Earl Warren was nominated as a Supreme Court judgepursuant to three years as California’s governor. This followed posta failed attempt to be a presidential nominee for republicans in 1952. He is famously acknowledged for his affable ways and likeable character. Warren fought vigorously for achieving consensus on multiple controversial issues. He was responsible for some key compromises that enabled apprehensive justices to reinforce his ranks and also deployed a substantial amount of diplomacy to this effect. The Warren Court has been on the receiving end of both adulation and opposition for its improvised constitutional judgments and its contemplation of the judiciary as a tool for societal improvement. A number of key decisions were given out under the tutelage of Earl Warren. Over and above his obligations in determining the outcomes of litigations, Warren was a dynamic state ambassador who explored far and wide, and assisted in planning international seminars which sought to spread the message of global peace. (Myles, Friedland, Feinberg, Seifter, andMongan 2012)
With the apex judiciary reluctant to intervene in the management of the judicial system, criminal accused prior to the reforms were mostly relying on the administrative set up for their remedies prior to, during, and post proceedings. In totality, several state set up's prior to the reforms offered dreary images of official anarchy and the accused, who were extremely impoverished, illiterate, and colored, did not have sufficient ability to deal with the situation. They required a protagonist to drive their cause. From 1961, the Warren Court precisely served this purpose. Exhausted of the continuous expletives that began to pile up from subordinate structures, the apex court made supervising the law enforcement a federal matter of grave importance. Even though, the Warren court demonstrated mild interest in favor of the accused during the later years of 1950's, its initial measures at clearing the criminal process were sparse and barely compared with the dynamic activism that would subsequently define the Court's determinations in that particular field. It was only from 1961 onwards, that the apex judiciary began framing holistic revisions to criminal enforcement procedures, exhibiting what would constitute a continued vigor in securing the accused on greater than interim basis. Within the span of conclusion, the Supreme Court would institute into the due process provision majority of the pertinent "Bill of Rights" entitlements, introducing novel concepts to a number of such amendments during the course. (Lain 2004)
Brooks v. Florida was one such classic instance. Pursuant to a riot in the Florida state jailhouse, thirteen accused criminals were thrown into the confines of jail, inhumanly treated for several months, and then forced to execute a codified confession admitting to "felonious riot." Due to this, they were imprisoned on charges of "felonious riot" and penalized to several years of extra imprisonment to be incurred after their present jail duration comes to an end. Even though Warren was significantly concerned about the Florida prison instances, majority of his colleagues turned their faces away from them. Perhaps due to a customary hesitancy to become concerned in intrinsic jailhouse disciplinary issues, it appeared obvious that the judiciary was going to object to further perusal. Warren opted in favor of crafting a dissent. He disseminated his opinion from the refusal of judicial review. The murmurs began picking up that a couple of judges were about to join Warren's side. When the jailhouse matter arose for deliberation at the judge'smeeting every week, all the judges had come over to Warren's side. His opinion had assumed the status of per curiam ruling mandating summary overturning of the orders of imprisonment. (Kamisara 2005)
The landmark Mapp case also needs to be considered in the backdrop of Wolf v. Colorado. Even though the judiciary in this case realized that the protection of one's secrecy against random invasion by the law enforcement, which is at the focus of the constitutional entitlement, is fundamental to a liberal society and therefore enforceable under due process, it reiterated that the methods of implementing such a fundamental entitlement should be in the hands of the states. Hence, the provincial administrations were in a position to move outside purview the illegitimately gathered proof or to accept it and depend on tortiousliability or criminal actions against the guilty administrators or on the aspect of security as the core function of the law enforcement authorities. (Kamisara 2005)
However, criminal procedure undoubtedly was the primary area of importance for the Warren Court's philosophy regarding administration of justice.Warren's achievements with respect to constitutional administration of the general criminal legal principles are significantly less and feeble. Other facets of the administration have under their jurisdiction two potent weapons for reacting to criminal process determination. First is enforcement authority, which importantly contains financing, in addition to the aspect of daily discipline, which renders procedural security high on significance. For example, while Gideon v. Wainwrightassures a lawyer to every criminal alleged to have committed a punishable offense, essentially no court regulation of manner of payment to the lawyer happens in reality. The administration can pathetically underpay the concerned lawyer and greatly undercut the significance of the Gideon ruling. Besides the financial issues, the law enforcement authorities still have significant amount of discretion in their control of the substantial restrictions laid down by the court in Mapp v. Ohio and Miranda v. Arizona, controlling unreasonable or anticipated searches and criminalizing declarations. The Warren Court rulings with "Miranda" being the most striking instance propelled mass resentment that took the shape of a political discourse and improvement attempts. Miranda v. Arizona is the most accurate when it comes to achieving the noble feat, counter-majoritarian objective we generally relate to the criminal process reform. Academicians have for a considerable duration of time construed Miranda as a epitome of counter-majoritarian ideals and issue, the symbol of everything that was incorrect and correct with the dynamism exhibited by the Warren Court in the field of criminal justice. Of course, Miranda may actually become the most counter-majoritarian process determination in the annals of the history of the apex court. In June 1966, when decision was rendered, only three states mandated law enforcement authorities to issue warnings to suspected individuals of their entitlements before jailhouse questioning. In Brown v. Mississippi, the apex court for the first time redressed the issue of forceful law enforcement questioning, also termed as the third degree. As academicians have observed, the facts of this case were appropriate for the scope of the ruling.The law enforcement had beaten three Negros, continuously suspending one person from a tree, till they admitted to killing their fair complexioned landlord. During the court proceedings, a deputy sheriff conceded to the fact of whipping but asserted they were suited to Negros. The Mississippi Supreme Court validated the arrest, but the Federal Supreme Court overturned the decision, construing the Fourteenth Amendment to prohibit use of convictions that depended on admissions obtained through brutal torture. By laying down this standard, the Court formulated a “voluntariness” test for ascertaining the how admissible confessions obtained by the law enforcement authorities are. In the 1930's, "Brown" was a significant tectonic shift for the apex court. (Lain 2004)
However, critics argue that parliamentary measures in the following years were barely towards a direction that conclusively met the targets set by the judiciary. The legislature rather infamously tried to override "Miranda." From a contrary point of view, a host of Warren Court rulings had a semblance of formal positive effects as compared to “Brown.” Following“ Gideon,” felons possess considerable entry route to minimum legal assistance; the issue however remains how significant this minimum assistance is. Additionally, there is widespread approval of “Miranda” as a law enforcement measure; the issue to be considered here is whether it has any real impact on intimating the choice of the accused to communicate to the law enforcement authorities. (Brown 2002) The Warren Court's achievements are rightly rejoiced, for it is unlikely to come across someone who would not aid the entitlement to legal assistance for poor defendants or the need that a detained individual be intimated regarding right to have legal representation, including an appointed law in case of inability to afford one. Regardless of this fact, the apex court depended upon ideals of fundamental fairness under the Fourteenth Amendment to peruse subordinate court decisions. (Meares 2005)While it is correct that those initialrulings were too feeble to cause a rampantrevolution of the state of affairs of criminal procedure, it is also correct that basic fairness philosophy had some strikingly noteworthy characteristics. Additionally, the decisions highlighting these perspectives perused racial discrimination as an integral component of constitutional supervision. Interestingly, while Warren's philosophy led to revolution of the administration of criminal justice, that revolution was not without hitches. The selective assessment failed to admit impartial evaluation of multiple features and procedures that the basic fairness scrutiny accomplished. However, the stress on basic fairness propelled social aspiration to new heights and offered a base reference on fair consideration of the rights of citizens.
Lain, C.B. (2004). Countermajoritarian Hero or Zero? Rethinking The Warren Court's Role in the Criminal Procedure Revolution. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 1368, 1370, 1371.
Brown, D.K. (2002). The Warren Court, Criminal Procedure Reform, and Retributive Punishment. Washington and Lee Law Review, 1414.
Myles, K.L.,Friedland, M., Feinberg, A., Seifter, M., Mongan, M. (2012). The Spotlight Has Been on Chief Justice John Roberts This Summer, but the Job Has a History of Making Waves. Tennessee Bar Journal, 17, 18.
Kamisar, Y. (2005). How Earl Warren's Twenty-Two Years in Law Enforcement Affected his Work as Chief Justice. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, 17.
Meares, T.L., (2005). Everything Old is New Again: Fundamental Fairness and the Legitimacy of Criminal Justice. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, 109, 111.