Cornell Law Review Volume 90 Issue 2

Education and Interrogation: Comparing Brown and Miranda

Although the Warren Court had its share of grand decisions, perhaps it should be known instead for its grand goals–particularly the goals of ending America’s shameful history of segregation and of providing a broad array of constitutional rights to persons accused of committing crimes.  Brown v. Board of Education and Miranda v. Arizona, the two more well-known decisions of the Warren Court (and possibly the two most well-known decisions in the history of the Supreme Court), best capture the Court’s labor in the rocky fields of our nation’s legal, political, and cultural life.  In this Article, we explore certain parallels between Brown and Miranda.  These similarities reveal the Warren Court’s strengths and weaknesses.  Ultimately, however, both decisions reveal the Warren Court’s failure to level the playing field for America’s students and its suspects.  Both decisions have failed to live up to their initial promise; their inherent flaws resonate even today, serving as a constant reminder of perhaps irretrievably lost progress.


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