Supreme Court and Justices

Nathan DeGrado

Texas v. Johnson (1989)

To protest the policies of the Reagan administration, Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag outside of the Dallas City Hall. He was arrested for this act, but argued that it was symbolic speech. The Supreme Court agreed, ruling that symbolic speech is constitutionally protected even when it is offensive.

Agostini v. Felton

In this case, the Court overruled its decision in Agostini v. Felton (1985), now finding that it was not a violation of the establishment clause of the first amendment for a state-sponsored education initiative to allow public school teachers to instruct at religious schools, so long as the material was secular and neutral in nature and no excessive entanglement between government and religion was apparent. This case is noteworthy in a broader sense as a sign of evolving judicial standards surrounding the first amendment, and the changes that have occurred in modern establishment clause jurisprudence.

Mapp v. Ohio (1961)

While searching Dollree Mapp's house, police officers discovered obscene materials and arrested her. Because the police officers never produced a search warrant, she argued that the materials should be suppressed as the fruits of an illegal search and seizure. The Supreme Court agreed and applied to the states the exclusionary rule from Weeks v. United States

U.S. v. Nixon (1974)

The special prosecutor in the Watergate affair subpoenaed audio tapes of Oval Office conversations. President Nixon refused to turn over the tapes, asserting executive privilege. The Supreme Court ruled that the defendants' right to potentially exculpating evidence outweighed the President's right to executive privilege if national security was not compromised.

First Justice member: Antonin Scalia

He is 78 years old, served under Reagan, and he is a conservative person. I believe he is going to retire because he is the oldest justice living and he has served many more years than any other of the justices that we have right now.

Second Justice member: Anthony Kennedy

Anthony Kennedy is also 78 years old (but a few months younger than Antonin Scalia), he has also served under Reagan, he has no side because you never know what side he is going to vote on because he swings back and fourth. I believe he is going to retire because he is the second oldest justice and has been working for the Supreme court for a long time now.

How would it affect the Supreme Court?

When Antonin Scalia retires it is going to cause the Supreme Court to lose a conservative Justices especially if we have a Democratic president because a democratic president is most likely going to vote on a Liberal Justice to take his place.

When Anthony Kennedy retires nothing much is really going to change because he is a swing, he votes as a liberal and a conservative. But i would be really important if we get another Supreme Court Justice that is a swing to take his place because most decisions are made with a tie breaker and the tie breakers are always the swings of the Supreme Court.

Understanding of the Culture War

The culture war is going to a never ending war in the United States because if fact people are never going to be of the same culture. Everyone one is going to have different views from each other. Some people make believe in certain things that others don't which is why we will always have culture war. No matter how hard we try, it will be impossible to get everyone to be the same culture and to have the same beliefs. We are always going to have culture war problems in the United States and we are going to have to rely on the Supreme Court Justices to decide what is legal and illegal.