As expressed in the Constitution, the Supreme Court holds the powers of the Judicial Branch which handles cases involving citizens rights by examination of the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court’s sanction of the Bill of Rights demonstrates their comitment to the U.S. Constitution to fulfill the image conceived by our forefathers of a more equal and perfect union.
To achevie this, Due Process had to be established. Due Process is a gareentee of the people’s rights as citizens of the United States. The Supreme Court has a duty to protect and varify these rights. The Supreme Court has traditionally suceeded in carrying out this duty which is proven by examination of the cases Mapp v. Ohio, Miranda v. Arizona and Gideon v. Wainwright.
In the case Mapp v. Ohio(1961), Dollree Mapp’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the police searched her home unreasonable and without a warrent. Evidence found during the search was used against her in court. Mapp filed a suit against them and took it to the Supreme Court. After reveiwing the case, the court found the acts that were comitted by the Ohio state police were unlawful according to the Bill of Rights.
Justice Clark states, “…in extending the substansive protections of due process to all constitutionally unreasonable searches-state or federal-it was logically and constitutionally necssary that the exclusion doctrine-an essential part of the right to privacy-be also insisted upon as an essntial ingredient of the right…(streetlaw)” Obviously the Supreme Court finds it necessary to enforce a constitutionally based law in order to protect the rights of individuals being accused.
Therefore, the court ruled in favor of Mapp. The court continues to show their favor to the Constitution in the case Miranda v. Arizona.
In the case Miranda v. Arizona(1966), Ernesto Miranda’s Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights were denied when he was interrogated by the police and was not informed of his rights against self-incrimination nor his right to an attorney.
These acts were, more than likely, deliberatly done by the police in order to get a confession. Having known a little about his right to an attorney, Miranda asked the Supreme court to evaluate his case. The court found that Miranda should have been appointed a lawyer in his defence and any statements by him should have not been used against him during his trialbecause he had not been informed of his rights.
Cheif Justice Warren says “we deal with the admissibility of statements obtained from an individual who is subjected to custodial police interrogation and the necessity for procedures which assure that the individual is accorded his privilege under the Fifth Ammendment to the Constitution not to be compelled to incriminate himself…(streetlaw)” The Supreme Court willing releases Miranda even when they had a confession proving that they care more about keeping the integrity of Due Process than just criminal justice. They demonstrate this yet again in the case of Gideon v. Wainwright.
In the case of Gideon v. Wainwright(1963), Clarence Gideon’s Sixth Amendment right was violated when he did not receive a lawyer because he could not afford one. Gideon knowing that he had the right to an attorney according to the Sixth Ammendment, decided to write a petition to the Supreme Court.
After the court heard his case, they decided that because a lawyer was not appointed, Gideon received an unfair trial also considering that he did not represent himself well anyway. Justice Black states that “reason and reflection require us to recognize that in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him(streetlaw).”
In each case represented, the Supreme Court has held their position in protecting Due Process without wavering. Some would aurgue though, that the Supreme Court did not show Due Process in the New Jersey v. T.L.O case.
In the New Jersey v. T.L.O case, T.L.O claimed that her Fourth Amendment rights were violated when her school’s Vice Principal Choplick, searched her purse for cigarettes and also found evidence that she had been dealing drugs. When she brought her claim to the Supreme Court, the court ruled in favor of New Jersey. Here is what Justice White says:
“Today’s public school officials do not merely exercise authority voluntarily conferred on them by individual parents; rather, they act in furtherence of publicly mandated educational and disciplinary policies…(streetlaw)” This infers that by entering into a public falcility, some rights must be revoked in order to keep disipline as well as the safety of the public.
Although the idea of revoking certain rights may sound contradictrary to Due Process which are supposed to be inalienable rights, it would certainly be essential to maintain public safety and student disipline rather than having the risk of granting rights to those who may be too irresponsible to handle them.
The cases Mapp v. Ohio, Miranda v. Arizona and Gideon v. Wainwright, all demonstrate a constant theme in the Supreme Court’s justice system. They show the importance of Due Process rights and how these rights affect us as citizens.
Without Due Process imagine what America would be like. Being a citizen would have no weight under the law and America would be more like the land of the oppressed instead of the free.Our birthright in this country is to a voice in government otherwise we would, ironically, be just like the country the colonist left over two hundred years ago.
This the reason the Fathers of this country appointed a specific branch to value the rights of the people living in this country and it was set up in such a way that if that branch failed to do so, the government would collapse because “nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws(streetlaw).”