Landmark US Supreme Court rulings throughout history

Published: Friday, Jan. 16 2015 3:00 p.m. MST

Plessy v. Ferguson Next List » 20 of 20 « Prev
Associated Press
Date Decided: May 18, 1896

Chief Justice Presiding: Melville Weston Fuller

Vote Split: 7-1

Summary: In 1890, the state of Louisiana passed a law requiring separate accommodations for blacks and whites on railroads, including separate railway cars.

Homer Plessy, who was seven-eighths white and one-eighth African American, was arrested in accordance with Louisiana's Separate Car Act when he refused to move to a "blacks-only" railway car. At his trial, Plessy argued that the railway company had denied him his rights under the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.

The Supreme Court ruled that the State of Louisiana was within its Constitutional bounds and based its decision on the separate-but-equal doctrine, which states that separate facilities for blacks and whites satisfied the Fourteenth Amendment as long as facilities were equal for both races.

Although the Supreme Court ruling in this case never explicitly said "separate but equal," that is the precedent set as a result of this case.

Upheld: The Supreme Court upheld Louisiana's Separate Car Act.
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Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

The list should have included Bush v.Gore. History will show this to be one of the very worst and politically motivated decisions in history. Even Sandra Day O'Conner is now questioning her position on this case that gave us a President not elected by the people but rather selected by the Supreme Court.

Pheonix, AZ

@Mike in Cedar City:
"The list should have included Bush v.Gore."

The list should also (and eventually will) include the upcoming court decision on homosexual marriage... which will signal the beginning of the death of marriage.

Bountiful, UT

If defense of traditional marriage is the goal we ought to be grateful that gays have come out of the closet. It used to be common that gay people would marry the opposite sex out of societal pressure. Now that they have come out and are able to marry their own this will no longer happen. People who enter into a straight marriage will no longer be stuck with somebody who can't appreciate them.

Churches and conservatives who say this hurts traditional marriage don't know what they're talking about. There practice of shaming homosexuals and causing them to marry heterosexuals was itself damaging to traditional marriage.


Our Heavenly Father, knows it all, has never and will never make mistakes. Only men make mistares. Our Heavenly Father loves us all regardless of our behavior. Incredible but true.

Salt Lake City, UT

@ denalilady Incredible is right.

Clearfield, UT

I passed with 100 percent

Farmington, UT

This test is waaaaay tooooooooooo easy. Anyone who cannot get 100% on it should not be allowed to vote in the next election. Talk about softball questions......

By the way, this test isn't about recent wars, elections, marriage or any other political stance. Quit with the smoke screens and side bars already, ok, and just take the test.

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