45 landmark Supreme Court cases that changed American life as we knew it
- The US Supreme Court was formed in 1789. It's gone from five seats to 10, and is now fixed at nine.
- It makes fewer than 100 decisions every year, but its choices have had a huge impact on the country.
- Some decisions have empowered women, helped protect the environment, or guaranteed a person's right to expression. Others have strengthened racist laws, enabled forced sterilization, and allowed unequal schooling.
- Here is a guide to 45 of the Supreme Court's most impactful decisions.
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The US Supreme Court, the court of last resort, has undeniably changed the country.It makes fewer than 100 decisions every year that have sweeping effects on American life.
Not every decision has aged well. Other decisions have enforced slavery or create uneven schooling in the US.Here are 45 of the most important cases the Supreme Court has ever decided.
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Worcester v. Georgia (1832)
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837)
Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)
Munn v. Illinois (1877)
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Lochner v. New York (1905)
Abrams v. United States (1919)
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Mellon (1923)
Buck v. Bell (1927)
Near v. Minnesota (1931)
Wickard v. Filburn (1942)
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Engel v. Vitale (1962)
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
Reynold v. Sims (1964)
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. US (1964)
New York Times v. Sullivan (1964)
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Loving v. Virginia (1967)
Terry v. Ohio (1968)
Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)
Phillips v. Martin Marietta Corp. (1971)
Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972)
Roe v. Wade (1973)
San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez (1973)
United States v. Nixon (1974)
O'Conner v. Donaldson (1975)
Buckley v. Valeo (1976)
First National Bank of Boston v. Belloti (1978)
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)
Strickland v. Washington (1984)
Chevron USA Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council (1984)
Texas v. Johnson (1989)
Michael H. v Gerald D. (1989)
Cruzan v. Director of the Missouri Department of Health (1990)
Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
Georgia v. Randolph (2006)
Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency (2007)
District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)
Citizens United v. FEC (2010)
National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012)
Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)
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