The Warren Court
The 1960’s was an evolution of change in American history - The Warren Court introduction. When Earl Warren became Chief Justice of Supreme Court in 1953 it made the most dramatic changes and held a far more liberal view than any other Supreme Court before. Some of its most important rulings were on African-American civil liberties. The Supreme Court changed American law on segregation in schools, criminal procedure, and privacy rights. Before the Warren Court the American law treated blacks as second class citizens, and by the end of Justice Warren’s term racial equality was inevitable.
The Warren Court had several legal court cases dealing with civil rights. The liberal court passed many laws that set in motion the more civil rights for African Americans. From the very beginning, the Warren Court presented its stand on civil liberties. In 1953, the court overruled Plessy v. Ferguson, which permitted segregation in public schools in the Brown v. Board of Education ruling (7). This decision laid the groundwork for the purpose of the Warren Court. It was the first major step in the civil rights movement. With the Brown v. Board hearing, many other cases dealing with civil rights came about. In 1959, Cooper v. Aaron, the court stated that all states must follow the Brown v. Board decision and desegregate schools by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (7). United States v. Raines was also another case dealing with civil liberties. As a result, more civil right cases came to the court and laws such as forbidding racially mixed marriages became illegal (7). Therefore, from the very first decision of the Warren Court, it became apparent that they would fight more for civil rights, and social equality would be expected.
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During the 1960’s, the Warren Court passed many laws on personal rights. The biggest ruling dealing with personal rights was Miranda v. Arizona. This stated that police must inform the arrested persons of their rights, such as not having to answer any question until an attorney is present (7). This was a controversial move by the Supreme Court. This was a positive shift in the fight for racial equality because it applied to all citizens, no matter what the race. No longer would African Americans be on the short end of the legal system.
They were allowed to fight for their case as much as any white persons. Also, the Warren Court declared it illegal for evidence taken in violation to the Fourth Amendment to be renounced (7). Also, in the Gideon v Wainwright hearing, the court ruled that if a felon could not afford an attorney, the state would provide one (7). These were all steps in the civil rights movement because they ensured that all citizens, black or white, would get a fair trail and be given their rights when under arrest; helping put an end to corrupt or racially biased cases.
Once these decisions became final, blacks gained rights which made them more equal to whites- which progressed the racial equality movement. The Warren Court made some of the most liberal rulings in the Supreme Court’s history. In the 1960’s, changes in American law on school segregation, criminal procedure, and privacy added force to the civil rights movement. By putting African Americans on a more equal ground to White Americans, the Warren’s Court decisions foreshadowed racial quality.