The 500 case summaries below are a representative sample of the 749 cases in which the ACLU was involved at the US Supreme Court level (overwhelmingly as amicus filers), from their first case decided on June 8, 1925 through Dec. 31, 1999.
These "layman" summaries are targeted primarily for non-lawyers, so the case descriptions and related information are in straightforward easily understood language.
Some of the summaries and case descriptions presented were written by law students and researchers, and therefore may be missing some important legal nuances or contain erroneous data. However, in the majority of the cases, in order to avoid rewriting or reinterpreting the opinion of the Court, we used verbatim the relevant portions of the case summaries and opinions as published by the Supreme Court. We are in discussions to have all 749 case summaries published in print form.
Thank you to the following volunteers and interns for their research contributions to this project (in alphabetical order): Erica Bianco, Elena Colle, Rachel Espana, Grant Hubbard, Ian Li, Christopher Lippi, Johnny Lo, Jamie Lowry, Allison Martins, Melanie McClinnis, Dillon McGrew, Pavan Nagavelli, Robyn Nolan, Lindsey Phoenix, Kimberlee Ray, Tracey Resetar, Jonathan Saine, Hanna Terhaar, Sigrid Hsi-Ju Yang, and Gulcin Yilmazer.
The ACLU in the Supreme Court (500 out of 749 cases, 1925-1999)
All cases argued and decided in the United States Supreme Court, in which the ACLU was involved as a party, counsel, or amicus ("friend of the Court"), in chronological order (oldest first). See our Glossary for a definition of legal terms used in the cases, such as amicus curiae, respondent, appellee, petitioner, appellant, writ, and certiorari.
(Click for summary, question presented, arguments, amicus filers, holding, and ACLU position)