Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 402 U.S. 1, 91 S. Ct. 1267, 28 L. Ed. 2d 554, 1971 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. School districts undergoing desegregation under Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) (Brown I), and Brown v. Board of Education, 349 U.S. 294 (1955) (Brown II), sought clarification of their duties and the scope of federal district courts' power under [Brown I/II]. Synopsis of Rule of Law. The scope of District Court authority is broad, but enters only when local school districts have not voluntarily brought themselves into compliance with ...

Palmer v. Thompson
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 403 U.S. 217, 91 S. Ct. 1940, 29 L. Ed. 2d 438, 1971 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. Jackson, Mississippi operated public swimming pools, but kept them segregated until it eventually closed or sold them all. Synopsis of Rule of Law. An official governmental action that denies access to public facilities to all citizens does not violate the Equal Protections Clause of the United States Constitution (Constitution). ...

Washington v. Davis
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 426 U.S. 229, 96 S. Ct. 2040, 48 L. Ed. 2d 597, 1976 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Washington (Petitioner), a black man failed the written test to become a Washington, D.C. police recruit. He claims that the test was racially biased and cited the relatively low number of black cops on the force as evidence. Synopsis of Rule of Law. A rule that is neutral on its face and rationally related to a legitimate state interest is constitutional even though it may impact a race disproportionately. ...

McCleskey v. Kemp
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 481 U.S. 279, 107 S. Ct. 1756, 95 L. Ed. 2d 262, 1987 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, McCleskey (Petitioner), was a black man convicted of murdering a white police officer. The jury sentenced Petitioner to death. Now he claims that sentencing was administered in a discriminatory manner. Synopsis of Rule of Law. A criminal defendant has the burden of proving the existence of purposeful discrimination and that this discrimination had a discriminatory effect on him. ...

City of Mobile v. Bolden
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 446 U.S. 55, 100 S. Ct. 1490, 64 L. Ed. 2d 47, 1980 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, the City of Mobile (Petitioner), has a 3-person council. The councilmen run in an open election, where the majority vote getters are awarded seats on the council. Although the Petitioner City has a large black population, it has never had a black councilman. Synopsis of Rule of Law. Legislative apportionment could violate Equal Protection, if the purpose was to minimize or cancel out the voting potential of minorities. ...

Dred Scott v. Sandford
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 60 U.S. 393, 15 L. Ed. 691, 1856 U.S. 472, 19 HOW 393 Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Dred Scott (Petitioner), was a slave who was taken to Illinois before the Civil War. He attempted to bring suit in a court of law to establish that he was a citizen of the state of Illinois and a free man. Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Missouri Compromise is unconstitutional and slaves are property not citizens. ...

Korematsu v. United States
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 323 U.S. 214, 65 S. Ct. 193, 89 L. Ed. 194, 1944 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Korematsu (Petitioner), a Japanese-American, was forced to leave his home that was located in a military area in California. The Respondent, the United States (Respondent), claimed that the expulsion was necessary in the time of war. Synopsis of Rule of Law. Legal restrictions that interfere with the civil rights of a single racial group are subject to strict scrutiny. But, pressing public necessity may sometimes justify the existence of ...

Loving v. Virginia
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 388 U.S. 1, 87 S. Ct. 1817,18 L. Ed. 2d 1010, 1967 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioners, Mr. and Mrs. Loving (Petitioner), are a married interracial couple. They returned to Virginia after marrying in Washington, D.C. and were convicted of violating a state statute prohibiting mixed marriages. Synopsis of Rule of Law. Racial classification is treated the same as racial discrimination. It must the strict scrutiny test or in other words be necessary to further a compelling state interest. ...

New York City Transit Authority v. Beazer
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 440 U.S. 568, 99 S. Ct. 1355, 59 L. Ed. 2d 587, 1979 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, New York City Transit Authority (Petitioner), refuses to employ methadone users. The Respondent, Beazer (Respondent), brings suit on behalf of all methadone users who might work for Petitioner under the auspice that the policy violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution (Constitution). Synopsis of Rule of Law. A rule will violate the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution if it circumscribes a class of ...

United States Department of Agriculture v. Moreno
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 413 U.S. 528, 93 S. Ct. 2821, 37 L. Ed. 2d 782, 1973 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Appellee, Moreno (Appellee), was receiving food stamps from the Appellant, the United States Department of Agriculture (Appellant). In 1971, the Appellant changed the definition of household and Appellee lost all program assistance. Synopsis of Rule of Law. Discrimination against a politically unpopular group is not a constitutionally permissible government interest. This will fail the rational basis test. ...

City of Cleburne, Texas v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 473 U.S. 432, 105 S. Ct. 3249, 87 L. Ed. 2d 313, 1985 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, City of Cleburne (Petitioner), denied a special use permit to the Respondent, Cleburne Living Center (Respondent), for the establishment of a group home for the mentally retarded in the community. The Court of Appeals of the Fifth Circuit determined that this group is a "quasi-suspect" class and that the ordinance violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution (Constitution). Synopsis of Rule of Law. Legislati ...

Romer v. Evans
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 517 U.S. 620, 116 S. Ct. 1620, 134 L. Ed. 2d 855, 1996 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. Several municipalities in Colorado had passed legislation that banned discrimination against homosexuals in housing transactions. The Petitioner, Romer (Petitioner), was not leased an apartment by the Respondent, Evans (Respondent) because of his sexual orientation. Meanwhile, the state passed legislation that denied homosexuals protected class status. Synopsis of Rule of Law. If a law neither burdens a fundamental right nor targets a suspect class ...

United States Railroad Retirement Board v. Fritz
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 449 U.S. 166, 101 S. Ct. 453, 66 L. Ed. 2d 368, 1980 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The retirement fund for railroad employees originally provided a windfall for those who were eligible for social security and railroad benefits. But, in 1974, Congress determined that the system would be bankrupt by 1981 if it continued to pay the windfall. Therefore, legislation was enacted to reduce the costs and make the program financially viable. Synopsis of Rule of Law. Congress needs just a rational basis for its social and economic legislatio ...

Railway Express Agency, Inc v. New York
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 336 U.S. 106, 69 S. Ct. 463, 93 L. Ed. 533, 1949 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Appellant, Railway Express Agency (Appellant), sells advertising space on the side of its trucks. The Appellee, New York (Appellee), recently passed a law forbidding advertising vehicles when the advertisements were not related to the business of the vehicle. Synopsis of Rule of Law. Even a law that appears to be too narrowly drawn will survive rational basis review because complete deference is given to the state for its reasoning. ...

Dolan v. City of Tigard
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 512 U.S. 374, 114 S. Ct. 2309, 129 L. Ed. 2d 304, 1994 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Dolan (Petitioner), applied for a permit to expand the size of her commercial building. The Respondent, City of Tigard (Respondent), approved the permit on the condition that Petitioner dedicate 10% of the total land area to the city for a bike path and drain. Synopsis of Rule of Law. Generally, a required easement will result in a taking because it is a permanent physical invasion of the private property. But, no taking will result ...

Phillips v. Washington Legal Foundation
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 524 U.S. 156, 118 S. Ct. 1925, 141 L. Ed. 2d 174, 1998 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Phillips (Petitioner), argues that the interest on Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) is the property of the attorney's clients and that the Respondent, Washington Legal Foundation (Respondent), use of the interest to fund other legal services is a "taking." Synopsis of Rule of Law. Interest gained on deposit accounts belongs to the owner of the principal even if the interest provides no economic gain or value for the owner. ...

Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 438 U.S. 104, 98 S. Ct. 2646, 57 L. Ed. 2d 631, 1978 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Respondent, New York City (Respondent), passed a regulation that prevented the Petitioner, Penn Central Transportation (Petitioner), from adding an office building structure to the top of Grand Central Station. Synopsis of Rule of Law. If the restriction is reasonably related to a legitimate public interest, then it does not result in a taking. Diminution in property value alone does not establish a taking. ...

Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 505 U.S. 1003, 112 S. Ct. 2886, 120 L. Ed. 2d 798, 34 ERC 1897 (1992) Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Lucas (Petitioner), was not allowed to build homes on the South Carolina beachfront property he owned. A state trial court found that the land was valueless as a result of the regulation of the Respondent, the South Carolina Coastal Council (Respondent). Synopsis of Rule of Law. If a regulation prohibits all economically beneficial use of land and the proscribed use could not have been prohibited under a given state's nu ...

Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan CATV Corp
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 458 U.S. 419, 102 S. Ct. 3164, 73 L. Ed. 2d 868, 8 Med. L. Rptr. 1849 (1982) Brief Fact Summary. A New York law requires a landlord to permit a cable TV line be run through the property. The New York Court of Appeals ruled that this does not amount to a taking of the property. Synopsis of Rule of Law. A permanent physical occupation of real property that is authorized by the government is a taking within the constructs of the United States Constitution (Constitution) regardless of the public interests that may be served. ...

Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 260 U.S. 393, 43 S. Ct. 158, 67 L. Ed. 322 (1922) Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Pennsylvania Coal (Petitioner), wants to mine under the Respondent, Mahon's (Respondent), home for coal. But Respondent claims that Petitioner lost this right when the state passed legislation that forbids mining when it might cause the land to collapse. Synopsis of Rule of Law. A taking can result from regulation of property that seriously interferes with the use or enjoyment of the property by the owner. ...

Miller v. Schoene
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 276 U.S. 272, 48 S. Ct. 246, 72 L. Ed. 568, 1928 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Respondent, Schoene (Respondent), acting under Virginia state statute, cut down a number of red cedar trees in hopes of preventing the spread of disease to nearby apple orchards. The owners of the trees were not compensated, but allowed to keep the chopped wood for their use. Synopsis of Rule of Law. Reduction in value of property does not equate to a taking. ...

Energy Reserves Group, Inc. v. Kansas Power & Light Co
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 459 U.S. 400, 103 S. Ct. 697, 74 L. Ed. 2d 569, 1983 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The state of Kansas regulated the price of natural gas sold in the intrastate market. It prohibited natural gas producers from charging higher prices even if the federal government set higher prices. Synopsis of Rule of Law. A state law restricting ones profit expectations is not a substantial impairment of a contractual obligation. ...

BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 517 U.S. 559, 116 S. Ct. 1589, 134 L. Ed. 2d 809 (1996) Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, BMW (Petitioner), sold slightly damaged, new cars for full value and never told the buyers about the damage. The Respondent, Gore (Respondent), purchased one these damaged vehicles and was awarded actual damages, plus $4 million punitive damages. Synopsis of Rule of Law. Punitive damages may be imposed to further a state's legitimate interest in punishing unlawful conduct and deterring its repetition as long as they are not "grossly e ...

Home Building & Loan Assn. v. Blaisdell
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 290 U.S. 398, 54 S. Ct. 231, 78 L. Ed. 413, 1934 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Appellant, Home Building & Loan Assn. (Appellant), contests a Minnesota law that prevents mortgage holders from foreclosing on mortgages for a period of two-years. Synopsis of Rule of Law. A state law may impair the contractual obligations of private parties when there is a legitimate state interest and justification. ...

West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish
Brief

View this case and other resources at: Citation. 300 U.S. 379, 57 S. Ct. 578, 81 L. Ed. 703, 1937 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. Washington instituted a state wage minimum for women and minors. The Appellant, West Coast Hotel (Appellant), paid the Appellee, Parrish (Appellee), less than this minimum. Synopsis of Rule of Law. Wage and hour laws generally do not violate the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution (Constitution). ...