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
Lightfoot v. Cendant Mortgage Corp (January 18, 2017)
Any court that has subject-matter jurisdiction may be considered a court of competent jurisdiction, whether it is state or federal, and subject-matter jurisdiction in federal court may not be found solely through the existence of a general right-to-sue clause in a contract.
White v. Pauly (January 9, 2017)
Qualified immunity applies and summary judgment on that basis should be granted when a police officer did not violate established laws, regardless of the actions of the officer's colleagues and the officer's awareness of them.
Shaw v. United States (December 12, 2016)
The federal bank fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. Section 1344, applies to schemes that are meant to defraud a bank depositor as well as a bank, provided that the money involved is in the depositor's account at the bank.
State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby (December 6, 2016)
Before Hurricane Katrina, State Farm issued federal government-backed flood insurance policies and its own homeowner policies. Relators, former claims adjusters for a State Farm contractor (Renfroe) filed a complaint under seal in April 2006, claiming that State Farm instructed adjusters to misclass...
Salman v. United States (December 6, 2016)
Giving confidential information to a relative or friend may expose an insider to criminal liability because it supports an inference of a personal benefit to the insider, similar to executing the trade and then giving the profits to the relative or friend.
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.