June 15, 1964: The Supreme Court requires states to equally appoint legislators according to population
In the group of cases collectively known as Reynolds v. Sims, the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional the act of drawing state legislative districts not equal in proportion to the state's population. The ruling aimed to give each vote the same weight. Chief Justice Earl Warren held in the majority opinion that states may not discriminate against citizens based on their geographic location (e.g., rural, urban) in the same way they may not discriminate based on race or economic status.
June 14, 1943: The Supreme Court rules that the First Amendment protects students from pledging allegiance
On June 14, 1943, the Supreme Court ruling in the case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette protected students from being forced to salute the flag or recite the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. This outcome overruled the decision in the case of Minersville School District v. Gobitis, which held that Jehovah’s Witnesses could be forced against their will to salute the flag. The Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia was a major victory for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, many of whom had been victims of threats and even violence after the Gobitis trial.
June 13, 1966: A Supreme Court ruling creates the Miranda rights
On June 13, 1966, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Miranda v. Arizona, deciding that a criminal suspect must be informed of his or her right to consult with an attorney and of his or her right against self-incrimination prior to questioning by police. Ernesto Miranda was arrested in 1963 for rape and later confessed to robbery and attempted rape after police interrogation. During the trial, prosecutors offered his confession as the only evidence in the case, resulting in Miranda’s conviction and sentencing of 20–30 years in prison. An appeal to the Supreme Court led Miranda’s conviction to be overturned after the ruling was made that because of to the coercive nature of custodial interrogation by police, no confession could be admissible.
June 12, 1978: "Son of Sam" sentenced to life in prison
A New York court sentenced David Berkowitz, known of “Son of Sam,” to 25 years to life for each of the six murders committed in Queens and the Bronx. Berkowitz was also sentenced to additional terms for assault and attempted murder. He had committed a number of violent murders and assaults over the span of a year and a half from 1975 to 1977. After his arrest Aug. 10, 1977, a question quickly arose over whether Berkowitz was mentally competent to stand trial, having been plagued for years by paranoid delusions. The initial hearing found him incompetent to stand trial. However, this decision was eventually overruled at a second hearing and the trial proceeded.
June 11, 2001: The Supreme Court rules that thermal-imaging devices require a warrant
The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Kyllo v. United States that a thermal-imaging device used from a public vantage point to monitor heat coming from a private residence is considered a search under the Fourth Amendment, and requires a warrant. Danny Lee Kyllo was charged with growing marijuana inside his home in Florence, Ore., after a thermal-imaging device was used to monitor the amount of heat coming from the residence as a result of the artificial light used to grow the plants. Because no warrant had been obtained, the charges against Kyllo were dropped.