Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



In the final weeks of its sixteen year history, the subject matter of the Warren Court's opinions ranged over most of the major constitutional issues with which it had concerned itself since 1953, and out of which it developed the seminal decisions for which it will be remembered. For example, it upheld an Alabama desegregation plan which provided for proportional racial representation on public school faculties,' and found a snack bar in a privately owned recreational facility to be within the "public accomodations" definition of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It rejected a North Carolina county's request to reinstate a literacy test for voter registration on the ground that the county had not met its burden of proving that for the past five years,under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, such a test had not been used for voter disfranchisement on a racial basis. It applied the confrontation clause of the sixth amendment to state criminal procedure, upheld, under the first amendment an "equal time"provision in an order of the Federal Communications Commission,and, in the process of invalidating the Ohio Criminal Syndicalism Act,overruled the 42-year-old case of Whitney v. California.' The Chief Justice himself, speaking for the Court, invalidated a New York freeholder voting law under the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment, and in a landmark opinion declared that in determining upon the seating of duly elected representatives, Congress was limited to the specific qualifications set out in the Constitution.' In two California cases, the Court reiterated the rule that search of person and premises, with or without warrant, was limited to the immediate area of apprehension, while in cases from Maryland and North Carolina, the Court set out applicable criteria for determination of double jeopardy.