|Name:||Warren Earl Burger|
|Real Name:||Warren E. Burger|
|Birth Day:||September 17, 1907|
|Death Date:||June 25, 1995(1995-06-25) (aged 87)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Birth Place:||Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States|
As per our current Database, Warren Earl Burger died on June 25, 1995(1995-06-25) (aged 87)
Washington, D.C., U.S..
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Warren Earl Burger was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1907, as one of seven children. His parents, Katharine (née Schnittger) and Charles Joseph Burger, a traveling salesman and railroad cargo inspector, were of Austrian German descent. His grandfather, Joseph Burger, had emigrated from Tyrol, Austria and joined the Union Army when he was 12. Joseph Burger fought and was wounded in the Civil War, resulting in the loss of his right arm and was awarded the Medal of Honor at the age of 14. At age 16, Joseph Burger became the youngest captain in the Union Army.
Burger grew up on the family farm near the edge of Saint Paul. At age 8, he stayed home from school for a year after contracting polio. He attended John A. Johnson High School, where he was president of the student council. He competed in hockey, football, track, and swimming. While in high school, he wrote articles on high school sports for local newspapers. He graduated in 1925, and received a partial scholarship to attend Princeton University, which he declined because his family's finances were not sufficient to cover the remainder of his expenses.
Burger enrolled in extension classes at the University of Minnesota for two years while selling insurance for Mutual Life Insurance. Afterward, he enrolled at St. Paul College of Law (which later became William Mitchell College of Law, now Mitchell Hamline School of Law), receiving his Bachelor of Laws magna cum laude in 1931. He took a job at a St. Paul law firm. In 1937, Burger served as the eighth president of the Saint Paul Jaycees. He also taught for twelve years at William Mitchell. A spinal condition prevented Burger from serving in the military during World War II; instead he supported the war effort at home, including service on Minnesota’s emergency war labor board from 1942 to 1947. From 1948 to 1953, he served on the governor of Minnesota’s interracial commission, which worked on issues related to racial desegregation. He also served as president of the St. Paul’s Council on Human Relations, which considered ways to improve the relationship between the city's police department and its minority residents.
He married Elvera Stromberg in 1933. They had two children, Wade Allen Burger (1936–2002) and Margaret Elizabeth Burger (1946–2017). Elvera Burger died at their home in Washington, D.C., on May 30, 1994, at the age of 86.
Burger was a lifelong Republican. His political career began uneventfully, but he soon rose to national prominence. He supported Minnesota Governor Harold E. Stassen's unsuccessful pursuit of the Republican nomination for president in 1948. In 1952, at the Republican convention, he played a key role in Dwight D. Eisenhower's nomination by delivering the Minnesota delegation. After he was elected, President Eisenhower appointed Burger as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division of the Justice Department.
Burger was nominated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 12, 1956, to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated by Judge Harold M. Stephens. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 28, 1956, and received his commission on March 29, 1956. His service terminated on June 23, 1969, due to his elevation to the Supreme Court.
In 1968, Chief Justice Earl Warren announced his retirement after 15 years on the Court, effective on the confirmation of his successor. President Lyndon Johnson nominated sitting Associate Justice Abe Fortas to the position, but a Senate filibuster blocked his confirmation. With Johnson's term as president about to expire before another nominee could be considered, Earl Warren remained in office.
Burger was nominated by President Richard Nixon on May 23, 1969, to a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States vacated by Chief Justice Earl Warren. In his presidential campaign, Nixon had pledged to appoint a strict constructionist as chief justice. Burger had first caught Nixon's eye through a letter of support the former sent to Nixon during the 1952 Fund crisis, and then again 15 years later when the magazine U.S. News and World Report had reprinted a 1967 speech that Burger had given at Ripon College. In it, Burger compared the United States judicial system to those of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark:
Through speeches like this, Burger became known as a critic of Chief Justice Warren and an advocate of a literal, strict-constructionist reading of the U.S. Constitution. Nixon's agreement with these views, being expressed by a readily confirmable, sitting federal appellate judge, led to the nomination. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 9, 1969, and received his commission on June 23, 1969. Earl Warren swore in the new chief justice the same day. He assumed senior status on September 26, 1986. His service terminated on June 25, 1995, due to his death.
According to President Nixon's memoirs, he had asked Chief Justice Burger in the spring of 1970 to be prepared to run for president in 1972 if the political repercussions of the Cambodia invasion were too negative for him to endure. A few years later, in 1971 and 1973, Burger was on Nixon's short list of vice-presidential replacements for Vice President Spiro Agnew, along with John Connally, Ronald Reagan, and Nelson Rockefeller before Gerald Ford was appointed following Agnew's resignation in October 1973.
On July 24, 1974, Burger led the court in a unanimous decision in United States v. Nixon. That was Nixon's attempt to keep several memos and tapes relating to the Watergate scandal private. As documented in Woodward and Armstrong's The Brethren and elsewhere, Burger's original feelings on the case were that Watergate was merely a political battle, and Burger "didn't see what they did wrong." The actual final opinion was largely Brennan's work, but each justice wrote at least a rough draft of a particular section. Burger was originally to vote in favor of Nixon but tactically changed his vote to assign the opinion to himself and to restrain the opinion's rhetoric. Burger's first draft of the opinion wrote that executive privilege could be invoked when it dealt with a "core function" of the presidency and that in some cases, the executive could be supreme. However, the other justices in the Supreme Court were able to convince Burger to excise that language from the opinion: the judicial branch alone would have the power to determine whether something qualifies to be shielded under executive privilege.
On issues involving criminal law and procedure, Burger remained reliably conservative. He joined the majority in voting to reinstate the death penalty in Gregg v. Georgia (1976), and in 1983, he vigorously dissented from the Court's holding in the case of Solem v. Helm that a sentence of life imprisonment for issuing a fraudulent check in the amount of $100 constituted cruel and unusual punishment.
As chief justice, Burger was instrumental in founding the Supreme Court Historical Society and was its first president. Burger is often cited as one of the foundational proponents of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), particularly in its ability to ameliorate an overloaded justice system. In a speech given in front of the American Bar Association, Justice Burger lamented the state of the justice system in 1984, "Our system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for a truly civilized people. To rely on the adversary process as the principal means of resolving conflicting claims is a mistake that must be corrected." The Warren E. Burger Federal Courthouse in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and the Warren E. Burger Library at his alma mater, the Mitchell Hamline School of Law (formerly the William Mitchell College of Law, and the St. Paul College of Law at the time of Burger's attendance) are named in his honor.
Consequently, the Burger Court was described as his "in name only." Time magazine called him "plodding" and "standoffish" as well as "pompous," "aloof," and unpopular. Burger was a constant irritant on the Court's group dynamic, according to The New York Times' Linda Greenhouse. Jeffrey Toobin wrote in his book The Nine that by the time of his departure in 1986, Burger had alienated all of his colleagues to one degree or another. In particular, Associate Justice Potter Stewart, who had been considered a candidate to succeed Warren as chief justice, was so discontented with Burger that he became the primary source for Woodward and Armstrong when they wrote The Brethren.
Burger retired on September 26, 1986, in part to lead the campaign to mark the 1987 bicentennial of the United States Constitution, at which time he commissioned the construction of the Constitution Bicentennial Monument (The National Monument to the U.S. Constitution). He had served longer than any other chief justice appointed in the 20th century. Despite his reputation for being imperious, he was well-liked by the law clerks and judicial fellows who worked with him. In 1987, Princeton University's American Whig-Cliosophic Society awarded Burger the James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service. In 1988, he was awarded the prestigious United States Military Academy's Sylvanus Thayer Award as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In a 1991 appearance on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, Burger stated that the notion that the Second Amendment guaranteed an unlimited individual right to obtain guns "has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word 'fraud,' on the American public by special interest groups."
Burger died in his sleep on June 25, 1995, from congestive heart failure at the age of 87, at Sibley Memorial hospital in Washington, D.C. He drafted his own one-page will. All of his papers were donated to the College of William and Mary, where he had served as Chancellor; however, they will not be open to the public until ten years after the death of Sandra Day O'Connor, the last surviving member of the Burger Court, per the donor agreement.
Burger was opposed to gay rights, as he wrote a famous concurring opinion in the Court's 1986 decision upholding a Georgia law criminalizing sodomy (Bowers v. Hardwick); he relied on historical evidence that laws criminalizing homosexuality were of ancient vintage. Burger pointed out that the famous legal author William Blackstone had written that sodomy was a "'crime against nature'... of 'deeper malignity than rape', a heinous act 'the very mention of which is a disgrace to human nature' and 'a crime not fit to be named'". That decision was overturned in 2003 by the decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which sought relief against a Texas law, which sanctioned heterosexual sodomy but criminalized it between homosexuals.
Currently, Warren Earl Burger is 114 years, 1 months and 9 days old. Warren Earl Burger will celebrate 115th birthday on a Saturday 17th of September 2022.
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