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Top 5 Cases From the Supreme Court's 2011 Term

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

The Supreme Court's 2011 term was a busy one as usual.

Several high-profile decisions were handed down, including one that may define President Obama's presidency.

Along with the Obamacare decision, other major Supreme Court cases involved state immigration powers, lying about military medals, prisoner rights, and GPS tracking. Here are our top five cases from the 2011 term:

  1. SCOTUS Upholds Individual Mandate. Be prepared to purchase health insurance. In a surprising decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Obamacare. Now nearly everyone will need to buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty.
  2. Arizona Wins/Loses Immigration Decision. The Court found that the State of Arizona could require police officers to check suspected illegal immigrants for immigration status. However, the state could not make it a crime to be in the state illegally or to work illegally.
  3. GPS Tracking is Unreasonable. You can’t attach a GPS tracking device onto a suspect’s car without a warrant.
  4. Prison Strip Search Upheld. Don’t get arrested in New Jersey. The court upheld the state’s prison strip search policy finding broad rights for the prison to conduct searches if there was a safety interest. In this case, a man was stripped searched twice for an unpaid fine which he in fact had paid.
  5. Free Speech Includes Lies It’s free speech to tell lies — even if the lies concern military medals. The federal government had passed a law that made it a crime to say you received certain medals in combat. But the Court found that the First Amendment protected such lies and struck down the law. However, lying might still be fraud, and that is a crime.

These are some of the most important Supreme Court cases from 2011. A mixed bag of cases that affects just about every American.

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