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The Source: The Burger Court Began The Righward Trend Of Legal Thought


The country sits at a turning point. An President of one party makes several appointments to the Supreme Court and many of the opposing party are concerned about the political makeup and a legal departure from the Court of the past. 


They worried this new court would root out the progress its party made the past decade? 

I'm not talking about President Obama - who still waits for a hearing on Judge Merrick Garland nearly 5 months after nominating him.

No, the scene described is that of President Richard Nixon and The Supreme court led by Warren Burger. Burger, a republican politico who was active in the Eisenhower campaign, was very hostile towards the court of Chief Justice Earle Warren.

A court that was best known for Miranda v. Arizona, Gideon v. Wainright and Brown v. Board of Education, Warren's court was seen as being aggressively liberal at a time when the country was seeing a change. 

For decades the Burger Court was seen as the counter-revolution that wasn't by legal scholars, but a new book "The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right" reexamines the history of the court and its lasting impact on American law.


  • Michael Graetz, professor at Columbia Law school 
  • Linda Greenhouse, Pulitzer-Prize winning former Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times 
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive