Topics in the News
Abortion: Roe v. Wade
Meet Jane Roe.
In late 1969 Norma McCorvey, twenty-one and single, found herself with an unwanted pregnancy. She worked as a waitress in a bar; previously she had worked with a traveling circus selling tickets. She already had a five-year-old daughter for whom she could not afford to care. McCorvey's mother had taken custody of her daughter. She had little money and nowhere to go. McCorvey's father was unable to provide for both Norma and her future child. She did not think she was in any condition to care for another child. She wanted an abortion. In Texas she could have one only if her life was endangered by a pregnancy, which it was not.
Coffee and Weddington.
McCorvey met Linda Coffee, a young attorney concerned about feminist issues. Coffee spoke on women's rights around Dallas, where she lived. She was active in the Women's Equity Action League, an organization that worked for equal employment opportunity for women. One of five women in the 1965 first-year law-school class at the University of Texas, Coffee had found it difficult to find a job despite her stellar law-school record. She believed that equality was not possible for women until they had control over their fertility. She joined up with Sarah Weddington, a law-school classmate. They wanted to challenge Texas's abortion statutes in court as unconstitutional, Once they met...
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The Attica Riot and the Rights of Prisoners
The Attica Riot.
On 9 September 1971 inmates began a riot and takeover at the Attica State Correctional Facility in New York. The takeover ended four days later when law enforcement officers stormed the prison. Forty-three people were killed: ten prison guards who were being held as hostages and thirty-three inmates. The Attica riot captured the attention of the nation, directing interest to prison conditions and the rights of prisoners.
The riot at Attica came after a summer of tension and unrest at the prison. The prison was over-crowded, housing 2,250 men in a facility considered safe for 1,600. Racial tensions were also high. The prison had no black guards and only one Puerto Rican guard, yet the inmates were 54 percent black and 9 percent Puerto Rican. Tensions at the prison grew after inmate George Jackson was shot to death at San Quentin prison in California. Inmates assumed that he had been murdered because he was a black radical. On 9 September minor disciplinary actions against two fighting inmates erupted quickly into a full-scale riot involving more than a thousand inmates. Fifty prison guards were taken as hostages. Most were beaten by angry inmates. Several seriously injured hostages were released, and one hostage died as a result of his injuries.
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The Changing Legal Profession
An Increase in Lawyers.
The legal profession under-went major changes in the 1970s. The number of lawyers almost doubled between 1970 and 1980, from 278,000 to 525,000. The number of lawyers relative to the population also increased. In 1970 the United States had one lawyer for every 572 people. In 1980 there was one lawyer for every 418 people, a bigger change than in any other ten-year period. The biggest jump in enrollment in law schools and admission to the bar occurred between 1970 and 1972.
Expansion of Firms.
Long-term changes in the practice continued. The percentage of lawyers who practiced by themselves declined from 36.6 percent to 33.2 percent. Overall, the number of lawyers who worked in private law firms declined from 72.7 percent of all lawyers to 68.3 percent. The number of associates, or beginning lawyers, in law firms increased. Overall government employment stayed about the same, and there was a substantial increase in lawyers who worked for local government, from 2.4 percent to 5.6 percent.
The substantial increase in the number of lawyers and the number of law-school graduates entering practice kept the average lawyer's earnings down. Measured in constant 1979 dollars, lawyers and judges earned an average of $39,000 in 1969 and only $36,700 in...
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Crime and Public Opinion
A Political Issue.
Public concern about crime grew in the late 1960s. In 1968 Richard Nixon and George Wallace made crime a major part of their campaigns for the presidency. This concern about crime continued in the 1970s. Public-opinion surveys repeatedly listed it as one of the top public priorities.
An Increase in Crime Rates.
Rates for many crimes did increase in the late 1960s and early 1970s. According to the FBI, the rate of violent crimes increased from 364 per 100,000 population in 1970 to 581 in 1980, an increase of 60 percent from 1970 to 1980. The rates for property crimes went from 3,621 in 1970 to 5,319 in 1980, an increase of 47 percent from 1970 to 1980. The increases in crime rates during the 1970s occurred mostly in the first four years and the last two years of the decade. Many experts blamed part of the increase in crime on the increased leniency of the criminal justice system and criticized the new rights granted criminal defendants by the Supreme Court. Some authorities pointed to the continuing high levels of poverty in many areas particularly in the central cities, where crime rates were highest. Finally, many pointed to what they saw as the decline of important social institutions, particularly community and the family among black and other minority groups, and increased permissiveness toward drug use, welfare,...
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The Death Penalty
The Death Penalty in the 1960s.
In 1970 thirty-nine states allowed the death penalty for some crimes. Six states had abolished the death penalty in the 1960s, and about 40 percent of the people who were asked in public-opinion surveys said that the death penalty should be abolished. States were executing few in-mates, largely because death-penalty opponents were mounting a legal campaign to obtain stays of execution in every case. During the 1960s about forty persons a year were sentenced to death, but only a few were executed. No one was executed in the years from 1968 to 1971.
Challenges.The legal campaign against the death penalty was led by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The LDF had long been concerned with the death penalty because it was more often imposed on blacks than on white people who had committed the same crime. The LDF mounted a campaign to challenge the constitutionality of the death penalty precisely because it did not provide "equal protection of the laws," as required by the Fourteenth Amendment. In
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The Due-Process Revolution
The Case of Esther Lett.
Esther Lett received Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), government assistance that went largely to single-parent families in which the adult in the family did not have a job. In 1967 the state of New York cut off her assistance, claiming that she had worked without informing them. That violated the rules. But Lett had not worked in violation of the rules. She should not have been cut off from payments. She could ask for a hearing to challenge the decision, but in the meantime she and her children had to find whatever charity they could. Neighbors gave them food. Some of it was spoiled, and Lett and her children ended up in the hospital from food poisoning. Afterward she sued the welfare agency, and it reinvestigated her case and reinstated her.
Brutal Need and the AFDC Recipient.
Legal-services attorneys who worked in the New York Mobilization for Youth (MFY) program were looking for ways to make the law work for the poor. They argued that because the people on AFDC needed the money so badly—because they were in "brutal need" of assistance—government agencies should not be able to cut off benefits without first providing a hearing. MFY attorneys put Lett's case together with twelve others and sued. The due-process clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments says that no one shall "be deprived...
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Employment Opportunity: Job Requirements and Discrimination
Low Wages, No Transfer.
The Dan River Steam Station, owned by the Duke Power Company, had ninety-five employees. Fourteen were black. Employees could work in one of five areas: labor, coal handling, operations, maintenance, and laboratories and testing. The highest wages in the labor section were lower than the lowest wages in any other area. It was generally not possible to transfer between areas. All the black employees were in labor, with no hope of moving up.
The Civil Rights Act and Employment Opportunity.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited racial discrimination in employment. Duke Power could no longer officially discriminate. In September 1965 Duke Power instituted two tests—the Wonderlic Personnel Test and the Bennett Mechanical Comprehensive Test. If an employee passed the tests, he could transfer between sections. Black employees seldom passed the tests and there-fore could not transfer to better jobs. They sued Duke Power with the help of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. They maintained that the tests did not measure the employee's ability to do a job and that they resulted in black employees being passed over for better jobs. Duke Power itself could not show that those who did well on the tests performed better in their new positions. The black employees argued that the test violated the new Civil Rights...
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New Laws and New Roles for the Courts.
Debate over environmental protection grew markedly during the 1970s, and much of the struggle occurred in the courts. Congress passed several statutes that gave courts a central role in environmental enforcement. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 (NEPA) required the federal government to write an environmental impact statement for all "federal projects with a significant environmental impact." Opponents of a project could go to court to challenge the adequacy of the impact statement. The Clean Air Act amendments of 1970 required the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set health-based standards for local air quality. Areas whose air quality did not meet those standards had to develop plans for meeting them. The Water Pollution Control Act amendments of 1972 imposed similar requirements for water pollution. Standards could be challenged by environmental groups or by companies required to reduce their pollution. As a result, courts became a principal battleground in the struggle over environmental regulation. During the 1970s there were 855 federal lawsuits involving NEPA, 233 involving clean air, and 508 involving clean water.
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The Equal Rights Amendment
Debate over ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment provided one of the key political struggles of the 1970s. Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972. However, before it could become part of the Constitution, it had to be ratified by three-fourths (thirty-eight) of the states. The text of the amendment was simple:
- Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
- The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
- This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
Quick Support in 1972.
Congress first considered an equal rights amendment in 1923, and the proposal came up regularly after that. Proponents never overcame the opposition of social reformers and labor unions concerned about how the ERA would affect labor legislation protecting women and children. By 1972 organized labor dropped its objections, and in March of that year Congress passed the ERA. The only contentious issue was whether the amendment should explicitly exclude women from the military draft. ERA proponents objected to any special treatment and managed to defeat the provision. Many states were eager to ratify the ERA....
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Equality Before the Law: Men and Women
Military Husbands and Wives.
The Equal Rights Amendment was not ratified, but even as the states considered it, the Supreme Court was contemplating the extent to which the law could treat men and women differently. Sharron Frontiero, a lieutenant in the United States Air Force, challenged the military's benefits rules. Military wives were automatically extended health and medical benefits. But when Frontiero asked for those benefits for her husband, she was turned down. Frontiero claimed that the policy discriminated against women, violating the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws."
Gross, Stereotyped Distinctions.
In Frontiero v. Richardson (1973), the Supreme Court decided that the military policy violated the equal protection clause. The Court said that the government had to have a good reason to treat men and women differently because of their sex. It was not enough to assume that husbands support their wives, but that wives...
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The Great Society and Legal Assistance.
The Office of Economic Opportunity began to fund lawyers for poor people in 1965. While legal-aid programs already existed in many cities, they were poorly funded and often unable to meet requests for help. The federally funded legal-services programs were designed to coordinate the provision of legal aid and to help the poor by working for social change through law. They also represented the poor in their ordinary legal troubles, such as conflict with landlords or family problems. The efforts of legal service attorneys to benefit the poor were extremely controversial. Congress regularly considered cutting back the cases that the attorneys could take.
The California Story.
California legal-services attorneys, particularly the California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) program, brought many of the lawsuits that expanded legal protections for poor people. The CRLA also tried to work with farmworkers for better conditions in agricultural labor. They worked extensively with Cesar Chavez, a leading organizer of the United Farmworkers' Organization. Organizing for agricultural laborers was extremely controversial because of the political power of California farm owners. The CRLA was therefore the target of much criticism. The CRLA was successful in challenging cuts to public medical care in California and...
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The Other Side of Law and Order: Nixon and the Constraints of Law
The Example of Watergate.
President Nixon's emphasis on law and order often clashed with the way the Nixon administration operated. The administration often acted as if it were not subject to the limits of constitutional and statutory restrictions, particularly in its political-campaign activities. The conduct of the Watergate affair and cover-up provides the clearest example of this attitude. The Watergate affair started with the arrest of Nixon campaign operatives for attempting to burglarize the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Several officials, including Nixon, then became involved in an illegal cover-up. Their actions included destroying evidence, paying the Watergate burglars to keep silent, and refusing to obey court orders to provide evidence. The cover-up conspiracy failed only when one of the convicted burglars revealed the payoffs and prosecutors were able to persuade White House officials to cooperate. White House and campaign officials were convicted and served time in prison for their actions. Nixon himself would have stood trial if President Gerald Ford had not pardoned him.
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The Supreme Court and Public Policy: The Supreme Court of the 1970s
The Warren Court and Judicial Activism.
As Richard Nixon ran for president in 1968, he promised the American people he would restructure the Supreme Court. Reflecting the attitudes of many conservatives, Nixon opposed the judicial activism of the Warren Court, which, since the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, had used the court system to end racial discrimination in education, employment, and politics. The Warren Court also expanded the scope of individual liberties, especially the rights of the accused, and eliminated restrictions on free speech and publications. The Warren Court was dominated by liberals such as William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, William Brennan, and Thurgood Marshall—men who believed in using their constitutional authority to expand civil liberties and redress social inequality. Nixon had a different perspective on the Court. He promised to appoint only "strict constructionists," men who favored a narrow interpretation of the Constitution and who would return the Supreme Court to its traditional conservatism. Nixon soon had the opportunity to keep his promise. He replaced retiring Chief Justice Earl Warren with Warren Burger soon after taking office in 1969. He appointed three other justices in 1970 and 1971. Initially, however, he had difficulty getting his nominees confirmed.
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Paddling in Schools
Slow to Respond.
Another due-process issue involved corporal punishment in school. James Ingraham was a student at Drew Junior High School in Dade County, Florida, in the fall of 1970. On 6 October 1970 Ingraham did not leave the stage in the school auditorium as quickly as his teacher expected when the teacher asked. Ingraham was sent to the principal's office for a paddling. He protested his innocence and refused to submit to the punishment. Two assistant principals held him over a table while the principal hit him twenty times with a paddle. Ingraham went to the hospital and was out of school for two weeks as a result.
Cruel and Unusual?
Many students at Drew had similar stories. The principals continued to beat the children after their parents objected. The parents decided to sue. They claimed that the school discipline violated the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. They also claimed that the paddling violated the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because the students did not get some kind of hearing to determine whether they had violated the rules.
The Supreme Court announced its decision in the case on 19 April 1977. The Court decided with a five-to-four vote that the schools could paddle...
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The Rights of the Accused
The Supreme Court Rethinks Rights.
One of the key targets of critics of the Supreme Court was the rights granted to accused criminals. President Nixon looked to eliminate or reduce those rights in appointing Warren Burger as chief justice to replace Earl Warren. However, the Burger Court did not revoke the rights granted by the Warren Court. Nor did it eliminate the exclusionary rule, which prohibited illegally obtained evidence from being used in trying the accused. The Court's changes were much more limited. For example, the Court decided that even if an accused person had not been read his Miranda rights, a statement he made could be used to counter his in-court testimony. That was a retreat from the principle that only if one's rights had been read to him could the evidence be used in courts. But the Court had not completely overturned the requirement that the police read an accused person his or her rights. The votes in these cases were divided, and changes in the law moved slowly.
Sometimes the different sides in the Court agreed on an extension of the rights of the accused. For example, the Court decided unanimously in 1972 in Argersinger v. Hamlin that anyone accused of a crime for which he could be put in prison was entitled to an attorney. That decision was based on the Warren Court's decision in 1963,...
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Desegregation in the 1970s.
By 1972 black children and white children in the South were going to school together. Much of the resistance to desegregation evident in the late 1950s and 1960s had been resolved in the South. The Department of Justice's efforts at enforcement, alongside the threat of cutting off federal funds under the 1964 Education Act, had effectively desegregated many southern schools. When desegregation moved north, however, circumstances changed. In 1970 the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare pursued fifteen desegregation cases; in 1973 it pursued one.
Image Pop-UpForced busing to desegregate schools in Boston, Massachusetts led to resentment and protest rallies by many whites during the 1970s.
In 1971 the Supreme Court decided Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg. It held that the Constitution required school districts to dismantle systems that had long been segregated. The Court specific-ally held that this might mean changing attendance zones and putting children on school buses for the purpose of school desegregation. While courts ordered busing to desegregate schools, President Nixon...
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Bakke, Allan 1940-
MEDICAL STUDENT AND LITIGANT
From Engineer to Doctor.
Allan Bakke was a symbol of the white backlash to civil rights and affirmative action programs. Son of a Minneapolis mailman and a teacher, Bakke originally was graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in engineering. To complete his obligations to NROTC, Bakke served four years in the marines, including a tour in Vietnam. He later maintained his experience in the war caused his interests to turn from engineering to medicine, but upon his return to America, he received a master's degree from Stanford, and became an engineer at the NASA Ames Research Center, south of San Francisco. At Ames, Bakke designed experimental equipment to test the effects of weightlessness and radiation on animals. The work furthered his interests in medicine, and working full-time, he enrolled in a full schedule of premed courses, and volunteered at a local hospital. In 1972 he applied for admission to eleven medical schools in the country, including the nearby, state-subsidized University of California, Davis. Despite high test scores (above the ninetieth percentile in three of four Medical College Admission Test categories), Bakke was rejected by all eleven schools.
Bakke's first choice of medical schools, the University of California, Davis, had...
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Burger, Warren 1907-
CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT
Nixon's Judicial Counterrevolution.
President Richard Nixon wanted to change the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court when he appointed Warren Burger as chief justice in 1969. For the previous sixteen years the chief justice had been Earl Warren. Warren pre-sided over an era of unprecedented judicial activity. The Court asserted constitutional limits on national and state governments in the areas of racial segregation, criminal justice, and legislative representation. In 1968 fearing that Richard Nixon—whom Warren detested—would be elected president, Warren resigned in 1968 so that Lyndon Johnson could select his replacement. However, when Johnson's choice, Abe Fortas, withdrew from the nomination because of questionable financial dealings, Nixon got his chance.
Nixon Chooses Burger.
Nixon chose little-known federal appeals court judge Warren Burger. Burger's judicial record reflected Nixon's concerns in two important ways. First, Burger argued for "strict constructionism," where courts would "apply the law" and not use the Constitution to legislate social policy. He...
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Calley, William 1943-
My Lai and the Vietnam War.
The trial of Lt. William Calley for the murder of unarmed Vietnamese civilians in My Lai raised many difficult issues for the American people over the conduct of the Vietnam War. The massacre was cited by many as a war crime and genocide, demonstrating the immorality of the American war effort. Others defended Calley, saying that he was a soldier doing his duty in a brutal war. They said that it was unfair to punish Calley without also punishing the whole army as well as the society that had placed him in Vietnam and taught him to kill.
The My Lai Massacre.
On 16 March 1968 Lieutenant Calley led his platoon into My Lai, South Vietnam, along with two other platoons of Charlie Company. They had expected to meet heavy Vietcong resistance, but they reached the village without a challenge. Finding only women, children, and old men in the village, they nonetheless went in shooting. They rounded up other villagers, herded them into a ditch, and shot them with automatic weapons. Calley's platoon was responsible for over one hundred deaths. Many young women and girls were...
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Jaworski, Leon 1905-1982
SPECIAL PROSECUTOR IN THE WATERGATE CASE
An Independent Prosecutor.
When in November 1973 the Nixon administration appointed Leon Jaworski special prosecutor in the Watergate case, many suspected that he was a Nixon crony, bent on obstructing the legal issues in the case and absolving the Nixon administration of wrong-doing. Nixon had already fired the previous Watergate special prosecutor, Harvard law professor Archibald Cox, precisely because of his insistence on pursuit of the truth in the case no matter which administration officials—including the president—were hurt. Jaworski, moreover, seemed comfortable with those whose political conduct may have left them vulnerable to scandal. He successfully defended Lyndon Johnson against vote-rigging charges following the congressional elections of 1948; won another electoral case for Johnson in 1960; and was associated by many with fellow Texan John Connally, whose close ties to Nixon were well known. Yet Jaworski kept Cox's staff, continued his investigation of corruption in the Nixon administration, and subpoenaed the White House for Watergate tapes and documents—evidence that ultimately brought down the Nixon presidency. Leon Jaworski was every bit as high-minded and unbiased in pursuing the truth as had been Cox.
Background and Career.
Like Cox, Jaworski was...
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Marvin, Michelle 1931-
Michelle Marvin was a Las Vegas dancer and a supper-club singer. In 1964 she met the actor Lee Marvin on the set of the movie Ship of Fools, and she moved in with him shortly after that. When they split up in the early 1970s, she claimed she had cooked and cleaned for him and taken care of him after he had been drinking. She said he told her "What I have is yours and what you have is mine." California had laws requiring that married people split the assets of their marriage; although the Marvins were not formally married, Michelle believed she was entitled to money from him. Lee Marvin disagreed. Their dispute went to the California Supreme Court.
The California Supreme Court held in 1976 that Lee Marvin and Michelle Marvin had an im-plied contract, of a type that was legally recognized. Although Michelle Marvin was not married to her live-in partner, she was entitled to a financial settlement (called palimony by the press) after their split for the same reason a married woman might be eligible for alimony. Aware that they were setting precedent, the court held that a trial court would always have to evaluate the particular situation in palimony suits. It would have to check, for example, whether a couple had mixed money and property or perhaps identified themselves as...
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Sirica, John J. 1905-
Man of the Year.
Time magazine's Man of the Year in 1973, John J. Sirica was a model of integrity as the presiding federal court judge during the Watergate case. He exposed the truth behind the various deceits of the Nixon administration, flushed malefactors from cover, and insisted that the president act according to the law he was sworn to obey. His zeal in pursuing the case made him the object of some criticism, but without Sirica's dogged persistence Watergate might never have been exposed.
Fighting for Success.
Sirica's determination to get at the truth in the Watergate case was characteristic of a man whose life was spent overcoming adversity. Son of an Italian immigrant stricken with tuberculosis, Sirica followed his father (a barber) and the rest of his family on their travels through the South and the West—Florida, Louisiana, California—seeking a healthy climate. The constant in their lives was poverty: Sirica supplemented his father's income by waxing cars and selling newspapers. He nonetheless managed to graduate from Columbia Preparatory School and, after several false starts, in 1926 finally graduated from Georgetown Law School. Although an unimposing man physically (standing five feet six inches tall), Sirica worked his way through college as a boxing coach and sparring...
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Weddington, Sarah 1946-
WOMAN LAWYER AND ABORTION RIGHTS ACTIVIST
Roe v. Wade.
When the Supreme Court ruled on 22 January 1973 that state abortion laws must be changed to allow women the choice of legal, safe abortion, no one was more surprised than Sarah Weddington. A longtime Texas advocate for woman's rights, Weddington, along with her associate Linda Coffee, had never tried a case before Roe. When they won their class-action suit against the State of Texas, the Texas Attorney General appealed the case to the Supreme Court. The case was virtually unprecedented, and some observers believed the novelty of the issue, as well as Weddington's inexperience, were behind the Court's unusual request to hear arguments in the case twice. Weddington nonetheless convinced the Court of the merit of her case, and Roe v. Wade became the most sweeping—and controversial—Supreme Court decision since Brown v. Board of Education (1954). In her first court case, Sarah Weddington had succeeded in altering one of the...
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People in the News
In 1978 David Berkowitz pleaded guilty to six murders and seven attempted murders in what had become known as the "Son of Sam" case in New York City. Berkowitz terrorized the New York City area for over a year with a series of random shootings of people in parked cars with a .44-caliber pistol. He identified himself as the Son of Sam. He later explained that he adopted the name because the "demons" in his neighbor Sam Carr's dog "made him do it." Berkowitz originally pleaded insanity but was found competent to stand trial. He was sentenced to twenty-five years to life for each of the murders.
In 1976 Don Bolles, a reporter for the Arizona Republic newspaper, was killed when a bomb exploded in his car. Bolles had written a series of articles exposing organized crime's involvement in land fraud. Three men were convicted of Bolles's murder. The three men were connected with Kemper Marley, Sr., an Arizona liquor wholesaler who was reportedly angered by Bolles's articles and thought they had cost him a seat on the Arizona Racing Commission. Marley was not charged in Bolles's murder.
In 1976 Rubin ("Hurricane") Carter, a former prize-fighter, was retried for murders he insisted he did not commit. His insistence on his innocence drew many supporters. He was convicted in two separate trials but was finally released in 1985 as having been wrongly...
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Barbara N. Armstrong, 85, first woman law professor in the United States, 18 January 1976.
Alexander M. Bickel, constitutional-law scholar at Yale University, 7 November 1974.
Hugo L. Black, 85, associate justice of the Supreme Court (1937-1971), 25 September 1971.
Leo Brewster, 76, United States District Court judge who supervised and decided the school-desegregation case in Fort Worth, Texas, 27 November 1976.
James F. Byrnes, 93, associate justice of the Supreme Court (1941-1942), 8 April 1972.
Tom C. Clark, 78, associate justice on the Supreme Court (1949-1967), 13 June 1977.
Ben C. Connally, 65, federal district court judge who presided over Houston's school-desegregation case, 2 December 1975.
Clifford J. Durr, 76, lawyer in the New Deal and in the Truman administration until he objected to loyalty oaths; active in civil rights in Montgomery, Alabama, 12 May 1975.
Morris L. Ernst, 87, lawyer who successfully defended James Joyce's Ulysses against charges of obscenity, 22 May 1976.
Lon L. Fuller, 75, leading legal scholar of contracts and jurisprudence, 8 April 1978.
Carlo Gambino, 74,...
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Shana Alexander, Anyone's Daughter (New York: Viking, 1979);
Carl Bernstein and Robert Woodward, All the President's Men (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1974);
Bernstein and Woodward, The Final Days (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976);
Charles Black, Jr., Capital Punishment: The Inevitability of Caprice and Mistake (New York: Norton, 1974);
Rubin Carter, The Sixteenth Round: From Number One Contender to Number 45472 (New York: Viking, 1974);
Seymour Hersh, Cover-Up (New York: Random House, 1972);
Philip B. Kurland, Watergate and the Constitution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978);
Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979);
R. Shep Melnick, Regulation and the Courts: The Case of the Clean Air Act (Washington, D. C.: Brookings Institution, 1983);
National Staff of Environmental Action, Earth Day—The Beginning: A Guide for Survival (New York: Arno, 1970);
Tom Wicker, A Time to Die (New York: Quadrangle, 1975);
J. Harvie Wilkinson III, From Brown to Bakke: The Supreme Court and School Integration, 1954-1978 (New York: Oxford University...
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Important Events in Law and Justice, 1970–1979
- On January 19, President Richard Nixon nominates G. Harrold Carswell for Supreme Court justice. On April 8, the Senate rejects Carswell because of his weak record on civil rights.
- On February 18, the trial of the Chicago Seven ends. All defendants are acquitted on charges that they conspired to cause a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Five defendants are eventually convicted of individually crossing state lines with intent to cause a riot. In 1972 these convictions are overturned because of prejudicial conduct by the trial judge.
- On March 23, the Supreme Court rules that people receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children are entitled to a hearing before their benefits are cut off.
- On March 31, the Supreme Court rules in In re Winship that juvenile convictions that rest on "preponderance of the evidence" burden of proof violate the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. Instead, juvenile convictions must be held to the stricter "beyond a reasonable doubt" threshold.
- On May 15, the Supreme Court decides that men who object to military service for moral reasons are entitled to draft exemptions as conscientious objectors.
- On June 9, Harry A. Blackmun was sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.
- On June 22, the...
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