Warren E. Burger

Media Items
Personal Information
Tuesday, September 17, 1907
Sunday, June 25, 1995
Childhood Location 
Childhood Surroundings 
Charles J. Burger
Father's Occupation 
Railroad cargo inspector; small farmer; salesman
Katharine Schnittger
Family Status 
Chief Justice
Nominated By 
Commissioned on 
Monday, June 23, 1969
Sworn In 
Monday, June 23, 1969
Left Office 
Friday, September 26, 1986
Reason For Leaving 
Length of Service 
17 years, 3 months, 3 days
Warren E. Burger
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: George Augusta)

Warren Earl Burger was born in St. Paul Minnesota. In a family of seven children, Burger earned his way through college and law school. He engaged in private legal practice for more than twenty years, but during this period he became active in state Republican Party matters. He worked in the Justice Department under President Eisenhower, who nominated Burger in 1956 to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Burger was named by President Richard Nixon in 1969 to replace Earl Warren as Chief Justice. Burger was a strong advocate of "strict construction" to the interpretation of the Constitution. He identified with the Court's conservative wing and frequently voted to limit the liberal decisions of the Warren period. Burger was not one-dimensional. He authored the Court's opinion upholding the right of trial judges to order busing as a remedy for school segregation and he spoke for a unanimous Court upholding a subpeona for the Watergate tapes which resulted in President Nixon's resignation.

Clerksort icon Law School Terms Clerked
Alex Kozinski UCLA (1975) 1976
Arthur F. Fergenson Yale (1972) 1973
Bruce P. Brown Georgia (1984) 1986
C. Douglas Floyd Stanford (1967) 1971
Candace S. Kovacic Northeastern (1974) 1975
Carter G. Phillips Northwestern (1977) 1978
Charles F. Lettow Stanford (1968) 1969
Christopher J. Wright Stanford (1980) 1981
Daniel R. Coquillette Harvard (1971) 1972
David O. Bickart NYU (1969) 1970
Eric A. Grant Berkeley (1990) 1994
G. Edward White Harvard (1970) 1971
Gene C. Schaerr Yale (1985) 1986
Gregory S. Dovel Harvard (1986) 1987
Harry A. Rissetto Georgetown (1968) 1969

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Warren E. Burger. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 31 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/justices/warren_e_burger?order=title&sort=asc>.
Warren E. Burger, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/justices/warren_e_burger?order=title&sort=asc (last visited August 31, 2015).
"Warren E. Burger," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 31, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/justices/warren_e_burger?order=title&sort=asc.