Essay:Reversible Court Decisions

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The replacement of moderate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor by conservative Justice Samuel Alito makes it possible to overturn the following liberal Court decisions:

  1. Texas Monthly, Inc. v. Bullock, 489 U.S. 1 (1989), a 6-3 decision invalidating a tax exemption limited to the sale of religious literature by religious organizations as preferential support of religion in violation of the Establishment Clause; Marshall and O'Connor were since replaced by Thomas and Alito.
  2. Jackson v. Birmingham Bd. of Ed., a 5-4 decision establishing a cause of action for retaliation under Title IX
  3. Hibbs v. Winn, a 5-4 decision rejecting application of the Tax Injunction Act to an Establishment Clause challenge to income-tax credits for payments to organizations that award educational scholarships and tuition grants to children attending private schools in Arizona.
  4. Plyler v. Doe, a 5-4 decision declaring a constitutional right to a free public school education for illegal aliens.
  5. Hill v. Colorado, a 6-3 decision limiting the First Amendment right of free speech within 100 feet of an abortion clinic.[1]


  1. Both Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor were in the majority.