Posted: March 24th, 2022

Supreme court philosophies and rulings (final paper) | CRJ 514 Constitutional & Judicial Processes | Ashford University

      Garnering all of the information about constitutional rights and the justice process you have received from this course and your understanding of the “personalities” of the U.S. Supreme Court, prepare a six to eight page paper (not including the APA title and references pages) in which you detail the history of the Supreme Court from 1953 to the present day as it relates to one of the specific issues listed below. Evaluate the terms of the Warren Court (1953-1969), the Burger Court (1969-1986), the Rehnquist Court (1986-2005), and the current Roberts Court (2005-present) to your chosen issue, listed below. Examine the political philosophies of each court, and indicate significant changes in the law concerning your chosen issue that was witnessed through each court’s era. Then, examine the current makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court and modern trends in constitutional law and criminal procedure. Based on current trends, discuss whether or not you believe the criminal justice process will fundamentally change or remain the same in the foreseeable future for your chosen issue.

Your paper will focus on the court process, judicial process, and constitutional issues for one of the following issues:

  • The right against self-incrimination and the right to remain silent (U.S. Const. amend. V)
  • The right to privacy for computer, Internet, and cell phone property and communications (U.S. Const. amend. IV)
  • Search and seizure laws as applied to computer, Internet, and cell phone property and communications (U.S. Const. amend. IV)
  • Right to counsel (U.S. Const. amend. VI)
  • Capital punishment and cruel and unusual punishment (U.S. Const. amend. VIII)
  • Right to trial in criminal proceedings (U.S. Const. amend. VI)
  • National security considerations

You may choose a different issue, but you must obtain instructor approval by the end of Week 2.

The Final Paper must

  • Be six to eight double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and be formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Writing Center (Links to an external site.).
  • Include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Use at least eight scholarly sources in addition to the course text.
  • Document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Writing Center.
  • Include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Writing Center.

Original Outline For the Final Paper



Between 1941 and 1953, the United States’ legal system gradually opened up. During this time, the United States’ first constitution was drafted. People’s civil rights and civil liberties were important considerations when drafting the constitution (Spohn & Hemmens, 2012).  Hugo Black, Frank Murphy, and other liberal activists banded together in the 1950s as part of the Warren-Court judicial activism to implement liberalism. The judiciary’s focus shifted from property rights to liberty for individuals, as well as enforcing ethical standards and rendering just decisions (Neubauer, 2018). Since then, the constitution has been updated to reflect changes in technology, human behavior, and social norms, ensuring that their libertarian and civil rights continue to be protected at all times. 

The right to privacy for computer, Internet, and cell phone property and communications (U.S. Const. amend. IV)

The Warren Court sat on the US Supreme Court from 1953 to 1963. Because Chief Justice Earl Warren presided at that time, every state had the same same constitution and laws. Since the constitution was liberalized, civil rights and civil liberties have increased as well as judicial and federal powers. Due to the rise of the digital era, the court made certain that anybody held in prison was informed of their rights, including the right to remain silent. Discrimination in the courtroom was eradicated regardless of a person’s ethnicity or social position.

For about a decade, the Burger Court, the nation’s highest court, served as the country’s conservative bulwark during the country’s liberalization phase before turning more liberal again. The law, on the other hand, prioritized handwritten and face-to-face interactions as being protected above electronic ones. 

Warren and the other liberal radicals were replaced by Chief Justice Burger and three other justices, including William H. Rehnquist (Gizzi, 2019). Technology and electronic communication had advanced significantly during this time period. As a result of the widespread adoption of Fiber Optic telephone lines, intercommunication among many modes of communication improved, and the Internet grew in importance. Floppy disks increased the amount of data that consumers and businesses could store electronically when computers had a limited storage capacity.

Between 1986 to 2005, William Hobbs Rehnquist served as the Supreme Court’s chief justice, and throughout that time, technology had undergone radical transformation. As a result of the internet, PCs, laptops, and mobile phones have all improved. Websites, emails, chat rooms, satellite communication, electronic conference calls and chats, and electronic billing are just a few examples of the new forms of communication. A new regulation was needed to protect personal information after people realized they could transmit bogus communications via networks and extract data from any phone or computer linked to the network by intercepting those broadcasts. In 2001, he filed a dissent in the case of Bartnicki v. Vopper, which dealt with the privacy of electronic communication (Klimecki, 2018). Children now have access to material that was previously out of reach thanks to the expansion of the Internet. State libraries supported by government should screen technology before it reaches minors, according to William Rehnquist in a 2003 decision involving the United States versus the American Library Association. That’s what he got for standing up for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (Pendergrass, 2019). When he retired in 2005, William Rehnquist had a lasting impression on the field of tech law. He had the most cases, but he never actually solved any of them. It was he who disseminated them and then pooled their ideas to make important decisions and pass important legislation A federal court found that Congress could not override the state’s sovereign immunity, even if it sued for infringement of intellectual property rights. The court took a turn away from conservatism and established new rights for individuals, businesses, and the media.

After Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s rulings on privacy of all electronically stored data and anti-piracy of copyright works in 2005, the Supreme Court has been known as the Roberts Court. He determined that accessing data on electronic storage devices like as computers, laptops, cell phones, and tablets without the agreement of the owner was equivalent to entering people’s homes or offices, and thus he prohibited this unless a warrant was issued. To find offenders or suspects, the police were permitted to utilize tracking and GPS equipment. Since so many people use their phones to save everything, access data in offices and banks, communicate on both official and intimate levels with business partners, family and friends, as well as take photos and videos, the privacy rule on cell phones received a great deal of attention.

Supreme Court regulations in the criminal justice system must be regularly revised to ensure that all activities and processes within the system are as efficient as possible. New technologies and new criminal results necessitate constant changes in policy in the digital age. Each case is decided by a majority vote of nine justices to ensure impartiality. Minimum of five justices are required in the courtroom and must be replaced in the event of death or redundancy if nine are not available. To successfully and efficiently judge on matters involving various individuals, the judicial court needs a blend of religious, cultural, and social ideas and attitudes.


From the Warren Court, which loosened up the system, to today’s Roberts Court, individual freedom and private rights have been steadily expanded. Laws will have to keep up with technological advancements if they are to remain effective. Nowadays, almost everything is done using a computer, a smartphone, or a laptop connected to the internet. These days, very few people get out of bed early enough to meet or trade with others. Future economic growth and development will be dependent on Internet connectivity with these devices.


Gizzi, M. C., Bruno, A. M., Mulligan, C. C., & Curtis, R. C. (2019). The fourth amendment and the potential use of field-portable mass spectrometry systems in law enforcement. Journal of Crime and Justice, 42(3), 316-330.

Klimecki, O. M., Sander, D., & Vuilleumier, P. (2018). Distinct brain areas involved in anger versus punishment during social interactions. Scientific reports, 8(1), 1-12.

Neubauer, D. W., & Fradella, H. F. (2018). America’s courts and the criminal justice system. Cengage Learning.

Pendergrass, K. L., Sampson, W., Walsh, T., & Alagna, L. (2019). Toward environmentally sustainable digital preservation. The American Archivist, 82(1), 165-206.

Spohn, C., & Hemmens, C. (2012).  Courts: A text/reader (2nd ed.). Sage.

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