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Warren and Rehnquist and the Effects of Major Court Cases on the Law Enforcement of Today

Have you thought about how much the Supreme Court decisions really affect your life and what we do on a daily basis or how important these decisions are to our civil liberties? Earl Warren and William Rehnquist are two of the most well knows Supreme Court Chief Justices.Each having different opinions on the importance’s of civil liberties and public order maintenance.Many of the court cases that each Chief Justice would hear would change the very way that we live today.

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As well as how law enforcement interact with regards to the 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th Amendments.

In this essay we will discuss compare and contrast the Chief Justice Earl Warrens Court versus the William Rehnquist Court, with special regards to how they effected the law enforcements, then finally addressing how the current Supreme Court balances out civil liberties against public order maintenance. Earl Warren was born on March 19, 1891 in Los Angeles, California. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, he majored in political science for three years before entering UBS’s School of Law. He received his B. S. degree in 1912 and his J. D. degree in 1914. On May 14, he was admitted to the California Bar (http://warren. csd. edu/about/biography. html). After he graduated Warren got hired on at law offices in San Francisco and Oakland. In 1925, he was appointed Alameda County district attorney when the incumbent resigned. He won election to the post in his own right in 1926,1930, and 1934. During his fourteen years as district attorney, Warren developed a reputation as a crime fighter. In those years he never had a conviction reversed by a higher court. Earl Warren was a republican although he had broad bipartisan support because of his centrist to liberal views. He was then elected to governorships of California in 1942, 1946, and 1950.

In 1953 President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren the fourteenth Chief Justice of the United States. Earl Warren is one of the most well know Chief Justice because of his most popular Supreme Court decisions in the case Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, 1955, which ended segregation in school. This decision and many others like this are important cases that the Earl Warren Court made. The Warren Court left a legacy of judicial activism in civil rights law and individual liberties. The focus was specifically on the rights of the accused as addressed in Amendments 4 through 8.

In the period from 1961 to 1969, the Warren Court examined almost every aspect of the criminal justice system in the United States, using the 14th Amendment to extend constitutional protections to all courts in every State. This process became known as the “nationalization” of the Bill of Rights. The Warren Court’s revolution in the criminal justice system began with the case of Mapp vs. Ohio (367 U. S. 643 [1961]) (http://www. infoplease. com/us/supreme-court/cases/ar19. html). In 1957 Cleveland, Ohio, police thought a bombing suspect, and illegal betting equipment might be in Dollree Mapp’s home.

Three officers went to Mapp’s home and asked permission to search, but Mapp refused. Mapp requested the police obtain a search warrant. Two officers left the home while one remained. About three hours later, the two officers returned with several other police officers. The returning officers flashed a piece of paper at Mapp, and broke her door entering the residence. Mapp asked to see the “warrant” and took it from an officer, putting it down the front of her dress. The police fought with Mapp and regained the paper. They handcuffed the non-compliant Mapp for being belligerent.

Police did not find the bombing suspect or the betting equipment during the conduct of their search, but found some pornography in a suitcase by Mapp’s bed. Mapp said that she had loaned the suitcase to a renter and the contents were not her property. Mapp was arrested, prosecuted, tried found guilty, and sentenced for possession of the pornography. No search warrant had been obtained during the course of the investigation of this case, and was not produced as evidence at her trial. When Mapp vs. Ohio reached the Supreme Court in 1961, the decided in a five to four decision that the exclusionary rule applies to the states.

It concluded that other remedies, such as reliance on the due process clause to enforce fourth amendment violations had proven worthless and futile. In this landmark case, it changed the way law enforcement at the state level operated. Where illegally obtained evidence had been admissible in State Courts previously, now under the Mapp ruling this would no longer be tolerated. In another landmark case Terry vs. Ohio (392 U. S. 1 [1968]) Martin McFadden, a police detective for 39 years, was patrolling the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, on October 31, 1963.

In the afternoon, McFadden saw two men, John Terry and Richard Chilton, hanging out on a street corner. McFadden’s training and experience told him the two men looked suspicious, so he began to watch them from nearby. As McFadden watched, Terry and Chilton took turns walking past and looking inside a store window, they did this twelve times. At that point a third man joined them for a brief discussion on the street corner. Ten minutes later they headed down the street in the same direction as the third man whom they had met. McFadden believed the three men were getting ready to rob the store they were casing.

McFadden again through his training and experience believed the suspects were armed and dangerous. McFadden followed Terry and Chilton and confronted them in front of Zucker’s store with the third man. McFadden said he was a police officer and asked their names, and received only mumbled responses. McFadden grabbed Terry, spun him around to face the other two men, and frisked him. McFadden felt a gun inside Terry’s coat, and ordered the men inside the business. Inside, McFadden removed Terry’s overcoat and found a . 38 caliber revolver.

McFadden ordered the three men against the wall, and patted them down. McFadden found an additional revolver in Chilton’s overcoat. Ohio convicted Terry and Chilton of carrying concealed weapons. In an eight to one decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ohio stating the police officer’s training and experience in this case gave him “reasonable suspicion” a robbery was going to occur. This allowed him to stop and frisk the suspects, which led to him finding pistols on two of them. From this court case the Supreme Court concluded reasonable suspicion is required to stop and frisk a person.

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Warren and Rehnquist and the Effects of Major Court Cases on the Law Enforcement of Today. (2017, Jun 02). Retrieved March 31, 2020, from