Major court cases can be very influential in American culture. Some cases, such as Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, forever changed the culture and laws of the United States. Some, such as the OJ Simpson case, captivated the entire nation as people from across the country tuned in to follow the legal proceedings. Legal cases also have the ability to sharply divide a nation, such as Roe v. Wade. It is no surprise that the nation’s legal system has the ability to drastically shape the laws and culture of America. The following five landmark cases changed the cultural landscape of America.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
The 1954 case of Brown v. Board of Education is one of America’s most landmark Supreme Court decisions. This decision declared that public schools could not segregate black and white students and overturned the longstanding pro-segratation decision from Plessy v. Ferguson. Brown v. Board of Education gave the civil rights movement a huge victory and forever changed the way that American public schools integrated children of all racial backgrounds.
Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade is one of America’s most controversial decisions. In 1973, Roe v. Wade extended 14th amendment protections to women who wish to have an abortion. The deep divide between supporters and opponents of the decision remains, 40 years later. In addition to the decision regarding abortion, Roe v. Wade also addressed the role of religion in politics.
Scopes “Monkey” Trial
In 1925, high school teacher John Scopes was accused of violating the state of Tennessee’s Butler Act by teaching human evolution in a public school. It was eventually determined that the entire trial was staged and was an attempt to attract publicity to Dayton, Tennessee. Despite being staged, the trial triggered a nationwide debate on creation versus evolution, as well as how the beginnings of human life should be addressed in public schools.
OJ Simpson Case
The OJ Simpson trial was one of the first trials in American history that captivated the entire nation. Millions across the country watched live coverage of the trial of former football star OJ Simpson, who was charged with the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. He was later acquitted, and like many groundbreaking trials in our country, the verdict sparked racial divide.
The OJ Simpson case also changed the way Americans were able to view the legal process. For the first time, Americans were able to see inside the courtrooms on live television. Instead of reading coverage of the trial in the newspaper, Americans were able to watch every minute of the trial, as well as listen to commentaries from broadcasters, witnesses and legal experts that jurors were not able to hear.
George Zimmerman Case
The 2013 trial of George Zimmerman triggered a nationwide debate on the “Stand Your Ground” laws that exist in 22 states. While the actual trial did not evoke the use of the law, Americans across the country formulated opinions on whether citizens should be able to use deadly force if they feel threatened by another person. George Zimmerman was acquitted of second degree murder in the death of teenager Trayvon Martin. While this trial focused on self-defense, it also sparked protests and debates about racism.
Not every case brought before the Courts is a land mark decision that changes history. However, the Tucson lawyers at the Brei Law Firm understand that your case is just as important. Call our office today with questions about your real estate, construction, business or personal injury matter.