Joseph L. Rubin


On June 20, 1966, the United States Supreme Court noted that it had probable jurisdiction in the case of In Re Gault. Ten months and three weeks later, the Supreme Court reached a landmark decision on judicial handling of juvenile delinquency matters. On May 15, 1967, the court handed down a ruling that many of the constitutional procedural protections previously observed only in adult trials are also applicable to children in juvenile court proceedings. This decision portends a major change in the manner in which most of the nation's three thousand juvenile courts have been functioning. The significance of this Supreme Court decision can be appreciated only when one has an adequate understanding of the law prior to May 15, 1967. It is the purpose of this article to provide that understanding.