Warren Earl Burger


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(b. 17 Sept. 1907, d. 25 June 1995).

Chief Justice of US Supreme Court 1969–86 Born in St Paul, Minnesota, he initially sold insurance during the day and studied law at night school. He went on to teach and practise law until appointed assistant US Attorney‐General by Eisenhower in 1953. In 1956 he became a Federal Appeal Court Justice and developed a reputation as hard‐line on crime. This led Richard Nixon to nominate him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1969, upon the retirement of Earl Warren. Despite his conservative image, he disappointed many on the right by consolidating Warren's court initiatives and opening the law to issues such as abortion, gender discrimination, affirmative action, and welfare rights. His opinion in United States v. Nixon forced Nixon to hand over tape recordings to congressional investigators in the Watergate scandal. This incriminating evidence ultimately forced the President to resign.

Subjects: Law — World History.