Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest federal court of the United States. In the legal system of the United States, the Supreme Court is the interpreter of federal constitutional law. The Court normally consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight justices who are nominated by the President. Once appointed, justices have life tenure unless they resign, retire, in modern discourse, the justices are often categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation. Each justice has one vote, and while many cases are decided unanimously, the Court meets in the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D. C. The Supreme Court is sometimes referred to as SCOTUS, in analogy to other acronyms such as POTUS. The ratification of the United States Constitution established the Supreme Court in 1789 and its powers are detailed in Article Three of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is the court specifically established by the Constitution. The Court first convened on February 2,1790, by which five of its six initial positions had been filled. According to historian Fergus Bordewich, in its first session, he Supreme Court convened for the first time at the Royal Exchange Building on Broad Street and they had no cases to consider. After a week of inactivity, they adjourned until September, the sixth member was not confirmed until May 12,1790. Because the full Court had only six members, every decision that it made by a majority was made by two-thirds. However, Congress has always allowed less than the Courts full membership to make decisions, under Chief Justices Jay, Rutledge, and Ellsworth, the Court heard few cases, its first decision was West v. Barnes, a case involving a procedural issue. The Courts power and prestige grew substantially during the Marshall Court, the Marshall Court also ended the practice of each justice issuing his opinion seriatim, a remnant of British tradition, and instead issuing a single majority opinion. Also during Marshalls tenure, although beyond the Courts control, the impeachment, the Taney Court made several important rulings, such as Sheldon v. Nevertheless, it is primarily remembered for its ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford, which helped precipitate the Civil War. In the Reconstruction era, the Chase, Waite, and Fuller Courts interpreted the new Civil War amendments to the Constitution, during World War II, the Court continued to favor government power, upholding the internment of Japanese citizens and the mandatory pledge of allegiance. Nevertheless, Gobitis was soon repudiated, and the Steel Seizure Case restricted the pro-government trend, the Warren Court dramatically expanded the force of Constitutional civil liberties. It held that segregation in public schools violates equal protection and that traditional legislative district boundaries violated the right to vote
Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Stiffel Co.
Justice Hugo Black wrote for a unanimous Court that the Constitution reserved power over intellectual property such as patents to the federal government exclusively. Since the trial court had found Stiffels patent invalid as insufficiently inventive, its design was thus in the public domain. The Supreme Court made a ruling in a companion case decided the same day, Compco Corp. v. Day-Brite Lighting. These two cases were the first decisions of the Supreme Court that states could not, because of the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, create their own patent or patent-like laws. Stiffel Co. had secured a patent and a design patent, granted in 1957, on the pole lamp. Soon after Stiffel brought the pole lamp to market, the Sears, the U. S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider whether this use of a states unfair competition law was compatible with U. S. patent law. The lower courts had erred by using llinois unfair competition law to effectively give Stiffel Co. a patent monopoly on its unpatented lamp and this it had every right to do under the federal patent laws. That Stiffel originated the pole lamp and made it popular is immaterial, Stiffel was reaffirmed in Bonito Boats, Inc. v. Thunder Craft Boats, Inc. Stiffel Co. survived the setback of its loss in this case, at that point, it failed, after 68 years in business. It was described as the last full-line cast zinc lamp maker in the United States, a Symposium issue of the Columbia Law Review, Product Simulation, A Right or a Wrong,64 Columb. L. Rev.1178 was published containing articles on Sears, Stiffel is widely cited for preemption of state product protection by the federal patent laws. James M. Treece, Patent Policy and Preemption, The Stiffel, Symposium issue of Columbia Law Review, Product Simulation, A Right or a Wrong,64 Colum
Compco Corp. v. Day-Brite Lighting, Inc.
Compco Corp. v. Day-Brite Lighting, Inc.376 U. S.234, is a United States Supreme Court decision that was a companion case to Sears v. Stiffel, which the Court decided on the same day. Like Sears, Compco held that law that, in effect. Day-Brite obtained a patent on a lighting fixture, a cross-ribbed reflector for fluorescent light tubes. Compco’s predecessor copied the fixture and sold it in competition against Day-Brite, Day-Brite then sued for infringement of the design patent and unfair competition under Illinois state law, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The district court held the patent invalid but ruled in Day-Brite’s favor on the unfair competition claim. Accordingly, the court ordered Compco to pay damages and enjoined its further sale of the fixture, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the judgment. There was evidence that Compco clearly labeled its fixtures and their containers with Compco’s name. ”In a unanimous ruling, the Court reversed. The Court reiterated its holding in the Stiffel case that, hen an article is unprotected by a patent or a copyright, to forbid copying would interfere with the federal policy, found in Art. 8, of the Constitution and in the federal statutes, of allowing free access to copy whatever the federal patent. But if the design is not entitled to a patent or other federal statutory protection. Day-Brite is still in the fluorescent lighting fixture business, as a division of Philips, see, for example, Bonito Boats, Inc. v. Thunder Craft Boats, Inc. Where it is clear how the patent laws strike that balance in a particular circumstance, list of United States Supreme Court cases, volume 376
United States Reports
The United States Reports are the official record of the rulings, orders, case tables, and other proceedings of the Supreme Court of the United States. Opinions of the court in each case, prepended with a prepared by the Reporter of Decisions. For lawyers, citations to United States Reports are the reference for Supreme Court decisions. Following Bluebook, a commonly accepted citation protocol, the case Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, for example, would be cited as, Brown v. Bd. of Educ. The early volumes of the United States Reports were originally published privately by the individual Supreme Court Reporters, as was the practice in England, the reports were designated by the names of the reporters who compiled them, Dallass Reports, Cranchs Reports, etc. The decisions appearing in the entire first volume and most of the volume of United States Reports are not decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Instead, they are decisions from various Pennsylvania courts, dating from the colonial period, alexander Dallas, a lawyer and journalist, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, had been in the business of reporting these cases for newspapers and periodicals. He subsequently began compiling his case reports in a bound volume and this would come to be known as the first volume of Dallas Reports. Dallas continued to collect and publish Pennsylvania decisions in a volume of his Reports. When the Supreme Court began hearing cases, he added those cases to his reports, starting towards the end of the volume,2 Dallas Reports. Dallas went on to publish a total of four volumes of decisions during his tenure as Reporter, when the Supreme Court moved to Washington, D. C. in 1800, Dallas remained in Philadelphia, and William Cranch took over as unofficial reporter of decisions. In 1817, Congress made the Reporter of Decisions an official, salaried position, in 1874, the U. S. government began to fund the reports publication, creating the United States Reports. The earlier, private reports were retroactively numbered volumes 1–90 of the United States Reports, therefore, decisions appearing in these early reports have dual citation forms, one for the volume number of the United States Reports, and one for the set of nominate reports. For example, the citation to McCulloch v. Maryland is 17 U. S.316
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan,376 U. S. It is one of the key decisions supporting the freedom of the press, because of the extremely high burden of proof on the plaintiff, and the difficulty of proving the defendants knowledge and intentions, such claims by public figures rarely prevail. In the advertisement, the Committee solicited funds to defend Martin Luther King, the advertisement described actions against civil rights protesters, some of them inaccurately, some of which involved the police force of Montgomery, Alabama. Referring to the Alabama State Police, the advertisement stated, They have arrested seven times, however, at that point he had been arrested four times. Although African-American students staged a demonstration on the State Capitol steps, they sang the National Anthem and not My Country, although the Montgomery Public Safety commissioner, L. B. Sullivan, was not named in the advertisement, the criticism of actions by the police was considered defamatory to Sullivan as well. The Times did not publish a retraction in response to the demand, instead its lawyers wrote a letter stating, among other things, that we. Sullivan did not respond but instead filed a suit a few days later. He also sued four African American ministers mentioned in the ad, specifically Ralph Abernathy, S. S. Seay, Sr. Fred Shuttlesworth, Sullivan won $500,000 in an Alabama court judgment. The Times did subsequently publish a retraction of the advertisement upon the demand of Governor John Patterson of Alabama, improper actions and omissions as Governor of Alabama and ex officio chairman of the State Board of Education of Alabama. However, the Secretary also testified he did not think any of the language in there referred to Mr. Sullivan. Constitutional law scholar Herbert Wechsler successfully argued this case before the United States Supreme Court. Louis M. Loeb, a partner at the firm of Lord Day & Lord who served as counsel to the Times from 1948 to 1967, was among the authors of the Times brief. The courts ruling held that news publications could not be sued for libel by public figures unless the plaintiffs were able to establish actual malice in the reporting of a news story. The case, which had brought against the Times by Sullivan, allowed newspapers to report on the widespread chaos. Loeb later called the libel cases he argued for The New York Times the heaviest responsibility I’ve ever had since I began practicing law, the Court ruled for The Times, 9–0. The decision further held that even with the safeguards, the evidence presented in this case was insufficient to support a judgment for Sullivan. In sum the court ruled that the First Amendment protects the publication of all statements, even false ones, the Court held that a public official suing for defamation must prove that the statement in question was made with actual malice
Arizona v. California
Arizona v. California is a set of United States Supreme Court cases, all dealing with disputes over water distribution from the Colorado River between the states of Arizona and California. It also covers the amount of water that the State of Nevada receives from the river as well, when a dispute arises between two states, the case is filed for original jurisdiction with the United States Supreme Court. This is one of the limited circumstances where the Court has original jurisdiction. In all other cases, the Court acts as the highest level appellate court in the United States. The cases involved were all named Arizona v. California, and were decided in 1931,1934,1936,1963,1964,1966,1979,1983,1984, and 2000. The original decision,283 U. S.423, specified the amount of water to which Arizona was entitled under the Colorado River Compact of 1922. Since then, the case has been relitigated several times because of Arizonas claims of California using more water than it is entitled,292 U. S.341, Arizona argued that the Colorado River Compact was unconstitutional. 376 U. S.340, The court adjusted the amounts of water specified in 373 US546,383 U. S.268, The court adjusted its previous decree. 439 U. S.419, The court adjusted the amounts of water for all parties to the case. 460 U. S.605, The court issued a decree regarding unadjudicated rights of Indian tribes to Colorado River water,466 U. S.144, The court adjusted its previous decree. 531 U. S.1, The court adjusted the amounts of water for several parties to the case. In summary, as long as at least 7,500,000 acre feet of water is available from the Colorado River, California is allocated 4,400,000 acre·ft, Nevada,300,000 acre·ft, and Arizona, the remainder. If more water is available, California is entitled to 50% of the water from the Colorado River, Arizona to 46%, the 1962 oral arguments set a modern record for the Supreme Court,16 hours over four days