Examine how previous court cases have impacted your daily life and individual rights. What exactly is a landmark case? A landmark case is a court case that is researched because of its historical and legal importance. Important cases can change the way laws are made or unmade actions against individuals.
There are three main factors used by historians to distinguish important from less important cases: significance, impact, and influence. Significance refers to how the case changes the law. An example would be Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., where the Supreme Court held that media companies cannot be held liable for statements made by their sources. This changed the precedent for libel cases nationwide. Impact refers to how recent or old the case is. Cases decided more recently have more influence over current law than those decided earlier. Finally, influence refers to the number of courts that have looked at the case. Courts tend to follow what other courts have done in similar situations. If many other cases have found against the plaintiff, he or she will usually give up even though the original case was not necessarily flawed.
The most significant cases are those that have had a long-term impact on the implementation of a certain legislation, frequently involving your personal rights and liberties. They can also influence what law is available in the future.
Some examples of important landmark cases include: Miranda v Arizona (1966) - which established the right to remain silent; Roe v Wade (1973) - which upheld a woman's right to an abortion; and Obergefell v Hodges (2015) - which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
These are just some of the many landmarks in our history. Do you know of any others? Tell us about them in the comments below.
Landmark cases are significant because they alter the way the Constitution is read. Lawyers use landmark cases to demonstrate a point, while judges use them to explain their conclusions. Cases that have made history Throughout the Supreme Court's existence, there have been a number of landmark cases. Some of the more important recent cases include: DOMA v. US, which ruled that federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation are valid; Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide; and Trump v. Hawaii, which challenged the constitutionality of President Obama's executive order banning discrimination against LGBT employees.
In addition to being significant themselves, some cases can lead to other cases with similar facts arising at different times. For example, Griswold v. Connecticut, which held that the right to privacy extends to marital relations, led directly to Lawrence v. Texas, which extended this right to homosexuals. Similarly, Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion, led directly to Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which further refined this right.
Other cases may not do so immediately but still have an impact on society. E.g., Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld slavery, has been cited by civil rights activists as justification for racial equality.
Still other cases may be of less importance in itself but may influence how other cases are decided.
When new matters are filed before the courts, the Supreme Court's rulings in historic cases are reviewed to determine how the judge should decide. These cases can also be used as guideposts for future decisions.
What effects do they have? Cases with a major impact on law include Marbury v. Madison (1803), which held that the Supreme Court has the final word on what laws are constitutional; New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964), which extended First Amendment protections to media professionals; and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
Who decides them? The Supreme Court makes the final call on whether to hear a case. If it chooses to take up the matter, then the justices vote on whether to grant certioriari (or request papers) from both parties. They also have the option of requesting briefs or arguments from the parties. At the end of this process, if the court believes the issues in the case will affect the work of the court in some way, then it will issue a decision holding that a certain act is unconstitutional or illegal. Otherwise, they'll just dismiss the case as being without merit.
The merits of a case are the key problems, or the major matter in a lawsuit. It refers to the substantive rights asserted by an action or the parties' strict legal rights in an action. The adjective form of the word is meritless.
The term "merit" has several meanings as used in law: the quality or state of being worthy; usefulness; relevance; significance. A case may have great merit, even if it is not well-founded legally or factually.
In appellate practice, the term "merits" refers to all the issues in an appeal, whether procedural or substantive. In its most general use, the word "merits" can be applied to any question arising out of a dispute between two parties. However, in cases where only one issue remains for determination after all other issues have been decided, that remaining issue is sometimes called the "remaining merit." For example, if there is a single issue on which judgment was entered against the appellant, that issue would be said to be the appellant's "remaining merit."
The phrase "on the merits" means that something is done or concluded in a trial or other proceeding that affects the final outcome of the case. If a court grants summary judgment in favor of a party, then that party has won on the merits.