To have standing to sue, a plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that he has suffered a distinct injury and establish a chain of causation linking that injury to actions taken by the defendant.
When a newspaper editor in the antebellum South was arrested for writing articles critical of the post-Civil War Reconstruction, he set in motion a chain of events that would lead to one of the key historic cases on the separation of powers.
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When Edith Windsor was denied federal marriage benefits after the death of her same-sex spouse, the United States Supreme Court struck down the portion of DOMA excluding same-sex couples from federal marriage benefits.
In response to the Watergate scandal and the Saturday Night Massacre that occurred under the Nixon presidential administration, Congress passed the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, which imposed a number of ethical obligations on government officials and public sector employees.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed by Congress as part of an effort to guarantee the voting rights of all citizens, regardless of race. The VRA included a provision guaranteeing that anyone who completed the sixth grade at an accredited school in Puerto Rico could not be denied the right to vote on the basis of an inability to read or write in English. Meanwhile, in the 1960s, New York state law required all would-be voters to pass a literacy test in English.
The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986), construing that rule would become one of the most important and often cited cases on federal civil procedure. Along with Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242 (1986), and Matsushita Electric Industries Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 US 574 (1986), Celotex is part of what has come to be known as the 1986 Trilogy setting forth the substantive standards for Rule 56 summary judgments.
One of the most important United States Supreme Court decisions on federalism and the division of governmental power, New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992), is all about garbage, specifically, radioactive waste.