Criminal appeal

Miranda was a criminal appeal which dealt with matters of an accused’s Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate himself as well as a criminal defendant’s right to counsel. The question presented to the court was a simple matter of whether the police practice of interrogating individuals without notifying them of their right to counsel and their protection against self-incrimination violated the Fifth Amendment?

The Court, including Chief Justice Warren, ruled in a split 5-4 majority that prosecutors were not permitted to use statements stemming from custodial interrogation of defendants unless they demonstrated the use of procedural safeguards "effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination. " Miranda, at 444. The Court further noted that "the modern practice of in-custody interrogation is psychologically rather than physically oriented" Id, at 448 and that "the blood of the accused is not the only hallmark of an unconstitutional inquisition.

" Id. The Court went on to provide a basis as to the importance of police warnings to suspects, including warnings of the right to remain silent and the right to have counsel present during interrogations. (“Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436 (1966)”). The court’s disposition in Miranda extended the scope of federal judicial authority and was looked upon as a liberal move from what was thought to be a conservative appointment.

Nevertheless, as a result of Warren’s decision of to side with the majority in Miranda, it became apparent to the Eisenhower administration that they had made a grievous error in nominating Warren to the bench. Later Eisenhower remarked that the appointment of Warren was “the biggest damned-fool mistake I ever made. ” (The Supreme Court: Justice and Law). It was genuinely unclear as to whether Warren’s mind was changed, or if he had a liberal agenda, cloaked with a conservative front.

From the time of Warren’s appointment and encompassing all the prior appointments to the court, there was little vetting conducted on the background and beliefs of a potential nominee. Prospects were chosen by the nominee’s friendship to the president or through unfounded conservative idealism. As a result of the lack of vetting on the part of the Eisenhower administration, Warren’s legacy was a sort of liberal revolution, ignoring the rule of stare decisis; meaning the case was already decided and there is no reason to rule on it again.

The liberal-minded dispositions that embodied the “Warren Court” were never in-line with the Eisenhower administration’s views on matters of political significance. Nonetheless, Warren deeply engrained the concept of the Constitution being a living document, meaning it was a document that must change with the times, into the core of American law and policies for decades to follow. On October 15, 1956 Sherman Minton, an Associate Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court retired during the court’s summer recess. ("William J. Brennan, Jr..")

In an apparent rush to find a replacement for Minton before the 1956-57 term began, William J. Brennan, Jr. ’s name appeared at the top of a short list of other potential prospects. Again the president’s administration failed to properly vet Brennan because of their belief in his conservatism and the rush to provide the court with a new justice. Three months later, on January 14, 1957, Brennan was formally nominated to the Court, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on March 19, 1957. ("William J. Brennan, Jr. ").