Political Science

Topics: Supreme Court of the United States, United States, Thurgood Marshall Pages: 2 (767 words) Published: February 15, 2011
Both the movie “Separate but Equal”, and the article “ How the Supreme Court Arrives at Decisions” by William J. Brennan, Jr., shows how the Supreme Court deals with issues, and what it takes for them to come up with a decision. It is a very complicated process because they have to be able to interpret the text of thee Constitution and come up with a ruling which so often can change a current law and affect every citizen in the United States. If they do not take the time need then it can be catastrophic for the country. In “Separate but Equal” all the justices had different views on the issue concerning racial segregation in public schools. Some of these views had to do with what state the Justices came from and what those particular states believed in and represented, and some felt that way on a personal level. Decisions like that should not be made based on personal preference or because of where you were born and raised. Because of these multiple opposing opinions, it was very difficult for the Supreme Court to come to a ruling on this case. In the article, Brennan says that Justices represent the citizens who elected them their representative, and they make their decisions based on the law.

One contrast between Brennan’s article and “Separate but Equal” is the Conference for that days case agenda. In the article, Brennan explains how the Justices gather together each with a copy of the agenda of the cases. The Chief Justice is the first to talk. He will explain each of the cases for that day, and then give all the other Justices an opportunity to express their opinions on each case. If a case gets four out of nine votes for review, it is transferred to the oral argument list. However, in the movie “Separate but Equal”, this step is skipped. The petition just goes straight to court for the hearing.

The allowed time limit is also another difference between the article and the movie. In the article, Brennan explains that each party is allowed one hour, and...
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