Today in Legal History: Miranda Rights Established

From WikipediaErnesto Miranda’s wrongful conviction led to the landmark case, Miranda v. Arizona (384 U.S. 436). On June 13, 1966, the Supreme Court delivered its decision, establishing that before a defendant’s statement to the police can be admitted as evidence, there must be proof that the defendant was informed of his/her right to counsel and against self-incrimination—what is now called the “Miranda Rights.”

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Supreme Court Nominations in the SU Law Library

Are you interested in learning about the President’s judicial nominations to the US Supreme Court? Look no further than the Seattle U law library. The first book is written by Seattle University’s own Professor Andrew Siegel!

The Supreme Court Sourcebook by Richard H. Seamon, Andrew Siegel, Joseph Thai, & Kathryn A. Watts
Available at SU Law Library LAW-Reserve (Faculty Collection) (KF8742.S425 2013). Publisher’s Description:

The Supreme Court Sourcebook provides carefully selected, edited, and analyzed materials on the Court, including academic literature, historical materials, internal court documents, Court filings, and judicial opinions. The flexible organization suits a variety of courses. An online component keeps the book current and interesting, with ready-to-use materials in pending cases for advocacy and opinion-writing simulations. The combined package gives professors a turnkey solution for teaching a theoretical course (examination of the Supreme Court as an institution), a hands-on course (simulations of oral argument and opinion writing in pending cases), or any custom combination in between.

Supreme Court Nominations: Presidential Nomination, the Judiciary Committee, Proper Scope of Questioning of Nominees, Senate Consideration, Cloture, and the use of the Filibuster by Denis Steven Rutkus
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF8742.S87 2009). Publisher’s Description:

The process of appointing Justices has undergone changes over two centuries, but its most basic feature–the sharing of power between the President and Senate–has remained unchanged. To receive lifetime appointment to the Court, a candidate must first be nominated by the President and then confirmed by the Senate. Although not mentioned in the Constitution, an important role is played midway in the process (after the President selects, but before the Senate considers) by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Since the end of the Civil War, almost every Supreme Court nomination received by the Senate has first been referred to and considered by the Judiciary Committee before being acted on by the Senate as a whole. This book explores the appointment process–from Presidential announcement, Judiciary Committee investigation, confirmation hearings, vote, and report to the Senate, through Senate debate and vote on the nomination.

Strategic Selection: Presidential Nomination of Supreme Court Justices from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush by Christine L. Nemacheck
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF8742.N46 2007). Publisher’s Description:

The process by which presidents decide whom to nominate to fill Supreme Court vacancies is obviously of far-ranging importance, particularly because the vast majority of nominees are eventually confirmed. But why is one individual selected from among a pool of presumably qualified candidates? In Strategic Selection: Presidential Nomination of Supreme Court Justices from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush, Christine Nemacheck makes heavy use of presidential papers to reconstruct the politics of nominee selection from Herbert Hoover’s appointment of Charles Evan Hughes in 1930 through President George W. Bush’s nomination of Samuel Alito in 2005. Bringing to light firsthand evidence of selection politics and of the influence of political actors, such as members of Congress and presidential advisors, from the initial stages of formulating a short list through the president’s final selection of a nominee, Nemacheck constructs a theoretical framework that allows her to assess the factors impacting a president’s selection process.


50 Years Ago: Miranda v. Arizona

Fifty years ago, the United States Supreme Court heard and decided the case Miranda v. Arizona. Today, “Miranda rights” and “Mirandizing” are parts of the country’s legal lexicon. The issues in the case involved custodial interrogations and a criminal defendant’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The U.S. Courts website has a “Facts and Case Summary” page that discusses the four cases consolidated into the Miranda decision and the essentials of the Court’s decision. It also mentions that even though his original conviction was overturned, Miranda was subsequently tried, convicted and sentenced to 20-30 years in prison.


Supreme Court Nomination Process

It does not happen often but the President will soon be nominating a candidate to be the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice. This often contentious process is described in a research guide available from the Georgetown Law Library. The guide details not only the process, but the history of nominations and citations and (sometimes) links to source documents.


Books By and About Justice Scalia in SU’s Library Collection

Written By Justice Scalia:

Reading Law: the Interpretation of Legal Texts by Antonin Scalia & Bryan A. Garner
Available at SU Law Library LAW-3rd Floor (K290.S33 2012)
Publisher’s Description:

In this groundbreaking book by best-selling authors Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner, all the most important principles of constitutional, statutory, and contractual interpretation are systematically explained in an engaging and informative style-including several hundred illustrations from actual cases. Never before has legal interpretation been so fascinatingly explained. Both authors are individually renowned for their scintillating prose styles, and together they make even the seemingly dry subject of legal interpretation riveting. Though intended primarily for judges and the lawyers who appear before them to argue the meaning of texts, Reading Law is sound educational reading for anyone who seeks to understand how judges decide cases-or should decide cases. The book is a superb introduction to modern judicial decision-making.

Making Your Case: the Art of Persuading Judges by Antonin Scalia & Bryan A. Garner
Available at SU Law Library LAW-Reserve (KF8870.S28 2008)
Publisher’s Description:

In their professional lives courtroom lawyers must do these two things well: speak persuasively and write persuasively. In this noteworthy book, two of the most noted legal writers of our day Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner systematically present every important idea about judicial persuasion in a fresh, entertaining way. Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges is a guide for novice and experienced litigators alike. It covers the essentials of sound legal reasoning, including how to develop the syllogism that underlies any argument. From there the authors explain the art of brief-writing, especially what to include and what to omit, so that you can induce the judge to focus closely on your arguments. Finally, they show what it takes to succeed in oral argument.

A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law: An Essay by Antonin Scalia & Amy Gutmann
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF4552 .S28 1997)
Publisher’s Description:

In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Scalia urges that judges resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history. In his view, it is incompatible with democratic government to allow the meaning of a statute to be determined by what the judges think the lawgivers meant rather than by what the legislature actually promulgated. Eschewing the judicial lawmaking that is the essence of common law, judges should interpret statutes and regulations by focusing on the text itself. Scalia then extends this principle to constitutional law. He proposes that we abandon the notion of an everchanging Constitution and pay attention to the Constitution’s original meaning. Although not subscribing to the “strict constructionism” that would prevent applying the Constitution to modern circumstances, Scalia emphatically rejects the idea that judges can properly “smuggle” in new rights or deny old rights by using the Due Process Clause, for instance. In fact, such judicial discretion might lead to the destruction of the Bill of Rights if a majority of the judges ever wished to reach that most undesirable of goals.

Written About Justice Scalia:

Scalia: A Court of One by Bruce Allen Murphy
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF8745.S33M87 2014)
Publisher’s Description:

Scalia: A Court of One is the compelling story of one of the most polarizing figures to serve on the nation’s highest court. Bruce Allen Murphy shows how Scalia changed the legal landscape through his controversial theories of textualism and originalism, interpreting the meaning of the Constitution’s words as he claimed they were understood during the nation’s Founding period. But Scalia’s judicial conservatism is informed as much by his highly traditional Catholicism and political partisanship as by his reading of the Constitution; his opinionated speeches, contentious public appearances, and newsworthy interviews have made him a lightning rod for controversy. Scalia is “an intellectual biography of one of [the Supreme Court’s] most colorful members” (Chicago Tribune), combined with an insightful analysis of the Supreme Court and its influence on American life over the past quarter century.

American Original: the Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia by Joan Biskupic
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF8745.S33B57 2009)
Publisher’s Description:

Combative yet captivating, infuriating yet charming, the outspoken jurist remains a source of curiosity to observers across the political spectrum and on both sides of the ideological divide. But for all his public grandstanding, Scalia has managed to elude biographers―until now. In American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the veteran Washington journalist Joan Biskupic presents for the first time a detailed portrait of this complicated figure and provides a comprehensive narrative that will engage Scalia’s adherents and critics alike. Drawing on her long tenure covering the Court and on unprecedented access to the justice, Biskupic delves into the circumstances of his rise and the formation of his rigorous approach on the bench. This book shows us the man in power: his world, his journey, and the far-reaching consequences of a transformed legal landscape.

What Good is Legislative History?: Justice Scalia in the Federal Courts of Appeals by Joseph L. Gerken
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF425.G47 2007)
Publisher’s Description:

This title from Hein is the first to study the influence of Justice Antonin Scalia’s criticism of legislative histories in more than 250 court decisions. Gerken paints a picture of Justice Scalia’s influence on the judicial system with his approach to statutory interpretation. This book provides unique insight into how judges think and what reasoning goes into their decisions.

Justice Antonin Scalia and the Conservative Revival by Richard A. Brisbin
Available at SU Lemieux Library 4th Floor-Books (KF8745 .S33 B75 1997)
Publisher’s Description

As the leading legal voice of the American conservative movement, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has challenged the assumptions and legal methodology of American liberals. In this thorough and exacting study of the development of Justice Scalia’s legal principles, Richard Brisbin explores the foundation and elaboration of the justice’s conservative political vision. After reviewing Scalia’s legal experiences before joining the Supreme Court and describing the influences on his political and legal thought, Brisbin undertakes a detailed analysis of Scalia’s Supreme Court voting record and opinions. The conservative philosophy emerging from Scalia’s legal decisions, Brisbin argues, assumes the legitimacy and propriety of political regimes functioning under the rule of law. It disciplines—sometimes harshly—inappropriate uses of liberty and accepts the proposition that the law can serve as an effective means to structure, interpret, and control political conflicts. The most comprehensive study of Justice Scalia’s politics and jurisprudence yet published, Justice Antonin Scalia and the Conservative Revival joins a vital discussion on contemporary American conservatism and the use of the law to restrain or undermine the New Deal state.


Today in Legal History: Brandeis Nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court

On January 28, 1916, President Wilson nominated “the people’s attorney,”  Louis D. Brandeis, to the Supreme Court. Brandeis was a legal giant, widely recognized for his weighty influence on the law, his championing of liberal ideals, including the right to privacy, and his creation of the “Brandeis” brief in which factual data was incorporated into legal argument. Brandeis believed in utilizing the law to shape politics, society and economics, and championed many progressive causes. He also became a leader in the Zionist movement and confidante of Franklin Roosevelt.

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Play FantasySCOTUS

Although it does not preempt the field of fantasy leagues, there is a U.S. Supreme Court fantasy site. Actually, it is more of a prediction contest than a fantasy league and it is not available on the NFL channel (or any other channel, for that matter). Still, you can add interest to this term of the Court by competing with your classmates and professors. By the way, Vegas likes Justice Kennedy on the money line.


Supreme Court Insider

The National Law Journal has launched an e-newsletter that covers activities at the United States Supreme Court. The cite features reporting and analysis by two veteran Court reporters: Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle, and will have unique features on attorneys appearing before the court as well as a “SCOTUS scorecard.” A free trial subscription and copy of the first edition are available at the National Law Journal’s website.

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