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  • Meyer v. State of Nebraska
    state law forbidding under penalty the teaching in any private denominational parochial or public school of any modern language other than English to any child who has not attained and successfully p391 passed the eighth grade invades the liberty guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment and exceeds the power of the State P 399 So held where the statute was applied in punishment of an instructor who taught reading in German

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0262_0390_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo
    Florida Circuit Court seeking injunctive and declaratory relief and damages based on Florida s right of reply statute that grants a political candidate a right to equal space to answer criticism and attacks on his record by a newspaper and making it a misdemeanor for the newspaper to fail to comply The Circuit Court held the statute unconstitutional as infringing on the freedom of the press and dismissed the action The Florida Supreme Court reversed holding that the statute did not violate constitutional guarantees and that civil remedies including damages were available and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings Held 1 The Florida Supreme Court s judgment is final under 28 U S C 1257 and thus is ripe for review by this Court North Dakota Pharmacy Bd v Snyder s Stores 414 U S 156 Pp 246 247 2 The statute violates the First Amendment s guarantee of a free press Pp 247 258 a Governmental compulsion on a newspaper to publish that which reason tells it should not be published is unconstitutional P 256 b The statute operates as a command by a State in the same sense as a statute or regulation forbidding appellant to publish specified matter P 256 c The statute exacts a penalty on the basis of the content of a newspaper by imposing additional printing composing and materials costs and by taking up space that could be devoted to other material the newspaper may have preferred to print Pp 256 257 d Even if a newspaper would face no additional costs to comply with the statute and would not be forced to forgo publication of news or opinion by the inclusion of a reply the statute still fails to clear the First Amendment s barriers because of its p242 intrusion into

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0418_0241_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Michael M. v. Superior Court
    law as though they were the same Rinaldi v Yeager 384 U S 305 309 a statute will be upheld where the gender classification is not invidious but rather realistically reflects the fact that the sexes are not similarly situated in certain circumstances Pp 468 469 b One of the purposes of the California statute in which the State has a strong interest is the prevention of illegitimate teenage pregnancies The statute protects women from sexual intercourse and pregnancy at an age when the physical emotional and psychological consequences are particularly severe Because virtually all of the significant harmful and identifiable consequences of teenage pregnancy fall on the female a legislature acts well within its authority when it p465 elects to punish only the participant who by nature suffers few of the consequences of his conduct Pp 470 473 c There is no merit in petitioner s contention that the statute is impermissibly underinclusive and must in order to pass judicial scrutiny be broadened so as to hold the female as criminally liable as the male The relevant inquiry is not whether the statute is drawn as precisely as it might have been but whether the line chosen by the California Legislature is within constitutional limitations In any event a gender neutral statute would frustrate the State s interest in effective enforcement since a female would be less likely to report violations of the statute if she herself would be subject to prosecution The Equal Protection Clause does not require a legislature to enact a statute so broad that it may well be incapable of enforcement Pp 473 474 d Nor is the statute impermissibly overbroad because it makes unlawful sexual intercourse with prepubescent females incapable of becoming pregnant Aside from the fact that the statute could be justified on

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0450_0464_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Michigan Dep't of State Police v. Sitz
    is slight their subjective intrusion is substantial Held Petitioner s highway sobriety checkpoint program is consistent with the Fourth Amendment Pp 448 455 a United States v Martinez Fuerte 428 U S 543 which utilized a balancing test in upholding checkpoints for detecting illegal aliens and Brown v Texas supra are the relevant authorities to be used in evaluating the constitutionality of the State s program Treasury Employees v Von Raab 489 U S 656 was not designed to repudiate this Court s prior cases dealing with police stops of motorists on public highways and thus does not forbid the use of a balancing test here Pp 448 450 b A Fourth Amendment seizure occurs when a vehicle is stopped at a checkpoint See Martinez Fuerte supra at 556 Thus the question here is whether such seizures are reasonable P 450 c There is no dispute about the magnitude of and the States interest in eradicating the drunken driving problem The courts below accurately gauged the objective intrusion measured by the seizure s duration and the investigation s intensity as minimal However they p445 misread this Court s cases concerning the degree of subjective intrusion and the potential for generating fear and surprise The fear and surprise to be considered are not the natural fear of one who has been drinking over the prospect of being stopped at a checkpoint but rather the fear and surprise engendered in law abiding motorists by the nature of the particular stop such as one made by a roving patrol operating on a seldom traveled road Here checkpoints are selected pursuant to guidelines and uniformed officers stop every vehicle The resulting intrusion is constitutionally indistinguishable from the stops upheld in Martinez Fuerte Pp 451 453 d The Court of Appeals also erred in finding

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0496_0444_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Michigan v. Long
    trunk and he was convicted of possession of marihuana The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed holding that the search of the passenger compartment was valid as a protective search under Terry v Ohio 392 U S 1 and that the search of the trunk was valid as an inventory search under South Dakota v Opperman 428 U S 364 However the Michigan Supreme Court reversed holding that Terry did not justify the passenger compartment search and that the marihuana found in the trunk was the fruit of the illegal search of the car s interior Held 1 This Court does not lack jurisdiction to decide the case on the asserted ground that the decision below rests on an adequate and independent state ground Because of respect for the independence of state courts and the need to avoid rendering advisory opinions this Court in determining whether state court references to state law constitute adequate and independent state grounds will no longer look beyond the opinion under review or require state courts to reconsider cases to clarify the grounds of their decisions Accordingly when a state court decision fairly appears to rest primarily on federal law or to be interwoven p1033 with federal law and when the adequacy and independence of any possible state law ground is not clear from the face of the opinion this Court will accept as the most reasonable explanation that the state court decided the case the way it did because it believed that federal law required it to do so If the state court decision indicates clearly and expressly that it is alternatively based on bona fide separate adequate and independent state grounds this Court will not undertake to review the decision In this case apart from two citations to the State Constitution the court below relied exclusively on its understanding of Terry and other federal cases Even if it is accepted that the Michigan Constitution has been interpreted to provide independent protection for certain rights also secured under the Fourth Amendment it fairly appears that the Michigan Supreme Court rested its decision primarily on federal law Pp 1037 1044 2 The protective search of the passenger compartment of respondent s car was reasonable under the principles articulated in Terry and other decisions of this Court Although Terry involved the stop and subsequent patdown search for weapons of a person suspected of criminal activity it did not restrict the preventive search to the person of the detained suspect Protection of police and others can justify protective searches when police have a reasonable belief that the suspect poses a danger Roadside encounters between police and suspects are especially hazardous and danger may arise from the possible presence of weapons in the area surrounding a suspect Thus the search of the passenger compartment of an automobile limited to those areas in which a weapon may be placed or hidden is permissible if the police officer possesses a reasonable belief based on specific and articulable facts which taken together

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0463_1032_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co.
    summary judgment for respondents The Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed considering itself bound by the State Supreme Court s determination in Superintendent Scott s separate action against respondents that as a matter law the article was constitutionally protected opinion Held 1 The First Amendment does not require a separate opinion privilege limiting the application of state defamation laws While the Amendment does limit such application New York Times Co v Sullivan 376 U S 254 the breathing space that freedoms of expression require to survive is adequately secured by existing constitutional doctrine p2 Foremost where a media defendant is involved a statement on matters of public concern must be provable as false before liability can be assessed Philadelphia Newspapers Inc v Hepps 475 U S 767 thus ensuring full constitutional protection for a statement of opinion having no provably false factual connotation Next statements that cannot reasonably be interpreted as stating actual facts about an individual are protected see e g Greenbelt Cooperative Publishing Assn Inc v Bresler 398 U S 6 thus assuring that public debate will not suffer for lack of imaginative expression or the rhetorical hyperbole which has traditionally added much to the discourse of this Nation The reference to opinion in dictum in Gertz v Robert Welch Inc 418 U S 323 339 340 was not intended to create a wholesale defamation exemption for opinion Read in context the Gertz dictum is merely a reiteration of Justice Holmes marketplace of ideas concept see Abrams v United States 250 U S 616 630 Simply couching a statement Jones is a liar in terms of opinion In my opinion Jones is a liar does not dispel the factual implications contained in the statement Pp 11 21 2 A reasonable factfinder could conclude that the statements in the Diadiun

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0497_0001_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Miller v. California
    conviction was affirmed on appeal In lieu of the obscenity criteria enunciated by the Memoirs plurality it is held 1 Obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment Roth v United States 354 U S 476 reaffirmed A work may be subject to state regulation where that work taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest in sex portrays in a patently offensive way sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law and taken as a whole does not have serious literary artistic political or scientific value Pp 23 24 2 The basic guidelines for the trier of fact must be a whether the average person applying contemporary community standards would find that the work taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest Roth supra at 489 b whether the work depicts or describes in a patently offensive way sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law and c whether the work taken as a whole lacks serious literary artistic political or scientific value If a state obscenity law is thus limited First Amendment values are adequately protected by ultimate independent appellate review of constitutional claims when necessary Pp 24 25 3 The test of

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0413_0015_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Milliken v. Bradley
    Court s finding as to the constitutional violations committed by the Detroit Board and the state officials that therefore the District Court was authorized and required to take effective measures to desegregate the Detroit school system and that a metropolitan area plan embracing the 53 outlying districts was the only feasible solution and was within the District Court s equity powers But the court remanded so that all suburban school districts that might be affected by a metropolitan remedy could be made parties and have an opportunity to be heard as to the scope and implementation of such a remedy and vacated the order as to the bus acquisitions subject to its reimposition at an appropriate time Held The relief ordered by the District Court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals was based upon erroneous standards and was unsupported by record evidence that acts of the outlying districts had any impact on the discrimination found to exist in the Detroit schools A federal court may not impose a multidistrict area wide remedy for single district de jure school segregation violations where there is no finding that the other included school districts have failed to operate unitary school systems or have committed acts that effected segregation within the other districts there is no claim or finding that the school district boundary lines were established with the purpose of fostering racial segregation and there is no meaningful opportunity for the included neighboring school districts to present evidence or be heard on the propriety of a multidistrict remedy or on the question of constitutional violations by those districts Pp 737 753 a The District Court erred in using as a standard the declared objective of development of a metropolitan area plan which upon implementation would leave no school grade or classroom substantially disproportionate to the overall pupil racial composition of the metropolitan area as a whole The clear import of Swann v Board of Education 402 U S 1 is that desegregation in the sense of dismantling a dual school system does not require any particular racial balance Pp 739 741 p719 b While boundary lines may be bridged in circumstances where there has been a constitutional violation calling for inter district relief school district lines may not be casually ignored or treated as a mere administrative convenience substantial local control of public education in this country is a deeply rooted tradition Pp 741 742 c The inter district remedy could extensively disrupt and alter the structure of public education in Michigan since that remedy would require in effect consolidation of 54 independent school districts historically administered as separate governmental units into a vast new super school district and since entirely apart from the logistical problems attending large scale transportation of students the consolidation would generate other problems in the administration financing and operation of this new school system Pp 742 743 d From the scope of the inter district plan itself absent a complete restructuring of the Michigan school district laws

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0418_0717_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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