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SS.912.A.7.8 Significant Supreme Court Decisions

What you need to know...

  • You need to know the significant Supreme Court decisions relating to integration, busing, affirmative action, the rights of the accused, and reproductive rights.
  • You need to know the short- and long-term impact of significant Supreme Court decisions relating to integration, busing, affirmative action, the rights of the accused, and reproductive rights on society in the United States.
  • You need to know how significant Supreme Court decisions relating to integration, busing, affirmative action, the rights of the accused, and reproductive rights both united and divided groups of people in the United States.

Terms to know include, but are not limited to:

affirmative action, American Indian Movement (AIM), Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), Gideon v. Wainright (1963), Gray Panthers, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), Roe v. Wade (1973), United Farm Workers (UFW), Wounded Knee (1973).

Example 1

In the 1960s, which issue was the focus of the Supreme Court decisions in Mapp v. Ohio, Gideon v. Wainwright, and Miranda v. Arizona?
a. freedom of the press
b. racial segregation
c.  rights of the accused
d. interstate commerce


Example 2

The Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade (1973) was based on the constitutional principle of

a. protection of property rights
b. freedom of speech
c. right to privacy
d. freedom of religion 


Example 3

 “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

Which constitutional idea was the basis for this Supreme Court decision?

a. protection against double jeopardy
b. equal protection of the law
c. freedom of speech
d. right of assembly

Example 4

What is the main idea of this cartoon from the Watergate era?


a. The Supreme Court presides over a presidential impeachment trial.
b. Congress has to obey the Constitution.
c. The president has the final word involving constitutional issues.
d. No person or group is above the law.

Example 5

What was the significance of the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education?

A. It outlawed the use of poll taxes.

B. It prohibited the use of racial quotas.

C. It outlawed segregation in public schools.

D. It prohibited discrimination by teachers unions.


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