Loving v. Virginia (1967), legalizing interracial marriage.
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. U.S. (1964), upholding the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed racial segregation in public facilities such as hotels, restaurants and movie theaters.
Reynolds v. Sims (1964). “One-person, one-vote is constitutionally required. For any legislative body with districts, all districts must be about the same in population. This decision made government far more democratic and representative,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, University of California, Irvine.
These are among several nominations for a Time magazine piece. I was surprised to see that quite a few landmark decisions were not included, among them:
Engel v. Vitale (1962). The government cannot force children in a public school to recite a 22-word prayer at the beginning of the day. This led to the increasing secularization of American society.
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), guaranteeing a poor defendant’s right to a lawyer, even if the state had to pay for the lawyer.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966), requiring police to inform a suspect of his legal rights, to remain silent (not answer questions) without a lawyer present, and to have the court appoint an attorney.
Other milestone decisions.
List of landmark Supreme Court decisions.
I have not included seminal decisions on free speech, free press, privacy and national security in this list, because I cover those issues in my blog on Communications, http://jimbuie.wordpress.com.