The Supreme Court: The Chief

Few U.S. citizens have led lives unaffected by what the Supreme Court has wrought since Earl Warren became Chief Justice in 1953. The very words "the Warren court" summon in many an instant surge of anger or admiration. Much of that emotion is directed toward Warren personally. "Biggest damfool mistake I ever made," Dwight Eisenhower said privately some years after appointing him. "The greatest Chief Justice of them all," Lyndon Johnson wrote affectionately before Warren's birthday party last year.

Paradoxically, though, the court's spirit, philosophy and thrust have often been credited to Justices...

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