The 10 Most Crucial Supreme Court Decisions Under Chief Justice Roberts

Justice John RobertsChief Justice John Roberts being sworn in.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court, under Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld Obamacare Thursday, in its biggest opinion in decades.It is not, however, the only game-changing case he has presided over as chief justice. Here are 10 other important decisions handed down by the Roberts court:

  • 2006- House v. Bell: In a landmark decision that freed many innocent men, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 (Scalia did not participate) that DNA forensic evidence found after a death penalty conviction can be used to overturn a conviction.
  • 2006- Hamdan v. Rumsfeld: In a 5-3 vote (Roberts was recused because had ruled on this case in a lower court), the court ruled that the Bush administration could not prosecute detainees at Guantanamo Bay by military commissions.
  • 2007- Gonzalez v. Carhart: The court upheld Congress’ Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, by a 5-4 vote, a first-of-its-kind law that prohibited abortions in the second trimester.
  • 2007- Massachusetts v. EPA: In a major victory for environmentalists and the green movement, the court ruled in a 5-4 vote that the EPA could regulate carbon dioxide and other emissions across the country.
  • 2008- Crawford v. Marion County Election Board: Indiana’s 2005 law that required all citizens to show photo identification in order to vote was ruled constitutional in a 6-3 vote.
  • 2008- District of Columbia v. Heller: In a gigantic win for the pro-gun lobby, the court ruled by a 5-4 vote that that the Second Amendment allows individuals to keep guns in their homes.
  • 2010- Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission: In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations were free to buy ads to influence political elections.
  • 2011- Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores: In the largest civil rights suit case in history, the court voted 5-4 that women across the nation did not have enough in common to sue Wal-Mart for gender discrimination.
  • 2011- Chamber of Commerce v Whiting: In a victory for advocates against illegal immigration, the court upheld, in a 5-3 vote (Justice Kagan did not participate) an Arizona law that punished business owners for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. 
  • 2012- Arizona v. United States: In a case just decided, the court ruled in a 5-3 decision (Justice Elena Kagan was not involved) that major parts of Arizona’s strict immigration law were not permissible because they stepped on the government’s toes.

DON’T MISS: 23 Eye-Opening Quotes From The Supreme Court Obamacare Decision >

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