Warren E. Burger
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 blunt 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, just two of more than 250 opinions he wrote. During his seventeen-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 20th century. Burger died on June 25, 1995, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
GET STARTED WITH SECONDARY SOURCES:
- The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court, by Bob Woodward
and Scott Armstrong.
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979.
MHS call number: KF 8742 .W66.
- The Burger Court: The Counter-Revolution That Wasn't,
edited by Vincent Blasi.
New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1983.
MHS 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.
MHS call number: KF 8742 .B78 1987.
- "The Dubious Justice of Warren Burger," by Tim O'Brien.
In Saturday Review (Dec. 1979): pp.19-22.
MHS call number: KF 8745 .B8 O37 1979.
- God Save This Honorable Court, by Louis M. Kohlmeier.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1972.
MHS call number: KF 8748 .K63.
- "Warren E. Burger"
In The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions; vol. 4, pp. 3107-3184, and vol. 5, pp. 459-494.
New York: R.R. Bowker, 1969, and New York: Chelsea House, 1978.
MHS call number: KF 8744 .F75 v.4-5.
- "Why Courts are in Trouble: Exclusive Interview with Chief Justice Warren E. Burger"
The normally soft-spoken Burger granted an interview in 1975 in which he discussed some of what he saw as problems in the judicial system as well as others that could arise. He also made a number of recommendations for preventing and solving those problems.
In U.S. News and World Report, vol. 78, no. 13 (Mar. 31, 1975): pp. 28-32.
MHS call number: KF 9223 .B87 1975.
- Edward J. Devitt Papers
Devitt was a representative from Minnesota's fourth district from 1946 to 1948. His papers contain, among other things, correspondence with Burger and newspaper clippings about him.
MHS call number: See the green "Alpha" Manuscripts Notebooks—filed alphabetically under Devitt, Edward J.—for more details (there are sixteen boxes of material, but only Box 14 contains material that deals directly with Burger), or use an electronic version of the inventory.
- Frank P. Leslie Papers
Leslie was an active member of the Minnesota Republican Party, and his papers include correspondence with a number of prominent public officials, including Burger.
MHS call number: See the green "Alpha" Manuscripts Notebooks—filed alphabetically under Leslie, Frank P.—for more details (there are seven boxes of material, but only Box 1 contains material that deals directly with Burger), or use an electronic version of the inventory.
- 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.
MHS call number: KF 8745.B8 U5.
- "Some Further Reflections on the Problems of Adequacy of Trial
This is an original piece written by Burger on the issue of trial counsel.
Reprinted from the Fordham Law Review (Oct. 1980).
MHS call number: KF 272 .B87 1980.
- Newspapers that may be useful for this topic:
- Minneapolis Star (indexes for articles published in 1971 or after are located in the Hubbs Microfilm Room)
- Minneapolis Star-Tribune (indexes for articles published in 1971 or after are located in the Hubbs Microfilm Room)
- Minneapolis Tribune (indexes for articles published in 1971 or after are located in the Hubbs Microfilm Room)
- St. Paul Dispatch
- St. Paul Pioneer Press (indexes for articles published in 1967 or after are located in the Hubbs Microfilm Room)
- Visual Resources Database subjects that may be useful for this topic:
- Check the library catalog for other materials.