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A primer on the 45 most impactful Supreme Court cases of all time

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The US Supreme Court, the court of last resort, has undeniably changed the country.

It makes fewer than 100 decisions every year that have sweeping effects on American life.

Some have changed race relations for the better, empowered women, given the press freedom to operate, guaranteed a person’s right to expression, or reiterated that the president is not above the law.

Not every decision has aged well. Other decisions have enforced slavery or create uneven schooling in the US.

Here are 45 of the most important cases the Supreme Court has ever decided.

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