Courts As Legislators

.. gnore it, and significantly weaken the court system. On the other hand, if the court denied the commission, it would appear that the justices acted out of fear of the administration. In Marshall’s decision he declared that Madison should have delivered the commission to Marbury, but then held that the section of the Judiciary Act of 1789 that gave the Supreme Court the power to issues writs of mandamus exceeded the authority allotted the Court under Article III of the Constitution, and was therefore null and void. He was able to chastise the administration and not created a situation where the court would not respected.

With this decision the Supreme Court became arbiter of the Constitution and clearly defined that they where the final authority of what the document meant. This showed that in fact the supreme Court became an equal partner in government, and has played that role ever since. Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 14 U.S. 304 (1816) This case is best known in which the Supreme Court established it rights to review and reverse state decisions. This case concerned a Loyalist, Lord Fairfax, who fled England during the Revolution. Lord Fairfax owned substantial land in Virginia, which he passed on to his nephew, a British subject.

Virginia passed an Act in 1782 voiding this grant based on the contention that, under Virginia law, aliens could not inherit property. Additionally various confiscation measures where enacted, but never implemented, during the war had transferred the Fairfax land to the state. A third party, David Hunter, obtained a grant for a portion of the land from Virginia and brought and act of ejectment against the Fairfax interests. In ensuing challenges, the Supreme Court of Virginia decided for Hunter, but the United States Supreme Court reversed the Virginia court in 1813. In response, Virginia’s judges claimed that, although bound by the Constitution and federal laws, they were not bound by the Supreme Courts interpretation of those laws. This brought the case back to the United States Supreme Court in which Justice Joseph Storey’s opinion powerfully asserted the supremacy of the federal law as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

Thus setting precedent that the Supreme court has the power to reverse a state’s court decision. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966) In this legendary case, popularized in television and movies, it requires police to tell suspects of their right to remain silent, warns that anything they say can be used against them and notifies them of their right to have a lawyer present during questioning. This ruling is aimed at the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. It is rooted in the argument that while the defendant was in police custody was questioned by police officers, detectives or a prosecuting attorney in a room in which he was cut off from the outside world.

None of the defendants was given a full and effective warning of his rights at the outset of the interrogation process. In all of the cases the questioning elicited oral admissions and in three of the cases signed statements as well, all of which where admitted at trial. MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court. The cases before us raise questions, which go to the roots of our concepts of American criminal jurisprudence: the restraints society must observe consistent with the Federal Constitution in prosecuting individuals for crime.

More specifically, 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 Amendment to the Constitution not to be compelled to incriminate himself. [384 U.S. 436, 440] We dealt with certain phases of this problem recently in Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478 (1964).

There, as in the four cases before us, law enforcement officials took the defendant into custody and interrogated him in a police station for the purpose of obtaining a confession. The police did not effectively advise him of his right to remain silent or of his right to consult with his attorney. Rather, they confronted him with an alleged accomplice who accused him of having perpetrated a murder. When the defendant denied the accusation and said I didn’t shoot Manuel, you did it, they handcuffed him and took him to an interrogation room. There, while handcuffed and standing, he was questioned for four hours until he confessed.

During this interrogation, the police denied his request to speak to his attorney, and they prevented his retained attorney, who had come to the police station, from consulting with him. At his trial, the State, over his objection, introduced the confession against him. We held that the statements thus made were constitutionally inadmissible. This case has been the subject of judicial interpretation and spirited legal debate since it was decided two years ago. Both state and federal courts, in assessing its implications, have arrived at varying conclusions.1 A wealth of scholarly material has been written tracing its ramifications and underpinnings.2 Police and prosecutor [384 U.S.

436, 441] have speculated on its range and desirability.3 We granted certiorari in these cases, 382 U.S. 924, 925, 937, in order further to explore some facets of the problems, thus exposed, of applying the privilege against self-incrimination to in-custody interrogation, and to give [384 U.S. 436,442] concrete constitutional guidelines for law enforcement agencies and courts to follow. The Justice Department has recently urged the Supreme Court to reaffirm its 1966 Miranda Decision, arguing that Congress lacked authority to pass a 1968 law intended to reverse Miranda but never enforced. In the 33 years since (Miranda) was handed down, it has become embedded in law, said the filing signed by Attorney General Janet Reno, asserting that the decision has become a constitutional foundation that cannot be reversed through legislation.

It still rests with the Supreme Court to decide in upcoming weeks whether to review the 1968 decision. As you can see in the three examples given, the Supreme Court has not authored new laws, changed or repealed them. The rulings they have handed down have affected many individuals. The interpretation of the laws and amendments they have reviewed, have dictated the way the police departments, other law enforcement agencies and courts do business, thus in my opinion acting as legislators in some form. COURTS AS LEGISLATORS BIBLIOGRAPHY InfoPedia 2.0 1992-1995 Softkey Multimedia American History Online- http://Longman.awl.com Find Law: Laws, Cases and Codes – http://Findlaw.com Encyclopedia Britannica- http://Britannica.com Business Law-The Legal, Ethical, and International Environment Third edition Henry R. Cheeseman Legal Issues.