Welcome to Justia’s US Supreme Court Center. Review recent and most-read decisions or browse through our free collection of United States Supreme Court full-text opinions from 1791 to the present. Early editions of U.S. Reports also include opinions by the courts of Pennsylvania from as early as 1754.
Recent Supreme Court Decisions
Voisine v. United States (June 27, 2016)
The prohibition on firearms possession by people who have been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor extends not only to people convicted of an intentional assault but also to people convicted of a reckless assault, since this is not accidental but involves a deliberate decision to endanger someone else.
Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (June 27, 2016)
A state may not require a physician who performs or induces an abortion to have active admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles from the abortion facility, and it may not require the abortion facility to meet state minimum standards for ambulatory surgical centers, since these requirements are undue burdens on access to abortion, and there was no persuasive evidence that they protected women's health more effectively than existing laws.
McDonnell v. United States (June 27, 2016)
Under the Hobbs Act, an official act must involve a formal exercise of government power to further an objective that is more specific and concrete than statewide business and economic development, and it must consist of more than setting up a meeting, hosting an event, or making a phone call.
Dollar General Corp. v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (June 23, 2016)
[There was no holding because an eight-member court was equally divided on the issue, allowing the decision of the lower court to stand.]
Birchfield v. North Dakota (June 23, 2016)
The Fourth Amendment permits warrantless breath tests that are incident to arrests for drunk driving, but it does not permit warrantless blood tests in the same circumstances.
Most Read Opinions
Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985)
Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a police officer may use deadly force to prevent the escape of a fleeing suspect only if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.
Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)
Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a police officer may stop a suspect on the street and frisk him or her without probable cause to arrest, if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime and has a reasonable belief that the person "may be armed and presently dangerous."
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)
The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits states from segregating public school students on the basis of race. This marked a reversal of the "separate but equal" doctrine from Plessy v. Ferguson that had permitted separate schools for white and colored children provided that the facilities were equal.
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
Under the Fourth Amendment, any statements that a defendant in custody makes during an interrogation are admissible as evidence at a criminal trial only if law enforcement told the defendant of the right to remain silent and the right to speak with an attorney before the interrogation started. The prosecution also must be able to prove that any waiver of these rights was both knowing and voluntary.
Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963)
The government's withholding of evidence that is material to the determination of either guilt or punishment of a criminal defendant violates the defendant's constitutional right to due process.
Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)
A person may choose to have an abortion until a fetus becomes viable, based on the right to privacy contained in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Viability means the ability to live outside the womb, which usually happens between 24 and 28 weeks after conception.
Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961)
The prosecution is not allowed to present evidence that law enforcement secured during a search that was unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment.
Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)
A Texas law criminalizing consensual, adult homosexual intercourse violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)
Later overruled by Brown v. Board of Education, this decision embraced the now-discredited idea that “separate but equal” treatment for whites and African-Americans is permissible under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Tinker v. Des Moines School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969)
Since First Amendment protections extend to students in public schools, educational authorities who want to censor speech will need to show that permitting the speech would significantly interfere with the discipline needed for the school to function.