June 10, 1946: The Supreme Court rules that state legislatures are qualified to draw congressional districts
Colegrove v. Green challenged the Illinois Legislature’s procedure for drawing congressional districts. Professor Kenneth Colegrove had brought the suit against Illinois Gov. Dwight H. Green and other state officials in an attempt to have the Illinois congressional districts redrawn, claiming that the population of the districts was unequal. The Supreme Court ruled against Colegrove, stating that the procedure of drawing legislative districts was best left to state legislatures and not the courts. The ruling was overruled in 1962 in Baker v. Carr.
June 9, 1969: The Supreme Court overturns an Ohio law banning the use of violent speech
The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brandenburg v. Ohio that inflammatory speech is not punishable by law unless directed to incite imminent lawless action. The case involved Clarence Brandenburg, a Ku Klux Klan leader in Ohio who was arrested under Ohio’s Criminal Syndicalism statute after a speech he made at a KKK rally. The rally was covered by a Cincinnati news station, which Brandenburg had personally invited. The Ohio Supreme Court originally rejected his appeal, which claimed that the Ohio statute violated his First and 14th Amendment right to freedom of speech. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, reversed Brandenburg’s conviction on this basis.
June 8, 1906: President Roosevelt signs the Antiquities Act of 1906 into law
The Antiquities Act of 1906 gave the president the authority to restrict the use of public lands owned by the federal government by executive order. The act was intended to give the president the power to set aside valuable, public national areas as parks and conservation land. The act was a result of growing concern for the preservation of prehistoric American Indian ruins and artifacts residing on federal lands in the West. The removal of artifacts from these sites by collectors had become a growing concern.
June 7, 1965: Griswold v. Connecticut ruling legalizes the use of contraception by married couples
The Supreme Court ruled June 7, 1965, that the Constitution protects the right to privacy in a case that tested a Connecticut law passed in 1879 preventing the use of any drug or medical instrument used as contraception. Estelle Griswold, an executive director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, and Dr. C. Lee Buxton were arrested after opening a birth control clinic in New Haven. Griswold appealed her conviction, which was overturned by the Supreme Court, invalidating the 1879 law. Future Supreme Court decisions extended the ruling made in Griswold v. Connecticut. In the 1972 case Eisenstadt v. Baird, the holding was extended to unmarried couples. The Texas law that made it illegal to aid a woman in receiving an abortion was overturned in 1973 by Roe v. Wade.
June 6, 2005: The Supreme Court bans the use of medicinal marijuana
The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Gonzales v. Raich that Congress may ban the use of cannabis in states that have previously approved it for medicinal use. The court cited the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which allows Congress to regulate commerce. Angel Raich and Diane Monson, both from California, had sued the government for injunctive and declaratory relief in 2002 after a seizure of medicinal marijuana. The Court’s ruling upheld the validity of the Controlled Substances Act as an exercise of federal power because Congress "could have rationally concluded that the aggregate impact on the national market of all the transactions exempted from federal supervision is unquestionably substantial."