The Supremes' Greatest Hits: The 44 Supreme Court Cases That Most Directly Affect Your Life

The Supremes' Greatest Hits: The 44 Supreme Court Cases That Most Directly Affect Your Life

by Michael G. Trachtman
The Supremes' Greatest Hits: The 44 Supreme Court Cases That Most Directly Affect Your Life

The Supremes' Greatest Hits: The 44 Supreme Court Cases That Most Directly Affect Your Life

by Michael G. Trachtman

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Take a deep dive into rulings during the Obama presidency which laid the groundwork for today’s questions over the Supreme Court’s legitimacy.

Can the government seize your house to build a shopping mall? Can it determine what control you have over your own body? Can police search your cellphone? The answers to those questions come from the Supreme Court, whose rulings have shaped American life and justice and allowed Americans to retain basic freedoms such as privacy, free speech, and the right to a fair trial.

Especially relevant in light of recent controversial nominations and rulings, the revised and updated edition of Michael G. Trachtman’s page-turner includes ten important cases from 2010 to 2015. In addition, a special section features analyses of the term rulings that were planned for June 2016.


The cases include:

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010), which restricts the right of governments to limit campaign contributions by corporations and unions; Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014), which allows a religious exemption from the Affordable Care Act requirement that corporations pay for contraceptive coverage for their employees; Riley v. California (2014), which ruled that police need warrants to search the cellphones of people they arrest; and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which ruled that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.

“You can turn to any page . . . and have an ‘Aha! So that’s how this shakes out’ moment . . . Trachtman is terrific at explaining complex issues in plain language.” —San Diego Union Tribune

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781454924982
Publisher: Union Square & Co.
Publication date: 11/22/2022
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 241
Sales rank: 364,658
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

Michael G. Trachtman is a founder and president of Powell, Trachtman, Logan, Carrle & Lombardo, P.C., a litigation and business practice law firm located in suburban Philadelphia. He is the author of The Four Mistakes and What Every Executive Better Know About the Law. He has written numerous articles published by business and professional organizations, he has been featured on radio and television programs throughout the country, and he is a frequent speaker on the intersections between law and business. Mr. Trachtman also serves as an adjunct professor at the Villanova University School of Law. He lives with his wife in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments x

Author's Note xi

Introduction: "A Government of Laws, Not Men" 1

Note to the 2nd Revised & Updated Edition the Danger-and the Post-Scalia Future-of the Roberts Court's 5-4 Decisions 14

Chapter 1 How the Supreme Court Became Supreme 21

1 The Birth of a Unique Democracy 22

Marbury v. Madison (1803)

2 Did the Supreme Court Trigger the Civil War? 27

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)

Chapter 2 One Nation Under God? Matters of Church and State 35

3 The School Prayer Case: Religion in the Public Schools 36

Engel v. Vitale (1962)

4 The Scopes "Monkey Trial" Revisited: The Teaching of Evolution, Creationism, and "Intelligent Design" in Public Schools 40

Epperson v. Arkansas (1968)

5 Religion in Town Squares and Town Meetings 46

Van Orden v. Perry (2005)

McCreary County, Kentucky v. ACLU of Kentucky (2005)

Town of Greece v. Galloway (2014)

6 Can a Religious Belief Negate a Legal Requirement? 51

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014)

Chapter 3 Innocent Until Proven Guilty: The Rights of the Accused 59

7 The Right to Be Represented by Counsel When Charged with a Crime 60

Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)

8 "You Have the Right to Remain Silent…": The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination 62

Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

Chapter 4 The Melting Pot: Race, Discrimination, and Diversity 67

9 Separate Is Not Equal: The End of Legalized Segregation 68

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

10 Can One Race or Nationality Be Favored over Another in the Name of Diversity? 71

Gratz v. Bollinger (2003)

Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)

Fisher v. University of Texas (2016)

Chapter 5 Playing Politics 79

11 The End of Meaningful Campaign Finance Reform? 80

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)

12 Did the Supreme Court Play Politics in the 2000 Election? 92

Bush v. Gore (2000)

Chapter 6 The Right To Do What You Want 99

13 The Unwritten Right of Privacy 100

Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)

14 Does the Right of Privacy Include the Right to an Abortion? 104

Roe v. Wade (1973)

Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)

Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt (2016)

15 The Right to Die 108

Washington v. Glucksberg (1997)

16 The Right to Bear Arms 111

District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)

McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010)

17 The Constitutional Right to Marry 120

Obergefell et al v. Hodges (2014)

Chapter 7 "Big Government" In Your Business And Your Backyard 127

18 What Gives Congress the Right to Regulate Private Businesses? 128

West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish (1937)

19 What Are the Limits on Congress's Right to Regulate Business, and Beyond? 131

Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964)

Katzenbach v. McClung (1964)

20 Expanding the Right of Employees to Sue Their Employers 138

Burlington Industries v. Ellerth (1998)

21 Eliminating Monopolies and Price-Fixing: John D. Rockefeller and the Birth of the Antitrust Laws 142

Standard Oil Co. v. United States (1911)

22 Can the Government Take Your House to Promote a Private Business? 145

Kelo v. City of New London (2005)

23 You Can Sue City Hall 149

Monroe v. Pape (1961)

Chapter 8 Limiting the Imperial Presidency 153

24 The Steel-Seizure Case: How Far Can the President Go in the Name of National Security? 154

Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952)

25 Nixon, Executive Privilege, and the Watergate Scandal 159

United States v. Nixon (1974)

26 Who Writes tire Rules of War? 164

Boumediene v. Bush (2008)

Al Odah v. U.S. (2008)

Chapter 9 How Free is Free Speech? 175

27 The Right to Be Repugnant 176

Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)

28 Obscenity and the First Amendment 178

Miller v. California (1973)

29 The Flag-Burning Case: Can Conduct Be "Free Speech"? 183

Texas v. Johnson (1989)

30 The Freedom to Criticize Public Officials and Public Figures 186

New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964)

31 The Pentagon Papers Case: Balancing National Security against the People's Right to Know 190

New York Tunes Co. v. United States (1971)

Chapter 10 Old Laws and New Technologies 195

32 Music, Movies, Television, and the Internet 196

MGM Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. (2005)

ABC, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. (2014)

33 How Much Privacy Are You Entitled to in a High-Tech World? 202

Kyllo v. United States (2001)

34 Do the Police Have the Right to Search Your Cell Phone? 207

Riley v. California (2014)

Afterword 211

Index 215

Photo Credits 225

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