The Warren Court

“Forty-five times the Warren Court overturned previous Supreme Court rulings. Until then, in its entire previous history, the court had overturned its own decisions only eighty-eight times.”

Pg 236


Earl Warren was the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1953-1969. This court overturned more decisions than any Supreme Court before it. The Warren court made radical changes to previous precedent. Many of the Warren Court decisions were supported by popular opinion. Others were designed to update certain state legislatures to comply with modern national standards. Examples of this are Loving v. Virginia which eliminated anti-interracial marriage laws. Another example is Griswold vs. Connecticut which stopped the Connecticut State government to ban contraceptives.

Although the Court was generally praised for expanding individual rights, the Warren Court was sometimes criticized for of inventing new rights. Conservatives attacked the criminal justice advances made by the Warren Court (Ex. Miranda Rights, the 1962 Court decision that prohibited illegally seized evidence from being used in court). The Court was blamed for rising crime rates during the Johnson years.