1974 July 9

Earl Warren, Chief Justice, Civil Liberties Giant, Dies


Earl Warren served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1953 to 1969, and the label “the Warren Court” has become shorthand for the activist, pro-civil libertarian Court under his leadership.

He was particularly notable for working to achieve a unanimous opinion in the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision on May 17, 1954, which declared segregated school unconstitutional. Warren also wrote the majority opinion in the famous Miranda v. Arizona decision on June 13, 1966, which required police to give the “Miranda Warning,” advising suspects of their right to remain silent.

Many Court watchers argue, however, that Justice William J. Brennan (October 15, 1956) was the real intellectual leader of the Warren Court — and some have argued that Warren understood this and assigned Brennan to write many of the most important decisions.

Read: Jim Newton, Justice For All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made (2006)

Watch a eulogy for Earl Warren: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yJUZfR8BU4

Read an oral history interview with Warren at the Truman Library: http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/warren.htm

Learn more about the Warren Court: http://supremecourthistory.org/timeline_court_warren.html



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