Is there a "most important" decision of the Supreme Court in a given year?
Such a question depends, of course, on what one means by "importance."
Just to satisfy my own obscure sense of fun, I'll run through the 70s, beginning then as my own political awareness began, and defining importance by my own nonappealable subjectivity.
Maybe some time next week I'll move on to the '80s, if I can bear the excitement.
1970, Goldberg v. Kelly -- procedural due process rights and welfare entitlements.
1971, New York Times v. United States -- Pentagon Papers case.
1972, Gottschalk v. Benson -- software and patentability.
1973, Roe v. Wade -- abortion rights.
1974, U.S. v. Nixon -- executive privilege.
1975, Blue Chip Stamps v. Manor Drug Stores -- securities fraud.
1976, Gregg v. Georgia -- capital punishment
1977, Moore v. City of East Cleveland -- zoning and defining "family."
1978, FCC v. Pacifica -- "seven dirty words" on the radio
1979, Ybarra v. Illinois -- scope of search warrants.