Manual Latinos and American Law: Landmark Supreme Court Cases

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United States , one of the cases in which the Court used an expansive reading of the Commerce Clause to eradicate racial discrimination. First, at issue was access to the voting booth, one of the most fundamental rights in the American legal system. Latinos did not initiate the Katzenbach litigation although Ms. As a practical matter, Katzenbach resulted in breaking down barriers to the voting booth for many Latinos, and ultimately led to bilingual ballots, further enfranchising non-English-speaking citizens.

Katzenbach provided strong support for the power of Congress to adopt remedial legislation to vindicate civil rights violations, and has not been without its critics. Madison on its head by judicial deference to congressional interpretation of the Constitution. Mitchell , where it upheld a federal law granting the vote to eighteen-year-olds in connection with the Voting Rights Act Amendments of , but found that Congress could not do so with respect to state elections.

Section 4 e is but one part of the VRA. In , the VRA turned forty years old. Voting initiatives such as the Southwest Voter Registration Project were created to increase the number of registered voters and encourage Latinos to exercise their right to vote, political action that together with the legal and demographic changes has expanded Latino voters. Latinos have had proportionately fewer eligible votes than other groups, partially because of the number of non-citizen immigrants in some of the communities.

The amendments added a section prohibiting discriminatory voting practices based on language. DeGrandy Chapter Arizona and the Rights of the Criminally Accused A. Background Miranda v.

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Arizona , or at least its central holding, is the most widely known Supreme Court opinion featured in this book. Apart from the warnings themselves, Miranda is a landmark case because it is one of the main triumphs or travesties, depending on point of view of the Warren Court. Miranda is a core case for almost all criminal procedure classes in law school, and thousands of written articles, texts, cases, and other materials discuss Miranda.

Although Miranda is actually one of four consolidated cases, it has become the leading case for those propositions. The Southwest has a history quite different from the history of the states that were previously British colonies. Military and physical force secured the Midwest, Florida, and the Southwest for the migrants from the eastern United States in the nineteenth century. In short, the experience of Mexicans in the Southwest somewhat resembled that of antebellum blacks in the South.

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The criminal justice system was no exception. Double standards existed in the case of justice toward Mexicans. Youngsters were dragged out of restaurants and off streetcars, mauled and beaten by the yelling mob. According to Time magazine, the strategy of the police was to accompany the sailors in police cars, watch the beatings, and jail the victims.

Confidential and American Me. Years later, in the s, riots would again erupt in part due to perceptions of unfair treatment at the hands of law enforcement by members of the MexicanAmerican, or, as they were generally known by some, Chicano, community. Miranda is based on the right against self-incrimination found in the Fifth Amendment to the U.

Miranda involved a prosecution by a state government Arizona , not the federal government. Nevertheless, the federal Constitution applies to prevent overreaching by state governments as well because of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, enacted in , and the so-called Incorporation Doctrine.

Some justices, primarily Justice Hugo Black, an Alabama Democrat appointed by President Roosevelt who had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan, championed the position that all of the Bill of Rights should be considered totally incorporated. In Balzac v. Porto [sic] Rico Chapter 2 and Hernandez v.

Texas Chapter 3 , the Supreme Court was unanimous. Not so in Miranda. Miranda then twentythree years old for kidnapping and raping an eighteen-year-old girl. According to the reported case accounts, the following happened. On March 3, , the eighteen-year-old girl had left her job at a concession stand at the Paramount Theater in downtown Phoenix, taken a bus near her home, and started to walk home when she noticed Mr.

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He then tied her hands and ankles and placed her in the back of his car, drove her to another location about twenty minutes away, and raped her. Phoenix police took Mr. Miranda into custody at a police station. Miranda into interrogation room number 2 of the detective bureau. Miranda signed a typed and written confession to the crimes. Miranda was also convicted in a separate trial for committing another crime, an unrelated robbery.

Not only did Mr. Miranda guilty of the kidnap and rape and he was sentenced to prison for twenty to thirty years for each crime. The sentences were to run concurrently they run at the same time and thus overlap. Miranda appealed his convictions to the Arizona Supreme Court, complaining of a number of 64 T Arizona procedural technicalities, including a defective indictment; prejudicial jury argument by the prosecutor, who stated that the victim acquiesced in the rape due to fear; and violation of his constitutional rights in the manner in which his confession was obtained.

Miranda then appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which heard argument on February 28, , and issued its landmark ruling on June 13, In other words, the Supreme Court had reversed Mr. At oral argument, Mr. Flynn described Mr. In response to questioning from Justice Potter Stewart as to the rights of a suspect when the investigation has focused on him, Mr. Miranda, and that the voluntariness of confessions ought to be viewed on a case-by-case basis, considering the totality of the circumstances.

If we are talking about equality between the policeman and the criminal, we are on dangerous ground. They are not attempting to put innocent people in jail. Nedrud argued that without confessions, there would be fewer convictions, the obvious implication being that criminals would go free. Three and a half months after oral argument, on June 13, , the Supreme Court issued its opinions.

Sonia Sotomayor

Arizona privilege under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution not to be compelled to incriminate himself. Chief Justice Warren discussed the procedural safeguards that must be employed. Likewise, if the individual is alone and indicates in any manner that he does not wish to be interrogated, the police may not question him.

Sensitive and aware of the criticism of the Court following Escobedo, Justice Warren manifested a need to tie the decision to the roots of the American system. Its roots go back into ancient times. The opinion cites materials from prosecutors, police training manuals, law review articles, a study by the Commission on Civil Rights from , and other materials. Arizona as the incriminating statement or confession was freely and voluntarily given, once the suspect was warned of his or her rights. We also fully recognize the obligation of all citizens to aid in enforcing the criminal laws.

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Chief Justice Warren also noted that such safeguards hold in several other common law jurisdictions, namely Scotland, England, India, and Ceylon. Chief Justice Warren then addressed each of the four consolidated cases individually, and in the case of Mr. There were four dissenters, and three separate dissenting opinions. Roosevelt, wrote one of the dissents. President Harry Truman appointed Tom Clark as his attorney general, then appointed him to the Court in The second, longer, dissent was authored by Justice John M.

Harlan, appointed to the Court by President Dwight D. The foremost requirement, upon which later admissibility of a confession depends, is that a fourfold warning be given to a person in custody before he is questioned.

The Most Important Supreme Court Cases of 2019 (Real Law Review) // LegalEagle

There was, in sum, a legitimate purpose, no perceptible unfairness, and certainly little risk of injustice in the interrogation. Justice White also wrote a dissenting opinion, which Justice Harlan and Justice Stewart joined as well. Kennedy, frequently voted with the government in matters of criminal procedure. As a consequence, there will not be a gain, but a loss, in human dignity. The real concern is not the unfortunate consequences of this new decision on the criminal law as an abstract, disembodied series of authoritative proscriptions, but the impact on those who rely on the public authority for protection and who without it can only engage in violent self-help with guns, knives and the help of their neighbors similarly inclined.

There is, of course, a saving factor: the next victims are uncertain, unnamed and unrepresented in this case. Nor can this decision do other than have a corrosive effect on the criminal laws as an effective device to prevent crime. A major component in its effectiveness in this regard is its swift and sure enforcement.

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  • The easier it is to get away with rape and murder, the less the deterrent effect on those who are inclined to attempt it. This is still good common sense. If it were not, we should posthaste liquidate the whole law enforcement establishment as a useless, misguided effort to control human conduct. As a result of this 5 — 4 decision, Mr. Miranda changed how law enforcement and the criminal justice system have interacted with all citizens and others, including Latinos. Additionally, Miranda has had a widespread effect on American life.