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Warren E. Burger: U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice: Overview

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The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right, by Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse. 
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2016.
MNHS call number: KF8748 .G69 2016

Nomination of Warren E. Burger
This is the transcript of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing on the nomination of Burger for chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
MNHS call number: KF 8745.B8 U5

The Burger Court: The Counter-Revolution That Wasn't, edited by Vincent Blasi.
New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1983.
MNHS call number: KF 8748 .B86 1983

The Burger Years: Rights and Wrongs in the Supreme Court 1969-1986, edited by Herman Schwartz.
New York: Viking Penguin, 1987.
MNHS call number: KF 8742 .B78 1987


On June 23, 1969, Warren E. Burger took the oath as the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Appointed by President Richard Nixon, Burger replaced retiring Chief Justice Earl Warren to become the fifteenth person to hold that post.

Warren Earl Burger was born in St. Paul on September 17, 1907, and in 1931 earned his LL.B. from the St. Paul College of Law (now the William Mitchell College of Law). He went on to serve as an assistant attorney general for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who in 1956 appointed him to the District of Columbia Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Widely-known as a conservative, Burger often tried to dampen some of the Warren Court's more liberal decisions and he articulated the Court's opinion on such important decisions as United States v. Nixon and Milliken v. Bradley.

During his 17 year tenure he drew both sharp criticism and high praise for the opinions he expressed as well as for his guidance of the court. Under his leadership the Court strengthened the separation of powers in government and limited the exclusionary rule, which keeps illegally-obtained evidence from being used in court.

By the time he assumed senior status (retired) in 1986, he had become the longest serving chief justice of the twentieth century. Burger died on June 25, 1995, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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