Court Case Review Quiz

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Supreme Court Quizzes & Trivia

These are the big supreme court cases that you need to know.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    In its McCulloch v. maryland decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of
    • A. 

      Maryland in a dispute with the national government.

    • B. 

      The supremacy of the states over the national government.

    • C. 

      Judicial review.

    • D. 

      Judicial restraint.

    • E. 

      The supremacy of the national government over the states.

  • 2. 
    The principle that the national government has certain implied powers that go beyond its enumerated powers was first claborated in the Supreme Court's decision in ________.
    • A. 

      McCulloch v. Maryland

    • B. 

      Gibbons V ogden

    • C. 

      Marbury V. Madison

    • D. 

      Miranda V. Arizona

    • E. 

      United states V. the States

  • 3. 
    The Supreme Court case of Gibbons v. ogden
    • A. 

      Defined the meaning of the elastic clause.

    • B. 

      Defined commerce as virtually ever form of commercial activity.

    • C. 

      Established the principle of implied powers.

    • D. 

      Established the supremacy of the national government.

    • E. 

      Settled the contested presidnetial election of 1824.

  • 4. 
    In Gitlow v. New York (1925), the decision that states could not abridge the freedoms of expression protected by the First Amendment was based on the.
    • A. 

      New York State Constitution.

    • B. 

      First Amendment.

    • C. 

      Fifth Amendment.

    • D. 

      Exclusionary rule of the judiciary.

    • E. 

      14th Amendment.

  • 5. 
    The significance of Gitlow v. New York (1925) was that
    • A. 

      A provision of the Bill of Rights was applied to the states for the first time.

    • B. 

      The Bill of Rights was interpreted as restraining only the national government and not cities or states.

    • C. 

      A state constitution had precedence over the United States Constitution within that state.

    • D. 

      The national government was prevented from violating the Bill of Rights.

  • 6. 
    In the Lemon v. Kurtzman decision of 1971, the Supreme Court ruled that
    • A. 

      Devotional Bible-reading in public schools was unconstitutional.

    • B. 

      Any aid of any sort to church-related schools is not constitutional, because it violates church-state separation.

    • C. 

      Spoken prayers in public schools were unconstitutional.

    • D. 

      Aid to church-related schools must be for secular purposes only, and cannot be used to advance or inhibit religion.

    • E. 

      Aid to church-related schools is fully constitutional, and can be used for any purposes needed by the schools.

  • 7. 
    In the Engel v. Vitale case of 1962, the SUpreme Court ruled that _________ was (were) unconstitutional.
    • A. 

      The Connecticut statute barring the distribution of birth control information.

    • B. 

      Segregation.

    • C. 

      Prayers done as classroom exercises in public schools.

    • D. 

      Prior restraint.

    • E. 

      Police search or seizure without an authorized warrant.

  • 8. 
    In its Near v. Minnesota decision of 1931, the Supreme Court ruled that
    • A. 

      A CIA agent could not publish a personal memoir without clearing it through the agency.

    • B. 

      States had the power to use prior restraint broadly, but the national government did not.

    • C. 

      A school newspaper was not a public forum and could be regulated "in any reasonable manner" by school officials.

    • D. 

      States were prohibited from publishing newspapers because that amounted to government censorship of the press and constituted the establishment of a government monopoly.

    • E. 

      The state government could not use prior restraint to shut down an outspoken newspaper.

  • 9. 
    In the case of New York Times v. United States in 1971, the Supreme Court ruled
    • A. 

      Against prior restraint in the case of the Pentagon Papers, which allowed them to be published.

    • B. 

      Against permitting racy advertisements for massage parlors, saunas, and escort services which could be deemed obscene.

    • C. 

      That the government cannot file libel suits against newspapers, because, it would result in government censorship.

    • D. 

      In favor of permitting racy advertisements for massage parlors, saunas, and escort services as freedom of speech.

    • E. 

      In favor of prior restraint in order to prevent publication of the Pentagon Papers.

  • 10. 
    In schenck v. United States (1919), Justice Holmes said that speech can be restricted when it
    • A. 

      Provokes "a clear and present danger" to people.

    • B. 

      Is spoken rather than non-verbal or symbolic.

    • C. 

      Is expressed on private property.

    • D. 

      Advocates the violent overthrow of the United States.

    • E. 

      Is uttered by government officials in an effort to establish a religion.

  • 11. 
    In Roth v. United States, the Supreme Court held that
    • A. 

      The film Carnal Knowledge, which had critical acclaim but a sexual theme and explicit scenes, could not be banned.

    • B. 

      The government cannot prohibit discrimination against women priests by churches because it would violate the free exercise of religion.

    • C. 

      Outdoor drive-ins could not be barred from showing a film which included nudity.

    • D. 

      The possession of child pornography was not vobered by any right to free speech or press, and could be made a crime.

    • E. 

      Obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected free speech.

  • 12. 
    In the Case of New York Times v. Sullivan (1964), the Supreme Court ruled that
    • A. 

      Statements made about political figures, however malicious, can never be deemed libelous.

    • B. 

      The publication of the Pentagon Papers could be legally barred as a matter of national security.

    • C. 

      Government officials cannot sue newspapers for libel since this would entail prior restraint of the press.

    • D. 

      The Pentagon Papers could be legally published despite the government's desire to keep the material secret.

    • E. 

      Statements made about political figures are libelous only if made with malice and reckless disregard for the truth.

  • 13. 
    The exclusionary rule, which was applied to state governments, as well as the federal government in mapp v. Ohio (1961), meant that
    • A. 

      Federal agents may make arrests for state crimes.

    • B. 

      Searches by police could not be made without a legal search warrant.

    • C. 

      Probable cause must be established prior to arrest.

    • D. 

      Unlawfully obtained evidence could not be used in court

    • E. 

      State governments are exluded from prosecuting federal crimes.

  • 14. 
    In what case did the SUpreme Court rule that suspects must be told of their constitutional rights to remain silent, that what they say can be used against them, and of their right to have an attorney present during any questioning?
    • A. 

      Mapp v. Ohio

    • B. 

      Plucennik v. United States

    • C. 

      Near v. Minnesota

    • D. 

      Miranda v. Arizona

    • E. 

      Gideon v. Wainwright

  • 15. 
    The Supreme Court case of Gideon v. Wainwright
    • A. 

      Gave only those accused of capital crimes the right to counsel.

    • B. 

      Ruled that illegally siezed evidence can not be used in court.

    • C. 

      Prohibited government officals from issuing gag orders to the media.

    • D. 

      Set guidelines for police questioning of suspects.

    • E. 

      Extended the right to counsel to everyone accused of a felony

  • 16. 
    In Gregg v. Georgia (1976), concerning applications of the Eighth Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled that
    • A. 

      Georgia's death penalty law was "freakish" and "random".

    • B. 

      The death penalty constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

    • C. 

      Execution by electrocution is cruel and unusual punishment.

    • D. 

      Only the federal government, and not the states, can impose the Death penalty

    • E. 

      Capital punishment is an extreme sanctioin, but it is suitable to the most extreme crimes.

  • 17. 
    The Supreme Court ruled in its Roe v. Wade decision that
    • A. 

      All restrictioins on abortions at any stage of a pregnancy were a violation of a woman's right to privacy.

    • B. 

      Each state and not the federal government has authority to determine whether to permit or prohibit abortion in that state.

    • C. 

      Abortion was to be allowed only in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the pregnant woman was in danger.

    • D. 

      Abortion was murder

    • E. 

      Abortion could not be prohibited by any state durin the first trimest of pregnancy

  • 18. 
    In the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion
    • A. 

      Was a fundamental right, and any restrictions on such a right had to be judged by a "strict scrutiny."

    • B. 

      Must be funded by state governments when the mother cannot afford it, or it would be a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

    • C. 

      Funding by any level of government was unconstitutional.

    • D. 

      Could be completely outlawed by individual states.

    • E. 

      Restrictions could be imposed by states if they did not involve "undue burdens" on the women seeking abortions.

  • 19. 
    In the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, the United States Supreme Court
    • A. 

      Voted unanimously to declare slavery unconstitutional and "barbaric," thus cause the southern states to secede.

    • B. 

      For the first time placed a geographic limit on the expansion of slavery, banning it west of the Mississippi River.

    • C. 

      Outlawed segregation laws which separated blacks and whites in all public places.

    • D. 

      Ruled that all adult African-American men had a right to vote under the Constitution.

    • E. 

      Ruled that a black man, slave or free, was "chattel," and upheld slavery itself as constitutional.

  • 20. 
    The Supreme Court's decision in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson.
    • A. 

      Stated that the principle of separate but equal public facilities for African Americans was unconstitutional.

    • B. 

      Outlawed slavery.

    • C. 

      For the first time established race as a suspect classification and ruled that fromer slaves must be granted land or otherwise compensated for their years of forced labor.

    • D. 

      Ruled that slaves were chattel property and entitled to no rights under the Constitution.

    • E. 

      Stated that the principle of separate but equal public facilities for African Americans was constitutional.

  • 21. 
    In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court
    • A. 

      Ruled that the visible signs of education were substantially equal between black schools and white ones

    • B. 

      Enunciated the principle of separate but equal

    • C. 

      Ordered the Topeka school district to spend more money on black schools

    • D. 

      Enunciated the principle of equal but separate

    • E. 

      Ruled that school segregation was inherently unequal

  • 22. 
    The immediate reaction to Brown v. Board of Education (1954) was
    • A. 

      The desegregation of public schools in the south.

    • B. 

      Passage of the 23rd Amendment to overturn the Brown decision

    • C. 

      The closing of schools in Topeka, Kansas.

    • D. 

      Increased enrollment in private schools by whites in the South and a threat to close public schools.

    • E. 

      The busing of students to achieve racially balanced schools.

  • 23. 
    In the case of Korematsu v. United States, the Supreme Court
    • A. 

      Ruled that the removal of Japanese Americans from the west coast and their placement in internment camps during World War II was barbaric and unconstitutional.

    • B. 

      Upheld the constitutionality of the United States atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    • C. 

      Ruled just prior to World War II that Japanese Americans from the west coast had to be repatriated to Japan.

    • D. 

      Upheld the constitutionality of the removal of Japanese Americans from the west coast and their placement in internment camps during World War II.

    • E. 

      Ruled that restrictions on Japanese ownership of land in the United States was unconstitutional

  • 24. 
    In the case of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, the United States Supreme Court
    • A. 

      Ruled that state-run nursing schools could not discriminate against men in admissions to their programs

    • B. 

      Upheld all affirmative action programs as justified and constitutional

    • C. 

      Ruled that the University of California-Davis medical school could not discriminate against women, African-Americans, or other minority groups.

    • D. 

      Upheld affirmative action programs, but limited their scope, and outlawed racial quota set-asides.

    • E. 

      Outlawed all affirmative action programs as unconstitutional.

  • 25. 
    In the 1975 case of Buckley v. Valeo, the Supreme Court ruled that
    • A. 

      The limitation on the amount of money people could contribute to their own election campaigns was not a violation of free speech, and was constitutional

    • B. 

      The limitation on the amount of money persons could contribute to their own election campaigns violated free speech, and was unconstitutional.

    • C. 

      Presidential election campaigns could not be paid for by tax dollars.

    • D. 

      Congressional and state legislative districts must be of equal population and reapportioned every ten years.

    • E. 

      The forced disclosure of contributions to federal elections violated freedom of association, and was therefore unconstitutional.

  • 26. 
    In 1998, the Supreme Court ruled in Clinton v. City of New York that
    • A. 

      A 1996 law granting the President the authority to propose rescinding funds in appropriation bills was unconstitutional.

    • B. 

      The pocket veto was unconstitutional

    • C. 

      That the Clinton impeachment was unconstitutional

    • D. 

      The line item veto was unconstitutional

    • E. 

      None of the above

  • 27. 
    In the case of Munn v. Illinois, decided in 1877, the United States Supreme Court
    • A. 

      Outlawed the patronage system.

    • B. 

      Ruled the states could not impose corporate income taxes.

    • C. 

      Upheld the right of government to regulate the business operations of a firm.

    • D. 

      Ruled that the Civil Service System was unconstitutional

    • E. 

      Held that government had no right to regulate the business operations of a firm

  • 28. 
    In the case of United States v. Nixon, the Supreme Court ruled that
    • A. 

      John Kennedy had lawfully won the Presidential election of 1960, and Richard Nixon's challenge was unfounded.

    • B. 

      Celebrated the fact that the Supreme Court had now joined them in supporting swift compliance with a new federal law.

    • C. 

      Proposed a Constitutional amendment to overturn the Court's decision, although the amendment was never ratified by the states.

    • D. 

      Overruled the Supreme Court is a rare instance of judicial review.

    • E. 

      Worked quickly to implement the decision nationwide.

  • 29. 
    The Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison (1803) asserted the power of the Court to
    • A. 

      Check the actions of the other branches through judicial review.

    • B. 

      Determine its own size and makeup.

    • C. 

      Confirm presidential appointments.

    • D. 

      Nullify constitutional amendments.

    • E. 

      Impeach the President.

  • 30. 
    In the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court's famous Brown v. Board of Education decision, the President and Congress
    • A. 

      Refused to enforce speedy compliance with the ruling, thus severely weakening implementation over the next decade.

    • B. 

      Celebrated the fact that the Supreme Court had now joined them in supporting swift compliance with a new federal law.

    • C. 

      Proposed a Constitutional amendment to overturn the Court's decision, although the amendment was never ratified by the states.

    • D. 

      Overrulled the Supreme Court in a rare instance of judicial review.

    • E. 

      Worked quickly to implement the decision nationwide.