Series 4, Legal Case Files, 1933-1990 [bulk dates 1960-1984]
Published in cooperation with Princeton University and the ACLU.
This series consists of legal case files that cover a wide range of civil liberties issues. It contains briefs and other pleadings, correspondence, memoranda, and notes. The series is arranged alphabetically by case or individual name.
Some important Supreme Court cases in which the ACLU participated that are documented in this series include the following:
Brown v. Board of Education (1954):
In perhaps the most far-reaching decision of this century, the Court declared racially-segregated schools unconstitutional and overruled the "separate but equal" doctrine announced in the infamous 1896 decision, Plessy v. Ferguson.
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965):
Among the twentieth century's most influential decisions, it invalidated a Connecticut law forbidding the use of contraceptives on the ground that a right of "marital privacy," though not specifically guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, is protected by "several fundamental constitutional guarantees."
Miranda v. Arizona (1966):
This famous decision established the "Miranda warnings," a requirement that the police, before interrogating suspects, must inform them of their rights. The Court embraced the ACLU's amicus argument that a suspect in custody has both a Sixth Amendment right to counsel and a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
In addition to the cases just listed, there are many other cases with a substantial amount of material found in this series. Legal Department Subject Files, 1950-1980 [bulk 1960-1976]