scispace - formally typeset
Search or ask a question

Showing papers in "Supreme Court Review in 1962"




Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Baker v. Carre and Engel v. Vitale as mentioned in this paper opened the federal courts for review of State legislative apportionment by accepting jurisdiction over a challenge to Tennessee's failure to redistrict in accordance with the terms of its own constitution.
Abstract: I. ENGEL V. VITALE The two decisions of the 1961 Term that aroused the greatest public interest were Baker v. Carre and Engel v. Vitale.2 The first opened the federal courts for review of State legislative apportionment by accepting jurisdiction over a challenge to Tennessee's failure to redistrict in accordance with the terms of its own constitution. The second invalidated the use in New York's public schools of a prayer composed by the Board of Regents. \"The Tennessee decision and its aftermath have, predictably, brought protests from rural forces. But the criticism has been relatively mild, and there has been strong support for the court from many quarters. It is ironic that a case with so much less potential for real change in the country's social and political structure-the prayer case-has provoked so much greater outcry.\"8

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, Baker et al. pointed out that the Alabama constitution does not change the representation in the state legislature based on the population of the state, and proposed a constitutional amendment to change it.
Abstract: OF THE UNITED STATES 360 [1961].) 171 The provision of the Alabama constitution referred tois the last sentence of ? 284. Section 284 prescribes the mode of amending the constitution. The last sentence provides: \"Representation in the legislature shall be based upon population, and such basis of representation shall not be changed by constitutional amendments.\" Ala. Code ? 284 (1958). Article IX of the Alabama constitution, ?? 197-203, prescribes the composition of the Alabama legislature. Section 197 fixes the size of the Senate at not less than one-fourth nor more than one-third of the number of representatives. Section 198 limits the size of the House of Representatives to 105, plus one for each new county, and provides for decennial reapportionment \"among the several counties of the state, according to the number of inhabitants in them, respectively.\" Section 199 provides that each county shall be entitled to at least one representative. Section 200 provides that the legislature shall determine s natorial districts \"as nearly equal to each other in the number of inhabitants as may be,\" that each district shall elect one senator, and that no county shall be divided between two districts. Section 202 prescribed the initial allocation of representatives and Section 203 determined the initial groupings of counties into senatorial districts. These original pportionments of Senate and House have continued in effect until the present. If ? 284 is taken literally there is obvious incompatibility between itand Article IX. However, all the provisions were adopted simultaneously in the constitution of 1901. In an advisory opinion the Supreme Court of Alabama held that a proposed consti252] BAKER V. CAR R 313 Representatives must depart substantially from the population standard, asthe Alabama constitutional provisions require,'72 then \"it may well be\" that representation according to population must \"to some extent\" be reflected inboth Houses. Whether this latter requirement was thought to follow solely from the Fourteenth Amendment the court did not make clear, although that appears to have been its view; here and throughout the opinion, however, there was a confusing interweaving of State and federal constitutional arguments. Indeed it is not clear whether the court meant o advance as an independent ground for invalidating the proposed constitutional amendment that under State law the State constitution was not amendable inthe manner proposed.178 In holding the statutory eapportionment invalid the court chose the House of Representatives provisions as the chief target of its criticism. The Senate provisions were \"a step in the right direction\" though \"an extremely short step.\" They eliminated a few of the more glaring disparities but left control of the Senate in 27.6 per cent of the people, \"an improvement of only 2.6 per cent over the present control f 25.1 per cent,\" and they also left wide disparities tutional mendment providing for allotment of representatives on a bracket system, with a maximum of 12 representatives for the largest counties and a minimum of one for counties with less than 38,500 population each, was consistent with S 284. It also held that a proposal for giving one senator to each county under 650,000 population and two to each county over that number was not consistent with S 284, but that its adoption would be lawful and would impliedly repeal ? 284. Opinion of the Justices, 263 Ala. 158 (1955). The district ourt's repeated reference to? 284 as the \"controlling or dominant provision\" of the Alabama constitution is difficult to understand. 172 What the court apparently regarded as a substantial departure from the \"population standard\" would necessarily result, under either the present or the proposed constitutional provisions, from the limit on the size of the House of Representatives in combination with the requirement that each county have at least one representative. While the principle here is the same as that which determines the federal House of Representatives, the resulting disparities in any particular State may of course be greater than in the case of Congress. 173s Despite the Alabama Supreme Court opinion referred to in note 171, supra, the district ourt expressed doubt hat it would be followed in view of the fact that the Alabama court had divided 4-3 on the question and that two of the majority, but none of the dissenters, had since been replaced. The district court said: \"The manifest uncertainty of the legality of the proposed constitutional amendment ... forces this Court o the conclusion that he Legislature may not have complied with the State Constitution in the passage of such an Act.\" 314 THE SUPREME COURT REVIEW [1962 existing in the weights of individual votes as between the most populous and least populous groups of districts. The House of Representatives provisions, however, were \"totally unacceptable\" because \"no rational reapportionment plan was followed.\" This characterization is difficult to follow. What he legislature obviously did was distribute among the larger counties the 39 representatives remaining after giving each county one, allowing a maximum of 12 to Jefferson, the largest county, and allowing proportionate extra representation to the others. Thus Jefferson County with 634,000 population was given 12 representatives, Mobile with 314,000 received 6, Tuscaloosa with 109,000 received 3, and so on. Disparities within the \"brackets\" which were allotted extra representatives do not appear great; for example, the largest 3-representative county has a population of 117,000 and the smallest 95,000. That the court should consider this not a \"rational\" plan is incomprehensible, unless it meant that amathematical formula, orsome particular mathematical formula, must be employed. The latter inference is suggested by the court's contrasting endorsement of the \"equal proportions method,\" adopted in the proposed constitutional amendment, as a \"known and accepted\" standard of apportionment. As a further reason for invalidating the reapportionment statute the court observed that it would not go into effect until the election of 1966 and that here was no good reason why the plaintiffs should be thus postponed in the enjoyment of their rights. It deserves note, however, that he members of both houses of the Alabama legislature are elected for four-year terms.'74 If the legislature considered that he interval between July 12 and the date of the general election in November was too short to permit reasonable opportunity for selecting candidates and holding campaigns in the newly constituted districts, he election of 1966 was the earliest next date which could have been chosen. Itwas also, of course, the earliest date at which an election under the proposed constitutional amendment could be held since approval of the amendment at a general election was a prerequisite. The court considered only the latter factor and deemed it eliminated by the ruling invalidating the proposed amendment. On July 25 the court entered a decree enjoining all election officials in Alabama from taking any steps in connection with the 174 Ala. Const., art. IV, 5 46. 252] BAKER V. CARR 315 holding of elections for members of the State legislature \" xcept and in accordance with the apportionment of the Alabama Legislature as hereinafter specifically set out.\"17 It then decreed the number of representatives each county should have, adopting in this respect the apportionment prescribed in the proposed constitutional amendment, and it specified the composition of the 35 senatorial districts, adopting in this respect the apportionment prescribed in the invalidated new statute. It ordered officials of the State Democratic and Republican Committees, together with certain State officers, to take the necessary steps to nominate candidates for an election of the new legislature in November, and it decreed that the new apportionment should remain in effect until the legislature reapportions itself \"in accordance with the equal protection provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment.\" In adopting this apportionment the court made clear that it did not regard it as meeting the constitutional standard permanently required but that it preferred taking parts of legislation already passed by the legislature to imposing a wholly new apportionment of the court's own devising. It expressed the hope that the revisions ordered would \"break the stranglehold\" on the legislature and enable it to reapportion itself constitutionally. On August 25 Mr. Justice Black denied a stay.176 D. THE GEORGIA C SES 1. The county-unit case. Within hours after Baker v. Carr was announced, the attack on the so-called county-unit system of voting for Statewide offices was renewed. In Sanders v. Gray\"77 a voter in Fulton County, Georgia's most populous county, sought a declaration of the invalidity of the Neill Primary Act,178 the county-unit statute, and an injunction against the holding of any primary under 175 Decree, Sims v. Frink, Civil Action No. 1744-N (M.D. Ala.), filed July 25, 1962. 176 N.Y. Times, August 26, 1962, p. 42, col. 3. The reapportionment problem ay have reached its apex of irony in the statement a tributed toMr. Justice Black in denying the stay: \"All preparations for this primary appear to have been made. No facts are alleged or shown which in my judgment would support a stay that would so drastically disrupt the state's primary plan.\" 177 203 F. Supp. 158 (N.D. Ga. 1962). 17s Ga. Laws 1917, p. 183 et seq., as amended by Ga. Laws 1950, p. 79, GA. CODE ANN. ?? 34-3213 to 34-3218. 316 THE SUPREME COURT EVIEW [1962 its terms. The governor, not waiting for action by a court, called a special session of the legislature shortly afterward\"79 and on April 27 a new county-unit statute was enacted.'s8 On April 28 the federal district ourt heard and granted the plaintiff's application for what the court termed a \"temporary\" injunction.

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the Court was split asunder on the question of the existence of such a constitutional right, although it did not-nor did it have to-resolve the question.
Abstract: Decisions of the Supreme Court involving the right to privacy or containing extensive r ferences to that right have been part of the staple fare of constitutional litigation for many decades. Only last Term, in Lanza v. New York,' the Court was split asunder on the question of the existence of such a constitutional right, although it did not-nor did it have to-resolve the question. Even the casual reader soon realizes, however, that he phrase \"right to privacy\" is used to describe a variety of interests, hat it is urged upon the courts in a wide range of circumstances, andthat judges use it in different senses and for varying purposes.2

6 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine how far the Supreme Court has gone in deciding when mens rea is a constitutional requirement and why, and conclude that the Court's failure to make the effort is a mark of inadequate performance in an increasingly important area of its adjudication.
Abstract: \"The existence of a mens rea,\" the late Chief Justice Vinson once opined, \"is the rule of, rather than the exception to, the principles of Anglo-American criminal jurisprudence.\"' Mr. Justice Brennan later quoted the remark with evident approval, but went on to add a qualification: \"Still, it is doubtless competent for the States to create strict criminal liabilities by defining criminal offenses without any element of scienter....\"2 Then, he qualified the qualification: \"[But] there is precedent in this Court that this power is not without limitations.\"3 To paraphrase: Mens rea is an important requirement, but it is not a constitutional requirement, except sometimes. One purpose of this paper is to examine how far the Supreme Court has gone in deciding when mens rea is a constitutional requirement and why. The thesis advanced here is that the Court has accomplished little not contained in the paraphrase attempted above. There are difficulties, but the Court's failure to make the effort isa mark of inadequate performance in an increasingly important area of its adjudication. It will also be suggested that the shortcomings on the constitutional level, both in result and rationale, have been

4 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A significant proportion of the United States Supreme Court's business in recent years has been concerned with motions for leave to file a petition for the original writ of habeas corpus.
Abstract: A significant proportion of the United States Supreme Court's business in recent years has been concerned with motions for leave to file a petition for the \"original\" writ of habeas corpus.' Some 2,000 such motions have been filed with the Court during the past three decades,2 an astonishing total in the light of the fact that relief has been denied in every instance. Indeed, it seems that not since 1925

2 citations