How Supreme Court Decisoins have affected American Society.

Essay by IsoleneUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2003

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The Supreme Court has been given credit and blame for having a wide range of effects on society. The decisions that they have made on current and past issues have initiated change in American society. These changes have had both positive and negative results. The effects of their decisions have ranged from improving the status of certain ethnic groups to limiting the procedures of law enforcers and clearly defining the rights of lawbreakers. In essence, Supreme Court decisions have had a profound influence on the behaviors of citizens as well as the political structure of this nation.

The decisions of justices have "altered behavior of political and governmental officials as well as a man walking down the street"(Miller 4). To understand the role of the Supreme Court in the American system then one must pay attention to the social impact of court decisions. "The supreme court has assumed the task (of)...enforcing

a law known to all, of deciding what law ought to be and making any changes called for" (Knight 1). Decisions are made by the Justices from conflicting principles not because of the law, but because of an evaluation of what impact the decision will have on American society.

The Supreme Court has had a greater important impact then any other government institution on society as a whole. The decisions have affected people's behavior as individuals and social institutions such as the family and economy (Baum 318). The decisions of the Supreme Court justices have "affected the social behavior of people by influencing...(their) thinking and the structures in which they operate"(Baum 319).

"Change is the primary characteristic of American Society" (Miller 4). Change must also exist in American law. As society progresses and changes, the Court must address injustices as a result of change and determine criteria for a...