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
Henry L. Parr, Jr. Virginia (1976) 1977
J. Michael Luttig Virginia (1981) 1983
Jack M. Weiss Harvard (1971) 1972
James D. Holzhauer Michigan (1980) 1981
James E. Gauch Chicago (1989) 1993
James L. Volling GW (1979) 1980
James R. Atwood Stanford (1969) 1970
John C. Ale Virginia (1979) 1980
John E. Barry Columbia (1985) 1991
John E. Sexton Harvard (1979) 1980
John H. Korns Harvard (1970) 1971
John M. Coleman Chicago (1979) 1980
Joseph C. Zengerle Michigan (1971) 1973
Judith A. McMorrow Notre Dame (1980) 1981
Karl M. Tilleman BYU (1990) 1992

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Warren E. Burger. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 28 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/justices/warren_e_burger?page=1&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?page=1&order=title&sort=asc (last visited August 28, 2015).
"Warren E. Burger," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 28, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/justices/warren_e_burger?page=1&order=title&sort=asc.