Warren vs Rehnquist Courts

2141 words 9 pages

Warren versus Rehnquist Courts
Michael Walker
Park University

The criminal justice system is greatly shaped by the civil rights safeguarded under the Bill of Rights. The court jurisprudence with regard to national security and civil liberties largely revolves around the provisions of the Bill of Rights (Baker, 2003). This paper discusses Chief Justices Earl Warren and William Rehnquist’s significant decisions and the effects they had on the balance between social order maintenance and individual liberties.

Warren versus Rehnquist Courts
Earl Warren held the position of Chief Justice between 1953 and 1969. He led a liberal majority, who utilized the judicial authority to
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The decision in Miranda v Arizona resulted into the establishment of guidelines for custodial interrogations. The decision significantly changed the relationships between suspects and police and citizens and the state because criminal convictions had to be founded from a solid basis of evidence and not mere confessions that were mostly made under questionable circumstances.
In Terry v Ohio (1968), the court tackled the issue of searches and seizures under criminal procedure. The issue was whether the police officer violated the 4th Amendment rights of the defendant. The 8-1 decision of the court was that the circumstances of the case were different from Mapp v Ohio and was thus ruled opposite. The decision in this case considerably weakened the 4th Amendment protection provision for reasonable suspicion. The powers of the police had to be checked and the search or seizure had to be limited in scope for the sake of protecting the officers.
William Rehnquist largely criticized the decision of the Court in Mapp v Ohio while acting as the Assistant Attorney General. He got the opportunity to express his opinion in the case of California v Minjares (1979). In this case, Rehnquist’s dissenting opinion was an exact reflection of the dissenting opinions of the justices in Mapp v Ohio (Pollak, 1979).
The appointment of William


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