Supreme Court Cases Pamphlet

Breauina Henry ; Chy'Na Chestnutt

Roe vs. Wade

A pregnant single woman, who wasn't ready for a child, brought a class action suit challenging the constitutionality of the Texas abortion laws. These laws made it a crime to obtain or attempt an abortion except on medical advice to save the life of the mother.


  1. Do abortion laws that criminalize all abortions, except those required on medical advice to save the life of the mother, violate the Constitution of the United States?
  2. Does the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution protect the right to privacy, including the right to obtain an abortion?
  3. Are there any circumstances where a state may enact laws prohibiting abortion?
  4. Did the fact that Roe’s pregnancy had already terminated naturally before this case was decided by the Supreme Court render her lawsuit moot?
  5. Was the district court correct in denying injunctive relief?

Holding and Rule

  1. Yes. State criminal abortion laws that except from criminality only life-saving procedures on the mother’s behalf, and that do not take into consideration the stage of pregnancy and other interests, are unconstitutional for violating the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  2. Yes. The Due Process Clause protects the right to privacy, including a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy, against state action.
  3. Yes. Though a state cannot completely deny a woman the right to terminate her pregnancy, it has legitimate interests in protecting both the pregnant woman’s health and the potentiality of human life at various stages of pregnancy.
  4. No. The natural termination of Roe’s pregnancy did not render her suit moot.
  5. Yes. The district court was correct in denying injunctive relief.

Hazelwood School District vs. Kuhlmeier

In January 1988, the United States Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier. 1 The decision upheld the authority of public high school administrators at Hazelwood East High School in suburban St. Louis, Mo., to censor stories concerning teen pregnancy and the effects of divorce on children from a school-sponsored student newspaper. Hazelwood was in dramatic contrast to court decisions from across the country handed down over the previous two decades that had given student journalists extensive First Amendment protections. Although the Supreme Court was only dealing with a student newspaper in Hazelwood, all public high school student news and information media have been affected. Student newspapers, yearbooks and literary magazines as well as online student media and non-broadcast radio and TV programs can use the information in this guide.

Heart of Atlanta Motel vs. United States

The Title of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade racial discrimination by places of public accommodation if their operations affected commerce. The Heart of Atlanta Motel in Atlanta, Georgia, refused to accept Black Americans and was charged with violating.

Heart of Atlanta Motel had 216 rooms available to transient guests and had historically rented rooms only to white guests. Appellant solicits business from outside the State of Georgia through advertising in national travel magazines and other media. Approximately 70% of its guests are from outside the state. Appellant contends that Congress has overreached its authority under the Commerce Clause in enacting the Act.

Heart of Atlanta Motel v United States AP Poli Sci Project