Warren Burger

1907- 1995

Supreme Court Justice



Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court Warren Burger was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 17, 1907 , the son of immigrant parents. He studied at the University of Minnesota and the St. Paul College of Law (later the Mitchell College of Law). After spending 20 years in private practice as a lawyer, he was appointed Assistant Attorney General in charge of the civil division of the Justice Department.
Burger first came into the public eye when he supported the federal prosecution of John Peters for disloyalty, despite the US solicitor general's refusal to prosecute. In 1953, he became Assistant Attorney General for the United States, and was appointed a federal judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1955.
President Nixon appointed Burger, an active Republican, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court in 1969. Although Burger's court was more conservative than the previous Warren Court, it was judicially active. Two of the most famous and controversial decisions of the Burger Court were the Roe v. Wade abortion decision and the University of California v. Bakke affirmative action decision. In 1986, Burger resigned from his post and became head of the US Bicentennial Commission.