Guide The Warren Court: A Retrospective

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If there be … no law now to cover the savage and horrible practices, practices incompatible with the claims of the community in which they are allowed to be committed with impunity to be called a civilized community, then the decent people will say that it is high time that there were such a law. The New York Times editorial did not ring hollow and, faced with an outcry, the New York State legislature took prompt action by enacting a statute in that became the Civil Rights Law, codifying a right of privacy in two short sections.


A person, firm or corporation that uses for advertising purposes, or for the purposes of trade, the name, portrait or picture of any living person without having first obtained the written consent of such person, or if a minor of his or her parent or guardian, is guilty of a misdemeanor. It is this fourth prong that is at the heart of the issue under discussion.

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The New York Court of Appeals has repeatedly stressed that, in New York, the sole remedy for a breach of privacy lies in the statute. In other words, there is no protection in New York for the other types of privacy rights, such as publication of embarrassing private facts or false light portrayals that are protected in many other jurisdictions.


Over the decades, important First Amendment principles and restrictions have been read into the statute and applied by New York state and federal courts to news reporting, matters of public interest, art, music, film, theatre, parody, media, and evolving technology and online usages. The plaintiff made gum and contracted with a ballplayer for the exclusive use of his photo in connection with its sales of the gum.

Topps Chewing Gum Topps induced the ballplayer to permit it to also use his photo, despite the exclusivity held by the plaintiff. Candidates George Wallace and Richard Nixon made law and order the center piece of their campaigns.

The Warren Court in United States - Words | Term Paper Example

The issue tilted the electorate to the right. In rapid succession, President Nixon got to make 4 appointments to the Court. While one prominent scholar could conclude that no counter revolution took place, the Burger Court began a process of cabining Warren Court decisions, almost always cutting back on the Warren Court cases. What if the Presidential election came out differently, with President Hubert Humphrey replacing retiring justices? McGeorge School of Law.

The Warren Court - A Judicial Revolution - Supreme Court Precedence

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