Emily asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 9 years ago

What kind of court cases did Earl Warren hear?

What was America's reaction to the court?

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  • MrV
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
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    Earl Warren was disliked by conservatives but many students of the Supreme Court believe his court made more decisions that shaped American development than any court since John Marshall. He is best remembered for having written the unanimous decision that forbade racial segregation in the schools, Brown v. Board of Education. A series of civil rights decisions gave congress the right to enact the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965. He also headed the court when the "one man one vote" in the Baker v. Carr case was held which eventually caused many states to re-district their congressional districts and state legislative districts.

  • 3 years ago

    Earl Warren Cases

  • 9 years ago

    Earl Warren served as Chief Justice of the United States. As the Chief Justice, he was the presiding officer over the United States Supreme Court from 1953 to 1969. During that period, the Supreme Court heard a wide variety of cases, so it is not the types of cases that make Warren famous, but the manner in which they were handled.

    In his very first year on the bench, Warren presided over the hearing and decision of a group of cases that court-watchers agreed would be explosive: the four cases collectively captioned Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas . For many years, blacks had argued that segregation in the public schools was wrong and should be declared unconstitutional, contending that separate was inherently unequal, particularly given the South's history of providing inadequate support for public schools for blacks. Warren's predecessor, Fred Vinson, had never been able to unite the Court on such controversial issues, and many feared the worst in these cases. Vinson died of a heart attack while Brown v. Board was pending. (Justice Felix Frankfurter said it was the first time in his life that he had proof that there was a God.) While the exact means by which newly appointed Chief Justice Warren managed his colleagues, he somehow produced a single opinion that had the support of a unanimous court.

    Those who predicted an explosive response were correct. Throughout the South, officials dug in, fighting the ruling. By 1958, the situation in Arkansas was so explosive that it appeared that a showdown was unavoidable. In that year, the Court issued the extraordinary opinion in Cooper v. Aaron, declaring that the Supreme Court is the final voice on the meaning of the Constitution and that no state could rightly defy the Court. The opinion is unique because it is signed by all nine justices.

    Brown was the first of a long, long string of cases in which the Supreme Court chipped away at segregation in many venues. While the Court could not outlaw racism, it could and did outlaw many of the worst abuses heaped on non-whites.

    One of the greatest of these decisions concerning legislative apportionment in the states. Many Southern states had practices which worked to disenfranchise non-whites. One of these was to drawn the lines defining electoral districts so that an enclave of whites elected one official while a mas of black voters also elected one official. In some cases, the disparity was so great that a white district was somehow deemed equal to a black district five times as many voters. The states were often bitterly unwilling to adjust their systems, and offered every conceivable excuse for what they were doing. The Warren Court ruled that the rule must be "one man-one vote" and ordered judicial districts redrawn to achieve that.

    Easily the most controversial aspect of Warren's tenure on the Supreme Court was the wholesale revamping of the criminal law system. In 1963, in Gideon v. Wainwright, the Court ruled that any person charged with a felony is entitled to an attorney, to be appointed for him if he cannot afford one.

    In Washington v. Texas, the Court ruled that if the defendant wished to call witnesses in his defense, the State coudl not set up a categorical rule that such witnesses were excluded.

    In Mapp v. Ohio, the Court ruled that homeowners are free from unreasonable searches. The police must bring a warrant.

    And perhaps most famously, the Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that a defendant must be told that he has a right not to answer questions while in custody. Notably, this ruling is often misstated, It did not create the right to remain silent. It did not create the right to have an attorney present during questioning. It did not create the right to have an attorney appointed. These were all well-established rights. They were rights that rich defendants were all well aware of. The rich defendants would insist that their lawyer be notified, and would soon appear in custom made suit, and the police would afford him every courtesy. All that the Miranda decision did was to say that the police had to tell the poor, often illiterate defendant that he had the same rights. The police could not assume that the defendant knew his rights and take advantage of his ignorance.

    At the time of the rulings, they were all very controversial. A generation later, the nation seemed to realize that the standards set by the Warren Court are part of what it means to be a civilized nation.

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