One of the oddities of our constitutional system is the random way in which a normal, unremarkable human person can become synonymous with an entire legal rule or principle. The names of the plaintiffs in some of the most famous cases in Supreme Court history may be remembered for centuries. But do we remember their faces? Or facts about their lives? When we think of the Miranda warning, we don’t often stop to differentiate between Ernesto Miranda, the man who came to represent the obligation of police officers to inform suspects of their constitutional rights, and Carmen Miranda, the Portuguese samba stylist who sang with grapes on her head. As a part of our monthlong Constitution Day festivities, here are some of the people behind the major rulings. Can you connect these constitutional all-stars to the cases their names have immortalized?
Correction, Sept. 24, 2014: This article originally misstated the date of the Dred Scott v. Stanford case. It was in 1857, not 1887.