United States Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court must exercise discretion in deciding which cases to hear, since more than 10,000 civil and criminal cases are filed in the Supreme Court each year from various State and Federal courts. Ultimately, plenary review, with oral arguments by attorneys, is granted in about 100 cases per term. Formal written opinions are delivered in 80 to 90 cases. The Supreme Court also has “original jurisdiction” in a very small number of cases arising out of disputes between States or between States and the Federal Government. When the Supreme Court rules on a constitutional issue, that judgment is virtually final; its decisions are only rarely altered by constitutional amendment or by a new ruling of the Court.


Landmark Supreme Court Cases

A landmark decision is the outcome of a legal case that establishes a precedent that either substantially changes the interpretation of the law or that establishes new case law on a particular issue. Certain cases within this category are widely known in legal studies and may be reviewed by the general public, students, and academics.

Here are some specific landmark Supreme Court topics and cases along with the case citation number for the Supreme Court’s written opinion.

•Abortion – Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113
•Right to die – Cruzan v. Dir., Mo. Dep’t of Health, 497 U.S. 261
•Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure – Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643
•Right to an Attorney – Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436
•Capital punishment – Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238
•Freedom of speech and of the press – Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397
•Freedom of religion – Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520
•Affirmative action – Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306



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American Legal Systems: A Resource and Reference Guide, American law tags, Bouvier’s Law Dictionary and Concise Encyclopedia, 1914, Briefs in Law, Classification for Law Libraries, Convention on the Rights of the Child Part 2, Court Hierarchy in the legal system, Court System in the United States, Crime against international law, European Union law Part 27, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Part 3, International human rights law Part 40, International human rights law Part 41, Law Journals Abbreviations and Acronyms, List of U.S. Federal Court Reports, List of law keywords by competence in Google adwords, List of top law keywords in Google by global searches, Lists about law, PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO v. RUSSELL & CO., Preemption with State law, SEI FUJII v. THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 2, SEI FUJII v. THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, Sei Fujii v. the State of California, Trade law Part 28, Trade law Part 30, U.S. Digests, U.S. States Court Reports, United States Constitution Bibliography, United States Constitution timeline.

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