An introduction to Constitutional Law 100 Supreme Court cases everyone should know

Randy E. Barnett & Josh Blackman


Supreme Court Group Photos (1865-Present)

The Chase Court

The Chase Court Court (1867). Seated, from left to right: David Davis, Noah Swayne, Robert C. Grier, John M. Wayne, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, Samuel Nelson, Nathan Clifford, Samuel F. Miller, Stephen J. Field
The Chase Court (1867). Left to right: Clerk D.W. Middleton, Justices David Davis, Noah H. Swayne, Robert C. Grier, and James M. Wayne, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, and Justices Samuel Nelson, Nathan Clifford, Samuel F. Miller and Stephen J. Field. Alexander Gardner (1821-1882), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Chase Court Court (1868). Seated, from left to right: Stephen J. Field, Samuel F. Miller, Nathan Clifford, Samuel Nelson, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, Robert C. Grier, Noah Swayne, and David Davis. Studio of Mathew Brady (1823-1896), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Waite Court

The Waite Court (1874-1877). Seated, from left to right: Joseph P. Bradley, Stephen J. Field, Samuel F. Miller, Nathan Clifford. Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite, Noah Swayne, David Davis, William Strong, and Ward Hunt. S. M. [Samuel Montague] Fassett (1825-1910), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Waite Court (1882-1886). Seated, from left to right: Justices Joseph P. Bradley, Samuel F. Miller, and Chief Justice Morrison Waite, and Justices Stephen J. Field and Stanley Matthews. Standing, from left to right: Justices William B. Woods, Horace Gray, John Marshall Harlan, and Samuel Blatchford. (The Justices are not standing in the correct seniority order. Justice John Marshall Harlan, the 5th most senior Justice, should be seated in the first chair from the right. Instead, Justice Stanley Matthews, the 7th most senior justice, is seated in that chair.) C. M. [Charles Milton] Bell (1848-1893), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Waite Court (1886). Pose #1. Seated, from left: Justices Horace Gray and Samuel F. Miller, Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite, and Justices Stephen J. Field and John Marshall Harlan; standing, from left: Justices William B. Woods, Joseph P. Bradley, Stanley Matthews, and Samuel Blatchford. George Loren Prince (1848-1929), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Waite Court (1886). Pose #2. Seated, from left: Justices Horace Gray and Samuel F. Miller, Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite, and Justices Stephen J. Field and John Marshall Harlan; standing, from left: Justices William B. Woods, Joseph P. Bradley, Stanley Matthews, and Samuel Blatchford.
The Waite Court (1888). Seated, from left to right: Justices Joseph P. Bradley, Samuel F. Miller, and Chief Justice Morrison Waite, and Justices Stephen J. Field and Lucius Q.C. Lamar. Standing, from left to right: Stanley Matthews, Horace Gray, John Marshall Harlan, and Samuel Blatchford. (The Justices are not sitting in seniority order here. Justice John Marshall Harlan, the 5th most senior Justice should be seated in the first seat from the right. Instead, Justice Lamar, the Junior Justice, is seated in the first seat from the right.)

The Fuller Court

The Fuller Court (1888-1889). Seated, from left to right: Justices Joseph P. Bradley, Samuel F. Miller, and Chief Justice Melville Fuller, and Justices Stephen J. Field and Lucius Q.C. Lamar. Standing, from left to right: Stanley Matthews, Horace Gray, John Marshall Harlan, and Samuel Blatchford. (The Justices are not sitting in seniority order here. Justice John Marshall Harlan, the 5th most senior Justice should be seated in the first seat from the right. Instead, Justice Lamar, the Junior Justice, is seated in the first seat from the right.)
The Fuller Court (1890). Seated, from left to right: Justices Joseph P. Bradley, Samuel F. Miller, Chief Justice Melville Fuller, and Justices Stephen J. Field and John Marshall Harlan. Standing, from left to right: Samuel Blatchford, Lucius Q.C. Lamar, Horace Gray, and David J. Brewer. (In back row, Justice Lamar should be first from the left, and Justice Gray should be second from the left.) Napoleon Sarony (1821-1896), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Fuller Court (1892-1893). Seated, from left to right: Justices Horace Gray, Stephen J. Field, and Chief Justice Melville Fuller, and Justices John Marshall Harlan, and Samuel Blatchford. Standing, from left to right: Justices Henry Billings Brown, Lucius Q.C. Lamar, David J. Brewer, and George Shiras.
The Fuller Court (1894-1895). Seated, from left to right: Justice Horace Gray, Stephen J. Field, and Chief Justice Melville Fuller, and Justices John Marshall Harlan and David J. Brewer. Standing, from left to right: Justices Howell E. Jackson, Henry Billings Brown, George Shiras, and Edward D. White. Attributed to Clarence Dodge (1847-1914) for the C. M. Bell Studio (1872-1909), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Fuller Court (1898-1902). Seated, from left to right: Justices David J. Brewer and John Marshall Harlan, and Chief Justice Melville Fuller, and Justices Horace Gray and Henry Billings Brown. Standing, from left to right: Justices Rufus Peckham, George Shiras, Edward Douglas White, and Joseph McKenna.
The Fuller Court (1906-1909). Seated, from left to right: Justices Henry Billings Brown, John Marshall Harlan, and Chief Justice Melville Fuller, and Justices David J. Brewer and Edward Douglas White. Standing, from left to right: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Rufus Peckham, Joseph McKenna, and William R. Day.

The White Court

The White Court (1911). Seated, from left to right: Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and John Marshall Harlan, and Chief Justice Edward D. White, and Justices Joseph McKenna and William R. Day. Standing, from left to right: Mahlon Pitney, Horace H. Lurton, Charles Evans Hughes, Joseph Rucker Lamar.
The White Court (1912-1914). Seated, from left to right: Justices William R. Day, Joseph McKenna, and Chief Justice Edward D. White, and Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Horace H. Lurton. Standing, from left to right: Justices Joseph Rucker Lamar, Charles Evans Hughes, Willis Van Devanter, and Mahlon Pitney.
The White Court (1914-1916). Seated, from left to right: Justices William R. Day, Joseph McKenna, and Chief Justice Edward D. White, and Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Charles Evans Hughes. Standing, from left to right: Mahlon Pitney, Willis Van Devanter, Joseph Rucker Lamar, James C. McReynolds.
The White Court (1916-1921). Seated, from left to right: Justices William R. Day, Joseph McKenna, and Chief Justice Edward D. White, and Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Willis Van Devanter. Standing, from left to right: Louis D. Brandeis, Mahlon Pitney, James C. McReynolds, and John H. Clarke. Clinedinst Studio (active 1914-1933), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Taft Court

The Taft Court (1921-1922). Seated, from left to right: Justices William R. Day, Joseph McKenna, and Chief Justice William Howard Taft, and Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Willis Van Devanter. Standing, from left to right: Louis D. Brandeis, Mahlon Pitney, James C. McReynolds, and John H. Clarke.
The Taft Court (1923-1925). Seated, from left to right: Justices Willis Van Devanter, Joseph McKenna, Chief Justice William Howard Taft, and Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and James C. McReynolds. Standing, from left to right: Pierce Butler, Louis D. Brandeis, George Sutherland, and Edward Sanford. Underwood & Underwood (active 1880-1955), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Taft Court (1925-1930). Seated, from left to right: Justices James C. McReynolds, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and Chief Justice William Howard Taft, and Justices Willis Van Devanter and Louis D. Brandeis. Standing, from left to right: Justices Edward Sanford, George Sutherland, Pierce Butler, and Harlan Fiske Stone.

The Hughes Court

The Hughes Court (1930-1932). Seated, from left to right: Justices James C. McReynolds, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and Chief Justice Evans Hughes, and Justices Willis Van Devanter and Louis D. Brandeis. Standing, from left to right: Justices Harlan Fiske Stone, George Sutherland, Pierce Butler, and Owen J. Roberts. Harris & Ewing Studio (active 1905-1977), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Hughes Court (1932-1937). Seated, from left to right: Justices Louis D. Brandeis and Willis Van Devanter, Chief Justice Evans Hughes, and Justices James C. McReynolds and George Sutherland. Standing, from left to right: Justices Owen J. Roberts, Pierce Butler, Harlan Fiske Stone, and Benjamin N. Cardozo. Harris & Ewing Studio (active 1905-1977), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Hughes Court (1937-1938). Seated, from left to right: Justices George Sutherland, James C. McReynolds, and Chief Justice Evans Hughes, and Justices Louis D. Brandeis and Pierce Butler. Standing, from left to right: Justices Benjamin N. Cardozo, Harlan Fiske Stone, Owen J. Roberts, and Hugo L. Black. Harris & Ewing Studio (active 1905-1977), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Hughes Court (1939). Seated, from left to right: Justices Harlan Fiske Stone and James C. McReynolds, and Chief Justice Evans Hughes, and Justices Pierce Butler and Owen J. Roberts. Standing, from left to right: Justices Felix Frankfurter, Hugo L. Black, Stanley F. Reed, and William O. Douglas. Harris & Ewing Studio (active 1905-1977), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Hughes Court (1940-1941). Seated, from left to right: Justices Owen J. Roberts and James C. McReynolds, and Chief Justice Evans Hughes, and Justices Harlan Fiske Stone and Hugo L. Black. Standing, from left to right: Justices William O. Douglas, Stanley F. Reed, Felix Frankfurter, and Frank Murphy. Harris & Ewing Studio (active 1905-1977), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Stone Court

The Stone Court (1941). Pose 1. Seated, from left: Justices Stanley F. Reed and Owen J. Roberts, Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone, and Justices Hugo L. Black and Felix Frankfurter; standing, from left: Justices James F. Byrnes, William O. Douglas, Frank Murphy, and Robert H. Jackson. Harris & Ewing Studio (active 1905-1977), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Stone Court (1941). Seated, from left: Justices Stanley F. Reed and Owen J. Roberts, Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone, and Justices Hugo L. Black and Felix Frankfurter; standing, from left: Justices James F. Byrnes, William O. Douglas, Frank Murphy, and Robert H. Jackson. Unidentified Photographer for Harris & Ewing, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Stone Court (1943-1945). Seated, from left to right: Justices Stanley F. Reed and Owen J. Roberts, Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone, and Justices Hugo L. Black and Felix Frankfurter. Standing, from left to right: Robert H. Jackson, William O. Douglas, Frank Murphy, and Wiley B. Rutledge.
The Vinson Court (1946-1949). Seated, from left to right: Justices Felix Frankfurter and Hugo L. Black, Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, Jr.,, and Justices Stanley F. Reed and William O. Douglas. Standing, from left to right: Wiley B. Rutledge, Frank Murphy, Robert H. Jackson, Harold Burton.

The Vinson Court

The Vinson Court (1946-1949). Seated, from left to right: Justices Felix Frankfurter and Hugo L. Black, Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, Jr.,, and Justices Stanley F. Reed and William O. Douglas. Standing, from left to right: Wiley B. Rutledge, Frank Murphy, Robert H. Jackson, Harold Burton.
The Vinson Court (1949-1953). Pose 1. Seated, from left to right: Justices Felix Frankfurter and Hugo L. Black, Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, Jr.,, and Justices Stanley F. Reed and William O. Douglas. Standing, from left to right: Justices Tom C. Clark, Robert H. Jackson, Harold Burton, Sherman Minton
The Vinson Court (1949-1953). Pose 2. Seated, from left to right: Justices Felix Frankfurter and Hugo L. Black, Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, Jr.,, and Justices Stanley F. Reed and William O. Douglas. Standing, from left to right: Justices Tom C. Clark, Robert H. Jackson, Harold Burton, Sherman Minton. Fabian Bachrach, Jr. (1917-2010), Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Warren Court

The Warren Court (1953-1954). Seated, from left to right: Justices Felix Frankfurter and Hugo L. Black, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justices Stanley F. Reed and William O. Douglas. Standing, from left to right: Justices Tom C. Clark, Robert H. Jackson, Harold Burton, Sherman Minton
The Warren Court (1955-1956). Seated, from left to right: Justices Felix Frankfurter and Hugo L. Black, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justices Stanley F. Reed and William O. Douglas. Standing, from left to right: Sherman Minton, Harold Burton, Tom C. Clark, William J. Brennan, and John Marshall Harlan, II.
The Warren Court (1956-1957). Seated, from left to right: Justices Felix Frankfurter and Hugo L. Black, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justices Stanley F. Reed and William O. Douglas. Standing, from left to right: John Marshall Harlan, II, Harold Burton, Tom C. Clark, and William J. Brennan.
The Warren Court (1957-1958). Seated, from left to right: Justices William O. Douglas and Hugo L. Black, and Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justices Felix Frankfurter and Harold Burton. Standing, from left to right: William J. Brennan, Tom C. Clark, John Marshall Harlan, II, and Charles E. Whittaker.
The Warren Court (1958-1962). Seated, from left to right: Justices William O. Douglas, Hugo L. Black, and Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justices Felix Frankfurter and Tom C. Clark. Standing, from left to right: Justices Charles E. Whittaker, John Marshall Harlan, II, William J. Brennan, and Potter Stewart.
The Warren Court (1962). Seated, from left to right: Justices William O. Douglas, Hugo L. Black, and Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justices Felix Frankfurter and Tom C. Clark. Standing, from left to right: Justices Potter Stewart, John Marshall Harlan, II, William J. Brennan, and Byron R. White.
The Warren Court (1965). Seated, from left to right: Justices Tom C. Clark, Hugo L. Black, and Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justices William O. Douglas and John Marshall Harlan, II. Standing, from left to right: Justices Byron R. White, William J. Brennan, Potter Stewart, and Arthur J. Goldberg. Joseph Scherschel (1920-2004), for the National Geographic Society, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Warren Court (1965-1967). Seated, from left to right: Justices Tom C. Clark, Hugo L. Black, and Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justices William O. Douglas and John Marshall Harlan, II. Standing, from left to right: Justices Byron R. White, William J. Brennan, Potter Stewart, and Abe Fortas.
The Warren Court (1967-1969). Pose 1. Seated, from left to right: Justices John Marshall Harlan, II and Hugo L. Black, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justices William O. Douglas and William J. Brennan. Standing, from left to right: Justices Abe Fortas, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White, and Thurgood Marshall.
The Warren Court (1967-1969). Pose 2. Seated, from left to right: Justices John Marshall Harlan, II and Hugo L. Black, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justices William O. Douglas and William J. Brennan. Standing, from left to right: Justices Abe Fortas, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White, and Thurgood Marshall. Dennis Brack (1939- ) forĀ Black Star, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Warren Court (1967-1969). Seated, from left to right: Justices John Marshall Harlan, II and Hugo L. Black, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Justices William O. Douglas and William J. Brennan. Standing, from left to right: Justices Abe Fortas, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White, and Thurgood Marshall.

The Burger Court

The Burger Court (1969-1970). Seated, from left to right: Justices John Marshall Harlan, II and Hugo L. Black, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, and Justices William O. Douglas and William J. Brennan. Standing, from left to right: Justices Thurgood Marshall, Potter Stewart, and Byron R. White.
The Burger Court (1970-1971). Seated, from left to right: Justices John Marshall Harlan, II and Hugo L. Black, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, and Justices William O. Douglas and William J. Brennan. Standing, from left to right: Justices Thurgood Marshall, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White, and Harry Blackmun
The Burger Court (1972-1975). Seated, from left to right: Justices Potter Stewart and William O. Douglas, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, and Justices William J. Brennan and Byron R. White. Standing, from left to right: Justices Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Harry Blackmun, and William H. Rehnquist
The Burger Court (1975-1981). Seated, from left to right: Justices Byron R. White and William J. Brennan, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, and Justices Potter Stewart and Thurgood Marshall. Standing, from left to right: Justices William H. Rehnquist, Harry Blackmun, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., and John Paul Stevens
The Burger Court (1981-1986). Seated, from left to right: Justices Thurgood Marshall and William J. Brennan, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, and Justices Byron R. White and Harry Blackmun. Standing, from left to right: Justices John Paul Stevens, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, and Sandra Day O’Connor

The Rehnquist Court

The Rehnquist Court (1986-1987). Pose 1. Seated, from left to right: Justices Thurgood Marshall and William J. Brennan, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and Justices Byron R. White and Harry Blackmun. Standing, from left to right: Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., John Paul Stevens, and Antonin Scalia
The Rehnquist Court (1988-1990). Seated, from left to right: Justices Thurgood Marshall and William J. Brennan, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and Justices Byron R. White and Harry Blackmun. Standing, from left to right: Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Anthony M. Kennedy
The Rehnquist Court (1991-1992). Seated, from left to right: Justices Harry Blackmun and Byron R. White, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and Justices Thurgood Marshall and John Paul Stevens. Standing, from left to right: Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, and David H. Souter.
The Rehnquist Court (1991-1993). Seated, from left to right: Justices John Paul Stevens and Byron R. White, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and Justices Harry Blackmun and Sandra Day O’Connor. Standing, from left to right: David H. Souter, Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas.
The Rehnquist Court (1993-1994). Seated, from left to right: Sandra Day O’Connor and Harry Blackmun, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and Justices John Paul Stevens and Antonin Scalia. Standing, from left to right: Justices Clarence Thomas, Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, and Steven G. Breyer.
The Rehnquist Court (1994-2005). Seated, from left to right: Antonin Scalia and John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony M. Kennedy. Standing, from left to right: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David H. Souter, Clarence Thomas, and Steven G. Breyer.
The Rehnquist Court (1994-2005). Seated, from left to right: Antonin Scalia and John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, and Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony M. Kennedy. Standing, from left to right: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David H. Souter, Clarence Thomas, and Steven G. Breyer.

The Roberts Court

The Roberts Court (2005-2006). Seated, from left to right: Antonin Scalia and John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Standing, from left to right: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David H. Souter, Clarence Thomas, and Steven G. Breyer.
The Roberts Court (2006-2009). Seated, from left to right: Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Antonin Scalia and David H. Souter. Standing, from left to right: Steven G. Breyer,, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Samuel A. Alito.
The Roberts Court (2009-2010). Seated, from left to right: Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Standing, from left to right: Samuel A. Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steven G. Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor.
The Roberts Court (2010-2016). Seated, from left to right: Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Standing, from left to right: Sonia Sotomayor, Steven G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan.
The Roberts Court (2017-2018). Seated, from left to right: Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Clarence Thomas and Steven G. Breyer. Standing, from left to right: Justices Elena Kagan, Samuel A. Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Neil Gorsuch.
The Roberts Court (2018). Seated, from left to right: Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel A. Alito. Standing, from left to right: Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Brett M. Kavanaugh.