Landmark Decisions of Supreme Court

Patrick Kelly

Big image

Gibbons v. Ogden

A New York state law gave individuals the exclusive right to operate steamboats on waters within state jurisdiction. Laws such as this one were copied elsewhere, causing friction. Some states required foreign boats to pay substantial fees for navigation privileges. In this case Thomas Gibbons -- a steamboat owner who did business between New York and New Jersey under a federal coastal license -- challenged the monopoly license granted by New York to Aaron Ogden. New York courts consistently upheld the state monopoly.
Big image

Wickard v. Filburn

At the time of the Great Depression, Congress passed a law that restricted the amount of wheat that some farmers could grow. This was done in an attempt to raise the price of wheat. A farmer named Roscoe Filburn argued that he had planned on using some of the wheat for his own personal consumption, and that Congress could restrict him from growing wheat that he did not intend to sell. He argued, saying that because he was not selling the wheat or giving it away, he should be not involved in interstate commerce. The farmer's choice meant that he could not buy any other wheat. If many farmers did the same thing as him, they would greatly impact interstate commerce.


Big image

U.S. v. Lopez

The rivalry of the United States versus Lopez started when Alfonzo Lopez, a student, carried a concealed weapon into his high school. He was charged under Texas law with possession of a firearm on school property. Congress passed a law that made it a federal crime to posses a gun while in a school zone. This law was broadly seen as unconstitutional. For the first time in many years, the Supreme Court decided that Congress had surpassed its Commerce Clause authority and the Court vetoed this law. It was stated that if you were to carry a gun in a school zone, it would not be considered an economic activity.

Editorial

In the case of U.S. v. Lopez (1995), a 12th grader was prosecuted for carrying a gun on school property at his high school in Texas. It is clear that the treatment of the issue was just for Alfonso Lopez, the student convicted to this crime. Congress rightfully passed a law that made it a federal crime to posses a gun while in a school zone, which Lopez was very guilty of. This law was broadly seen as unconstitutional; however, I would have to disagree with this popular argument, and take the side of Congress. This law was solely made by Congress to help protect people and keep them safe, particularly students and teachers, while at school to learn and work. Then, for the first time in many years, the Supreme Court decided that Congress had surpassed its Commerce Clause authority and the Court and unfairly vetoed this law. It was stated that if you were to carry a gun in a school zone, it would not be considered an economic activity. What is hard to comprehend is the reason for which the Supreme Court struck down this law. Isn't it crucial for our government to find ways to keep their people safe and protected from other people within this country. Also, by getting rid of this law, did the Supreme Court showed a form of support for the student that brought the gun into school? For these reasons, it would only be right to take Congress' side and want for this law to remain untouched.