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
William K. Kelley Harvard (1987) 1988
William B. Elmore, Jr. 1971
Walter "Jack" F. Pratt Yale (1977) 1978
Wallace K. Lightsey Harvard (1983) 1984
W. Wayne Drinkwater, Jr. Mississippi (1974) 1976
W. Neil Eggleston Northwestern (1978) 1979
Von G. Keetch BYU (1987) 1989
Timothy E. Flanigan Virginia (1981) 1985
Thomas B. Green Utah 1982
Theodore L. Garrett Columbia (1968) 1970
Stewart Jay Harvard (1976) 1977
Stephen Walters Stanford (1972) 1974
Stephen B. Burbank Harvard (1973) 1974
Rochelle C. Dreyfuss Columbia (1981) 1982
Robinson B. Lacy Harvard (1977) 1978

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