The court of law

A group of students and their parents in Des Moines organized to demonstrate against the Vietnam war, students were to wear black arm bands to school to protest against the war. When those in authority at the school found out they warned that anyone who wore a black arm band to school would face suspension from school. Children from Tinker’s family who went on and wore the black armbands were suspended from school. Their parent filed a suit against the school for violating the children’s right to enjoy freedom of speech and expression.

The school defended itself saying that the armbands would disrupt education in the school. The court ruled saying that ‘students do not shed their constitutional rights at the school house gates’ there is a right to freedom of speech and expression everywhere. In ruling on the favor of the Tinkers family the court protected what is known today as ‘symbolic speech’ In 1966, he ruled a case, which clearly defined the rights of the accused: - Miranda Vs Arizona; Ernesto Miranda, who got arrested for kidnap and rape of a young woman, was upon his arrest questioned for two hours. Having no lawyer, he confessed to the crime.

The case was appealed later with a lawyer representing him. In the appeal the lawyer claimed that his client’s rights had been violated. Miranda got acquitted. The ruling stated that all citizens must be made aware of their rights before questioning. Any statement or evidence got before a suspect is read for his/her rights is not acceptable. This has lead to what is referred to today as ‘Miranda Rights’ the right to be read upon arrest and/or questioning; any suspect has a right to remain silent, anything said by the suspect can and will be used against him/her in the court of law.

A suspect has a right to an attorney and in cases where the suspect can’t afford, an attorney will be appointed for him/her. It is important to note however that Miranda was later stabbed to death in a barroom brawl. Articles to support the above 2 cases can be got from ‘Social Studies Help for 11th Grade American History and 12th Grade Economics and AP Government’ In my own opinion, I see that the track of the Warren court was a liberated one; it was very dedicated to the extension and protection of people’s rights.

I personally think Miranda would not have been acquitted, the fact that he had first accepted that he was guilty may be true, I tend to think that if the court had found him guilty he would have probably been sent to the correction centre and perhaps he would have evaded his death as we see that later he was stabbed and died. The case of Tinkers family really proves that people have a right to freedom of speech and expression everywhere, whether in schools, hospitals or homes.

Although some demonstrations can become violent and sometimes the freedom get misused, I think Earl was so right on this judgment, whatever the children had planned to demonstrate against was something most people would have wanted to see coming to an end. What Earl Warren designed then is still in place today, the laws that were amended during his time are still be used today and therefore he has contributed to shaping the judiciary of the United States in a great way. He really implemented the idea of ‘equality’ for all citizens.