The Supreme Court of the United States typically has a docket filed with difficult cases, these cases can change very little or a huge amount. It is not always easy to tell, some high profile cases have limited effect on the daily lives of citizens, while lower profile cases change life significantly. A case which seems to be under the radar at the moment on the docket is out of Wisconsin and is called Gill v. Whitford.
A case with little name recognition and huge impacts deals with a wheat farmer in the late 1930s, his case decided by the Supreme Court in 1942. This wheat farmer’s case turned the Commerce Clause of the Constitution into a major federal power. Here is the case of Wickard v. Filburn, at the start of the modern, expansive power in the Commerce Clause.
As we learn in our civics courses, the American Democracy is predicated on a three legged stool of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Each branch of government has its own purpose and expressly provided powers under the United States Constitution. It was not until 1803 that the extent of the role of the Supreme Court of the United States became clear. The case was Marbury v. Madison. The result? The first steps towards the respected and trusted entity which now seats nine justices following the key directive of this case.
In 1926, a municipality in Ohio implemented an ordinance for zoning the lands in the municipality by use districts. When challenged, the ordinance was initially held to be unconstitutional and void as an illegal depravation of property. The municipality appealed to the United States Supreme Court where the case Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. was heard and decided.
On Wednesday, March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court decided Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands. This is a case where a reader can rightly be surprised at the fact the case is based upon cheerleaders uniforms and yet the case strengthens an important rule related to Copyright law. Specifically, the question was based upon applied art and useful articles. When is the design of a useful article within Copyright protection?