Cases

MCLE

As a service to practicing attorneys (and to the general public), Quo Jure is pleased to offer readings of selected cases in American jurisprudence. You'll also find links to the full written opinions, and to other pages of interest. We will be expanding this list; please let us know if you have a favorite case you'd like us to add.

Quo Jure Corporation is a qualified California MCLE provider, which means that if you are a California attorney you can earn participatory MCLE credit for this activity. When you've listened to all the audio files that make up each case, you'll be given a unique code number. When you've listened to as many cases as you like, call 415-553-4000 with the cases and codes and your State Bar number, and we'll send you a California MCLE certificate.

Embedded citations are omitted, but the files contain the full text of majority opinions and some key dissenting or concurring opinions. The cases are, of course, in the public domain, but these readings are copyright 2002-2010 by Quo Jure Corporation. The reader is Jim Schenkel.

The United States v. The Schooner Amistad

Africans aboard a schooner seized from its captain were not slaves and the property of Spanish owners, but had to be released as free men.

Part 1 Part 2Code: 7443
Total length: 26:13 in 2 files — Credit: 0.50

Links:

Written opinion
United States Archives materials

Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition

Is "Romeo and Juliet" really child pornography?

Majority opinionCode: 1711
Total length: 35:31 in 1 files — Credit: 0.50

Links:

Written opinion

Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents

The Fourth Amendment supports a damage claim against federal agents for unconstitutional acts done under color of their authority.

Majority opinionCode: 7149
Total length: 11:40 in 1 files — Credit: 0.25

Links:

Written opinion
ACLU summary of arguments

Boumediene v. George W. Bush

Habeas Corpus applies even in Guantanamo Bay.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8Code: 3081
Total length: 1:49:35 in 8 files — Credit: 1.75

Links:

Oyez Project materials on Boumediene
Syllabus and written opinions from Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute

Brown v. Board of Education

In honor of its 50th anniversary, the landmark case that overturned Plessy.

Majority opinionCode: 3452
Total length: 11:50 in 1 files — Credit: 0.25

Links:

Written opinion

Bush v. Gore

Need we say more? (Includes Justice Bader-Ginsburg's dissent.)

Majority opinion Bader-Ginsburg dissentCode: 2287
Total length: 34:40 in 2 files — Credit: 0.50

Links:

Written opinion

Gonzales v. Carhart

Upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. (Includes dissent.)

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5--dissent Part 6--dissentCode: 3053
Total length: 1:26:58 in 6 files — Credit: 1.50

Links:

Written opinions

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

Under the First Amendment, federal law cannot limit corporate expenditures for electioneering communications.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7--dissent Part 8--dissent Part 9--dissent Part 10--dissent Part 11--dissent Part 12--dissent Part 13--dissent Part 14--dissent Part 15--dissent Part 16--dissentCode: 8353
Total length: 3:37:46 in 16 files — Credit: 3.75

Links:

Written opinions

Clinton v. Jones

A sitting President must defend against a civil suit based on his acts before taking office.

Part 1 Part 2Code: 8187
Total length: 32:58 in 2 files — Credit: 0.50

Links:

Written opinion
Oyez Project materials

Crawford v. Marion County Election Board

Indiana law requiring photo identification of voters is constitutional.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3--dissent Part 4--dissent Part 5--dissentCode: 7488
Total length: 1:01:04 in 5 files — Credit: 1.00

Links:

Written opinion at Justicia US Supreme Court Center
Oyez Project materials on Crawford v. Marion County Election Board

Dred Scott v. Sandford

Notorious case holding that African-Americans cannot be citizens.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10Code: 3373
Total length: 2:24:23 in 10 files — Credit: 2.50

Links:

Oyez Project materials on Dred Scott v. Sandford
Written opinion

Epperson v. Arkansas

Arkansas cannot prohibit schools from teaching the theory of evolution.

Majority opinionCode: 6033
Total length: 15:41 in 1 files — Credit: 0.25

Links:

Syllabus and written opinions from Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute

Griswold v. Connecticut

Privacy is a constitutional right.

Majority opinionCode: 4415
Total length: 10:30 in 1 files — Credit: 0.25

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Written opinion

Hamdan v. Rumsfeld

The Executive is bound to comply with the Rule of Law, even in Guantanamo.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6Code: 2511
Total length: 1:33:02 in 6 files — Credit: 1.50

Links:

Syllabus and written opinions from Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld

Justice O'Connor's parting shot: War does not give the President a blank check to detain citizens without due process.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4Code: 5662
Total length: 56:23 in 4 files — Credit: 1.00

Links:

Syllabus and written opinions from Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute

Hustler Magazine v. Falwell

Sorry Jerry, but even Hustler is entitled to the First Amendment's protection

Majority opinionCode: 5553
Total length: 19:05 in 1 files — Credit: 0.25

Links:

Written opinion

Ashcroft v. Iqbal

To state a claim for relief in federal court, the plaintiff now must plead facts that are "plausible."

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3--dissents Part 4--dissentsCode: 9682
Total length: 51:38 in 4 files — Credit: 0.75

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Written opinion
Summary and other materials from Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute
Oyez project materials

Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

The district court [USDC MD Pa] conclusively demolishes "Intelligent Design" as an alternative to Darwinian evolution in public schools.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12Code: 8009
Total length: 2:59:50 in 12 files — Credit: 3.00

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Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District -- Memorandum Opinion [USDC MD Pa]
For the back story on this case, see G. Slack, The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything

Lawrence v. Texas

States cannot criminalize the private sexual conduct of consenting adults.

Majority opinionCode: 4757
Total length: 30:28 in 1 files — Credit: 0.50

Links:

Syllabus and written opinions from Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute

Lemon v. Kurtzman

Setting standards for separation of church and state under the First Amendment.

Majority opinionCode: 5975
Total length: 36:18 in 1 files — Credit: 0.50

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Written opinion

Mapp v. Ohio

Evidence obtained through illegal search and seizure cannot be admitted in state court criminal cases.

Part 1 Part 2Code: 6326
Total length: 26:51 in 2 files — Credit: 0.50

Links:

Written opinion
Oyez Project materials

Marbury v. Madison

Justice John Marshall's 1803 opinion establishing that the United States Supreme Court has the final say on questions of constitutionality.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4Code: 4638
Total length: 47:56 in 4 files — Credit: 0.75

Links:

Written opinion
Marbury v. Madison (1803) General Information

Miranda v. Arizona

"You have the right to remain silent." Law enforcement officers must tell suspects their rights before custodial interrogation.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 art 7, majority opinion, section 5Code: 9362
Total length: 1:22:29 in 7 files — Credit: 1.25

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Written opinion

Morse v. Frederick

A "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner gets a high school student suspended. The First Amendment must defer to the War on Drugs, at least for those still in school.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3--dissent Part 4--dissentCode: 8225
Total length: 47:26 in 4 files — Credit: 0.75

Links:

Written opinion
Oyez Project materials on Morse v. Frederick

Plessy v. Ferguson

Infamous case establishing the racial "separate but equal" doctrine in public accommodation. Don't miss Justice Harlan's stinging dissent.

Majority opinion Harlan dissentCode: 1729
Total length: 57:19 in 2 files — Credit: 1.00

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Written opinion

United States v. Cecil Price

The "Mississippi Burning" case, involving the murder of three civil rights workers by state officials and their co-conspirators.

Part 1 Part 2Code: 2424
Total length: 28:03 in 2 files — Credit: 0.50

Links:

Written opinion
Murder in Mississippi: United States v. Price and the Struggle for Civil Rights. (From TheFreeLibrary.com)

Roe v. Wade

A pregnant woman has the right to decide whether or not to have an abortion.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4Code: 6738
Total length: 56:21 in 4 files — Credit: 1.00

Links:

Written opinion
Oyez Project materials on Roe v. Wade

Rules of Professional Conduct

State Bar of California Rules of Professional Conduct as of April 2008. (Tedious, but qualifies for ethics credit.)

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4Code: 6615
Total length: 1:05:16 in 4 files — Credit: 1.00

Links:

State Bar of California website -- Proposed new rules

Segretti v. The State Bar of California

The California Supreme Court finds that Daniel Segretti's political dirty tricks were unethical, and requires him to take the Professional Responsibility Examination. [Legal ethics]

Majority opinionCode: 5013
Total length: 20:24 in 1 files — Credit: 0.25

Links:

Written opinion

Shelby County v. Holder

Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, requiring DOJ pre-clearance before certain jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination can change their voting laws, is no longer constitutional.

Opinion part 1 Opinion part 2 Opinion part 3 Dissent part 1 Dissent part 2 Dissent part 3 Dissent part 4Code: 9050
Total length: 1:40:36 in 7 files — Credit: 1.75

Links:

Written opinion (PDF)
Background information

Wickard v. Filburn

Congress has power under the Commerce Clause to regulate production of wheat, including the wheat a farmer grows for his own use.

Part 1 Part 2Code: 1549
Total length: 31:53 in 2 files — Credit: 0.50

Links:

Written opinion
Background information

Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer

Exploring the constitutional limits, if any, on presidential "war powers."

Majority opinion Jackson concurrenceCode: 4546
Total length: 42:30 in 2 files — Credit: 0.75

Links:

Written opinion

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