The 11 Most Controversial Supreme Court Cases

Chela Mibei
Advertiser Disclosure

Hey there! We just wanted to let you know that some of the links on this site are affiliate links. That means we may get a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy. Don't worry, though - we only recommend products that we personally use and love, and we promise to drink all the coffee from the money we make from affiliate sales. Thanks for your support, and we hope you find our content helpful! Read our disclosure.

When the Supreme Court bangs its gavel, you can bet that things will get interesting. Over the years, the highest court in the land has had its fair share of controversial cases, some of which have sparked national debates, triggered societal changes, and even rewritten the rule book on constitutional law.

Here are some of the contentious legal brawls that have unfolded in the austere halls of the Supreme Court.

Roe v. Wade (1973)

The 11 Most Controversial Supreme Court Cases
zimmytws via Canva.com

This case tackled the thorny issue of abortion. The vote split was 7-2 in favor of Roe, asserting that the Constitution protects women’s right to choose. Justice Blackmun penned the majority opinion: “The right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision.”

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

The 11 Most Controversial Supreme Court Cases
Jon Frederick via Canva.com

This case revolutionized education, ruling that state laws setting up separate public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional. The vote split was 9-0 in favor of the Brown family. The unanimous decision stated, “In the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place.”

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)

The 11 Most Controversial Supreme Court Cases
RIverNorthPhotography via Canva.com

This case ignited a firestorm of controversy over campaign finance laws and the role of corporations in political speech. The court ruled that limiting corporate funding in elections violates free speech protections. The vote split was 5-4 in favor of Citizens United.

As Justice Stevens dissented, “This ruling undermines the integrity of our elections, giving corporations an outsized influence on our political system.”

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

The 11 Most Controversial Supreme Court Cases
Skywriter//Wikimedia commons

This case set a dangerous precedent for segregation, establishing the ‘separate but equal’ creed that legalized r@cial discrimination for over half a century. The vote was 7-1 against Plessy.

However, as Justice Harlan Jr. dissented, “Our Constitution is color-blind and neither knows nor permits classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are the same before the law.”

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)

The 11 Most Controversial Supreme Court Cases
Miscellaneous Items in High Demand, PPOC, Library of Congress

In a case that shook the nation’s core, the court announced that African Americans were not citizens and had no constitutional rights. The vote split was 7-2 against Dred Scott.

Korematsu v. United States (1944)

The 11 Most Controversial Supreme Court Cases
Elnur via Canva.com

In a case that still haunts us, the court decided that the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was constitutional. The vote split was 6-3 in favor of the United States.

However, this decision has since been recognized as a grave injustice. As Justice Murphy dissented, “R@cial Discrimination has no justifiable part whatever in our democratic way of life.”

D.C. v. Heller (2008)

The 11 Most Controversial Supreme Court Cases
Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America//wikimedia commons

In a landmark Second Amendment case, the court ruled that individuals can possess firearms for self-defense. The vote split was 5-4 in favor of D.C. The majority opinion stated, “The Second Amendment gives an individual right to own a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.”

Yet, this ruling continues to spark debate over gun control and the true intent of the Second Amendment.

Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)

The 11 Most Controversial Supreme Court Cases
Elvert Barnes//wikimedia commons

This case legalized same-s*x marriage nationwide, granting LGBTQ+ individuals equal rights under the Constitution. The vote split was 5-4. The majority opinion stated, “The right to marry is a basic right inherent in the liberty of the person.”

However, this ruling also sparked backlash and ongoing debates over religious freedom and LGBTQ+ rights.

McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

The 11 Most Controversial Supreme Court Cases
swatjester//wikimedia commons

This early case set a precedent for expansive federal power, ruling that Congress has implied powers not explicitly stated in the Constitution. The majority opinion said, “We must never forget that it is a constitution we are expounding.”

Yet, this ruling has been criticized for potentially eroding states’ rights and giving the federal government too much control.

New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964)

The 11 Most Controversial Supreme Court Cases
United States House of Representatives – Office of Dan Sullivan//wikimedia commons

In this landmark case, the court ruled that public figures must prove actual malice to sue for defamation. The majority opinion stated, “The constitutional guarantees require, we think, a federal rule that prohibits a public official from recovering damages for a defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves that the statement was made with ‘actual malice’.”

However, this ruling has also been criticized for making it more difficult for individuals to hold the media accountable for false statements.

Bush v. Gore (2000)

The 11 Most Controversial Supreme Court Cases
Eric Draper via Wikimedia Commons.com

In a highly controversial ruling, the court ruled that recounts in Florida during the 2000 presidential election were unconstitutional, effectively handing George W. Bush the presidency. The vote split was 5-4.

The majority opinion stated, “The recount process adopted by the Florida Supreme Court in this case was inconsistent with the minimum procedures necessary to protect the fundamental right of each voter.”

Supreme Court Suspends Order Curbing Biden’s Efforts to Censor Social Media

Supreme Court Suspends Order Curbing Biden's Efforts to Censor Social Media
Provided by Frenz via Canva.com

On a pivotal day for the U.S. judicial system, the Supreme Court temporarily suspended a lower court’s decision that constrained the Biden administration’s initiatives addressing specific social media posts.

Supreme Court Suspends Order Curbing Biden’s Efforts to Censor Social Media

The 9 Best Travel Backpacks For Women in 2024– A Review Guide

The 9 Best Travel Backpacks For Women in 2023- A Review Guide
Provided by Frenz via Canva.com

Embarking on long-distance travel can be quite challenging. It entails carefully selecting the right clothing, footwear, and everything in between. Moreover, there’s the inevitable uncertainty about the destination’s climate: will it be scorching hot or frosty cold? And once you’ve arrived, pondering over the various activities you might engage in becomes paramount.

The 9 Best Travel Backpacks For Women in 2024– A Review Guide

Appeals Court Rejects Christian Therapist’s Lawsuit Against Washington State Over ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban

Appeals court rejects Christian therapist's lawsuit against Wash. state over 'conversion therapy' ban
Provided by Frenz via Canva.com

In a pivotal move, an appeals court has firmly dismissed the appeal for a rehearing in the lawsuit brought forward by Christian therapist Brian Tingley against Washington state. Tingley’s challenge centered around the state’s prohibition of therapy for minors grappling with undesired same-sex attraction.

Appeals Court Rejects Christian Therapist’s Lawsuit Against Washington State Over ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban

Judge in Fraud Trial Imposes Gag Order After Trump Attacks Judge’s Aide

Judge in Fraud Trial Imposes Gag Order After Trump Attacks Judge’s Aide
Provided by Frenz via Canva.com

Amidst a politically charged climate backdrop, the trial of former U.S. President Donald Trump has taken another contentious turn. A recent episode during the proceedings has further accentuated the high stakes and heightened emotions surrounding this landmark case.

Judge in Fraud Trial Imposes Gag Order After Trump Attacks Judge’s Aide

20 U.S Politicians Who Did Not Live Up to The Expectation of Americans

20 U.S Politicians Who Did Not Live Up to The Expectation of Americans
Provided by Frenz via Wikimedia Commons

In the grand theater of American politics, there have been politicians who…well, let’s just say they gave us something to talk about at the water cooler.

20 U.S Politicians Who Did Not Live Up to The Expectations of Americans

Author

  • Chela Mibei

    Chela excels in crafting insightful pieces, drawing from her background in finance and commerce. Her passions for reading, travel, writing, and volunteering enrich her contributions.

Spread the love

Leave a Comment

Frenz Lifestyle & Wellness Blog

For Lifestyle trends, tips, and best product reviews

Join Our Subscriber List Today!

This will close in 0 seconds