Justice Kennedy leads a discussion with students about the Miranda v. Arizona case, which established that criminal suspects must be told of their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and Sixth Amendment right to an attorney.
Incorporating three integral constitutional tenets – due process, equal protection, and privileges and immunities – the 14th Amendment was originally intended to secure rights for former slaves, but over the years, it has been expanded to protect all people. Justice Ginsburg discusses with students its importance.
This documentary explores the landmark Supreme Court decision Miranda v. Arizona that said criminal suspects, at the time of their arrest but before any interrogation, must be told of their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and Sixth Amendment right to an attorney.
In this documentary, Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Stephen G. Breyer and other experts discuss how the principle of one person, one vote emerged from a series of landmark decisions in the 1960s, including Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims.
This documentary explores the landmark case Korematsu v. U.S. (1944) concerning the constitutionality of presidential executive order 9066 during World War II that gave the U.S. military the power to ban thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry from areas considered important to national security.
This documentary tells how an African American construction worker’s personal-injury lawsuit against his employer evolved into a landmark jury selection case Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Co. on the Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government sent people of Japanese ancestry to internment camps. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the government’s right to restrict the liberty of these citizens and noncitizens in two cases: Korematsu v. U.S. and Hirabayashi v. U.S.
Eleven short videos feature constitutional experts, lawyers and judges who discuss juries and jury service, including the American and English histories, the types of juries, how a trial works, and the perspective from the judge, defense and prosecution.
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and a group of high school students discuss the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure in the context of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Mapp v. Ohio.
Justice Breyer and a group of high school students discuss separation of powers in connection with pay discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. that resulted in a 2009 law called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Justices Breyer, Kennedy and O’Connor and students discuss students’ free speech rights in the U.S. Supreme Court cases Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District and Morse v. Frederick.
Supreme Court Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony M. Kennedy discuss with high school students the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education that ended racial segregation in schools.
This documentary examines the case Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886) in which the Supreme Court held that noncitizens have due process rights under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. The Court said that unequal application of a law violated the rights of a Chinese immigrant.
The Sixth Amendment provides many protections and rights to a person accused of a crime. One right is to have his or her case heard by an impartial jury—independent people from the surrounding community who are willing to decide the case based only on the evidence.
The right of due process has grown in two directions: It affords individuals a right to a fair process (known as procedural due process) and a right to enjoy certain fundamental liberties without governmental interference (known as substantive due process). The Fifth Amendment’s due process clause applies to the federal government’s conduct. In 1868 the adoption of the 14th Amendment expanded the right of due process to include limits on the actions of state governments.
The Sixth Amendment right to “be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation” is another protection meant to ensure that the accused receives a fair trail. A speedy, public trial that is heard by an impartial jury is meaningless if a defendant is left in the dark about exactly the crime with which he or she is charged.
The Sixth Amendment guarantees a criminal defendant the right to have an attorney defend him or her at trial. That right is not dependent on the defendant’s ability to pay an attorney; if a defendant cannot afford a lawyer, the government is required to provide one. The right to counsel is more than just the right to have an attorney physically present at criminal proceedings. The assistance provided by the attorney must be effective.
Without this right, criminal defendants could be held indefinitely under a cloud of unproven criminal accusations. The right to a speedy trial also is crucial to ensuring that a criminal defendant receives a fair trial. If too much time elapses between the alleged crime and the trial, witnesses may die or leave the area, their memories may fade, and physical evidence may be lost.
The Fourth Amendment protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures by government officials. A search can mean everything from a frisking by a police officer to a blood test to a search of an individual’s home or car. A seizure occurs when the government takes control of an individual or something in his or her possession.