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Supreme Court Case Presentation
Transcript of Supreme Court Case Presentation
Reynolds v. U.S (1878)
George Reynolds was known to be the secretary of Brigham Young
Reynolds challenged the anti-polygamy law
Convicted in a Utah
, which was affirmed by the Utah territorial Supreme Court
Mormons believed the law to be unconstitutional .
They argued that it infringed upon their First Amendment right to practice religion.
The Mormon community chose to ignore the new law.
Does freedom of religion allow people to practice their beliefs regardless of what the law says?
New Jersey v. TLO (1983)
Min (Kelly) Kim
Amendment in question: Sixth Amendment.
Even though the defendent was found guilty, does the defendant still have the Sixth Amendment's rights?
Unanimous vote: 9 votes for Gideon; 0 against.
Since the Constitution was strict about putting up the means to be able to have a proper attorney, they said that state courts also had to adhere to that law in state courts having to appoint attorneys for defendants who can't afford their own.
Overturned Betts v. Brady
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
When the police received information that a suspect for a recent bombing case could be in Mapp's home, they went to investigate.
The police officers showed Mapp a fake
and invaded her home.
Although the police officers did not find the bombing suspect, they handcuffed Mapp for being unruly.
Dollree Mapp was convicted after the police illegally searched her home and found obscene materials.
Gideon v. Wainright (1962)
Reynolds v. U.S.
Mapp v. Ohio
Gideon v. Wainright
New Jersey v. T.L.O
Nowhere in the Constitution is it specifically written that a defendant must be indigent in order to be represented by a public attorney. An attorney is a fundamental right and is essential for a fair trial and due process.
No decision. Court scheduled for re-argument.
The court case was argued on March 28th, 1984 then reargued on October 2, 1984, and finally decided on January 15, 1985.
Final decision: Unreasonable searches and seizures applies to private schools, but in this case the search was reasonable.
The Supreme Court voted in favor of Mapp 6-3.
The search was deemed unreasonable.
Her conviction was overturned.
Evidence found and seized in violation of the fourth amendment can not be used in prosecutions.
Addressed the constitutionality of the search of a public high school student for drug possession.
School personnel became suspicious of her when they noticed she chose not to smoke in the smoking designated area but in the bathroom instead.
Search of the student's purse revealed cigarettes, marijuana, and documentation of drug sales.
If the Court allowed religion as a defense, eventually they could have murderers and rapists using religion to shield them from legal responsibility for actions
The law could not rule against opinion, but it could legislate against action.
Since the police obtained the evidence illegally, would that evidence still be allowed to be used in trial?
The incriminating objects were obtained illegally (no warrant).
Her fourth amendment right was violated (illegal search and seizure).
Therefore, material obtained during the search was illegal and was not admissible in court.
Exclusionary rule debate launched.
Clarence Earl Gideon charged in Florida State Court with breaking and entering into poolroom
He appeared in court without attorney, denied public defendant as they were only given to people who committed capital offenses.
Gideon represented himself, found guilty and sentenced to 5 years in prison
Gideon filed habeas corpus petition stating that Florida denied his right to council.
Florida State Supreme Court denied his habeas corpus relief.
Does the exclusionary rule (launched by Mapp v Ohio) apply to searches conducted by school officials in public schools?
Amendment in question: Fourth Amendment
The court was unanimous
The court ruled that the statute can punish criminal activity without regard to religious practices
First Amendment protects religion, but not those activities that are criminal in their nature
New Jersey chose not to include the Fourth Amendment question in their petition because there was
to search TLO, as she had violated a school rule (no smoking in bathrooms) and the drugs and paraphernalia were in plain view (an exception to the 4th amendment and warrant requirement).