Faster, Safer Legal Document Delivery (866) 754-0520 http://www.jplps.com JPL Process Service - California Process Servers Wed, 14 Feb 2018 09:45:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.jplps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/favicon-551018c8v1_site_icon-32x32.png Faster, Safer Legal Document Delivery (866) 754-0520 http://www.jplps.com 32 32 This Month In US Legal History: December Edition http://www.jplps.com/month-us-legal-history-december-edition/ Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:45:48 +0000 http://www.jplps.com/?p=28199 Rosa Park, Pearl Harbor and NAFTA are a few of the moments that make appearances in the December Edition of Daily US Legal History.

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Day-By-Day Walk Through US Legal History: December

1 December 1955Rosa Parks was arrested after she refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama to a white man. This action culminated in the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycotts and the eventual overturning of bus segregation laws in Montgomery.

2 December 1865Alabama became the 27th state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, thus giving the Amendment the three-fourths majority it needed to come into law. The amendment abolished the practice of slavery.

3 December 1818Illinois was admitted to the Union as the 21st state.

4 December 1945The US Senate approved the full participation of the US in the United Nations.

5 December 1933The state of Utah ratifies the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, and brings prohibition to an end in the U.S. The Amendment required the accession of 36 states, and Utah was the final state to ratify it.

6 December 1933In United States v One Book Called Ulysses, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York decided that the book Ulysses, by James Joyce, was not obscene.

7 December 1941An American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked by Imperial Japan. Later that day, Canada declared was on Japan, and the US followed suit on 8 December.

8 December 1993President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into law.

9 December 2000The US Supreme Court voted 5-4 to suspend a recount that was taking place in Florida for Presidential election results. Later, in Bush v Gore the Court found that the entire recount was unconstitutional.

10 December 1948The UN General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This set the basis for an international human rights framework insisting that all human beings are inherently entitled to the same rights.

11 December 1816Indiana became the 19th state in the Union.

12 December 2000 The Supreme Court decided in the case Bush v Gore that the vote certification for Florida’s 25 electoral votes in the 2000 election should be allowed to stand. Although the Court found that the Equal Protection Clause had been violated through different counting standards in different counting, they also held that there was not sufficient time to do anything about it.

13 December 2001President George W. Bush served formal notice that the United States was withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia.

14 December 1964In Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc v United States the Supreme Court held that Congress could use the commerce power granted to it under the constitution to force private businesses to adhere to the Civil Rights Act 1964.

15 December 1791The Virginia General Assembly ratifies the US Bill of Rights, and the Bill became law.

16 December 1950President Truman declared a state of emergency across the US in order to fight the threat of “Communist imperialism” after China joined the Korean War.

17 December 1789The first impeachment trial in the US begins. Senator William Blount of Tennessee was a land speculator, and he was accused of conspiring with England to snatch Florida from Spain.

18 December 1944In Korematsu v United States, the Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the exclusion order that forced Japanese Americans into internment camps during WWII.

19 December 1998Impeachment proceedings for US President Bill Clinton were initiated by the House of Representatives, amidst charges were of perjury and obstruction of justice.

20 December 1893Lynching was outlawed in the state of Georgia, the first state in the Union to pass a law to outlaw the practice.

21 December 1956Montgomery, Alabama, started offering racially-integrated bus services after racial segregation laws were overturned by the Supreme Court.

22 December 1807Congress passed the Embargo Act of 1807, under the stewardship of President Jefferson, who feared that America would be compelled to enter the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. The Act barred trade with any foreign nation.

23 December 2003Lee Boyd Malvo, also known as ‘The Beltway Sniper’ and ‘The DC Sniper’, was convicted for murder and sentenced by a jury to multiple sentences of life imprisonment without pardon.

24 December 2009The US Senate passes the legislation that would form the basis of Obamacare – the biggest expansion of America’s social safety net since 1965. The Senate voted after debating the bill for 25 consecutive days.

25 December 1868President Andrew Johnson grants an unconditional, blanket pardon to all Confederate soldiers and officers.  

26 December 1862The largest mass hanging in the US took place in Mankato, Minnesota where 38 Santee Sioux braves were hanged for their part in rebellions against authorities in Minnesota.

27 December 1771William Johnson was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He went on to become Associate Justice of the Supreme Court at the appointment of President Jefferson, where he served from 1804 to 1834.

28 December 1973The Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Nixon – setting up a legislative framework to adhere to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

29 December 1845Texas is admitted to the Union as the 28th state – meaning that the Republic of Texas was formally annexed to the US.

30 December 1816The Treaty of St. Louis (1816) between the US and the united Ottawa, Ojibwa and Potawatomi Indian tribes is proclaimed. By signing the treaty, the tribes relinquished all rights or claims to land previously ceded to the US, and also ceded a strip of land for the Illinois and Michigan Canal.

31 December 1946President Harry Truman officially declared the end of hostilities in World War II – Presidential Proclamation 2714 was delayed for several months after the fighting finished in September 1945 because it gave the US an excuse to continue to keep troops in Japan and Germany.

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This Month In US Legal History: November Edition http://www.jplps.com/month-us-legal-history-november-edition/ Wed, 01 Nov 2017 08:38:11 +0000 http://www.jplps.com/?p=28198 The JFK Assassination and the election of America's first black President are major events in the November Edition of Daily US Legal History.

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Day-By-Day Walk Through US Legal History: November

1 November 1765The commencement date of the British Stamp Act, which was the first attempt by the British Parliament to impose direct tax duties on the American colonies. The tax was to help pay for soldiers stationed in North America, although Americans claimed that the presence of the soldiers was unnecessary.

2 November 1951President Truman signed into law the ‘Boggs Act’, which amended the Narcotic Drugs Import and export Act and set a minimum federal sentence for drug offences.

3 November 1964President Lyndon B. Johnson was elected President in his own right. He defeated Republican candidate Barry Goldwater, winning 61.1% of the popular vote.

4 November 2008Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States. He went on to serve two terms and was the first black President of the US.

5 November 1872The women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony voted illegally in the New York Congressional district election. At that time, women did not have the right to vote. She was taken before a court and fined $100 after a directed verdict.

6 November 1917A constitutional amendment was passed in the state of New York that was to give women the right to vote.

7 November 1973Congress passed the War Powers Resolution, overriding the veto of President Nixon. The Act was in response to the Vietnam War and aimed to clarify the roles and powers of the Executive and the Legislative branches to deploy troops in times of conflict.

8 November 1960John F. Kennedy, the Senator for Massachusetts, defeated Vice President Richard M. Nixon and became President of the United States.

9 November 1970In the case Massachusetts v Laird, the supreme Supreme Court decided to hear the case of Massachusetts’s anti-draft law. The law had permitted its citizens, even if they had been drafted, to refuse to fight in a war that had not been declared. The 1st Circuit found the law unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal.

10 November 1919In Abrams v United States the Supreme Court ruled that during wartime the United States federal government could criminalize speech if it tended towards harmful results, for example resisting the war effort in WWI.

11 November 1889Washington becomes the 42nd state in the Union.

12 November 1999The Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 is enacted and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The Act undid laws from the depression era that prohibited commercial banks, investment banks, security firms and insurance companies from consolidating.

13 November 1956The Supreme Court in Browder v Gayle struck down laws in Montgomery, Alabama that segregated people using public buses based on race, finding that they were unconstitutional.

14 November 1995Conflicts between President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress came to head and the government shut-down after Clinton vetoed a spending bill that Congress sent him. Non-essential services were suspended until 19 November, and the government operated with the minimum number of staff.

15 November 1777The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union are created. All thirteen original states in the U.S.A were to agree to the Articles and they were to serve as the countries first Constitution.

16 November 1973President Nixon authorized the construction of the controversial Alaskan Pipeline when he signed the Trans-Alaska Authorization Act. The Act also halted legal challenges, mostly environmental, that had been filed against the Pipeline.

17 November 1777The Articles of Confederation were submitted to the states for ratification.

18 November 2003The highest court in Massachusetts in Goodridge v Department of Health declared that barring a person from the benefits of civil marriage based on them wanting to marry a person of the same sex violated the Massachusetts Constitution. The first marriage licenses were issued to same sex couples in May 2004.

19 November 1794US Chief Justice John Jay and the British foreign secretary, Lord Grenville, sign the Jay Treaty. Under the treaty the British forces were to pull out of the Northwest Territory.

20 November 1925Robert F. Kennedy was born. He went on to become Senator for New York and the US Attorney General, and was assassinated during his campaign for the presidency in 1968.

21 November 1620The Mayflower Compact was written and signed by the new settlers in New Plymouth after crossing the Atlantic on the Mayflower. It was the first document to govern Plymouth Colony, and set the basis for laws in the New World.

22 November 1963President John F. Kennedy was assassinated whilst in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. Vice-President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as his replacement, and the 36th President of the United States, later that day.

23 November 1921President Harding signs into law the Willis-Campbell Act, which prohibited doctors from prescribing beer of liquor to patients for medicinal purposes.

24 November 1784Zachary Taylor was born. He went on to become the 12th President of the United States.  

25 November 2003The Senate gave its final approval to a bill to change Medicare to include a new prescription drug benefit and control costs before the Baby Boomers reached the age of retirement.

26 November 1942President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders gasoline rationing across the nation so as to limit the driving time of US citizens and thus save rubber – a scarce resource at the time – from wearing out on car tires.

27 November 1973The US Senate votes 92-3 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice-President of the United States. This was the first time the 25th Amendment to the Constitution was invoked, as it established proceedings for replacing the Vice-President.

28 November 1871The South Carolina Klu Klux Clan trials begin before a US Circuit Court in Columbia. The charges included conspiracy to prevent blacks from voting, and conspiracy to oppress, threaten and intimidate blacks who had exercised their right to vote in 1870.

29 November 1963President Lyndon Johnson named a commission – ‘The Warren Commission’ – headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

30 November 1993The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The Act mandated federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the US and imposed a waiting period of five-days for purchases.

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This Month In US Legal History: October Edition http://www.jplps.com/this-month-in-us-legal-history-october-edition/ Sun, 01 Oct 2017 08:30:56 +0000 http://www.jplps.com/?p=28197 The Cuban Missile Crisis, the Saturday Night Massacre and Tokyo Rose are a few names that make appearances in the October Edition of Daily US Legal History.

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Day-By-Day Walk Through US Legal History: October

1 October 1924Jimmy Carter is born in Plains, Georgia. He went on to become 36th President of the United States (1977 – 1981) and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Carter Center on advancing human rights.

2 October 1990The Senate votes 90-9 to confirm Supreme Court nominee David H. Souter. He was a reliably liberal member of the court, voting with liberals on matters such as the death penalty, employee rights and criminal rights. He retired in 2009.

3 October 1965President Lyndon Johnson signs the Immigration and Nationality Act into law.  The Act put an end to the nation of origin based immigration quota system that had been in place since 1882, and introduced a worldwide quota that disregarded nation of origin.

4 October 2010For the first time in US history, three women served on the Supreme Court, as Elena Kagan took up her place on the bench.

5 October 1953Earl Warren was sworn in as the 14th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He succeeded Fred M. Vinson.

6 October 1949The American-born Iva Toguri D’Aquino is convicted for her involvement in The Zero Hour radio show that broadcast English-language propaganda to the Allied soldiers during WWII, using the pseudonym ‘Tokyo Rose’. She was charged with eight counts of treason.

7 October 1963President John F. Kennedy signs the first nuclear test ban treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union.

8 October 2001President George W Bush announces the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security. The Office was created in response to the September 11 attacks, and is responsible for anti-terrorism, border security, immigration and disaster responses.

9 October 1635Roger Williams was banned from the colony of Massachusetts for his preaching that the civil government had no right to interfere in religion.

10 October 1973Amidst allegations of tax fraud, Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigns from his office.

11 October 1884Eleanor Roosevelt, the 39th First Lady of the United States was born. She served as the US Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952 and served as the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

12 October 1973President Nixon nominates the House Majority Leader, Gerald R. Ford, for the position of Vice-President after Spiro Agnew resigned in the face of tax fraud allegations.

13 October 1775The U.S. Continental Congress orders that a Continental Navy be established (it later became the United States Navy).

14 October 1890Dwight D. Eisenhower is born in Denison, Texas. He served as the 34th President of the United States (1953-1961), and prioritized nuclear deterrence to keep pressure on the Soviet Union. He also authorized the establishment of NASA.

15 October 1914 – The Clayton Antitrust Act, a key component of the early competition law framework in the US, is passed by Congress. The Act prohibited price-fixing practices, the abuse of power to gain a monopoly, and agreeing with other businesses to control supply of products.

16 October 1962The Cuban Missile Crisis began after President John F. Kennedy was informed of reconnaissance photos showing missile bases in Cuba.

17 October 1977President Jimmy Carter signed a bill to retroactively restore US citizenship to Jefferson Davis. Davis was the President of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, a Senator for Mississippi and US Secretary of War.

18 October 1972The Clean Water Act is passed by Congress, overriding President Nixon’s veto. Nixon proceeded use his Presidential powers to impound the money intended to be spent under the Act, and it was only after the Supreme Court decision in Train v City of New York (1975) that the money was restored to the cause.

19 October 1765The Stamp Act Congress, so named because of a Stamp Act passed by the British imposing a tax for the upkeep of British troops in North America, meets in New York and approve a Declaration of Rights.

20 October 1973The ‘Saturday Night Massacre’, orchestrated by President Nixon, takes place. Nixon abolished the office of special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, accepted the resignation of Attorney General Richardson and first the Deputy Attorney General.

21 October 1876The first law reporter, The Syllabi, comes into production in the US. It was founded by John B. West, owner of West Publishing Company and was aimed at lawyers in Minnesota.

22 October 1962President John F. Kennedy announces a naval blockade of Cuba. The blockade was intended to prevent offensive weapons from entering Cuba after it was announced that the Soviet Union had placed nuclear weapons in Cuba.

23 October 1987The nomination of Robert H. Bork for the Supreme Court is rejected by the US Senate. He was nominated by President Reagan and rejected by a majority Democrats senate 42-58. His nominated had provoked considerable public debate, with staunch opposition by women’s groups and civil rights leaders.

24 October 1945The United Nations Charter officially comes into effect, creating the United Nations.

25 October 1988The first court trial to be televised goes on air in New York. It was the trial of Joel Steinberg for murder, and the screening was part of an 18 month experiment to televise court proceedings.

26 October 1947Hillary Rodham Clinton was born. She started her career as a lawyer, was the 44th First Lady of the United States, and the 67th Secretary of State.

27 October 1858Theodore Roosevelt is born. He went on to become the 26th President of the United States (1901-1909) and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for his efforts to end the Russo-Japanese War.

28 October 2009President Barack Obama signs the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was named for Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., both the victims of hate crimes. The Act gives the Department of Justice the power to prosecute hate crimes based on characteristics such as gender, race and religion.

29 October 1828Thomas F. Bayard, American statesman, lawyer and diplomat, was born in Wilmington, Delaware. He was a Peace Democrat during the Civil War, and was appointed by President Cleveland to serve as Secretary of State in 1885.

30 October 1735The second president of the United States, John Adams, was born in Braintree Massachusetts.

31 October 1864Nevada is admitted to the Union after sending to Washington the longest and most expensive telegraph to that date. The telegraph consisted of the complete text of the proposed state constitution.

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This Month In US Legal History: September Edition http://www.jplps.com/month-us-legal-history-september-edition/ Fri, 01 Sep 2017 08:21:14 +0000 http://www.jplps.com/?p=28196 The Emancipation Proclamation, Japan surrender and 9/11 are events that make appearances in the September Edition of Daily US Legal History.

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Day-By-Day Walk Through US Legal History: September

1 September 1942The detention of Japanese in U.S. wartime internment camps during World War II is upheld by a federal judge in Sacramento, California.

2 September 1945Japan formally surrendered, marking the end of World War II, with ceremonies abroad the USS Missouri.

3 September 1783The Treaty of Paris is signed in Paris by representatives of Great Britain and of the USA, officially putting an end to the American Revolutionary War. The Treaty set out the existence of the USA as a sovereign country.

4 September 1957Three years after the Brown v Board of Education decision formally desegregated public schools, the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, deployed the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock.

5 September 1774The Continental Congress assembles for the first time in Philadelphia to protest “The passage of Coercive Acts” passed by the British Parliament. Delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies met, with Georgia declining to send delegates.

6 September 1870Louisa Ann Swain of Wyoming becomes the first woman in the U.S. to legally cast a vote since 1807.

7 September 1916The Federal Employees Compensation Act is passed, giving workers the right to claim workers compensation. This came after more than three decades of workers protesting for recognition and compensation for injuries received on the job.  

8 September 1974President Gerald Ford grants former President Richard an unconditional pardon.

9 September 1850California joins the union, becoming the 31st state to do so.

10 September 1924Nathan Leopold Jr. and Richard Loeb were sentenced in Chicago to life in prison for the ‘thrill killing’ of 14 year old Bobby Franks.

11 September 2001Four US commercial airliners were hijacked by terrorists, with two being flown into the World Trade Center Towers in New York City, and a third flown into the Pentagon in Washington DC. In the aftermath, the U.S. government tightened security measures, including passing the USA Patriot Act in October 2001.

12 September 1958In Cooper v Aaron, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected a challenge to Brown v Board of Education. The Arkansas state government had challenged the authority of the courts to implement desegregation.

13 September 1788The date for the first Presidential election in the United States is set by the Philadelphia Convention. The Convention selected New York City to act as the temporary capital.

14 September 1918The socialist and labor activist Eugene Debs, who stridently opposed U.S. entry into World War I, is sentenced to ten years imprisonment for his opposition and for violating the Espionage Act.

15 September 1981Sandra Day O’Connor is unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and becomes the first female justice of the Supreme Court.

16 September 1987The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was opened for signature. The Protocol phased out substances such as CFCs that were responsible for ozone depletion.

17 September 1787The United States Constitution is signed in Philadelphia.

18 September 1850U.S. Congress passes the Fugitive Slave Act. It was part of a compromise between the Southern slave-holding interests and Northern Free-Soldiers, and required that all escaped slaves that were captured be returned to their owners.

19 September 1778The first United States federal budget is passed by the Continental Congress.

20 September 2011The U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” compromise, which precluded gay and lesbian service members from serving openly, comes to an end.  

21 September 1996The U.S. Congress passes as law prohibiting federal recognition of same-sex marriage. The Defense of Marriage Act allowed for individual states to define marriage as they saw fit.

22 September 1862President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. It declared that as of 1 January 1863, all slaves in rebel states would be free.

23 September 1838Victoria Clafin Woodhull Martin was born. She ran for the position of president of the United States in 1872. She was an activist for women’s rights and labor reforms, and by most accounts the first woman to run for the presidency.

24 September 1789Congress passes the Judiciary Act of 1789 to establish the judicial courts of the US. The Act created a three-tiered federal judicial structure, with the Supreme Court presiding over the hierarchy.

25 September 1789The first Congress adopted the United States Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The Bill amended the Constitution to include guarantees of personal freedoms and rights, provide limits to government power and specify the distinction between state and federal government powers.

26 September 1789John Jay was commissioned as the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was nominated by George Washington on 24 September, and unanimously confirm by the Senate on this day.

27 September 1964The Warren Commission report is released, with the finding that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, killed President John F. Kennedy.

28 September 1787 The U.S. Constitution is voted on the by U.S. Congress to be sent to the state legislatures for their approval.

29 September 1938Congress authorized President Reagan to keep U.S. Marines in Lebanon for an additional 18 months, invoking the provisions of the War Powers Act for the first time.

30 September 1964The Nuremberg Trials, composed of Allied powers, finds 22 leaders of the Nazis guilty of war crimes committed during the Second World War.

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This Month In US Legal History: August Edition http://www.jplps.com/month-us-legal-history-august-edition/ Tue, 01 Aug 2017 08:13:16 +0000 http://www.jplps.com/?p=28195 Witch hunts, women's rights to vote and MLK's Dream Speech are a few events that make appearances in the August Edition of Daily US Legal History.

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Day-By-Day Walk Through US Legal History: August

1 August 1876Colorado is admitted as the 38th state in the US.

2 August 1776Almost all of the 55 members of the Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia sign a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

3 August 1882Congress passes the first comprehensive immigration law in the US. The Immigration Act of 1882 listed categories of foreigners who were ‘undesirable’ and should not be permitted to enter the US, and gave the secretary of treasury the power of oversight.

4 August 1961Barack Obama, who was to become the 44th President of the United States, is born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

5 August 1963The United States, the UK and the Soviet Union sign the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty,

6 August 1965President Lyndon Johnson signs into law the Voting Rights Act, putting an end to many of the barriers that had been designed in the South to prevent African Americans from voting. These included literacy, knowledge and character tests that in effect discriminated against African Americans.

7 August 1964The US Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, authorizing President Lyndon Johnson to use force in Southeast Asia despite Congress not having formally declared war.

8 August 1974President Nixon appears on American television and announces his decision to resign from the presidency as a result of the Watergate scandal. He officially stepped down at noon the next day.

9 August 1945The United States B-29 Bockscar drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, immediately killing 35,000 people.

10 August 1863President Abraham Lincoln met with abolitionist Frederick Douglas to discuss equality for African American Union troops.

11 August 1792The Supreme Court delivers its first reported decision in the case of Georgia v Brailsford, with the opinion written by Justice Thomas Johnson.

12 August 1992The U.S., Canada and Mexico announce the conclusion of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was to eliminate trade and investment barriers between the three countries.  

13 August 1894The U.S Senate ratifies the Chinese Exclusion Treaty, which was designed to exclude Chinese laborers from coming to the U.S to work.

14 August 1935The Social Security Act is signed into law by President Roosevelt, creating a guaranteed pension system for those who retired at the age of 65. It also established a system of social security for the unemployed, dependent children and the disabled.

15 August 1876U.S. Congress passes a ‘starve or sell’ bill designed to force the Sioux Indian to give up the Black Hills, where gold had been found, or face the end of subsistence appropriations from the government.

16 August 1841President John Tyler vetoed a bill calling for the re-establishment of the Second Bank of the United States. Members of the Whig Party were so angry at this development that they demonstrated in from of the White House in the most violent demonstration in US history.

17 August 1998President Bill Clinton testifies before a grand jury about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, becoming the first sitting US President to come before a grand jury investigating him.

18 August 1920The 19th Amendment to the Constitution is passed and gives all American women the right to vote.

19 August 1692In Salem, Massachusetts, four men and one woman were put to death. They had been found guilty of witchcraft.

20 August 1964President Lyndon Johnson approves the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which provided anti-poverty measures worth almost $1 billion. The aim of the Act was to reduce poverty, expand educational opportunities, increase the safety net for the poor and unemployed, and tend to the health and financial needs of the elderly.

21 August 1959President Dwight Eisenhower signs an executive order making Hawaii the 50th state in the union.  

22 August 1996A major welfare reform was initiated when President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act into law, limiting the duration of welfare to five years for most people, and requiring people to work whilst receiving welfare.

23 August 1970The largest farm worker strike in US history – the Salad Bowl strike, begins under the leadership of Mexican American union leader Cesar Chavez.

24 August 1894U.S. Congress passes the first law to create graduated income tax. The next year it was declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

25 August 1921Having never ratified the Versailles Treaty that put an end to the First World War, the U.S. finally signs its own peace treaties with Germany, Austria and Hungary.

26 August 1920Women are given the right to vote as the 19th Amendment to the Constitution comes into effect.

27 August 1908Lyndon B Johnson was born in Stonewall, Texas. He went on to become the 36th President of the United States.

28 August 1963250,000 people turned out to a civil rights rally in Washington, D.C. where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech.

29 August 1957U.S. Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the first civil rights legislation since 1875. It was primarily a voting rights bill, and showed Congress’s support for the decision in Brown v Board of Education (1954), which had resulted in public schools being desegregated.

30 August 1967The first African American Justice of the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, is confirmed.

31 August 1935The U.S. passes the first of its Neutrality Acts, the Neutrality Act of 1935, in an attempt to avoid the growing aggression in turmoil in Europe and Asia. The Act imposed a general embargo on trading in arms and war materials with all parties in a war.

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This Month In US Legal History: July Edition http://www.jplps.com/month-us-legal-history-july-edition/ Sat, 01 Jul 2017 08:06:35 +0000 http://www.jplps.com/?p=28194 John Scopes, Aaron Burr and NASA are a few names that make appearances in the July Edition of Daily US Legal History.

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Day-By-Day Walk Through US Legal History: July

1 July 1862President Lincoln signs off on the Tax Act of 1862 – the first US federal income tax act.

2 July 1890Congress passes the Sherman Antitrust Act – putting limitations on business activities that were considered to be anti-competitive or conducive to the creation of monopolies.

3 July 1978In FCC v Pacifica Foundation, the Supreme Court held that the Federal Communications Commission was not acting wrongly when it reprimanded the radio station WBAI for a Filthy Words sketch that it broadcast.

4 July 1776The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress; the document was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and declared that the 13 American colonies were no longer under the rule of the British Empire.

5 July 1935The National Labor Relations Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt – the Act guaranteed the right of employees to organize in trade unions, take collective action and engage in collective bargaining with their employers.

6 July 1983The Supreme Court in Barclay v Florida decided to uphold a death sentence for a racially motivated murder.

7 July 1911The first treaty motivated by wildlife preservation objectives – the North Pacific Fur Seal Convention of 1911 – is signed by the US, Great Britain, Japan and Russia. The treaty banned open-water seal hunting.

8 July 1777Vermont adopts a new state constitution which bans slavery – making it the first state to formally abolish slavery.

9 July 1868The 14th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, granting African Americans equal protection under the law.

10 July 1850The 13th President of the United States, Millard Fillmore, was sworn in after his predecessor, President Taylor, died. His work towards the Compromise of 1850 led to a short truce in the slavery debate.

11 July 1921  – William Howard Taft, who served as the 27th President of the United States from 1909 to 1913, is sworn in as new chief justice of the Supreme Court.

12 July 1804Alexander Hamilton is killed in a duel with Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr. Hamilton was one of the Founding Fathers of the US, and the first Secretary of the Treasury.

13 July 1787The Congress of the Confederation of the United States passes the Northwest Ordinance, organizing the territory of the US and allowing for the creation of no less than 3 and no more than 5 new states where slavery was to be prohibited.

14 July 1798Congress passed the Sedition Act of 1798 – making it a crime to publish false or scandalous statements that criticized the federal government. After much public and government concern, the Act was allowed to expire in 1800.

15 July 1949Congress passes the Federal Housing Act, a key part of Truman’s Fair Deal, which increased the role of the federal government in insuring and issuing mortgages and providing public housing.

16 July 1790The District of Columbia becomes the capital of the US after the Residence Act was signed.

17 July 1984Congress passes the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, requiring that all states increase the drinking age to 21 or lose 10% of federal highway funds (many had been decreasing the legal age since the age of voting had become 18).

18 July – 

19 July 1848Women gather at Seneca Falls for the first time in US history to protest for women’s rights. Almost 100 women attended the gathering.

20 July 1848100 of the attendees at the Seneca Falls Convention sign the Declaration of Sentiments, part of a continuing struggle to achieve civil, political, property and legal rights for women.

21 July 1925A trial in Dayton, Tennessee, dubbed the ‘monkey trial’ came to an end. John T. Scopes was convicted of violating state law because he taught Darwin’s theory of evolution in a state funded school.

22 July 1939Jane Matilda Bolin becomes the first black woman to be appointed as a judge in the US. She was appointed to New York City’s Domestic Relations Court.

23 July 1885The 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, dies. He had worked closely with Lincoln to achieve victory over the Confederacy in the American Civil War, was fiercely anti-slavery and protected African American civil rights.

24 July 1866Tennessee is the first state to be re-admitted to the Union. Many residents of the state were unhappy with the move, especially those that were unwilling to accept that slavery was now prohibited.

25 July 1969President Nixon proclaims his ‘Nixon Doctrine’ – making it clear that allies of the U.S. in Asia would be expected to take care of their own military defense.

26 July 1948In signing into existence Executive Order 9981, President Truman allowed for fair treatment and equality in the armed services.

27 July 1974The House Judiciary Committee votes 27-11 to recommend that President Nixon be impeached for his role in the Watergate scandal.

28 July 1868The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed equal protection of the laws and due process for former slaves, was declared to be in effect.

29 July 1958NASA was created when President Eisenhower signed into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act, motivated by the Soviet Union’s Sputnik launch and the inability of the US to compete in a space race.

30 July 1965The foundations of the Medicare system are laid when President Lyndon Johnson signs the Medicare Bill into law. It came into effect in 1966.

31 July 1790The first patent in the US is issued under the patent statute that came into effect in April 1790. The inventor Samuel Hopkins petitioned for a patent to apply to his invention of an improved way of making potash.

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This Month In US Legal History: June Edition http://www.jplps.com/month-us-legal-history-june-edition/ Thu, 01 Jun 2017 07:58:48 +0000 http://www.jplps.com/?p=28193 Miranda rights, the right to an attorney and not saluting the flag are a few rights that were gained in the May Edition of Daily US Legal History.

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Day-By-Day Walk Through US Legal History: June

1 June 1792Kentucky became the 15th state.

2 June 1924President Calvin Coolidge signs the Indian Citizenship Act, such that all Native Americans born within U.S. territory would be granted citizenship.

3 June 1918The Supreme Court in Hammer v Dagenhart found that the Keating-Owen Child Labour Act was unconstitutional because it went beyond the scope of the commerce power afforded to Congress.

4 June 1928Wiretapped private telephone conversations were deemed to be permissible evidence by the Supreme Court in Olmstead v U.S.

5 June 1950 – In Sweatt v Painter the Supreme Court ordered that the University Texas Law School admit African American students.

6 June 2005The Supreme Court upholds a federal law that banned cannabis, and medical marijuana. (The case was Gonzales v Raich).

7 June 1965In Griswold v Connecticut, the Supreme Court hands down its decision, holding that a Connecticut law preventing persons from using contraception violated a “right to marital privacy”.

8 June 1953The Supreme Court held that restaurants in Washington D.C. could not refuse to serve African American patrons.

9 June 1969Warren Burger is confirmed by the US Senate to be chief justice of the Supreme Court. He replaced the outgoing Earl Warren.

10 June 1964The US Senate finally breaks a 75-day filibuster led by the ‘Southern Bloc’ against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, leading to the passage of the bill.

11 June 1993The Supreme Court holds that extra punishment may be meted out to those who commit ‘hate crimes’ out of bigotry.

12 June 1967In Loving v Virginia, the Supreme Court ruled that the Racial Integrity Act 1924, which prohibited marriage between white and colored people, was unconstitutional.

13 June 1966The Supreme Court in Miranda v Arizona held that statements made by a defendant whilst in police custody would be un-admissible unless at trial unless it could be shown that the defendant had been informed of the right to consult with an attorney and the right not to incriminate oneself during police questioning.

14 June 1943In West Virginia Board of Education v Barnette the Supreme Court held that school children could not be forced to salute the US flag if it went against their religious beliefs.

15 June 1804The 12th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, which led to the Electoral College holding separate votes of President and Vice-President.

16 June 1897A treaty to annex the Republic of Hawaii to the U.S. is signed after a unanimous vote of the Republic of Hawaii Legislature.

17 June 1994Police charged O.J. Simpson with murdering his ex-wife and her friend. A chase along 50miles of highways in Southern California ensued before Simpson finally surrendered.

18 June 1948The International Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

19 June 1862The U.S. Congress voids the decision in Dred Scott v Sandford by putting a bar on slavery is U.S. territories.

20 June 2002In Atkins v Virginia the Supreme Court held that executing an person convicted of murder but who had an intellectual disability violated the 8th Amendment. States were left with the power to decide what ‘intellectual disability’ meant.

21 June 1788The United States Constitution is ratified by the states. The Constitution created the national government, entrenching the doctrines of separation of powers and federalism.

22 June 1964In Escobedo v Illinois the Supreme Court ruled that suspects have the right to have an attorney present while they are questioned by the police.

23 June 2003The Supreme Court upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s policy of vetting applications to favor under-represented minorities. In Grutter v Bollinger it was held that the School’s policy did not amount to a quota system, which would be unconstitutional, as it took into account a variety of other factors in assessing an individual’s application.

24 June 1948A peace-time draft register for U.S. citizens aged 18-25 was created after President Truman signed the Military Selective Service Act.

25 June 2014The Supreme Court handed down its decision in Riley v California, holding that court rules in certain circuits allowing for the search and seizure of a cell phone during an arrest, and without a warrant, was unconstitutional. The Court held that a warrant is required to seize a cell phone and search its contents.

26 June 2015The Defense of Marriage Act was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Act had been introduced in 1996 under President Bill Clinton and barred the recognition of same-sex marriage.

27 June 1980President Jimmy Carter signed into law an Act to revive registration for the draft.

28 June 2000In Boy Scouts of America v Dale, the Supreme Court held that the Boys Scouts of America (BSA) was able to exclude homosexuals from the association, based on the association’s constitutional right to freedom of expression – opposition to homosexuality being a key message of the BSA.

29 June 1972The death penalty is held to a cruel and unusual punishment that is contrary to the 8th Amendment and consequently unconstitutional (Furman v Georgia).

30 June 1971The 26th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, making 18 the legal age to vote.

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This Month In US Legal History: May Edition http://www.jplps.com/month-us-legal-history-may-edition/ Mon, 01 May 2017 07:50:12 +0000 http://www.jplps.com/?p=28191 Standard Oil, Enron and Abu Grahab are a few names that make appearances in the May Edition of Daily US Legal History.

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Day-By-Day Walk Through US Legal History: May

1 May 1884The eight-hour work day proclaimed to be in place across the United States.

2 May 1972Former head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, dies.  

3 May 1948In Shelley v Kraemer the Supreme Court upheld the legality of covenants that prohibited real estate from being sold to African Americans and other minorities.

4 May 1970Four students are killed by the Ohio National Guard during protests against the government’s Cambodian campaign in the Vietnam War at Kent State University.

5 May 1809Mary Kies is the first woman in the U.S. to be awarded a patent. She had pioneered a unique weaving technique.

6 May 1882President Chester A. Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Act prohibited Chinese from being given U.S. citizenship, and barred Chinese workers from entering the U.S.

7 May 1992The 27th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified. The Amendment prohibits Congress from giving pay rises to its members in the middle of a term.

8 May 1884The man who was to become 33rd President of the United States, Harry S Truman, was born.

9 May 1974Impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon commence. Led by Rep. Peter Rodino, the hearings related to Nixon’s connections to the Watergate scandal.

10 May 1893The Supreme Court in the decision Nix v Hedden rules that, for the purposes of the Tariff Act of 1883, a tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit.

11 May 1910Congress passes an Act to establish the Glacier National Park in Montana.

12 May 1949The new Basic Law of Germany is approved by the Allied powers as the new constitution for Germany. The Basic Law continues to govern Germany today.

13 May 1966The U.S. Government decides to respond to states violating the Civil Rights Act 1964 by refusing to fund 12 segregated school districts in the South.

14 May 1787Delegates meet in Philadelphia to attend a Constitutional Convention and draft the new Constitution for the United States.

15 May 1911In Standard Oil Co of New Jersey v U.S., the Supreme Court held that Standard Oil was in violation of the Sherman Act and ordered that the company be dissolved.

16 May 1918The Sedition Act of 1918 is passed by Congress, making it an offence to criticize the government during times of war. It was repealed less than two years later.

17 May 1954US Supreme Court hands down its decision in Brown v Board of Education, overturning the ‘separate but equal doctrine’ and declaring that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”. Racial segregation was held to violate the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

18 May 1896The decision in the landmark constitutional law case Plessy v Ferguson is handed down by the Supreme Court. The Court upheld laws that segregated public facilities on the basis of race, using the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’.

19 May 2004Specialist Jeremy C Sivits is given a years imprisonment and is discharged for bad conduct by a court-martial following the Abu Ghraib prison abuses.

20 May 1996The Supreme Court decision in Romer v Evans holds that a state constitutional amendment in Colorado that prevented protected status on the basis of homosexuality or bisexuality violated the Equal Protection Clause.

21 May 1934Oskaloosa, in Iowa, fingerprints all its citizens – the first municipality in the U.S. to do so.

22 May 1947The Truman doctrine is enacted and Congress begins to appropriate economic and military assistance for Turkey and Greece.

23 May 1788South Carolina ratifies the US Constitution – becoming the eighth state to do so.

24 May 2002 Russia and the U.S. sign the Moscow Treaty, whereby both countries agreed to reduce their strategic arms and nuclear arsenal.

25 May 2006 The two men who were chief executives of Enron during the rise and collapse of the company – Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling – are found guilty of fraud and conspiracy.

26 May 1868President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial comes to an end, with the Senate one vote short of the two-thirds majority needed to impeach him.

27 May 1935A key part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal plan, the National Industrial Recovery Act, is rendered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because its regulation of the poultry industry were an invalid use of the commerce power.

28 May 1830President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act into law, allowing the forceful exchange of Indian lands in the Southeast for land owned by the federal government in the West.

29 May 1917John F. Kennedy is born. He went on to become 35th President of the United States, and was assassinated in 1963.

30 May 1997Jesse K. Timmendequas is convicted for raping and strangling a 7-year old girl. The case led to ‘Megan’s Law’ which required that communities be given notice if a sex offender moves into the area.

31 May 1790The Copyright Act of 1790 is enacted, becoming the first copyright statute for the U.S.

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This Month In US Legal History: April Edition http://www.jplps.com/month-us-legal-history-april-edition/ Sat, 01 Apr 2017 07:41:18 +0000 http://www.jplps.com/?p=28190 Muhammad Ali, John Wilkes Booth and Charles Manson are a few names that make appearances in the April Edition of Daily US Legal History.

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Day-By-Day Walk Through US Legal History: April

1 April 1863The first wartime conscription legislation in the U.S. comes into effect. The legislation included a ‘rich man’s’ exception, which allowed persons to pay $300 in order to avoid the draft. This exception sparked violent riots in New York City in July 1863.

2 April 1970In a test to the constitutionality of the Vietnam War, the Governor of Massachusetts signs into law an anti-Vietnam War Bill. The Bill exempted drafted men from serving overseas until Congress declared war under Article 1 of the US Constitution.

3 April 1948President Truman signed the Foreign Assistance Act, bringing into effect his Marshall Plan. The Plan allocated over $5billion in aid to be distributed to 16 countries in Europe.

4 April 1818Congress decides that the flag for the United States would have 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, and that an additional star would be added for each new state.

5 April 1792The first presidential veto is cast by President George Washington to reject a measure from Congress that was to apportion representatives among the state on the basis that it was unconstitutional.

6 April 1931Nine African American men are put on trial in Alabama based on allegations that they had raped two white women on a train trip from Tennessee.

7 April 1969The Supreme Court hands down its decision in Stanley v Georgia, which was key to the establishment of a right the privacy in the US. The Court struck down a law that prohibited the possession of obscene materials on the basis that it was unconstitutional.

8 April 1913The 17th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified. The amendment provided that senators were to be elected by popular vote, not selected by state legislatures.

9 April 1866African Americans are granted citizenship of the US, and African American males are allowed the same rights as white males.

10 April 1790The Patent Act of 1970, the first Patent Act in America, is approved by Congress. The Act gave inventors the right to patent an invention and keep the patent for 14 years, as well as establishing the US Patent Board.

11 April 1921Iowa becomes the first state in the US to impose a tax on cigarettes.

12 April 1945President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was the 32nd President of the United States, and Harry S. Truman stepped into the presidency after his death.

13 April 1743Thomas Jefferson was born on this day. He went on to become President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence.

14 April 1775Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush established the first anti-slavery organization in America.

15 April 1861President Lincoln died after being shot nine hours beforehand. He was shot by John Wilkes Booth whilst attending a comedy show in Washington.

16 April 1818The Rush-Bagot Treaty is ratified by the United States Senate; establishing the border between Canada and the U.S.

17 April 1905The Supreme Court hands down its decision in Lochner v New York. The Court held that a New York law attempting to limit working hours violated the ‘freedom of contract’ implied in the 14th Amendment.

18 April 2007 – The Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act 2003 is upheld by the Supreme Court in the case Gonzales v Carhart. The Court considered that the Act did not place an undue burden on women so as to infringe their right to obtain an abortion.

19 April 1971Charles Manson is sentenced to death for conspiracy to commit the murders of seven people, including Sharon Tate. His sentence was later commuted to life in prison.

20 April 1946The League of Nations, the brainchild of President Wilson, is dissolved. Most of its powers were passed on to the United Nations.

21 April 1789John Adams was sworn in and became the first vice president of the United States.

22 April 1994Richard Nixon died in New York four days after suffering a stroke. He served as the 37th President of the United States.

23 April 2010Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act into law. It was one of the most strict anti-illegal immigration laws in US history, requiring aliens to register within 30 days and to carry registration documents at all times.

24 April 1800Congress approved a bill that would establish the Library of Congress.

25 April 1938The Supreme Court hands down its decision in Erie Railroad Co v Tompkins. The decision overturned decades of federal common law, holding that the federal courts hearing state law claims were not empowered to create general federal law.

26 April 2000Governor Howard Dean of Vermont signed a bill allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions, the first to do so in the U.S.

27 April 1861President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in some Mid-western states and Maryland. He took this measure to deal with Union states that bordered confederate states and were threatening to secede, and to manage anti-draft riots during the American Civil War.

28 April 1994Aldrich Ames, a former CIA analyst and officer, pleads guilty to passing U.S. state secrets to the Russians.

29 April 1967Muhammad Ali is stripped of his boxing title after refusing the join the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

30 April 1789George Washington took the oath of office in New York, becoming the first President of the United States.

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This Month In US Legal History: March Edition http://www.jplps.com/month-us-legal-history-march-edition/ Wed, 01 Mar 2017 08:07:41 +0000 http://www.jplps.com/?p=28178 Jack Kevorkian, Terry Schiavo and Dred Scott are a few names that make appearances in the March Edition of Daily US Legal History.

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Day-By-Day Walk Through US Legal History: March

1 March 1875Civil Rights Act of 1875 is passed and allows African Americans to access public transport and other accommodations. In the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, the Supreme Court ruled that the Act was unconstitutional.

2 March 1807Congress puts an end to the African slave trade with the passage of an act that prohibits the importation of slaves from overseas to the US. This did not put an end to the trade of slaves in the South.

3 March 1879Belva Ann Lockwood, a feminist, politician and attorney is the first woman admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court. She lobbied Congress throughout the 1870s until they finally passed an anti-discrimination law that she herself had drafted. She first argued a case before the Supreme Court in late 1880.

4 March 1789On this day the government under the U.S. Constitution began. The first congress was held in New York, although only nine senators and 13 representatives were in attendance to negotiate the amendment of the Constitution.

5 March 1984The Supreme Court hands down its decision in the case Lynch v Donnelly, which challenged the annual Christmas display of Pawtucket, Rhode Island on the basis that it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The Court held that the display was not in violation of the Amendment and had “legitimate secular purposes”.

6 March 1857Decision in case of Dred Scott v Sanford is handed down, with the court holding that African Americans did not have standing to sue in the federal court because they were not citizens.

7 March 2011U.S. President Barack Obama reverses a two-year ban on military trials in the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

8 March 1917The cloture rule (Rule 22) is adopted by Congress to limit filibusters. Under this rule the Senate was able to end a debate with a two-thirds majority vote.

9 March 1841The Supreme Court rules that illegally kidnapped African slaves who had rebelled on the Spanish ship La Armistad in 1839 had acted as free men and were entitled to take necessary measures to escape captivity.

10 March 1848The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, a peace treaty that ended the Mexico-American War, is ratified by the U.S. Senate. The treaty gave the U.S. ownership of California, a large part of New Mexico, parts of Wyoming and Colorado and the majority of Arizona, Utah and Nevada.

11 March 1941President Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Bill, which was to provide the Allied countries of WWII with rations of food, oil and materials until the end of the war. $50.1 billion worth of supplies were shipped under the Bill.

12 March 1993The first female Attorney General of the U.S., Janet Reno, is sworn in. She became the second longest serving Attorney General, retaining her position throughout Bill Clinton’s term.

13 March 1925 – The state of Tennessee passed the Butler Act to ban evolution from being taught in schools, and to prohibit teachers from denying the biblical account of human origins. The law remained in place until 1967.

14 March 1900The Gold Standard Act was approved, putting an end to the practice of exchanging silver for gold and making gold the only metal that could be used to redeem paper money.

15 March 1965President Johnson gave a speech before a joint session of Congress, urging Congress to pass new legislation that would guarantee the right to vote for all Americans.

16 March 1751James Madison is born in Virginia. He went on to become the ‘founding father’ of the American Constitution and serve as the fourth President of the United States.

17 March 2011The UN Security Council passes Resolution 1973 to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and authorize military action to protect civilians.

18 March 1963The Supreme Court holds that the 6th Amendment to the Constitution requires states to provide counsel for defendants who could not afford to take on their own attorneys. Gideon v Wainwright extended the right to representation from the federal government to the state governments.

19 March 1920The Treaty of Versailles, a peace agreement between Germany and the Allied countries of WWI, is rejected for the second time by the U.S. senate. The vote count fell seven votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to approve the Treaty, and failed in particular because of Senate majority leader Henry Cabot Lodge’s vocal opposition to the establishment of the League of Nations.

20 March 1816The Supreme Court asserts its power to make decisions that bind the states in civil matters of federal law. Martin v Hunter’s Lessee was the first case to affirm the Supreme Court’s authority in such cases.

21 March 2000 – In FDA v Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp, a pivotal case in US administrative law, the Supreme Court holds that the FDA’s attempt to label tobacco products as ‘drugs’ or ‘devices’ and regulate them as such went beyond the authority given to the body under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

22 March 1972The proposed Equal Right Amendment to the Constitution, which purported to prohibit any law or action of government from discriminating on the basis of sex, was sent to the states for approval. It was not able to muster the necessary three-fourths approval.

23 March 2010President Barack Obama signs the Affordable Care Act, bringing into law the most significant change in healthcare in the U.S. since the introduction of Medicare in 1965.

24 March 2005The famous Terri Schiavo right to life case comes to an end as the Supreme Court denies an appeal by the parents of Ms Schiavo to have her feeding tube re-inserted. Terri Schiavo had been in a vegetative state for almost 15 years, and her husband and legal guardian had elected to remove her feeding tube.

25 March 1931In Alabama, nine black teenagers are arrested for allegedly raping two white women. What followed was a series of legal cases, culminating in the Supreme Court decisions Powell v Alabama and Norris v Alabama, which overturned the convictions and death sentences of the nine men.

26 March 1999Dr Jack Kevorkian, also known as ‘Dr Death’, was convicted of  second-degree murder and delivery of a controlled substance for a lethal injection that he gave to Thomas Youk, whose death was shown on 60 Minutes. He was sentenced to 10-25 years in prison.

27 March 1866President Andrew Johnson used his executive power to veto a bill that would later become the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, and which was to give all American slaves full US citizenship.

28 March 1978In Stump v Sparkman, the leading decision on judicial immunity, the Supreme Court decides 5-3 that the Indiana judge who ordered that a young woman be sterilized as a minor was immune from being sued for issuing the order.

29 March 1951Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted under the Espionage Act of 1917 of conspiracy to commit espionage after the passed US nuclear secret to the Soviet Union.

30 March 1870African American men were given the right to vote when the 15th Amendment of the Constitution was declared in effect.

31 March 1976The New Jersey Supreme Court upholds the request of Karen Ann Quinlan’s parents to disconnect her respirator, holding that the right to make a private decision about her fate was stronger than the state’s right to keep her alive.

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