The 1960’s was a watershed year for judicial decisions in the U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren oversaw one of the most progressive courts in U.S. History which handed down many important decisions. Here are ten of the courts most important cases from the 1960’s. The first three cases are extremely significant;
1966 Miranda v. Arizona – Held that a citizen must be informed of his/her rights upon being arrested. Let to “Miranda Warning” that arresting officers repeat when they arrest a suspect (You have the right to remain silent . . .)
1963 Gideon v. Wainwright – This landmark case held that everyone is entitled to legal counsel when planning his or her defense as part of due process. Prior to this people weren’t granted public defenders.
1962 - Mapp v. Ohio – held that any evidence or chain of evidence found during an illegal search cannot be used in any court. For example, if an officer illegally searched a man and found something that led to a murder weapon all the evidence would be thrown out because of the illegal search that revealed it.
1961 – McGowen v. Maryland – allowed laws which had religious origin to be constitutional if a secular purpose could be established. An example would be stores being closed on Sunday morning. You could make an argument for this law being non-religious in nature.
1962 Engle v. Vitale – Banned prayer in public schools.
1964 Beck v. Ohio – Underlined the importance of police having probable cause prior to searching a person for evidence.
1964 Sears v. Stiffle – Said that the power of intellectual property is reserved for the federal government alone. Patents must be registered with the federal patent office or become public domain.
1969 Bradenburg v. Ohio – This first amendment case held that a person cannot be punished for inflammatory speech unless they specifically advocate violence.
1969 Epperson v. Arkansas – Struck down a state law in Arkansas prohibiting the teaching of evolution in public schools.
1967 Loving v. Virginia – Stuck down a state law that opposed interracial marriage.