1.1 Petitioner: William Marbury Respondent: James
1.2 Background: Marbury (along with several
other people) was appointed to a new
position made by President James Adams
in the last days of his presidency. The
positions were not finalized though, which
led to Marbury suing for the position
1.3 Questions: Was Marbury entitled to
the position President Adams
appointed to him? Was a lawsuit the
correct way to get this position? Was
the Supreme Court the right place to
get the requested relief?
1.4 Ultimate Decision: Marbury was
entitled to the position, but the
court couldn't give it to him
because "Section 13 of the
Judiciary Act of 1789 conflicted
with Article III Section 2 of the U.S.
Constitution" and was thus "null
2 McCulloch v. Maryland
2.1 Petitioner: James W. McCulloch Respondent: The State of Maryland
2.2 After Congress chartered the
second U.S. Bank, the state of
Maryland passed legislation to
put a tax on their branch of the
national bank. McCulloch refused
to pay said taxes.
2.3 Questions: Did Congress have the
authority to charter the second
national bank? Did Maryland have
the authority to tax the bank? Was
Maryland's law interfering with
2.4 Decision: Congress had
the authority to
charter the bank.
Maryland did not have
the authority to tax the
3 Gibbons v. Ogden
3.1 Petitioner: Thomas Gibbons Respondent: Aaron Ogden
3.2 New York state law granted a monopoly on
steamboat operation to the people of New York.
Other states did this as well. Some states required
boat operators from out of state to pay high fees
to sail through their state waters. A steam boat
operator who worked between New York and New
Jersey, Gibbons, challenged the monopoly over
New York boat operation held by Ogden.
3.3 Question: Did New York overstep its
bounds by making legislation or
taking action on interstate
commerce, an area reserved for
3.4 Decision: New York's laws were
unlawful under the Supremacy
Clause, because they conflicted
with federal law.
4 United States v. Lopez
4.1 Petitioner United States: Respondent:Alfonzo Lopez
4.2 Lopez carried a concealed weapon onto school
grounds and was charged with firearm
possession on school premises. The next day, the
charges were dismissed because federal agents
charged Lopez with violating the "Gun-Free
School Zones Act of 1990".which prohibits an
individual to knowingly carry a firearm into/onto
a school zone. Lopez was convicted and
sentenced to six months of jail time and two
years of parole.
4.3 Question: is the "Gun-Free
School Zones Act of 1990"
unconstitutional because it
exceeds the power of
Congress to legislate under
the "Commerce Clause?"
4.4 Decision Yes. Since legislation regarding gun
possession would be a criminal statute, and
gun possession has no effect on interstate
commerce, it was unlawful.
5 United States v. Morrison (2000)
5.1 Antonio Morrison vs. United States
5.2 Antonio Morrison and James Crawford were accused of rape by
their fellow Virginia Tech student, Christy Brzonkala. Brzonkala
filed a complaint under Virginia Tech's Sexual Assault Policy.
Following a hearing, Morrison was found guilty and given a two
year suspension, Crawford was not punished. Later, there was a
second hearing, and Morison was still found guilty, but after an
appeal to the school board, the punishment was dropped.
Ultimately, Brzonkala dropped out of school, and sued the
school and the two men in federal district court, claiming that
the men's attack violated "42 USC section 13981" which was part
of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Morrison moved to
have the case dismissed because the remedy from the act was
5.3 Question: Does Congress
have the authority to enact
the Violence Against Women
Act of 1994 under either the
Commerce Clause or
5.4 No. The Court held that Congress lacked
the authority to enact a statute under the
Commerce Clause or the Fourteenth
Amendment since the statute did not
regulate an activity that substantially
affected interstate commerce nor did it
redress harm caused by the state.