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Landmark Cases in US Supreme Court History: Barron vs Baltimore & Engel vs Vitale

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Alyssia Franco

on 17 April 2015

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Transcript of Landmark Cases in US Supreme Court History: Barron vs Baltimore & Engel vs Vitale

Landmark Cases in US Supreme Court History:
Barron vs Baltimore


Engel vs Vitale

Kessy Bigott


Alyssia Franco

engel vs vitale

Question Being Asked By The Courts:
Court Decision:

Barron v Baltimore
Question being answered by the court:

According to the 5th Amendment, should the state compensate for the use of private property?
Final Court Decision
Constitutional Issue
Does the 5th Amendment apply to state governments as well as the federal government?
John Barron was a co-owner of a wharf in the harbor of Baltimore.
The city of Baltimore diverted some of the flow of streams to construct streets. The streams were led to the Baltimore Harbor.
Sand was accumulated around Barron's wharf and it became too shallow for ships to do business there.
Barron sued the city to recover some of his financial losses.
5th Amendment states: "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
No. The Constitution was specifically intended to limit the powers of the national government. The 5th Amendment does not apply to state governments since states have their own constitutions.
Guarantees in the Bill of Rights only applies to actions of the federal government, not individual state governments.
Barron v Baltimore
Constitutional Issue
Why was this case important?
Does the reading of a nondenominational prayer at the start of the school day violate the "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment?
A New York State law had required public schools to begin each day with the Pledge of Allegiance and a nondenominational prayer in where the students acknowledged their dependence on God. The law, while making such activity a requirement, contradicted itself in allowing students to not participate in this should they find it to be objective. A parent sued on behalf of his child, arguing that this law had violated the Establishment Clause found in the First Amendment, made applicable to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
6 votes for Engel, 1 vote against
The courts voted to agree that the School Sponsored Prayer in public schools was unconstitutional.
The purpose of the First Amendment was so that there could be a freedom religion, speech, press, etc., but but the courts ruling that there should be no religion interference in public schools, they have interfeared with the First Amendment.
It is unconstitutional for state officials to create a school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools.
Engel vs Vitale
Full transcript