Warren Reading notes:


How did the liberal activism of the Warren court differ from the conservative activism of the Gilded Age courts?

American Liberalism and the Warren Courtís Legacy:

Read this brief article very carefully to get a better understanding of the relationship between the courts in general, and the Warren court in particular, and American liberalism.

Skim the first page. How did the growing liberal consensus in the country, the majority of New Deal justices on the Supreme Court, the Civil Rights movement, and McCarthyism influence the Warren court?

In paragraph six, what is meant by "rights conscious liberalism?"

What did Tony A. Freyer have to say about Miranda v. Arizona? Was the Warren courtís decision radical or part of a judicial consensus?

According to Freyer, how did the very success of the Warren court lead to its decline? Was there a relationship between the mood of the country, and the direction of the courts?

William Brennanís Judicial Legacy:

Important commentary by Edward J. Erler about the judicial activism of the Supreme Court. According to Earler, Justice Brennan believed the contents of the Constitution did not matter. What mattered was "the Courtís interpretation of the Constitution." From the readings of the Miranda and Engel cases, would this be a fair assessment of the Warren court?

The Bulwark Brennan Built:

Was the decision in the libel case of New York Times V. Sullivan an example of liberal judicial activism?

Miranda V. Arizona, Mr. Chief Justice Earl Warren:

Was Miranda V. Arizona a civil rights case?

Was the case a response to the excesses of McCarthyism?

Fifth amendment-Read closely the first two pages. How did the Warren Court utilize the Fifth Amendment to decide in favor of Miranda?

Dignity of human nature-On page ten, Justice Warren wrote, "To be sure, this is not physical intimidation, but it is equally destructive of human dignity."

*What did Justice Warren mean by human dignity?

*Was it the major goal of liberalism to defend human dignity?

*How did the Warren Court try to defend human dignity?

From pages 11 to 15 Justice Warren uses past court cases to show the establishment of "the privilege against self-incrimination." Read the case decisions closely, especially Escobedo V. Illinois.

*How did the Warren Court interpret these court cases?

*Were the recent cases like Escobedo examples of growing liberalism on the court?

Was Miranda V. Arizona a triumph for American liberalism? How?

How did the dissenting Justices interpret the Fifth Amendment?

Engel Et Al. V. Vitale Et Al.

Justice Black:

Was this case an example of liberal judicial activism?

Why did the court overturn decisions by lower courts?

Focus closely on Justice Blackís statements about the Establishment Clause. How did Justice Black interpret the First Amendment? Why did he use the Fourteenth Amendment?

Justice Douglas:

Was Justice Douglas use of the First Amendment the same as that of Justice Black? How did liberals view the First Amendment?

Justice Stewart:

How did Justice Stewart decent from the majority decision?

Focus especially on the speeches he quotes at the end. How did both sides use history to say that their side was American tradition?

American Liberalism And The Warren Courtís Legacy
- Reviews the history of judicial activism from FDRís New Deal to Reaganís
conservatism. Warren courtís seminal role in the rightís revolution of the
-Freyer reviews Horwitzí book-talks of the bipartisan liberal consensus over
the threat of communist aggression during the cold war.
-New deal policies of market regulations and national security transform
constitutional law after World War II.
-Undermining of minority rights during McCarthyism
-Skim Ė Traces the route of liberalism of the Warren Court to earlier
narrower victories of Marshall and LDF since 1930ís.
-The vindication of minority rights in race cases paves the way for
establishment of majority role (one person, one vote).
-Conservative backlash in Jenner-Buttler bill of 1957.How would the bill
have affected judicial activism, if passed?
Pg 136
-Discusses the courtís role in defeat of McCarthyism. Importance of Footnote
four for twentieth century interpretation of liberal individual rights.
Pg 137
-Talks of the cultural dimension to constitutional law and the establishment
of right to privacy.
-Discusses Tushnetís book on Marshall as a continuation of the legacy of
Warren court.
-Skim Ė Marshallís rise to Supreme Court. In what sense does it signify
culmination of the rights revolution?
Pg 138
-Reasons for demise of liberal activism. Argues that judicial liberalism
persisted amidst national conservatism.
-How much should personal beliefs and outside events influence court
decisions? Is there any ďstrictly impartialĒ judgment?

Conservative and Liberal commentary on the Warren Court
-Fairly uncomplicated reading
-Conservative discourse discusses Brennanís opinion that constitutional law
could be substituted for the constitution itself.
-Liberal view uses the race case of New York Times Co v Sullivan to laud the
Judicial activism in upholding individual rights.