Davis was born in Columbia, South Carolina, pursued preparatory studies and graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina Columbia) in 1810. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1814 and practiced in Pendleton. He later served as state solicitor of the western circuit from 1818 to 1824.
Davis was elected as a Jacksonian, representing South Carolina's 6th congressional district, to the Twentieth and Twenty-first Congresses reelected as a Nullifier to the Twenty-second through Twenty-fourth Congresses and served from March 4, 1827, until his death in Washington, D.C., on January 29, 1835, before the opening of the Twenty-fourth Congress. During the Twenty-second Congress he was chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary.
On the day after his death, Warren R. Davis’ funeral was disrupted by an assassination attempt on President Andrew Jackson by a deranged house painter, Richard Lawrence. Davis is interred in the Congressional Cemetery.