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Important Cases Of The Us Supreme Court

731 words - 3 pages

Important Cases of the US Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court has interpreted the constitutional guarantees
contained in amendments to the constitution. Among these Guaranteed rights are
the freedoms of religion, speech, and press, along with the right of protection
against illegal search and seizure, equal protection under the law, and the
right to counsel. These rights all contained in the first amendment to the
constitution are arguably the most important rights guaranteed to citizens of
the United States. However these rights are not absolute. Throughout the
course of time many controversies have occurred concerning the limitation of
rights. Many of these controversies have called upon the Supreme Court to
evaluate the constitutionality of laws or individual actions. Many cases in the
history of the supreme court have led to a significant change in the
interpretation of rights in the united states.

One important case involving the freedom of religion was Reynolds v. United
States in 1879. Reynolds, a Mormon living in Utah had two wives. Polygamy was
allowed in the teachings of the church, but prohibited by a federal lab banning
the practice in the United States. Reynolds when convicted argued that the
federal law violated his constitutional right to the free exercise of his
religious beliefs. The Supreme Court did not agree with Reynolds claiming that
congress was not without the power to punish violations of social duties or
subversive of good order. The court said that to place religious belief
superior to the law of the land, would in affect permit every citizen to become
a law unto himself. Government would exist only in name under such
circumstances. The ruling in this case has upheld that ones religious beliefs
do not permit him/her to break the law to suit his religion, and that that
governmental law presides over all religious beliefs. This is an example of the
limitation of the Guaranteed rights of the constitution. The right to practice
religion freely allows people to believe what they want however they must abide
by the laws of government in order to prevent a lawless society. Because of
this case it is now established that governmental law precedes religious law.

Another important case recently involved the right of protection against illegal
search and seizure. In T.L.O. v. New Jersey two girls were caught smoking
cigarettes in the bathroom of a New jersey high...

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