Jurisprudential Trivia

Take a break from grading/writing exams for the following (posted by Aaron Caplan (Loyola-LA) to the ConLawProf listserv and reposted here with permission):

What do the three cases below have in common, then suggest additions:

  1. M’Culloch v. Maryland
  2. Scott v. Sandford
  3. Minersville School District v. Gobitis



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4 Responses

  1. Joshua says:

    All of those case names contain misspelled party names.

  2. Jim Maloney says:

    The common thread I see is that all three were revisited one way or another within about a decade. After McCulloch (1819), the Court took Osborn (1824), but reaffirmed the principles enunciated in McCulloch. The Dred Scott decision (1857) was “revisited” and overruled when the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868. And of course Gobitis (1940) was revisited by the Court and overruled only three years after it was handed down, in Barnette. Others? How about Saucier v. Katz (2001), which set the order in which lower courts were to evaluate the prongs of a qualified-immunity defense, a principle that was jettisoned eight years later in Pearson v. Callahan (2009)? Or National League of Cities v. Usery (1976) overruled by Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority (1985)?

  3. Joe says:

    The first is correct though we often don’t use that spelling for the first case.

  4. Howard Wasserman says:

    Jim: Not what I was looking for, but a nice catch.