Democracy and Equality: The Enduring Constitutional Vision of the Warren Court

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Oxford University Press, Jan 6, 2020 - LAW - 240 pages
From 1953 to 1969, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren brought about many of the proudest achievements of American constitutional law. The Warren declared racial segregation and laws forbidding interracial marriage to be unconstitutional; it expanded the right of citizens to criticize public officials; it held school prayer unconstitutional; and it ruled that people accused of a crime must be given a lawyer even if they can't afford one. Yet, despite those and other achievements, conservative critics have fiercely accused the justices of the Warren Court of abusing their authority by supposedly imposing their own opinions on the nation.

As the eminent legal scholars Geoffrey R. Stone and David A. Strauss demonstrate in Democracy and Equality, the Warren Court's approach to the Constitution was consistent with the most basic values of our Constitution and with the most fundamental responsibilities of our judiciary. Stone and Strauss describe the Warren Court's extraordinary achievements by reviewing its jurisprudence across a range of issues addressing our nation's commitment to the values of democracy and equality. In each chapter, they tell the story of a critical decision, exploring the historical and legal context of each case, the Court's reasoning, and how the justices of the Warren Court fulfilled the Court's most important responsibilities.

This powerfully argued evaluation of the Warren Court's legacy, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the end of the Warren Court, both celebrates and defends the Warren Court's achievements against almost sixty-five years of unrelenting and unwarranted attacks by conservatives. It demonstrates not only why the Warren Court's approach to constitutional interpretation was correct and admirable, but also why the approach of the Warren Court was far superior to that of the increasingly conservative justices who have dominated the Supreme Court over the past half-century.



Why the Warren Court Matters Today
1 Brown v Board of Education 1954
2 Mapp v Ohio 1961
3 Engel v Vitale 1962
4 Gideon v Wainwright 1963
5 New York Times v Sullivan 1964
6 Reynolds v Sims 1964
7 Griswold v Connecticut 1965
9 Loving v Virginia 1967
10 Katz v United States 1967
11 Shapiro v Thompson 1969
12 Brandenburg v Ohio 1969
Roads Not Taken

8 Miranda v Arizona 1966

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About the author (2020)

Geoffrey R. Stone is the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He has served as Dean of the University of Chicago Law School and as Provost of the University of Chicago, and is the author of many books on constitutional law, including Sex and the Constitution and Perilous Times.

David A. Strauss is the Gerald Ratner Distinguished Service Professor of Law and the Faculty Director of the Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic at the University of Chicago. He is the author of many important articles on constitutional law and of the influential book The Living Constitution.

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