Thursday, August 22, 2019

Minors Rights Supreme Court Essay Example for Free

Minors Rights Supreme Court Essay Throughout the United States’ history, the Supreme Court has decided many cases. Their job is to decide whether or not laws, or punishments given by lower courts, abide by the rules written in the United States Constitution. Their decisions are based upon precedents set by other court cases, or their opinions of what the Constitution means, if there is no precedent. On the topic of the rights of minors, the Supreme Court has justly protected these rights as shown in the cases of In Re Gault, Tinker v. Des Moines, and New Jersey v. T.L.O. In Re Gault was the Supreme Court’s â€Å"first foray† (Dorsen) into the rights of minors as decided by the Constitution. Fifteen year old Gerald Gault was taken into custody for making lewd comments to a neighbor, over the phone. His parents were not notified and he was not given access to an attorney. He was not notified of his right not to self-incriminate and was eventually convicted as an adult and sentenced to jail until age 21. If he had been tried as an adult, it would have been a misdemeanor. Before this case it was considered that minors had no rights until they turned 18 and were legally considered an Adult. Under our Constitution the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court. †¦Due process is the primary and indispensable foundation of individual freedom. It is the basic and essential term in the social compact which defines the rights of the individual and delimits the powers which the state may exercise†¦. (Fortas). The supreme court definitely interpreted the constitution correctly because the constitution states, â€Å"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. This is saying that juveniles accused of a crime must have the same rights as adults. Tinker v. Des Moines covers the controversial topic of minors’ rights in school. Students, including John Tinker, decided to wear black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam war, violating a school policy. â€Å"The school officials banned and sought to punish petitioners for a silent, passive expression of opinion, unaccompanied by any disorder or disturbance on the part of petitioners. There is here no evidence whatever of petitioners interference, actual or nascent, with the schools work or of collision with the rights of other students to be secure and to be let alone. Accordingly, this case does not concern speech or action that intrudes upon the work of the schools or the rights of other students† (Fortas). The final decision of the Supreme Court was that minors do not lose their rights once they walk in the school doors. As long as they are not disrupting the learning process, they are fully protected under the first amendment. New Jersey v. T.L.O. is also very controversial as it deals with minors’ fourth amendment rights of search and seizure. Two freshmen students were caught smoking in the bathrooms of the Piscataway school system. One student denied smoking and was asked to empty the contents of her purse. The principal found cigarettes, rolling papers, marijuana, a pipe, baggies, money and a card indicating people who owed her money for drugs. She was charged as a juvenile for the drugs and paraphernalia found in the search. She fought the search, claiming it violated her Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling, held that the search was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. A school does have the right to search the students on probable cause. In this particular case the school acted on a â€Å"plain view† search once the rolling papers were found in plain view after the cigarettes were lifted out of the bag. . . . The warrant requirement, in particular, is unsuited to the school environment . . . [T]he legality of a search of a student should depend simply on the reasonableness, under all the circumstances, of the search . . . Such a search will be permissible in its scope when the measures adopted are reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction. (White). There was no need for a warrant because the police were not searching her and they were not searching her house or car, only her person. These three cases show that the Supreme Court has been just in ruling on the rights of minors. Juveniles are afforded the same rights to due process as adults when they have criminal charges presented against them. They also have the right to a peaceful demonstration even in a school. In a school setting, it is acceptable that the Court ruled against the rights of minors, in order to provide a safe environment. On the topic of the rights of minors, the Supreme Court has justly protected these rights as shown in the cases of In Re Gault, Tinker v. Des Moines, and New Jersey v. T.L.O.

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