Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Gault at 50

My colleague Wally Mlyniec notes in an email to the Georgetown University Law Center's faculty, in part in reference to the Georgetown clinic he led for many year:
Today marks a significant day in American jurisprudence and an especially significant day for the Juvenile Justice Clinic. . . .  Norman Dorsen argued the case of In re Gault before the Supreme Court. The case was first noticed by the late Amelia Lewis, a sole practitioner in the state of Arizona. Mrs. Lewis took the case after the family of the boy, Gerald Gault, had virtually exhausted its appeals. The American Civil Liberties Union and its Arizona affiliate underwrote the effort, but Mrs. Lewis paid her way to Washington and her expenses while here. She later said she had been drawn to the case because "I have raised three healthy sons, and I wanted to give something back." The Court’s decision required that lawyers be appointed for all children prosecuted in the juvenile delinquency courts throughout the nation. The Court’s decision also made the due process rights of notice, confrontation, and cross examination, and the privilege against self-incrimination part of the delinquency court process. It also became the basis for all we do in Georgetown’s Juvenile Justice Clinic -- the longest continuously operating juvenile justice clinic in American academia.

The national community of juvenile justice lawyers are commemorating this year as Gault at 50. It will culminate May when we celebrate the rendering of the Court’s decision.