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
Cooper v. Harris (May 22, 2017)
North Carolina redrew Congressional Districts 1 and 12 after the 2010 census. Previously, neither district had a majority black voting-age population (BVAP), but both consistently elected candidates preferred by most African-American voters. The state needed to add 100,000 people to District 1 to co...
Water Splash, Inc. v. Menon (May 22, 2017)
Water Splash sued Menon, a former employee, in Texas state court. Because Menon resided in Canada, Water Splash obtained permission to effect service by mail. Menon declined to answer or enter an appearance. The trial court issued a default judgment. Menon argued that service by mail was impermissib...
TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC (May 22, 2017)
The patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. 1400(b), provides that “[a]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.” In its 1957 “Fou...
Howell v. Howell (May 15, 2017)
A state court may not order a veteran to indemnify a divorced spouse for the loss in the spouse’s portion of the veteran’s retirement pay caused by the veteran’s waiver of retirement pay to receive service-related disability benefits.
Kindred Nursing Centers, L. P. v. Clark (May 15, 2017)
The Federal Arbitration Act does not permit a state to require a clear statement in a power of attorney in order to bind a principal to arbitration.
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.