The Scottsboro Boys were nine black teenage boys accused of rape in Alabama in 1931.With the Powell v. Alabama (1932) case the Court ruled counsel must be guaranteed to everyone facing a possible death sentence, whether in State or federal court.
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court that ruled unconstitutional the admission process of the Medical School at the University of California at Davis, which set aside 16 of the 100 seats for non-white students.
On November 26, the Florida Elections Canvassing Commission certified the results of the election and declared Governor Bush the winner of Florida’s 25 electoral votes the Supreme Court decision George W. Bush v. Albert Gore (2000) upheld Florida’s decision. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)
Supreme Court of the United States unanimously upheld busing programs in the Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education (1971).
Thurgood Marshall argued the landmark Brown v. Board of Education (1954) before the Supreme Court. This case would lead to the ruling that officially overturned the policy of “separate but equal”.
Homer Plessy was arrested for refusing to move from a white-only train car. His arrest led to the Supreme Court ruling that segregation was legal as long as it was “separate but equal,” in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).
The Supreme Court held that discriminatory housing restrictions could not be enforced under the Fourteenth Amendment with the Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) ruling.
Dred Scott, was an African American slave in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857).
In Grutter vs. Bollinger (2003) the court decided to keep affirmative action in schools because it promotes class diversity in the picture above students hold pro affirmative action rally.
Mildred and Richard Perry Loving are the couple who brought the landmark case for interracial marriage, Loving v. Virginia (1967) to the Supreme Court.
- of 10
Throughout U.S. history the Supreme Court has played a crucial role in shaping the ideological identity of America. The court’s ruling today on President Obama’s health care reform law is yet another example of the court having a major impact on the lives of everyday people. From civil rights to affirmative action and now the future of the health care for American citizens — the Supreme Court routinely has stepped in to try to address issues that lay at the heart of where this country is heading. The slideshow above is a trip back through some of the most momentous cases in the court’s history that have helped shaped Black America.
Follow Caryn Freeman on Twitter.