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The National Education already own network presents a law in the news with Professor Joseph R. Julan associate dean of the University of Michigan Law School. I'm talking with Professor Paul Gee corpore of the University of Michigan Law School. He is one of the most respected and productive scholars within that seemingly boundless area of the law. We know as constitutional law Paul the executive branch of government is likely now to move in a different direction in any Nixon road which undoubtedly will be somewhat different from the Johnson trail that coincidentally we anticipate a number of retirements from the Supreme Court. Is it likely that the direction in which the court will move us will likewise be different. And if as I anticipate you may say yes. Why is that so. We have the same Constitution. Is it going to now be a different document. You really have two questions there that may go to the first one I think it is likely that there will be changes within the court personnel
in the next few years in fact we know quite definitely that Chief Justice Warren and tendered his resignation and expects to retire the end of this term. Mr Justice Black is in the 80s and sell his retirement I suppose Medicare in the fairly near future Mr Justice Harlan because of ill health may be retiring so it's very probable that within I would say certainly the next four years will have at least three retirements from the bench and so the new president Mr. Nixon will have an opportunity I think to shape the future development of constitutional law within setting limits of costs by the appointments that he makes. Now you ask why why should that be so. What difference should it make. Who is appointed to the bench along as he is a lawyer and and perhaps a judge or we have the same constitution the same text. The truth is that actually
the subjective part plays a very large element is a very large element in constitutional interpretation. Charles Evans Hughes some years ago made a famous statement repeated so often that perhaps it's trite that we live under a constitution but the Constitution is what the judges say it is. And certainly that's been demonstrated in recent years. We've had divisions within the court between the so-called liberals and conservatives both interpreted in the same Constitution. Or to put it in another way between those identified as a liberal bloc who believe in a vigorous use of judicial power almost to the point where you can say they are engaged in constitution making or in determination of constitutional policy. And on the other hand the conservative group which feels that greater deference should be paid to the legislative branch to the principle of federalism and that's the difference there.
No one can. Look to decisions in recent years on any major question and say this is a result required by the text of the Constitution. Judges own sense of values his creed elections his prejudices play a part. Now I think they're. Probably in the field of race relations law there won't be any change accord it's been unanimous interpretation of equal protection protection against racial prejudice. But I think on such questions as for instance criminal procedure there may be some significant changes perhaps not overruling cases like Miranda and the like but keeping them within limits and not extending them perhaps narrowing them by construction. The same with respect to such matters as obscenities laws and giving effect to state policy there. One brief last question Are you really suggesting that it is likely that court is going to be in a sense politically responsive to the times.
I think so I think you can put it that way that the court may sense that it has lost some of its constituency by some of its interpretations. I've been talking with Professor apology quite proud of the University of Michigan Law School. He is as you undoubtedly know a scholar within the area of constitutional law professor Joseph R. Julan associate dean of the University of Michigan Law School as represented law in the new recorded by the University of Michigan broadcasting services. This is the national educational radio network.
Law in the news
Constitutional law
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Program number 399 focuses on constitutional law and upcoming personnel changes in the judicial branch.
Series Description
This series focuses on current news stories that relate to the law.
Broadcast Date
Public Affairs
Politics and Government
Media type
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Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Speaker: Julin, Joseph R.
Speaker: Kauper, Paul G.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-35a-399 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:04:51
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Chicago: “Law in the news; Constitutional law,” 1969-02-11, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 12, 2024,
MLA: “Law in the news; Constitutional law.” 1969-02-11. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 12, 2024. <>.
APA: Law in the news; Constitutional law. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from