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The Supreme Court and Civil Liberties Chapter 18-2 Nine old men: Supreme Court in the 1960s.

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Presentation on theme: "The Supreme Court and Civil Liberties Chapter 18-2 Nine old men: Supreme Court in the 1960s."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Supreme Court and Civil Liberties Chapter 18-2 Nine old men: Supreme Court in the 1960s

2 What are the three branches of our government and what powers do they possess? Legislative –Congress –Make laws Executive –President –Enforce laws Judicial –Interpret laws Below: diagram of our national government

3 How does the Court make decisions? Based on precedent: –Previous decisions and laws –Constitution Based on current needs of the country: –Laissez faire economics Northern Securities Case Mueller v. Oregon –Segregation Plessy v. Ferguson Brown v. Board of Ed –Abortion Roe v. Wade ? –War of Civil Liberties Korematsu v. United States Racial profiling for terror suspects Above: women work in a ‘sweatshop’; below: sign saying ‘white only’

4 What was the Warren Court? Supreme Court headed by Earl Warren (1954-1969) Noted for its judicial activism (progressive, if you like it) Courts named after the chief justice who presides over them Earl Warren appointed by Eisenhower to eliminate a rival Brown v. Board of Education (1954) first big ruling The current Court (group of 9) is called the Roberts Court, named after Chief Justice John Roberts above: Earl Warren; below: Supreme Court c. 2007

5 We’ve learned in the past that it is easy to learn what the constitution says. It is difficult to know what it means. The supreme court does this for us. Another image of the 9 justices in the late Sixties

6 Describe the Baker v. Carr case: Main issue was reapportionment –Urban congressional districts had less reps (less voting power) than rural districts Gerrymandering –Shaping the boundaries of a district in order to keep political power within a certain groups hands Baker case –Court ruled that federal gov. had power to ensure one man, one vote Warren: –Legislators represent people, …not acres… Above: our own district (PA 13 th ); below: a Gerrymandered district

7 What was at issue in the cases? What was at issue in the Engle v. Vitale & Abington v. Shempp cases? Prayer in school 1st amendment –Prohibits an state-established religion Engle v. Vitale –Banned School prayer –in NY a nondenominational prayer was said after Pledge of Allegiance Abington v. Shempp –Banned Bible reading in public schools Abington HS read passages from Bible after Pledge Current Backlash over Ten Commandments in courthouses Above: protest against school prayer; below: prayer group starts the day at the school flagpole

8 What are civil liberties? Freedom from excessive or unwarranted government control or intrusion set limits for government so that it cannot abuse its power and interfere with the lives of its citizens Includes rights listed in 1 st Amendment: privacy, free speech…and in other Amendments: fair trial, no boarding soldiers, etc. Above: cartoon implies fmr. VP Cheney has blasted a hole in the Constitution; below: reporters who broke open Watergate scandal

9 What does the 6 th Amendment say? All citizens have the right to have the assistance of counsel (a lawyer) for his defense What if you cannot afford an attorney? When does the right begin? What if you don’t understand your rights? Top to bottom: Gideon, Escobedo, Miranda

10 Discuss Gideon v. Wainwright (1963). Landmark case in which Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state courts are required to provide counsel to defendants unable to afford their own attorneys Clarence Earl Gideon had been charged with burglary for breaking into a pool hall in Panama City, Florida Acted as own attorney Used the prison library to research and write (in pencil on prison stationery) to the Supreme Court Warren Court ruled in his favor Above: Gideon close-up; below: text of cartoon is self-explanatory

11 Describe the Escobedo v. Illinois case. Supreme Court decision that said criminal suspects have a right to counsel during police interrogations & provided counsel at trial. Danny Escobedo's brother-in-law, Manuel, a Chicago convict, was shot and killed on the night of January 19, 1960. During police interrogation Escobedo asked to speak to an attorney His attorney was left waiting in lobby He later confessed and was eventually convicted for aiding and abetting murder of Manuel Court said the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of a right to counsel begins when defendants become primary suspects Above: Escobedo mugshot; below: cartoon notes danger of co- defendants working out an alibi

12 Describe the Miranda v. Arizona case (1966). Supreme Court decision that said criminal suspects must be informed of their right to consult with an attorney and of their right against self-incrimination prior to questioning by police In 1963, Ernesto Arturo Miranda was arrested for rape Later confessed to robbery and attempted rape under interrogation by police Sentenced to 20 to 30 years imprisonment on each charge Arizona Supreme Court emphasized heavily the fact that Miranda did not specifically request counsel Warren Court decision said a suspect must be made aware of right to counsel and of 5 th Amendment clause that you needn’t testify against self –Miranda himself served 11 years –Made a living autographing Miranda cards –Killed in bar fight in 1976 Miranda Rights: ‘You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.’ Above: Miranda mugshot; below: what’s on Miranda card

13 Civil Liberty Law and Order

14 What is your opinion of these Court decisions? Personally? From a legal standpoint? Have they stood the test of time? Is it possible for a decision to be ‘right’ for its time, and not for a later time? Above: Earl Warren, 1953-69; below: John Roberts 2005-?

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