See biographies by J. D. Weaver (1967), G. E. White (1982), and E. Cray (1997); studies by A. Cox (1968), R. H. Sayler et al. (1969), and B. Schwartz (1983).
Earl Warren, 1953.
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(born Sept. 17, 1907, St. Paul, Minn., U.S.—died June 25, 1995, Washington, D.C.) U.S. jurist. He graduated with honours from St. Paul (now William Mitchell) College of Law in 1931, after which he joined a prominent law firm and became active in the Republican Party. He was appointed an assistant U.S. attorney general (1953) and named to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (1955), where his conservative approach commended him to Pres. Richard Nixon, who nominated him for chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1969. Contrary to the expectations of some, he did not try to reverse the liberal decisions on civil-rights issues and criminal law made during the tenure of his predecessor, Earl Warren. Under his leadership, the court upheld the 1966
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Earl Warren (March 19, 1891 July 9, 1974) was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States and the only person ever elected thrice as Governor of California. Prior to holding these positions, Warren served as a California district attorney for Alameda County and Attorney General of California.
His tenure in his two highest offices were marked by extreme contrast. As governor of California, Warren's conduct of office made him very popular across party lines, so much so that in the 1946 election he won the nominations of both the Democratic and Republican parties. But his tenure as Chief Justice was as divisive as his governorship was unifying. Liberals generally hailed the landmark rulings issued by the Warren Court, rulings affecting, among other things, the legal status of racial segregation, civil rights, separation of church and state, and police arrest procedure in the United States. But conservatives decried the Court's rulings, particularly in areas affecting criminal proceedings. In the years that followed, the Warren Court became recognized as a high point in the use of the judicial power in the effort to effect social progress in the U.S. and Warren himself became widely regarded as one of the most influential Supreme Court justices in the history of the United States and perhaps the single most important in the 20th century (and certainly its most controversial).
In addition to the constitutional offices he held, Warren was also the Republican Party Vice Presidential nominee in 1948, and chaired the Warren Commission, which was formed to investigate the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Warren worked a year for the Associated Oil Co. in San Francisco and then joined a private law firm in Oakland named Robinson & Robinson. The younger partner, Bestor Robinson, whose father became a California Superior Court Justice, was very active in the Sierra Club and conservationism and was an avid rock climber. In August 1917, Warren enlisted in the U.S. Army for World War I service. Assigned to the 91st Division at Camp Lewis, Washington, 1st Lieutenant Earl Warren was discharged in 1918. He served as a clerk of the Judicial Committee for the 1919 Session of the California State Assembly (1919–1920), deputy city attorney of Oakland (1920–1925), he served as deputy district attorney of Alameda County. At this time Warren came to the attention of powerful Republican Joseph R. Knowland, publisher of The Oakland Tribune. In 1925, Warren was appointed as district attorney of Alameda County, the incumbent, Ezra Decoto resigned to become Railroad Commissioner. Earl Warren was re-elected to three four-year terms. Serving Alameda County as D.A. (1925–1939) as a tough-on-crime district attorney and reformer who professionalized the DA's office, Warren had a reputation for high-handedness; however, none of his convictions was ever overturned on appeal.
Running as a Republican, Warren was elected Governor of California on November 3, 1942, defeating Democratic incumbent Culbert Olson. California law at the time allowed individuals to run in any primary election they chose. In 1946, attesting to his wide popularity, Warren managed the singular feat of winning the Republican, Democratic, and Progressive primary elections and thus ran virtually unopposed in the 1946 general election. He was elected to a third term (as a Republican) in 1950. He is the only governor of California to have been elected to three terms of office.
As with his predecessor Olson, Warren's governorship was marked by his support for the internment of Japanese and Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. It was also marked by laying the infrastructure to support a two-decade boom that lasted from the end of World War II until the mid-1960s. In particular, Warren and University of California President Robert G. Sproul presided over construction of a large public university system that provided education to two generations of Californians.
In 1946 Warren appointed William F. Knowland to the U.S. Senate. Democrats claimed it was political payback, as Knowland’s father Joseph R. Knowland and his paper The Oakland Tribune supported the political career of Warren.
Warren's nomination may have been caused by his support for Eisenhower in the 1952 campaign, although there is no evidence of the existence of any deal. Warren stood as a "favorite son" candidate of California for the Republican nomination in 1952 but withdrew in support of Eisenhower. Warren also provided crucial campaigning service to Eisenhower in California after Vice Presidential Candidate Richard Nixon was weakened by controversy over an alleged "slush fund".
After the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968, Warren announced that due to his advanced age, he would be retiring from the court, effective upon his successor's confirmation. Although Warren denied it, this was seen by observers as a preemptive move by Warren to keep Richard Nixon from naming his successor; he believed Nixon would win the presidency after Kennedy's death. Warren and Nixon had a tense relationship after Warren declined to endorse Nixon during his first campaign for Congress in 1946. This tension gave way to animosity starting in 1952 at the Republican Convention, where Warren was a candidate; Warren believed Nixon undermined his nomination.
President Johnson nominated Associate Justice Abe Fortas, but after his confirmation hearing went badly, Fortas was forced to withdraw his nomination. As a result, Warren was forced to stay on as Chief Justice. Both he and Fortas returned to the court for the 1969 session as a result. Warren swore in Nixon as President. Nixon then nominated Warren E. Burger a man Warren did not hold in high regard to replace Earl Warren as Chief Justice.
"To conservatives, the Warren Court converted constitutional law into ordinary politics," according to Mark Tushnet in Constitutional Interpretation, Character and Experience, 72 B.U. Law Review 747, 759. (1992) "The Warren Court justices saw their service on the Supreme Court as just another job on the national political scene."
His critics found him a boring person. "Although Warren was an important and courageous figure and although he inspired passionate devotion among his followers...he was a dull man and a dull judge," wrote Dennis J. Hutchinson in Hail to the Chief: Earl Warren and the Supreme Court, 81 Mich. L. Rev. 922, 930 (1983).
Warren retired from the Supreme Court in 1969. He was affectionately known by many as the "Superchief", although he became a lightning rod for controversy among conservatives: signs declaring "Impeach Earl Warren" could be seen around the country throughout the 1960s. The unsuccessful impeachment drive was a major focus of the John Birch Society. In 1977, Fourth College, one of the six undergraduate colleges at the University of California, San Diego, was renamed Earl Warren College in his honor. A middle school in Solana Beach, California, high schools in San Antonio, Texas (Earl Warren High School) and Downey, California, and a building at the high school he attended (Bakersfield High School) are named for him, as are the showgrounds in Santa Barbara, California. The freeway portion of State Route 13 in Alameda County is the Warren Freeway.
As Chief Justice, he swore in Presidents Eisenhower (in 1957), Kennedy (in 1961), Johnson (in 1965) and Nixon (in 1969).
Earl Warren College, an undergraduate college of the University of California, San Diego was named in honor of the former governor and U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
Earl Warren High School, located in San Antonio, Texas, was named in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice in 2002. The school was the Northside Independent School District's seventh high school to be named in honor of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
|Earl Warren electoral history|
California Republican presidential primary, 1936:
Republican primary for Governor of California, 1942:
Democratic primary for Governor of California, 1942:
California Republican presidential primary, 1944
Republican primary for Governor of California, 1946:
Democratic primary for Governor of California, 1946]:
1948 Republican National Convention (Presidential tally)
1948 Republican National Convention (Vice Presidential tally):
1952 Republican National Convention (1st ballot)
1952 Republican National Convention (2nd ballot)