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Talbot v. Janson

Talbot v. Janson

 

Talbot v. Janson: The Background

The case of Talbot v. Janson was a matter tried before the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court, in this case, held that the jurisdiction of the court system extended to the open waters and seas and that citizens of the United States may also hold the citizenship of other nations.

The case of Talbot v. Janson was presided over by Chief Justice John Rutledge and the following associate justices: James Wilson; William Paterson; James Iredell; William Cushing and John Blair.

The case of Talbot v. Janson began when an appeal was filed from the Circuit Court for the district of South Carolina. Prior to this, a libel was filed against Edward Ballard, the captain of an armed vessel. It was argued that the vessel and the cargo onboard were the property of Citizens of the United Netherlands, a neutral nation and one in treaty with the United States of America.

On May 16th, 1794 the ship and cargo was taken possession near the west side of Cuba. The boat was usurped by the L’Ami de la Point at Petre, which was commanded by Captain Talbot. The boats then arrived in Charleston on May 25th of 1794.

The case of Talbot v. Janson revolves around whether or not the seized ship and its goods were of American property. Ultimately, the United States Supreme Court in Talbot v. Janson held that the jurisdiction of the court system extended beyond land boundaries and that citizens of the United States may also maintain citizenship of other nations. Moreover, the Supreme Court of the United States in Talbot v. Janson ruled that both Ballard and Talbot were Americans by birth and because each had done nothing which could be regarded as a lawful expatriation, their birth—although providing no property in the man—American citizens may leave their country provided their exit is with good cause and under the regulations prescribed by law. 

Cox v. United States (1947)

Cox v. United States (1947)

 

Cox v. United States (1947)

 

Cox v. United States was a case that took place shortly after World War II and had to do with conscientious objector laws.  In 1941, just as the Second World War came to the United States, the petitioner, Cox, was a Jehovah's Witness who objected to military service.  He maintained that he was a minister under the tenets of his religion, and thus was not technically a conscientious objector.  The court's decision in this case would influence how it treated Jehovah's Witnesses in subsequent conflicts involving conscription under the Selective Service Act.

 

Conscientious Objectors

 

The first war where the United States allowed people to “conscientiously object” based on a moral or religious objection to military service was World War I.  People who were seen to have a genuine conscientious objection to working in combat roles were given non-combat duties instead.  However, people who did not want to work for the military in any capacity were jailed.

 

In World War II, the rules changed a bit.  People like Cox (the appellant in Cox v. United States) were conscripted into doing important duties domestically rather than participating in the war if they had an objection.

 

The Ministerial Status

 

When the United States conscripted soldiers during war time, some classes of people were automatically exempted.  For example, women have never been drafted in United States history, although recent proposals have been made to include them in Selective Service registration.  People who are too old or too young to serve are also excluded.

 

Other exclusions were based on the profession of the person being excluded.  One of these exceptions  is for religious ministers, and it is this exception that Cox v. United States was all about.  Not conscripting people who were religious leaders was done in part because of the separation of church and state, and in part because ministers were still needed back at home and their absence would have lowered morale throughout the country.  Unlike conscientious objectors, ministers did not have to serve mandatory time working on domestic projects and could simply continue with their lives as they had been.

 

The petitioner claimed in Cox v. United States that under the tenets of his religion, all men were considered to be ministers.  Therefore, Cox said, he should not have been required to perform any service whatsoever and had no military service obligation.

 

The Court's Ruling

 

The Supreme Court ruled in Cox v. United States that Cox and other Jehovah's Witnesses did not meet the qualifications for the ministerial exception under the law.  None of them had been ordained as ministers, and the court noted that Cox had only actually requested the status after his own draft status had been changed from unfit to fit.

 

The ruling was 5-4, with the four dissenting judges filing two different dissenting opinions.  The dissents warned that the decision made it very difficult for judges at any level to reverse the decisions of the Selective Service draft board, and that there was nothing in the ministerial exception that confined it to particular types of ministers.

Williams v. North Carolina (1942)

Williams v. North Carolina (1942)

 

 

Williams v. North Carolina (1942): The Background

The United States Supreme Court Case of Williams v. North Carolina (1942) deals with divorce. The case of Williams v. North Carolina (1942) was argued on October 20th of 1942 and decided on December 21st of 1942.

In 1942, the United States was a far more conservative place than it is today. During the middle of the 20th century divorce was regarded as taboo. The case of Williams v. North Carolina (1942) begins when Mr. Williams married Carrie Wyke in North Carolina in 1920. In June of 1940, the couple moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where they filed for a divorce. Mr. Williams was served with a decree of divorce petition in August of 1940 on the grounds of extreme cruelty. During the divorce process the court found that the filer (the wife in this instance) was a bona fide resident of the County of Clark in the State of Nevada.

It was not until the 4th of October in 1940 until Ms. Hendrix was declared divorced on the grounds of extreme cruelty and willful neglect. On the very next day, the two married in Las Vegas, Nevada. Soon after this marriage, they returned to North Carolina where they lived as man and wife until a lawsuit was filed against them.

The couple was prosecuted under the North Carolina law for bigamous cohabitation (polygamy). The couple pleaded not guilty by offering copies of the Nevada divorce petition and argued that the divorce documents and their Nevada marriage were legal in both North Carolina and Nevada. The state of North Carolina; however, argued that since neither of the individuals, when processing the divorce, were true residents of the state of Nevada.

 

Williams V. North Carolina (1942):

The Supreme Court of the State of North Carolina, in affirming the lower court’s judgment, declared that the state of North Carolina was not required to recognize the Nevada divorce under the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution.

Hills v. Gautreaux

Hills v. Gautreaux

Hills v. Gautreaux: Background

The case of Hills v. Gautreaux was the nation’s first public housing desegregation lawsuit. In this landmark Supreme Court case, a number of Chicago families living in housing projects were given Section 8 vouchers. These vouchers allowed them to move to suburban areas of Chicago as compensation for housing project’s poor conditions. In addition to the poor conditions only a small percentage of the housing units were built outside of poor or racially segregated areas.

In 1966, a community organizer named Dorothy Gautreaux and three other residents sued Carla Anderson Hills, the acting United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. In the case of Hills v. Gautreaux, Hills and the three other residents alleged that the public housing units violated Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which prohibited racial discrimination in all activities funded by the United States Federal Government.

Hills v. Gautreaux: Court Ordered Remedies

The United States Supreme Court in Hills v. Gautreaux ruled that the department of Housing and Urban Development violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fifth Amendment. The significance of the Hills v. Gautreaux decision lies in several government actions and sociological conclusions. For starters, the decision of Hills v. Gautreaux created “scattered site” public housing units, which were constructed on a small scale and dispersed in locations throughout the city. In total, 2,000 unites were constructed in 57 diverse locations.

The ruling in Hills v. Gautreaux also established the Gautreaux Assisted Housing Program in which eligible families were given rent certificates or “housing vouchers” that could be used to fund private rental apartments in neighborhoods that were less than 30% African American. This program allowed more than 25,000 people to move to more than 100 communities throughout the Chicago area. The creation of this program improved the city’s impoverished with finding employment and schooling. Through this program, children were more likely to graduate from high school, attend college and be employed with higher-paying jobs.

The legacy of the Hills v. Gautreaux decision:

The Hills v. Gautreaux decision gave way to the following:

·         The Hills v. Gautreaux ended racial discrimination in public housing

·         The Hills v. Gautreaux ended Public Housing high-rises as well as backroom political dealing

·         The Hills v. Gautreaux created mixed-income communities and helped construct low rise town homes for families with a mixture of incomes

·         Created the Private management for Public Housing

·         The Hills v. Gautreaux decision expanded housing opportunities for public housing families.  

 

 

Hills v. Gautreaux

 

Even after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made most types of racial discrimination illegal, discrimination and segregation still existed.  The City of Chicago's housing program for low income people was accused of illegal racial segregation in the 1976 Hills v. Gautreaux case.  A class of black plaintiffs initiated the suit at the trial court level, alleging that the city's housing authority was deliberately segregating neighborhoods and was keeping black people in low income areas.

 

Low Income Housing Segregation

 

Discrimination in housing took many forms in the 20th century.  One of the most widely known practices was often called “redlining.”  When banks used redlining, it meant that they would not offer mortgage products or any other type of financing to minorities who intended to move to white neighborhoods. Real estate agents would often refuse to show housing in white neighborhoods to black people, or would lie and claim that the house in question had already been sold and therefore could not be shown.

 

Of course, due to systemic oppression, black people in America often did not have the money to purchase a house—or indeed, even to rent one.  When this happened, local housing authorities like the Chicago Housing Authority, assigned people to housing so that they would have a roof over their heads.

 

However, there were of course also white people who had a need for low income housing.  In Chicago, it was alleged in Hills v. Gautreaux, the CHA had put white low income people into four “overwhelmingly white projects,” while outside of these four white housing project's, Chicago's remaining projects had a 99% black population.

 

The Supreme Court's Ruling

 

The courts ruled that the Chicago Housing Authority had indeed been using a racially discriminatory policy when assigning housing and the lower courts began looking for a remedy.  One of these remedies, the one eventually chosen, involved using Section 8 housing vouchers that would allow the black families living in the racially segregated projects to move into predominantly white neighborhoods both in Chicago and in the surrounding suburbs.

 

In Hills v. Gautreaux, the court examined whether in order to combat racial discrimination, the courts could advocate a remedy that was enforced outside the borders of Chicago itself.  In an 8-0 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that the desegregation plan was legal even if it did require placement of some families outside the city of Chicago itself.

 

Effects of Hills v. Gautreaux

 

Because it was one of the biggest housing discrimination complaints in history, and because its desegregation remedy was for its time somewhat radical, Hills v. Gautreaux has been studied very closely in the years following the case.  People living in the projects in Chicago's black areas were given the choice to stay there, or to move to a predominantly white neighborhood.  Sociologists tracked the economic and educational outcomes of the people who moved and those who stayed.  They found that even once other factors were controlled for, people who had moved away from the high-poverty areas of Chicago and into richer, whiter neighborhoods tended to have brighter educational and economic futures.

Dillon v. Gloss

Dillon v. Gloss

 

Dillon v. Gloss: The Basics

Dillon v. Gloss was a landmark Supreme Court Case originally argued on March 22nd of 1921. The case of Dillon v. Gloss held that if the Congress of the United States, when proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States, may place a deadline on the amendment’s ratification in question. Moreover, the case of Dillon v. Gloss held that Congress’ selection of a seven-year time limit upon the ratification of what eventually became the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution was not deemed to be unreasonable by the Court System.

The case of Dillon v. Gloss therefore held that the Congress of the United States may set deadlines for the ratification of new amendments to the Constitution, but the establishment is not necessary.

The case of Dillon v. Gloss was decided on May 16th of 1921. The Chief Justice in Dillon v. Gloss was Edward White and the Associate Justices to the case are as follows:

·         Joseph McKenna; Oliver Holmes Jr.; William Day; Willis Van Devanter; James McReynolds; Mahlon Pitney; Louis Brandeis; and John Clarke

 

Dillon v. Gloss: The Background

The case of Dillon v. Gloss begins when Dillon was placed in custody for an arrest pursuant to the National Prohibition Act. While in custody, Dillon was denied his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Dillon appealed this denial and claimed that the Eighteenth Amendment was inoperative since it was not ratified within the time frame set forth by the congressional resolution proposing the amendment. Additionally, Dillon claimed that the law was not in effect at the time the crime was committed, nor was it in effect at the time of his arrest.

 

Dillon v. Gloss: The Ruing

The Supreme Court of the United States in Dillon v. Gloss stated that proposal and ratification of amendments are not treated as unrelated acts but as successive steps in a single endeavor. Secondly, the Supreme Court in Dillon v. Gloss stated that because ratification is but the expression of the people and it is set forth when three-fourths of the States agree to it, a fair implication exists claiming that it must be contemporaneous in said number of States to reflect the general will of the people. Overall, the case of Dillon v. Gloss held that the United States Congress may institute a deadline for the ratification of new amendments to the Constitution of the United States, but it is not required. 

Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers

Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers

 

Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers: Background

The case of Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers is a landmark matter heard before the United Supreme Court.

The United Mine Workers of America and the Eastern Associated Coal Corporation were the main players in the case. These two entities were parties to a collective-bargaining deal that carried several arbitration provisions. Under the agreement, the Eastern Associated Coal Corporation, to discharge employees, was required to prove “just cause.” If this was not proven, the arbitrator to the agreement would be required to reinstate the respective employee. The decision rendered by the arbitrator was deemed final under the agreement.

With this agreement in place all workers were subject to the Department of Transportation’s regulations. After, James Smith, a truck driver for the Eastern Associated Coal Corporation, tested positive for marijuana, the Eastern Company sought to terminate his employment. Each time the Eastern attempted to discharge him, the union went to an arbitrator. The arbitrator concluded that Smith’s drug test did not amount to “just cause” for discharge. Upon this ruling, the arbitrator reinstated Mr. Smith conditionally.

In response to his reinstatement, the Eastern Associated Coal Corporation filed suit to vacate the arbitrator’s decision. The District Court ordered for the enforcement, holding that Smith’s reinstatement did not violate the regulation-based policy against drug use by employees who perform safety-sensitive functions. The Court of Appeals affirmed this decision. The case eventually made its way to the United States Supreme Court as the Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers case.

 

Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers: The Question

The question of Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers revolved around whether public policy considerations require the federal court system to refuse to enforce an arbitrator’s awards, which unequivocally reinstate employees who are fired for positive drug tests.

 

Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers: The Decision

In a unanimous 9-0 vote, the United States Supreme Court in Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers sided with the workers. In an opinion offered by Stephen Breyer, the United States Supreme Court in Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers held that under the bargaining agreement formulated by Eastern and the United Mine Workers of America, the arbitration award, was not contrary to well defined public policy. The court in Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers stated that public policy exception to enforcing the award is narrow and as a result must be dominant and explicit. Moreover, this exception must be ascertained by reference to law and not from considerations of expected public interests. 

INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner

INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner

 

INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner: The Background

The case of INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court Case in which the Court ruled that expenditures incurred by a target corporation during a friendly takeover are taxed as nondeductible capital expenditures.

The case of INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner was argued on November 12th of 1991 and decided a few months later in February of 1992. The Chief Justice in INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner was William Rehnquist and the Associate Justices were as follows:

·         Harry Blackmun; Byron White; John Stevens; Sandra Day O’Connor; Antonin Scalia; Anthony Kennedy; Clarence Thomas; and David Souter.

 

INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner: The Question

The question of INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner asked whether certain professional expenses incurred by target corporations during the course of friendly takeovers are deductible by that corporation as “necessary and ordinary” business expenses under section 162 of the Internal Revenue Tax Code.

 

 

INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner: Facts of the Case

 

The core of INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner deals with a 1977 matter when a Delaware corporation expressed interest in acquiring INDOPCO. To adequately prepare for being brought out, the Delaware Company (National Starch) hired Morgan Stanley as its investment banker. The fees charged by Morgan Stanley amounted to over 2 million dollars and an additional $7,586 for out-of-pocket expenses and another $18,000 in legal fees.

The National Starch Company tried to claim these fees as tax deductible; however, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service barred the claimed deductions. Subsequent appeals in the Tax Court and the court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the Commissioner’s decision. The courts believed that the amount spent towards the investment bank Morgan Stanley added to the long-term betterment of the National Starch Company.

 

INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner: The Supreme Court Case

The key in INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner is that the Supreme Court ruled that the National Starch Company did not demonstrate that the legal, investment banking and other costs it incurred in relation to the acquisition are deductible as ordinary and mandatory business expenses according to section 162 of the tax code.

In addition to the opinions provided by the two previous courts, the United States Supreme Court in INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner cited the fact that there is a lengthy history of finding that the purpose of changing the corporate structure for the good of future operations is not a necessary or ordinary business expense.

Therefore, the United Supreme Court in INDOPCO Inc. v. Commissioner ruled that expenses incurred in a friendly takeover will not qualify for tax deductions as ordinary and necessary expenses under section 162 of the Tax Code. 

International News Service v. Associated Press

International News Service v. Associated Press

 

International News Service v. Associated Press: The Background

The case of International News Service v. Associated Press involves questions of unfair competition with regards to two news companies. The matter involving International News Service v. Associated Press was heard by the United States Supreme Court. In International News Service v. Associated Press The United States Supreme Court upheld the common law rule that there is no copyright in facts and established through the common law doctrine of misappropriation through torts of unfair competition. In this particular case, the United States Supreme Court had a tough time distinguishing between interference with business practices versus interference with regards to intellectual property rights.

 

International News Service v. Associated Press: The Background

The case of International News Service v. Associated Press revolves around two competing American news services who were engaged in a business conflict with regards to reporting responsibilities and powers for World War I.

To continue publishing news concerning the war, the International News Service gained access to the Associated Press through early editions of newspapers, bribery and bulletin boards. Members of the International news Service were forced to wait for the Associated Press to post news before publishing them, while INS newspapers in the western portion of the United States faced no disadvantage relative to their Associated Press counterparts.  Because of this, the Associated Press brought action seeking to enjoin the International News Service from copying news.

 

International News Service v. Associated Press: Ruling

The United States Supreme Court in International News Service v. Associated Press had to evaluate whether the defendant (the International News Service) can be restrained under theories of interference with regards to the Associated Press’s property rights to appropriate news taken from bulletin boards by the AP or any of its members.

The United States Supreme Court in International News Service v. Associated Press held that there was unfair competition set forth by the International News Service. The Court in International News Service v. Associated Press held that since the parties were competing and attempting to make money, the action of misappropriating quasi property interest and misrepresenting it as one’s own is illegal.

The Court in International News Service v. Associated Press, stated that news companies practice unfair competition when one company interferes with the normal operation of a competitor’s legitimate business. The act of diverting portions of a company’s profit from those who have earned to those who have not was deemed illegal under International News Service v. Associated Press.

Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati

Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati

 

Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati: Background

Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati was a crucial and early case heard by the United States Supreme Court. The decision of Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati helped lay the framework for what would become American administrative law.

The case of Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati was argued on March 22nd and March 23rd of 1897 and not decided until May 24th of 1897. The case of Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati held that the power of administrative agencies is administrative and executive, but never legislative. In addition to this principle, the case of Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati stated that the scope of authority held by an agency is wholly determined by the agency’s organic statute.

While an administrative agency wishes to assume a traditionally legislative power to construct policy, the power must be granted by the agency’s organic statute and never implied from other forms of the statute. This principle, therefore, applies where the policy involves issues of great consequence. This principle, which was brought forth by the decision of Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati, was later qualified by other landmark cases such as NBC v. US which offered more expansive powers for administrative agencies in the United States.

 

Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati: Details of the Case

The case of Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati dealt with the Interstate Commerce Commission and their ability to set rate for transport and require rail companies who charge more than their established rate to crease operations. The Interstate Commerce Commission, in response to the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway failing to comply with this order, filed a suit with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. This suit was filed by the ICC to secure a legal injunction to require the aforementioned railroads to adhere to the commission’s powers.

Ultimately, the case of Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati ruled that the Interstate Commerce Commission did not have the right or power to set rates and issue orders requiring all rail companies who charge more than the set rate to cease operations.

 

Opinion of the Court: Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati

 The Interstate Commerce Committee’s authority was originally granted from the Interstate Commerce Act—the piece of legislation which gave life to the ICC and determined its powers. The Supreme Court of the United States in Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati considered two possible ways that Congress might endow the power to set rates in the ICC: implied from the statute or expressly in the statute.

The Supreme Court in Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati found that nowhere in the statute is the Interstate Commerce Commission expressively given power to establish rates. The Supreme Court in Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati went onto say that the powers granted by the terms of the local law were solely administrative and executive, but not legislative. Because of this, without explicit grants of the power to establish rates by Congress, the ICC was not able to set rates for rail transport. 

Lavender v. Kurn

Lavender v. Kurn

 

Lavender v. Kurn: The Background

The case of Lavender v. Kurn was a landmark matter heard before the United States Supreme Court in 1946.

The case of Lavender v. Kurn began when Lavender sued on behalf of Haney, who suffered fatal head injuries while working as a switch operator for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway and the Illinois Central Railroad Organization—entities represented by Kum. During the initial trials, Lavender attempted to prove that the cause of death was a protruding hook on a train that fatally struck Haney on the head as the train passed. The problem with this thought; however, is that Haney would need to have been standing in an exact location for the hook to have hit Haney. Lavender v. Kurn Lavender v. Kurn The defendant in the original matter claimed that Haney had been murdered. Haney’s body was found face down near the track; he was killed by a fast moving object and his personal belongings were not taken.

The jury in the original matter returned a verdict in favor of Lavender. The Missouri State Supreme Court reversed on the grounds that it was simply speculation that Haney had been struck by the hook. The plaintiff, upon hearing the ruling, appealed the matter to the United States Supreme Court.

The issue in Lavender v. Kurn questioned what showing is needed to overturn a jury verdict.

 

Lavender v. Kurn: The Decision

The Supreme Court of the United States in Lavender v. Kurn held that jury verdicts may only be overturned if there is a complete absence of facts to support the verdict.

The Supreme Court in Lavender v. Kurn held that if there is evidentiary basis for a verdict, the appeals court system is not allowed to overturn a jury verdict. A jury is permitted to disbelieve or disregard facts that may be held inconsistent with its conclusion and may speculate or make conjecture to reach a verdict if the facts are disputed. This evidence therefore demonstrates that there was evidence from which it can be inferred that the end of the hook struck Haney in the head.

The Supreme Court of the United States in Lavender v. Kurn held that the jury in the previous cases made its inference and the subsequent respondents were not free to relitigate the dispute on appeal. The verdict for Lavender therefore in Lavender v. Kurn was reinstated. 

Rostker v. Goldberg

Mickie Most

Chisholm v. Georgia