Five Hilarious Supreme Court Cases

Five Hilarious Supreme Court Cases

These are the silliest cases to ever be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court

Since 1789 the United States Supreme Court has seen a surplus of cases; some more controversial than others. Cases like Roe v. Wade or Miranda v. Arizona have made a major impact in the present. However, this article is going to put the spotlight on five hilarious cases that have made its way to the highest federal court in the United States.

5. United States v. Ninety-Five Barrels Alleged Apple Cider Vinegar

The first case on this list is very special in its own unique way. This Supreme Court case is one of those rare instances when an inanimate object, instead of an actual individual or a group of people. In U.S. v. Ninety-Five Barrels Alleged Apple Cider Vinegar manufacturer, Douglas Packing Company's secret to their apple cider vinegar was dehydrating fresh apples, the manufacturer would then re-hydrate those same apples with pure water, thus producing their vinegar.

The Supreme Court held that apple cider vinegar can be misleading to consumers. What exactly do I mean by this? Well, the label that was issued on said product indicated that the vinegar was made from "selected" apples.

4. Coates v. Cincinnati

In this strange case, the Supreme Court Justices were asked to define the word "annoying." Fast forward to 1956 the city of Cincinnati, Ohio passed local legislation, which states that "It shall be unlawful for three or more persons to assemble, except at a public meeting of citizens, on any of the sidewalks, street corners, vacant lots or mouths of alleys, and there conduct themselves in a manner annoying to persons passing by, or occupants of adjacent buildings "

Many students including the Plaintiff, Mr. Coates found it impossible for the city to determine what one individual might constitute as "annoying," which would make this law extremely broad and unconstitutional as it violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.

The court in Coates stroke down the law and held that “The ordinance before us makes a crime out of what under the Constitution cannot be a crime. It is aimed directly at activity protected by the Constitution. We need not lament that we do not have before us the details of the conduct found to be annoying.”

3. United States v. Causby

Up until 1946 American property owners would live by the phrase, Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelumet ad inferos, which is Latin for “whoever owns the soil, it’s theirs, all the way to heaven and hell." Yup, back then old English common law gave property owners the big thumbs up to do numerous things to their property such as mining or drilling for oil.

In U.S. v. Causby Thomas Lee Causby owned a chicken farm near a North Carolina military airstrip. Unfortunately, due to the sound of low-flying planes, many of Causby's chickens were startled, causing many chickens their untimely deaths. After losing 150 of his chickens, Causby was forced to give up his farm, he then turned around and sued the federal government, seeking compensation under the "takings clause" of the Fifth Amendment’s.

The court held that property does not extend indefinitely upward, thus eliminating "ad coelum," holding that "if the landowner is to have full enjoyment of the land, he must have exclusive control of the immediate reaches of the enveloping atmosphere."

Without this ruling, your favorite airline(s) would have to apply for thousands upon thousands of permits just to make those long distance flights. So thank you, Mr. Causby, (sorry about your chickens though).

2. Rowan v. United States Post Office Department

Don't you just hate that pesky junk mail? Don't you just wish you could just remove your name from the recipient list? Well, legally YOU CAN!

In 1967, the Postal Revenue and Federal Salary Act required all businesses to stop sending erotic material to individual households, so long as the recipient requested it. The appellants claimed that this act was a restriction on a businesses freedom of speech. Unfortunately for them, the court thought otherwise.

In Rowan v. U.S. Post Office Dept. the court held (1.) the statute allows the addressee unreviewable discretion to decide whether he wishes to receive any further material from a particular sender; (2.) a vendor does not have a constitutional right to send unwanted material into someone's home, and a mailer's right to communicate must stop at the mailbox of an unreceptive addressee; (3.) the statute comports with the Due Process Clause, as it provides for an administrative hearing if the sender violates the Postmaster General's prohibitory order, and a judicial hearing prior to issuance of any compliance order by a district court; and (4.) the statute does not violate due process by requiring that the sender removed the complaining addressee' name from his mailing lists, nor is the statute unconstitutionally vague, as the sender knows precisely what he must do when he receives a prohibitory order.

1. Nix v. Hedden

Ah, the million dollar question - "tomato: fruit? or a vegetable?" Now you can hear good reasons as to why a tomato is one and not the other, but according to this 1893 case tomatoes legally are considered "vegetables" under the Tariff Act of 1883.

Back during the 1880s, the Port of New York placed a tax on tomatoes as vegetables. The Nix family, who were known to import a surplus of tomatoes, sued to reclaim all the money they lost from the taxes they’d paid. The Nix family argued that a tomato was in fact, a fruit, with the textbook definition of fruit as one of the many pieces of evidence to prove their argument.

The court held that "the passages cited from the dictionaries define the word 'fruit' as the seed of plants, or that part of plants which contains the seed, and especially the juicy, pulpy products of certain plants, covering and containing the seed. These definitions have no tendency to show that tomatoes are 'fruit,' as distinguished from 'vegetables,' in common speech."

Popular Right Now

To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

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Media Talk

Lets be honest: the media sucks.


The media is one of the worst things we have going on right now.

Think about it: What type of people do you see on commercials — lets say about clothing. They are all small, fit, and look like the perfect person. They never show someone who isn't fit — or god forbid — have acne. This isn't just in clothing commercials, its literally in all commercials. Kids toys, food and drink (even the sugary ones have small people enjoying a chocolate bar), games, music, literally anything that you can think of.

Now think of the people watching these, majority being kids. How do you think this affects their thinking? It makes them think that if I do/eat/drink/wear this thing it will make me just like the people on the TV. At some point kids begin to realize that yeah this thing is cool, but it doesn't do the main thing. It doesn't make them look like that person they saw, and that can cause issues. But first we are going to talk about the ads that are only pictures.

You are probably thinking "Well aren't they the same thing?" Well, yes but with pictures you have this thing called Photoshop which can make people face clear skin, white teeth, the perfect hair, the perfect body with the perfect curves, lines, muscles and look. These in my opinion can cause more issues than the commercials seen on TV because they can be so false in how everything it is portrayed. This will mostly affect people from about middle school and long into their 20's, and the affects that it has on people can be bad for their health.

For most, the way they go about looking like the people in the ads is by not eating. This can go from eating smaller amounts, going a couple of days of not eating much, to not eating anything. or they will over exercise to either 1) lose the calories they just ate or 2) push there bodies to their limit. There are two eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia, and both are used by people who feel they need to lose weight. anorexia is when people just refuse to eat much of anything, and they always feel that they are bigger than what they actually are. bulimia people tend to eat food, but then after they eat they fell guilty and find away to get the food out of there body which is usually by puking. Majority of people who have these eating disorders are females, but that doesn't mean males don't struggle with this issue either because they do.

When companies have used people in ads or commercials that don't follow the "norm" (aka plus size) people lose there minds. Saying "why are we promoting obesity" when it is such an issue in our county? Well here is a news flash: they aren't promoting obesity or saying that it is OK, they are promoting positive self image. The models or actors/actresses in these are bigger than what they should be sure, but they are not the people who are on "My 600 Pound Life" (those people are the ones that are obese) but those people in the ads? They are no where near close to what that show shows. People ask why are those kinds of people on an ad? It's because as a society, we have this definition of what perfect is and anyone who does not fit within that small circle are now imperfect (which is why people freak out when they see something different because it isn't the norm) which then leads to the eating/body issues. So having people who are not usually on ads help the "imperfect" people finally feel perfect.

So how about we make a change here. Have more realist people in all ads (and TV shows they are just as bad, but getting better slooooooowly), showing the good and the ugly because that is just life. Show more body types and not just the thin girl with big boobs, butt, and somehow be small everywhere else. Show more guys that aren't these muscle machines.

If we can change what is seen as "normal" then it will help everyone feel more comfortable in there own skin and not feel ashamed.

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