Thomas Sowell

 It was just another part of the liberal vision imposed from the bench by an unelected judiciary. Moreover, Miranda was just one in a string of Supreme Court decisions that made it easier for criminals to escape punishment.

 The theory was that a more "enlightened" understanding of crime would reduce the crime rate. Whatever the plausibility of this belief, the facts to the contrary were devastating.

 The murder rate, which had been going down for decades, suddenly shot up. By 1974, the murder rate was twice as high as in 1961. The average person's chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime tripled between 1960 and 1976.

 Anyone can make a mistake but judicial mistakes are set in concrete. Moreover, the very possibility that they might be mistaken never seemed to occur to headstrong Justices.

 When a former police commissioner addressed a gathering of judges in 1965, warning of the consequences to expect from their rulings in criminal cases, Justices Warren and Brennan "roared with laughter," according to the New York Times, when a law professor poured scorn and derision on the commissioner's statements.

 How many crime victims or their widows or orphans would have laughed is another question.

 Brown v. Board of Education was not just about race or schools but was about a whole judicial mindset with ramifications across a whole spectrum of issues -- and reverberations that are still with us in the 21st century. Its pluses and minuses have to be added up with that in mind.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate