American Judges Association


Date of this Version

April 2002


Published in Court Review: The Journal of the American Judges Association, 39:1 (2002), pp. 26-33. Copyright © 2002 National Center for State Courts. Used by permission. Online at


The United States Supreme Court’s 2001-2002 term at least gave the appearance of a more unified Supreme Court— at least when compared to the previous term, which was marked by an overwhelming number of 5-4 decisions—and featured several unanimous or near unanimous decisions. Specifically in the Fourth Amendment area, but also in other cases, the Court seemed at times to break free from the typical conservative-liberal divide that was so salient a year ago. This term, the Court confronted significant issues regarding the increased susceptibility to searches and seizures of bus passengers, students, and probationers; the death penalty and its limitations; the assistance of counsel in minor criminal cases; the constitutionally required roles of the judge and jury in criminal cases; and further interpretation of the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.

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