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The First Hundred Years
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Review the Court's History Landmark Cases Photo of meatpackers working on a factory production line
In the Antebellum period, the main issue facing the United States involved the proper balance of power between the states and the federal government. How did the Court interpret the Constitution in light of this issue -- and what effect did its decisions have on the course of history?

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Many of these cases have names you've never heard before, but each of them has had a profound impact on all areas of American life, including education, law enforcement, taxes, and privacy.

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Portrait of Stephen Field Biographies of the Robes Majority Rules
Illustration depicting the sihouettes of a group of people What powers belong only to the federal government? What powers do the states have that the federal government does not? What does the Constitution say about this issue? Find out how the Court has answered these questions over the years.

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From its inception in 1790, the Supreme Court has included diverse personalities from across the political spectrum, from brilliant scholars to seasoned politicians. Their ranks include former
Primary Sources Read the Constitutional amendments that were directly or indirectly impacted by Supreme Court decisions. Explore public and presidential reactions to early Supreme Court opinions.

senators, congressmen, a president, and even a member of the NFL Hall of Fame.
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''In view of the constitution, in the eye of the law there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.'' a quote by John Marshall Harlan Did You Know? During the Court's early years in Washington, D.C., the justices were often displaced by construction from their chambers in the Capitol -- and would meet instead in nearby homes and taverns.