The Law: The Legacy of the Warren Court

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In a few of the criminal cases, one or two votes could possibly change the balance. Miranda, for example, was decided by a 5-to-4 margin. It may be that Burger and Justices of similar temperament will in the future give the police the benefit of the doubt in resolving close cases based on Miranda. But like other Justices, Burger will be deterred by the doctrine of stare decisis (respect for precedent) from abandoning rules that have been law for three years now. Even so, under Burger's leadership, the court is more likely to return to the role of anchoring the ship of state than to try steering it into new waters.

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