Background



The Cold War and foreign policy were major issues, particularly America's involvement in the Vietnam War. Civil rights for African Americans continued to remain an important public policy area. The people of the U.S. were demanding more accountability by the government, whether it be in one-person-one-vote, civil liberties, or the right to protest the Vietnam War. The Warren Court played an important part in public policy when it issued its ruling in Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims (cases dealing with reapportionment). The Warren Court was innovative in many areas of civil liberties involving the first amendment. Some of the court's decisions were highly controversial. The court in many instances helped set a public policy agenda for the nation. The 1960's was a decade of social and cultural change brought on by the anti-war movement, the civil rights movement, and the war on poverty. These movements with the help of the Warren Court changed the political landscape of the America. "When all is said and done, Earl Warren was unquestionably one of the great Chief Justices in terms of his impact on constitutional law" (Constitutional Law, page 152).
All of the cases should be discussed in class from this historical and constitutional perspective.