Culture War and The Supreme Court
By: Jon Liese
Dred Scott v Sandford 1857
The rights in conflict: Dred argues that since he made it to free territory, that he has the right to be free. Sandford believes that Dred is still his property and that he still owns him.
Impact : This is a conservative win. Sandford won because Scott was not a citizen and is not legally allowed to sue in federal court.
Historical significance: This was a discouraging ruling for African Americans.
Citizens United v Federal Election Commission 2010
The rights in conflict: According to the First Amendment, corporations have the right to support candidates as they choose.
Impact: This was a conservative win. The government cannot restrict the spending of corporations for political campaigns.
Historical significance: This will encourage corporations to fund candidates in the future.
Gideon v Wainwright 1963
The rights in conflict: The Sixth Amendment says that every defendant who cannot afford and attorney will be given one.
Impact: This was a conservative win. The court ruled that his conviction was in violation if the Sixth Amendment.
Historical significance: This made an example of all other lower level courts to make sure that the uphold the constitutional right to free counsel.
Brown v Board of Education 1954
The rights in conflict: It says in the constitution, "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal".
Impact: This was a liberal win and a win for the civil rights movement. Public schools were finally integrated.
Historical significance: The case overturned the Plessy v Ferguson case of 1896. Schools can never be segregated again.