Claremont Institute

All Cases

Harris v. Quinn (2014)

Whether a union requiring a class of home health care workers—hired by the disabled person, but paid from state and federal funds—to pay union fees despite their abstaining from union membership violates their First Amendment rights of freedom of association, freedom of speech, and to petition the government for redress of grievances, as applied to the states under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Murr v. Wisconsin (2017)

Whether a government regulation restricting the use of the privately owned land constitutes a regulatory taking under the Fifth Amendment. Specifically, whether an ordinance that “prohibits the individual development or sale of adjacent, substandard lots under common ownership, unless an individual lot has at least one acre of net project area,” violates the Takings Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which reads, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Montana Shooting Sports Association v. Holder (2013)

Whether the intrastate manufacture and sale of firearms is beyond the scope of Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce, including federal manufacturing and licensing requirements.

Kobach v. Election Assistance Commission (2014)

Whether the acting executive director of the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has the discretionary authority to deny a state’s request to include state-approved, proof-of-citizenship language on a federal voter-information form.

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004)

Whether the president can indefinitely detain a United States citizen captured overseas as an enemy combatant and hold him without access to judicial due process.

Fyock v. Sunnyvale (2015)

Whether a city ordinance outlawing the possession of firearm magazines having capacities of more than ten rounds violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Evenwel v. Abbott (2016)

Whether state voting districts based on total populations—rather than total voter populations—violates the one-person, one-vote principle of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, especially when those districts have significantly disproportionate numbers of eligible voters.

Amodei v. Nevada State Senate (2004)

Whether a state legislature can pass a tax-increasing budget by a simple majority vote, at the direction of the state supreme court, despite the existence of a state constitutional provision that requires a two-thirds majority to raise taxes.

Latta v. Otter (2014)

Whether three of Idaho’s laws that variously recognize only marriages between a man and a woman, a second that provides no mechanism for recognizing the validity of out-of-state, same-sex marriages, and a third law banning the legal recognition of same-sex marriages in general, violate the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.

Kitchen v. Herbert (2014)

Whether the three provisions of Utah law prohibiting marriage between members of the same sex and defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman violate individual rights guaranteed under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. Therefore, whether Utah must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize out-of-state marriage licenses of same-sex couples.

Hickenlooper v. Kerr (2016)

Whether individual state legislators have standing to challenge a voter-approved initiative that deprives the legislature of their power to raise taxes, placing that power instead directly in the hands of voters. Also, whether claims made under the Republican Guarantee Clause are nonjusticiable “political questions” to be handled outside of the federal judiciary. Second, whether bypassing state legislators to enact laws directly by the people is a violation of the Republican Guarantee Clause, which reads, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government ...” In short, whether some or all direct democracy, in which the people vote directly on proposed laws, unconstitutionally detracts from the republican form of government, which some contend allows only representative lawmaking.

Peruta v. California (2016)

As interpreted by a particular county, whether a state law that effectively bans the carrying of firearms by ordinary, law-abiding citizens violates their right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.

SBA List v. Driehaus (2014)

Whether states can proscribe political advertisements from non-profit political advocacy groups if they determine that such advertisements are false.

Obergefell v. Hodges

Whether homosexuals have a fundamental right to marry under the 14th Amendment, and thus whether the Supreme Court can order states to issue gay marriage licenses and to recognize out-of-state gay marriage licenses, despite state laws or amendments to the contrary.

Bond v. United States (2014)

On the question of justiciability, whether a person indicted for violating a federal statute has standing to challenge the law on grounds that Congress exceeded its powers under the Constitution, intruding upon the sovereignty and authority of the states in violation of the 10th Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled on this issue in the first Bond case in 2011. On the question of the merits of the case, whether a federal statute, enacted by Congress to implement an international treaty, can be used to charge American citizens with what otherwise would be purely local crimes. In other words, whether the president, in exercising his power to make treaties with the consent of the Senate, can increase Congress’s enumerated powers to legislate on domestic matters. The Court ruled on this issue in the second Bond case in 2014.

Gonzales v. Carhart (2007)

Whether Congress’s Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act is constitutional. Specifically, whether the Act places an “undue burden” on abortion-seekers, based on holdings from Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).

Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002)

Whether Ohio’s school voucher program offends the Establishment Clause of the Constitution by allowing parents to direct tax money for tuition to private schools that may have a religious affiliation.

Town of Greece v. Galloway (2014)

Whether holding opening prayer at local board meetings violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress and the states from establishing a religion.

McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010)

Whether the Second Amendment is applicable to the states and local governments, and thus whether a city’s effective ban on handguns violates the Second Amendment.

Jackson v. City and County of San Francisco (2014)

Whether San Francisco’s law requiring homeowners or residents to keep handguns stored in locked containers, or effectively disabled with trigger locks, unless carried on one’s person, violates the plaintiffs’ right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. Secondly, whether San Francisco’s law prohibiting the sale of “non-sporting,” expanding, or fragmenting ammunition violates the plaintiffs’ right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.

Fisher v. University of Texas (2013, 2016)

Whether race-conscious, affirmative-action admissions programs at colleges and universities are in conflict with the Equal Protection Clause.