TITLE: Establishing Justice AUTHOR: Joan Thompson, Blackfoot High School; Blackfoot, Idaho GRADE LEVEL: Eleventh or Twelfth grade American history, government, or law class OVERVIEW: The decisions of the Supreme Court during the 1960's had a profound effect in the areas of civil and due process rights of the accused. The Court took the initiative in expanding the rights of criminal defendants, particularly at the state level; as a result the Court itself became the focus of public controversy. This moot court activity will examine some major cases during the 1960's. Students need to be aware of the impact that the Warren Court decisions had on society to understand the significance of recent constitutional history in their own lives. This lesson can be used when studying the Court system in United States Government or American history when studying the 1960's. TIME TO COMPLETE: Four-five days. Some out-of-class research may be required. OBJECTIVE(s):As a result of this lesson, students will: * gain increased knowledge on the effects of the Warren Court on civil and due process rights * reinforce their understanding of judicial review * practice group process and critical thinking skills * identify the Constitutional guarantees in each case studied * understand the issues and arguments involved in the cases MATERIALS: Background information on Warren Court (Con-Constitutional Law Case Essays) Handout 1: Information on how to conduct a moot court Handout 2: Summary of cases used in lesson ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES: 1. Divide the class into groups: attorneys for petitioner, attorneys for respondent, justices, and court observers. 2. Distribute Handout 1: Information on how to conduct a moot court. Discuss the content, insuring that they understand the process involved in this activity 3. Distribute Handout 2: Summary of cases used in lesson, to all students. Assign a case to each group. Have them prepare their arguments as instructed in Handout 1. 4. Instruct the justices to review the cases and select two to be orally argued before the court. After an appropriate period of time have the court announce which two cases it will hear. 5. Conduct the moot court hearings. 6. After the cases have been argued, allow time for the justices to deliberate and prepare a decision. Have one justice write the majority opinion and one write a dissenting opinion (if any). 7. Explain how the Supreme Court decided each case and discuss the Court's reasoning. 8. Debrief the activity by giving the background on the Warren Court below. Students should be aware that the Cold War and foreign policy were major issues, particularly America's involvement in the Vietnam War. Civil rights for Black Americans continued to remain an important public policy area. The people of the U.S. were demanding more accountability by the government, whether it be in one-person-one-vote, civil liberties, or the right to protest the Vietnam War. The Warren Court played an important part in public policy when it issued its ruling in Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims (cases dealing with reapportionment). The Warren Court was innovative in many areas of civil liberties involving the first amendment. Some of the court's decisions were highly controversial. The court in many instances helped set a public policy agenda for the nation. The 1960's was a decade of social and cultural change brought on by the anti-war movement, the civil rights movement, and the war on poverty. These movements with the help of the Warren Court changed the political landscape of the country. "When all is said and done, Earl Warren was unquestionably one of the great Chief Justices in terms of his impact on constitutional law" (Constitutional Law, page 152). Ask that all cases studied be discussed in the light of this historical background. TYING IT ALL TOGETHER: An evaluation of the presentation will be done using Handout 1. The teacher will also discuss the other cases not chosen for argument. Some students may be assigned to write a report on the Supreme Court. TIPS FROM THE TEACHER: A discussion on the differences between trial courts and appellate courts should be presented to the students. The appellate courts do not hold trials; they hear oral arguments from attorneys, study briefs written arguments that attorneys submit, and review the record of the case in lower court. The appellate court does not concern itself with the facts in a case. Rather, its decision turns on whether the law was correctly interpreted and applied. Research some background to the events of the 1960's. HANDOUT 1 "Conducting a Moot Court" The instructor will explain to the students what an appeals court is. Students will be told that in appeals court no witnesses are used and no new evidence may be presented. The attorneys for both sides will present their oral arguments before the judges. The court will consist of a panel of justices; this can be any number: 3, 5, 7, 9 (one will be a Chief Justice). There will be a team of attorneys for the petition and one for the respondent. The remainder of the class can be observers or reporters for the T.V. station or local newspapers. Roles and Responsibilities At any time the judges may questions the attorneys about the case. The chief justice will maintain the order of the court, extend the time limit for attorneys if requested, set down the rules of the court, and assign judges to write the majority and dissenting opinions. Judges may express their opinion about the case; they may also try to convince the other judges to side with them. The attorneys must try to defend their side. The petitioner's attorney should show why the client's treatment was in error, and how that treatment violated the Constitution or state statute. Previous court decisions may be used to back up presentation. Respondent's attorneys must try to present arguments that best represent their client's position. Previous court decisions may be used to back up presentation. Both sides should discuss the facts of the case. The rest of the class will take notes and turn in a new article or interview with role players. Preparation Each team of attorneys will be given time to prepare their cases. They should research all material dealing with the case. Each attorney will have ten minutes to present their arguments; two minutes of this will be used for rebuttal. The judges will then meet and deliberate on the case. This may be done in private or in front of the class. If the deliberation is in front of the class, the judges will be the only ones allowed to speak. After the deliberation the Chief Justice will give the opinion. The Chief Justice will assign justices to write a majority and minority opinion which will be read to the class later. Debriefing Attorneys should be allowed to express their feeling on the roles they played. They should discuss what skills they learned. Judges should express their feeling on their roles. They should express what they felt their responsibilities were and what they felt were problems they faced. The rest of the class will evaluate the simulation using the following guide: Plaintiff Respondent (1) Which team had the best presentation? (2) Which team had the best delivery? (3) Which team had the most convincing argument? (4) Which team had the best rationale? (5) Which team seems to have done the most research? (6) Which team reacted best to the judges' questioning? After the class answers these questions, they should be discussed by the class as a whole. Finally, the class should discuss whether they agree with the judges' decision. Was it reasonable? Why or why not? HANDOUT 2 Summary of Cases Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 74 S. Ct. 686 (1954) A series of cases went to the Supreme Court from the state of Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware. Since all of the cases involved the same basic problem■black minors, through their legal representatives, seeking the aid of the courts in obtaining admission to the public schools of their respective communities on a nonsegregated basis■ all were determined by one decision of the Court. The Kansas case is taken as the nominal leading case. in the various states, the black children were of elementary or high school age or both. Segregation requirements were on a statutory and state constitutional basis except in Kansas, where only statutory provisions were involved. Opinions by Mr. Chief Justice Warren (Vote: 9-0) Question - Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? Decision - Yes. Reason■Intangible factors involved in the separation of students of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race need very serious consideration. Such segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children, an impact, that is greater when it has the sanction of law. It "generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.... We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment." Miranda v. Arizona, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966) Here four cases were decided by one opinion. They came from Arizona, New York, California, and the federal courts. In each of the cases the law enforcement officials had taken the defendant into custody and had interrogated him for the purpose of obtaining a confession. At no time did the police effectively advise a defendant of his right to remain silent or of his right to consult with his attorney. In the lead case, Ernesto Miranda had been arrested at his home and then taken to a Phoenix police station where he was questioned by two police officers. After two hours. he made a written confession. He was subsequently convicted of kidnapping and rape. In the New York case the charge was first degree robbery, in the California case it was robbery and first degree murder, and in the federal case robbery of a savings and loan association and a bank in California. Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Warren Question - Are statements obtained from an individual subjected to custodial police interrogation under these circumstances admissible as evidence? Decision - No. Reason - An individual held for interrogation must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult counsel and to have his lawyer with him during interrogation. Financial inability of an accused person to furnish counsel is no excuse for the absence of counsel since in such an instance a lawyer must be appointed to represent the accused. If he answers some questions and gives some information on his own prior to invoking his right to remain silent this is not to warrant an assumption that the privilege has been waived. The Court noted that "the prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory, or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination. By custodial interrogation, we mean questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way." Katz v. United States, 88 S. Ct. 507 (1967) Charles Katz was convicted in federal district court in California of violation of federal communication statutes by transmitting wagering information by telephone from Los Angeles to Miami and Boston. At the trial, evidence was introduced of Katz s telephone conversations at his end overheard by FBI agents who had attached an electronic listening and recording device 'to the outside of the public telephone booth from which Katz had placed his calls. The court of appeals had rejected the contention that the recordings had been obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment because there was "no physical entrance into the area occupied" by the accused. Opinion by Mr. Justice Stewart Question - Was the search and seizure conducted in this case in compliance with constitutional standards? Decision - The Fourth Amendment protects people and not simply "areas" against unreasonable searches and seizures. The reach of that amendment cannot turn upon the presence or absence of a physical intrusion into any given enclosure. The protection does not extend only to tangible property and to incidents where there has been trespass. What a person seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected. In this case the surveillance was so narrowly circumscribed that a judge could have authorization bypassed the safeguards provided by an objective predetermination of probable cause and substituted instead the far less reliable procedure of an after-the- event justification. This sort of bypassing leaves individuals secure from Fourth Amendment violations only in the discretion of the police. School District of Abington Township, Pa. v. Schempp, 374 U. S. 203; 83 S. Ct. 1560; 10 L. Ed. 2d 844 (1963) Pennsylvania by stature required that at least ten verses from the Bible should be read, without comment, at the opening of each public school on each school day. Any child could be excused from attending the Bible reading upon written request of his parent or guardian. The Schempp family, members of the Unitarian church, brought suit to enjoin enforcement of the statute. In a companion case, (Murray v. Curlett), Mrs., Murray and her son, professed atheists, brought similar action against a similar situation in Baltimore. Opinion by Mr. Justice Clark Question - Does the requirement of Bible reading in public school violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment? Decision - Yes. Reason - The Court noted that the Establishment Clause withdrew all legislative power respecting religious belief or the expression thereof. "The test may be stated as follows: What are the purpose and the primary effect of the enactment? If either is the advancement or inhibition of religion, then the enactment exceeds the scope of legislative power as circumscribed by the Constitution...The conclusion follows that in both cases the laws require religious exercises and such exercises are being conducted in direct violation of the rights (of the appellees) and the petitioners. Nor are these required exercises mitigated by the fact that individual students may absent themselves upon parental request, for that fact furnished no defense to a claim of unconstitutionality under the Establishment Clause." Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U. S. 643: 81 S. Ct. 1684: 6 L Ed. 2d 1081 (1961) Cleveland police officers requested admission to a home to seek a fugitive who was reportedly hiding there. They had also received information that a large amount of policy paraphernalia was hidden in the house. Without a warrant, the police forced their was into the house. There they found obscene materials. This evidence was used to convict Miss Mapp in the state courts. Opinion by Mr. Justice Clark Question - Is evidence obtained in violation of the search and seizure provisions of the Fourth Amendment admissible in a state court? Decision - No. Reason - Previous decisions have held that the security of one's privacy against arbitrary intrusion of the police is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty and as such enforceable against the states through the due process clause. However, the Court has previously refused to exclude evidence thus secured from state courts as "an essential ingredient of the right." Since the Fourth Amendment's right of privacy has been declared enforceable against the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, it is enforceable against them by the same sanction of exclusion as is used against the federal government. All evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution is, by that same authority, inadmissible in a state court. Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc., v. United States. 379 U.S. 241: 85 S. Ct. 348 13 L. ed. 2nd 258 (1964) The owner of a large motel in Atlanta, Georgia, which restricted its clientele to white persons, brought suit for a declaratory judgment and for an injunction to restrain enforcement of Title 11 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed distinguishing on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin in making available public accommodations. Opinion by Mr. Justice Clark Question - Does Congress have the power to enact this type of legislation under the power to regulate interstate commerce? Decision - Yes. Reason - The power of Congress over interstate commerce includes the power to regulate local incidents and activities in both the states of origin and destination of the commerce that might have a substantial and harmful effect on that commerce. The Court concluded that "the action of the Congress in the adoption of the Act as applied here to a motel which concededly serves interstate travelers is within the power granted it by the Commerce Clause of the Constitution as interpreted by this Court for 140 years." The Court made brief mention of the power to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment, but its decision was basically that the commerce power was here being exercised.
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