US History & Government The Warren Court. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) Mapp v. Ohio (1961) Baker v. Carr (1962) Engel v.

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1 US History & Government The Warren Court Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) Black children were denied admission to public schools attended by white children under laws requiring or permitting segregation according to the races. The question before the Supreme Court: Did the segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race deprive minority children of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment? Racial segregation in public education has a detrimental [negative] effect on minority children because it is interpreted as a sign of inferiority. The long-held doctrine that separate facilities were permissible provided they were equal was rejected. Separate but equal was inherently [essentially] unequal in the context of public education. The opinion began the movement to end for all forms of state-maintained racial separation. Mapp v. Ohio (1961) Dollree Mapp was convicted of possessing illegal materials after police searched her home for a fugitive without a search warrant. She appealed her conviction. The question before the Supreme Court: May evidence obtained through a search in violation of the Fourth Amendment be admitted in a state criminal proceeding? The Court declared that "all evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution is, by [the Fourth Amendment], inadmissible in a state court." Mapp had been convicted on the basis of illegally obtained evidence. This was an historic decision. It created the exclusionary rule which required all levels of the government to excluding illegally obtained evidence from court proceedings. Baker v. Carr (1962) Charles W. Baker alleged that a 1901 law designed to apportion [distribute] the seats for Tennessee s General Assembly was ignored. The boundaries of legislative districts had not changed despite significant population shifts within the state. Some cities had ten times as many people as rural areas, yet rural areas still had more representation in the legislature. This meant that urban voters had far less political influence than rural voters. The question before the Supreme Court: Did the discrepancy in apportionment violate the equal protection of the Fourteenth Amendment? Justice Brennan concluded that the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection issues which Baker and others raised in this case were valid and the Court created a one person, one vote standard for deciding the boundaries of legislative districts. In other words, legislative districts had to have equal numbers of people. Engel v. Vitale (1962) The Board of Regents for the State of New York authorized a short, voluntary prayer for recitation at the start of each school day. It read as follows: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and beg Thy blessings upon us, our teachers, and our country." The question before the Supreme Court: Did the reading of a prayer at the start of the school day violate the "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment? Despite the fact that the prayer was voluntary and did not reflect the beliefs of any specific religion, the court ruled that it was unconstitutional. By providing the prayer, New York officially approved religion. This was the first in a series of cases in which the Court used the establishment clause to eliminate religious activities of all sorts, which had been a part of public ceremonies. Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) Gideon was charged in a Florida state court with a felony for breaking and entering. He lacked funds and was unable to hire a lawyer to prepare his defense. When he requested the court to appoint an attorney for him, the court refused, stating that it was only obligated to appoint counsel to defendants in capital [death penalty] cases. Gideon defended himself in the trial; a jury convicted him and the court sentenced him to five years in a state prison. The question before the Supreme Court: Did the state court's failure to appoint counsel for Gideon violate his right to a fair trial and due process of law as protected by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments?

2 The Court held that Gideon had a right to be represented by a court-appointed attorney. In this case the Court found that the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of counsel was a fundamental right, essential to a fair trial, which should be made applicable to the states. Justice Black called it an "obvious truth" that a fair trial for a poor defendant could not be guaranteed without the assistance of counsel. Those familiar with the American system of justice, commented Black, recognized that "lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries." Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964) Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade racial discrimination by places of public accommodation. The Heart of Atlanta Motel in Atlanta, Georgia, refused to accept African Americans and was charged with violating Title II. The question before the Supreme Court: Did Congress, in passing Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, exceed its powers by depriving motels, such as the Heart of Atlanta, of the right to choose their own customers? The Court held that the Civil Right Act of 1964 was constitutional. Observing that three quarters of Heart of Atlanta s clients came from other states, the Court noted that commerce clause of the Constitution, which gave Congress the power to control interstate commerce, granted the Congress the power to enforce Title II. The Court thus concluded that private businesses had no right to select guests as they saw fit, free from governmental regulation. Miranda v. Arizona (1966) Ernesto Miranda was arrested and after two hours of interrogation by police officers, Miranda signed a confession on forms that included the typed statement "I do hereby swear that I make this statement voluntarily and of my own free will, with no threats, coercion, or promises of immunity, and with full knowledge of my legal rights, understanding any statement I make may be used against me." However, at no time was Miranda told of his right to a lawyer and he was not advised of his right to remain silent or that his statements during the interrogation would be used against him, before being presented with the form on which he was asked to write out the confession. At trial, when prosecutors offered Miranda's written confession as evidence, his lawyer objected stating that the confession was not truly voluntary and should be excluded. The objection was overruled. Based on this confession and other evidence, Miranda was convicted. The question before the Supreme Court: Did the police practice of interrogating individuals without notifying them of their right to counsel and their protection against self-incrimination violate the Fifth Amendment? The Court held that prosecutors could not use statements gained from the interrogation of defendants unless they had informed the defendant of their constitutional rights. The Court noted that "the modern practice of interrogation is psychological" and that "the blood of the accused is not the only hallmark [characteristic] of an unconstitutional inquisition." The Court specifically outlined the necessary aspects of police warnings to suspects, including warnings of the right to remain silent and the right to have counsel present during interrogations. Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969) Fifteen-year-old John Tinker and his thirteen-year-old sister Mary Beth Tinker decided along with their parents to protest the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to their Des Moines schools during the Christmas holiday season. Upon learning of their intentions, and fearing that the armbands would provoke disturbances, the principals of the Des Moines school district resolved that all students wearing armbands be asked to remove them or face suspension. When the Tinker siblings wore their armbands to school, they were asked to remove them. They refused and were suspended. The question before the Supreme Court: Does a prohibition against the wearing of armbands in public school, as a form of symbolic protest, violate the First Amendment's freedom of speech protections? The Court decided that the First Amendment protected wearing armbands. The justices stated that school environments imply limitations on free expression, but in this case the principals lacked justification for imposing any such limits because the protest did not interfere with the operation of the school. The school district had failed to show that the forbidden conduct would substantially interfere with appropriate school discipline. As with many of these cases, future Supreme Court opinions would limit the scope of this decision.

3 The Warren Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) Mapp v. Ohio (1961) Baker v. Carr (1962) Engel v. Vitale (1962)

4 Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964) Miranda v. Arizona (1966) Tinker v. Des Moines School District (1969) Question: The Warren Court supported the rights of which groups of people?

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