• How do US Supreme Court justices get appointed? – Peter Paccone
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    How do US Supreme Court justices get appointed? – Peter Paccone

    There’s a job out there with a great deal of power, pay, prestige, and near-perfect job security. And there’s only one way to be hired: get appointed to the US Supreme Court. If you want to become a justice on the Supreme Court, the highest federal court in the United States, three things have to happen. You have to be nominated by the president of the United States, your nomination needs to be approved by the Senate, and finally, the president must formally appoint you to the court. Because the Constitution doesn’t specify any qualifications, in other words, that there’s no age, education, profession, or even native-born citizenship requirement, a…

  • McDonald v. Chicago | Homework Help from the Bill of Rights Institute
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    McDonald v. Chicago | Homework Help from the Bill of Rights Institute

    Male Presenter: In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that an individual’s right to bear arms as a citizen of the country also protected them against state laws banning guns. Female Presenter: On what basis was the case decided? This is the story of McDonald v. Chicago. [music] Male Presenter: In 2008, various neighborhoods in inner-city Chicago were experiencing a sharp decline. Plagued with crime and violence, many citizens hoped to defend themselves. Female Presenter: One of these citizens was 76-year-old Otis McDonald, a retired mechanical engineer who hoped to ride out his twilight years in the Morgan Park neighborhood where he had lived since 1971. With his own property having…

  • Plessy v. Ferguson Summary | quimbee.com
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    Plessy v. Ferguson Summary | quimbee.com

    – [Narrator] After the Civil War, the United States embarked on an era of reconstruction during which the country grappled with the painful history of slavery. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution sought to eradicate the taint of slavery by outlawing it, and guaranteeing black citizens equal treatment under the law and the right to vote. However, there was a lot of resistance to racial equality, particularly in the south. By the 1870s reconstruction had fizzled out giving way to the Jim Crow era. Named after the minstrel show Jump Jim Crow, this period was defined by racial segregation laws passed by southern states. Plessy versus Ferguson…

  • Gonzales v. Raich Summary | quimbee.com
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    Gonzales v. Raich Summary | quimbee.com

    – [Narrator] In 2005, medical marijuana users saw their dreams go up in smoke when the United States Supreme Court announced it’s ruling in Gonzales versus Raich. In 1970, Congress enacted the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which bans the cultivation and use of marijuana. 26 years later, in 1996, California passed a law that allowed its citizens to cultivate and use marijuana for medical purposes. Angel Raich and Diane Monson were California residents who both used doctor prescribed marijuana to treat severe medical problems. California law enforcement agents investigating Raich and Monson, found that the marijuana they possessed conformed to state law. But federal agents seized and destroyed their marijuana…

  • Texas v. Johnson Summary | quimbee.com
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    Texas v. Johnson Summary | quimbee.com

    – [Narrator] The First Amendment protects free speech, including expressive conduct. But does it shield someone burning the American flag in protest? In Texas versus Johnson, the United State Supreme Court answered that question. In 1984, Gregory Lee Johnson participated in a protest of the Republican National Convention. Outside the Dallas City Hall, Johnson doused an American flag with kerosene and set it on fire. As the flag burned, protesters chanted quote, “America the red, white, and blue, “we spit on you,” unquote. Johnson was charged with desecration of a venerated object under Texas law. The trial court convicted Johnson, fining him $2,000 and sentencing him to one year in…

  • United States v. Butler Summary | quimbee.com
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    United States v. Butler Summary | quimbee.com

    – [Narrator] During the Great Depression food prices had collapsed, and this had a dire effect on many farmers’ livelihoods. The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 was intended to solve this problem. The act leveled special taxes on processed agricultural products, such as cotton and wheat. The new tax revenue was then used to pay farmers to plant and harvest fewer crops. Reduced agricultural production would allow prices to rise, which helped farmers to once again earn a living. In 1936, the act was challenged in the case of United States versus Butler. Hoosac Mills was a failing Massachusetts cotton mill and Butler was one of its court appointed receivers.…

  • McCulloch v. Maryland Summary | quimbee.com
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    McCulloch v. Maryland Summary | quimbee.com

    – [Narrator] McCulloch versus Maryland may appear to be an old esoteric case about bank charters and taxes. But it’s really about a power struggle of constitutional proportions between the States and the Federal Government. The consequences of that struggle continue to reverberate today. In 1816, Congress passed an act that created the Bank of the United States. A year later, the bank opened a branch in Maryland. To take a shot at the new, all-powerful federal government, Maryland passed an act in 1818 that imposed a $15,000 annual tax on all out-of-state banks operating in the State. The act appeared neutral on the service, but it practically targeted the…

  • Miranda v. Arizona Summary | quimbee.com
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    Miranda v. Arizona Summary | quimbee.com

    – [Narrator] In the 1960s, Miranda versus Arizona was a huge victory for individual rights. The case established a set of arrest procedures, including the famous right to remain silent that Americans now take for granted. Miranda was a consolidation of four cases. Ernesto Miranda confessed after questioning by Arizona Police while he was in custody at a police station. Before confessing, Miranda wasn’t advised of his right to counsel. At trial, his confession was admitted and a jury convicted him of kidnapping and rape. The Supreme Court of Arizona affirmed Miranda’s conviction. Like Miranda, defendants Michael Vignera and Carl Westover confessed to crimes after extensive custodial interrogations without being…

  • United States v.  Lopez Summary | quimbee.com
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    United States v. Lopez Summary | quimbee.com

    – [Narrator] One day, a high school senior named Alfonso Lopez, brought a handgun to school. He was arrested and charged under the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990. The Act made it a federal crime to knowingly possess a firearm in a school zone. Following a bench trial, the Federal District Court convicted Lopez, and sentenced him to prison. On appeal, Lopez argued that the Act was unconstitutional, because it exceeded Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. The Fifth Circuit agreed, and reversed his conviction. The United States Supreme Court accepted the case to determine whether the Commerce Clause enabled congress to prohibit gun ownership near schools. Writing…