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Street Law's Greatest Hits: SCOTUS Case Summaries

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Over 40 years of educating about law, democracy, and human rights

Street Law

Many teachers visit for our robust collection of teaching materials about the U.S. Supreme Court, so we've compiled and organized 23 of our most popular SCOTUS case summaries for your instructional enjoyment! 

If you're looking for ways to use case summaries effectively in the classroom, see our Elements of a Case Study document.

You can find the entire collection of Street Law's SCOTUS case summaries in our Resource Library. Teaching materials on historical cases are at


First Amendment

Second Amendment

  • D.C. v. Heller (2008): Do D.C. provisions violate the Second Amendment rights of private citizens who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use?

Fourth Amendment

  • Riley v. California (2014): Does a warrantless search of a suspect’s cell phone incident to an arrest of the suspect violate the Fourth Amendment?
  • Georgia v. Randolph (2006): Does a wife’s consent to a search of the home outweigh the refusal of a search by the husband who is present at the time of the search?  
  • Kyllo v. U.S. (2001): Is the warrantless use of a thermal imaging device to detect heat emissions from an individual’s home  a reasonable search?

Fifth Amendment

  • Kelo v. New London (2005): Does the term “public use” permit a local government to take the private property of one party and lease it to another?
  • Yarborough v. Alvarado (2004): When deciding whether a suspect is "in custody" must an officer consider the suspect's age and previous history with law enforcement?

Eighth Amendment

  • Miller v. Alabama (2012): Does a sentence of life without parole for a 14-year-old convicted of murder violate the Eighth Amendment?
  • Roper v. Simmons (2005): Does the Eighth Amendment prohibit the execution of juveniles who commit capital crimes prior to turning 18 years of age?

14th Amendment

Voting Rights


The Guantanamo Bay Cases

  • Rumsfeld v. Padilla (2004): Do the president’s powers enable him to seize and detain a U.S. citizen based on the president’s resolve that he is an “enemy combatant?”
  • Rasul v. Bush (2004): Do U.S. courts have jurisdiction to consider legal appeals filed on behalf of foreign citizens held at Guantanamo?
  • Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004): Can a U.S. citizen captured in Afghanistan, who the President claims was an “enemy combatant,” be detained indefinitely?


Learn more

Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers

SCOTUS in the Classroom

Teaching for Civic Engagement