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==The Cold War Court==
Earl Warren, Chief Justice from 1953-1969, led perhaps the most influential period that enhanced a series of civil liberties. One of the most famous cases was <i> Brown v. Board of Education</i> which began the long process of desegregation in public schools and influenced desegregation in general across the United States (Figure 2). Additionally, <i>Reynolds v. Sims </i> forced states to reapportion their legislatures according to changing populations. Thus, districts have to be somewhat equal as to how they apportioned representation. Previously, low population places could be used to influence the legislative process, which in the South had led to restrictive laws against African Americans. Also, the role of religion in schools was severely limited by the case of <i>Engel v. Vitale</i>.
Another landmark case was <i>Gideon v. Wainwright</i>, which required, under the 6th Amendment, states appoint an attorney for defendants in criminal cases. The Miranda rights, which are given in cases where the police detain a suspect, were also a result of the <i>Miranda v. Arizona</i> case, another landmark that has greatly influenced the criminal justice system.<ref>For more on the Warren Court, see: Newton, J. (2014). <i>Justice for all: Earl Warren and the nation he made.</i> Penguin Publishing Grou. </ref>
The court, arguably, took a more conservative turn in the 1970s under the Burger
court, which existed until 1986. Nevertheless, one of the most landmark cases, <i>Roe v. Wade</i> protected individuals' rights to abortion and prevented states from creating restrictive laws against abortion access and upheld affirmative action in <i>University of California v. Bakke</i>. It still remains one of the most polarizing decisions by the Supreme Court. The Court, however, struck down earlier cases that limited campaign finance in <i>Buckley v. Valeo</i>. The Rehnquist Court, from 1986-2005, generally upheld individual rights, such as <i>Lawrence v. Texas</i> that struck down Texas' sodomy law.
The most controversial decision was its involvement in the 2000 election in <i> Bush v. Gore</i> that ended the recount of the election. The court, under Chief Justice John Roberts, is seen as generally being conservative, but key decisions such as <i>United States v. Windsor</i> led to the decision that part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) legislation was unconstitutional and gay and lesbian couples cannot be discriminated on in relation to benefits and rights in cases where they are married.<ref>For more on Burger and the later courts, see: Greenhouse, L. (2012). <i>The U.S. Supreme Court: a very short introduction</i>. New York: Oxford University Press. </ref>
The main controversies today in the Supreme Court, interestingly, are not different from one of the first impeachments in the United States, which had to do with a Justice being perceived as being politically influenced. There are clear and well documents cases where Justices were not impartial, such as in the Dredd Scott case. However, the topic itself remains contentious and the recent appointment of Brett Kavanaugh and the process of his appointing support this. Nevertheless, repeatedly judges nominated by left-leaning or right-leaning presidents often do not follow their perceived political bent, perhaps indicating that the Court has at times maintained a level of independence as envisioned early in its history. <ref>For more on the partial leanings of the Court, see: Baum, L. (2017). <i>Ideology in the Supreme Court</i>. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.</ref>
[[File:59c82e99014f4.image.jpg|thumb|Figure 2. While segregation began its end with Brown v. Education, it also led to racial tensions.]]