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.
The United States Supreme Court (“USSC”) is the highest court in the United States. Opinions rendered by this court are considered the law of the land and the Court is the final arbiter on issues regarding the United States Constitution. The Court consists of a Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices who are nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate.
Recent Supreme Court Decisions
Moore v. Texas (March 28, 2017)
Moore was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for shooting a clerk during a robbery that occurred when Moore was 20 years old. A state habeas court determined that, under Supreme Court precedent, Moore was intellectually disabled and that his death sentence violated the Eighth Amendm...
Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp. (March 22, 2017)
Bankruptcy courts may not approve structured dismissals of bankruptcy cases that deviate from ordinary priority rules unless the creditors affected by the deviation consent.
Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE–1 (March 22, 2017)
An individualized education program (IEP) must be reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress that is appropriate in their circumstances, and each child should have the opportunity to meet challenging objectives. However, there is no specific requirement regarding grade level advancement or other concrete benchmarks.
Star Athletica, L. L. C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. (March 22, 2017)
Copyright protection applies to a design feature in a useful article if the design feature is a work of art (in two or three dimensions) that is separate from the useful article and would qualify for protection if it is imagined separately from the useful article. Copyright protection still may apply if the design feature makes the article more useful.
Manuel v. Joliet (March 21, 2017)
The Fourth Amendment prohibits pretrial detention without probable cause whether it occurs before or after the start of the legal process.
National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc (March 21, 2017)
Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, someone who has been nominated to be appointed to an office by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate may not perform the duties of that office in an acting capacity, whether or not they served as a first assistant.
SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC (March 21, 2017)
Laches is not an appropriate defense against a claim for damages that is brought within the applicable statute of limitations.
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.