There’s your bumper sticker. Now it’s time to step into the Wayback Machine
“Earl Warren (March 19, 1891 – July 9, 1974) was an American jurist and politician who served as the 14th Chief Justice of the United States (1953-1969) and the 30th Governor of California.
He is known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused, ending public-school-sponsored prayer, and requiring “one-man-one vote” rules of apportionment. He made the Court a power center on a more even base with Congress and the presidency especially through four landmark decisions: Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), Reynolds v. Sims (1964), and Miranda v. Arizona (1966).
Warren is one of only two people to be elected Governor of California three times, the other being Jerry Brown. Before holding these positions, he was a district attorney for Alameda County, California, and Attorney General of California.
Warren was also the vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party in 1948, and chaired the Warren Commission, which was formed to investigate the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Alongside that of John Marshall, Warren’s tenure as Chief Justice is often seen as a high point of the power of the American judicial branch.”
“As Attorney General, Warren is most remembered for being the moving force behind Japanese internment during the war—the compulsory removal of people of Japanese descent to inland internment camps in Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Arkansas, Idaho, and Utah, away from the war zone along the coast. The internment resulted in the substantial loss of real estate, as internees could not pay land mortgages while interned, and land was often sold at a loss or foreclosed. This large transfer of real estate from people of Japanese descent was highly profitable for the buyers. Following the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Warren organized the state’s civilian defense program, warning in January, 1942, that, “The Japanese situation as it exists in this state today may well be the Achilles heel of the entire civilian defense effort.” He later said he:
“since deeply regretted the removal order and my own testimony advocating it, because it was not in keeping with our American concept of freedom and the rights of citizens…Whenever I thought of the innocent little children who were torn from home, school friends, and congenial surroundings, I was conscience-stricken…[i]t was wrong to react so impulsively, without positive evidence of disloyalty”
—quoted in The Memoirs of Earl Warren (1977
And here’s George
But George, needless to say, isn’t white — or straight. And it was whites — particularly Southern whites who demanded —
“The first call for impeachment of Chief Justice Earl Warren, it was taped to a bulletin board in the 7th and Mission post office in San Francisco, California, United States, and reported to the FBI”
The reason for this was obvious.
“Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 483 (1954) banned the segregation of public schools. The very first case put Warren’s leadership skills to an extraordinary test. The NAACP had been waging a systematic legal fight against the “separate but equal” doctrine enunciated in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and finally had challenged Plessy in a series of five related cases, which had been argued before the Court in the spring of 1953. However the justices had been unable to decide the issue and ordered a reargument of the case in fall 1953, with special attention to whether the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause prohibited the operation of separate public schools by the states for whites and blacks
While all but one justice personally rejected segregation, the self-restraint faction questioned whether the Constitution gave the Court the power to order its end, especially since the Court, in several cases decided subsequent to Plessy, had upheld the doctrine of “separate but equal” as constitutional. The activist faction believed the Fourteenth Amendment did give the necessary authority and were pushing to go ahead. Warren, who held only a recess appointment, held his tongue until the Senate, dominated by southerners, confirmed his appointment. Warren told his colleagues after oral argument that he believed racial segregation violated the Constitution and that only if one considered African Americans inferior to whites could the practice be upheld. But he did not push for a vote. Instead, he talked with the justices and encouraged them to talk with each other as he sought a common ground on which all could stand. Finally he had eight votes, and the last holdout, Stanley Reed of Kentucky, agreed to join the rest. Warren drafted the basic opinion in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and kept circulating and revising it until he had an opinion endorsed by all the members of the Court
The unanimity Warren achieved helped speed the drive to desegregate public schools, which mostly came about under President Richard M. Nixon. Throughout his years as Chief, Warren succeeded in keeping all decisions concerning segregation unanimous. Brown applied to schools, but soon the Court enlarged the concept to other state actions, striking down racial classification in many areas. Congress ratified the process in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Warren did compromise by agreeing to Frankfurter’s demand that the Court go slowly in implementing desegregation; Warren used Frankfurter’s suggestion that a 1955 decision (Brown II) include the phrase “all deliberate speed.”
The Brown decision of 1954 marked, in dramatic fashion, the radical shift in the Court’s—and the nation’s—priorities from issues of property rights to civil liberties. Under Warren the courts became an active partner in governing the nation, although still not coequal. Warren never saw the courts as a backward-looking branch of government.
The Brown decision was a powerful moral statement clad in a weak constitutional analysis; Warren was never a legal scholar on a par with Frankfurter or a great advocate of particular doctrines, as was Black. Instead, he believed that in all branches of government common sense, decency, and elemental justice were decisive, not stare decisis, tradition or the text of the Constitution. He wanted results. He never felt that doctrine alone should be allowed to deprive people of justice. He felt racial segregation was simply wrong, and Brown, whatever its doctrinal defects, remains a landmark decision primarily because of Warren’s interpretation of the equal protection clause to mean that children should not be shunted to a separate world reserved for minorities”
“Throughout the South, billboards proclaimed “Impeach Earl Warren.” Tough-minded, amiable, and persuasive, Warren led the Court to landmark decisions throughout the 1960s that extended individual rights and the rights of the accused and forced the government to justify any attempts to infringe such rights. The Court introduced the concept of “one man, one vote,” limited the scope of police searches, extended the right of accused felons to have counsel even if they were unable to pay, and recognized a fundamental right of privacy.
The decisions of the Warren Court triggered a conservative backlash and inspired calls for judicial “restraint” that are still sounding today.”
Plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose.
But wait — there’s more!
Those interested in signing the petition demanding Fat Tony be given the boot go HERE
Take it away Neil and Chris!