. It prohibits any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of sex. The suffrage movement began in the early 1800s with petitions, protests, and lectures. However, supporters of guaranteeing women the right to vote faced [...]

Evenwel v. Abbott: Legislative Districts Based on Total Population

In Evenwel v. Abbott, 578 U. S. ____ (2016), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a state or locality may draw its legislative districts based on total population. The unanimous 8-0 decision is one of the most significant redistricting cases in decades, although the Court declined to go so far as to constitutionally mandate that [...]

The Eighteenth Amendment: The Prohibition of Alcohol

The Eighteenth Amendment: The Prohibition of Alcohol

The Eighteenth Amendment banned making, transporting, and selling alcoholic beverages throughout the United States. While proponents hoped prohibiting alcohol would significantly reduce crime and other societal ills, the resulting black market fostered organized crime. The amendment was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment in 1933.  The Temperance Movement  Spurred by religious organizations, the Temperance Movement grew [...]

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

On March 29, 2016, an equally divided U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the lower court ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The non-precedential per curium decision leaves the constitutionality of public union agency fees to be decided another day. The Facts of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association In California, public [...]

Wearry v. Cain: Brady Violation Saves Death Row Inmate

Wearry v. Cain

In Wearry v. Cain, 577 U. S. ____ (2016), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the prosecution’s failure to disclose material evidence violated the petitioner’s due process rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. Accordingly, the justices ordered a new trial. While the Court announced the decision in a per curium opinion, it still sends a [...]

In 1913, the states ratified the Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to require the direct election of senators by the citizens of the United States.

In 1913, the states ratified the Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to require the direct election of senators by the citizens of the United States.  When drafting the U.S. Constitution, the framers intended that the states retain authority over the acts of Congress and that the federal government would respect state’s rights.   Article I, [...]