Tag Archives: United States Supreme Court

this day in the yesteryear: Texas v. Johnson Decided (1989)


Texas v. Johnson Decided (1989)

Texas v. Johnson was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag. The opinion of the court came down as a controversial 5-4 decision, with the majority opinion written by William J. Brennan, Jr. In it, the Supreme Court answered the question of whether the desecration of an American flag, by burning or otherwise, is a form of speech protected under the First Amendment. What arguments did the justices make? More… Discuss

THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: Plessy v. Ferguson: “Separate but Equal” Ruled Constitutional (1896)


Plessy v. Ferguson: “Separate but Equal” Ruled Constitutional (1896)

In this case, the US Supreme Court upheld a Louisiana statute mandating racially segregated railroad cars, ruling that the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment dealt with political and not social equality. This provided constitutional sanction for the adoption of the Jim Crow laws. Justice Henry Billings Brown wrote the majority opinion, stating that “separate but equal” laws did not imply one race’s inferiority to another. What prompted Homer Plessy to serve as the case’s plaintiff? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: Brown v. Board of Education Decided (1954)


Brown v. Board of Education Decided (1954)

In 1951, a class action suit was filed against the Board of Education of the City of Topeka, Kansas, by 13 African-American parents on behalf of their children. The plaintiffs argued that segregating schools along racial lines violated the students’ 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law. The case was heard by the US Supreme Court, which unanimously agreed that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” What future Supreme Court judge represented the plaintiffs? More… Discuss

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