Stillwater News Press

Our World

April 2, 2014

Ranking the Supreme Court's heavy hitters

(Continued)

  • Earl Warren (1953). Under Warren's leadership, the court reformed American society. It struck down school segregation; called for a rule of one person, one vote; required the Miranda warnings; offered broad protection to freedom of speech; expanded the reach of the Fourth Amendment; and abolished the poll tax. That's a very partial picture. Warren did not have the analytic power of others on this list, but none of them had a larger impact.
  • William Brennan (1956). Brennan may well have been the most influential member of the Warren court. If Warren was its heart, Brennan was its brain. An unfailingly kind and gracious man, Brennan served on the court far longer than Warren, and he somehow managed to cobble together rights-protecting majorities long after the liberal majority left the bench.
  • William Rehnquist (1972). In his early years on the court, Rehnquist was called "the Lone Ranger" because his conservative views, defended with great power, were often set out in lonely dissents. When I was clerking at the court in the early 1980s, Rehnquist told me that the court was like a ship that had become badly tilted -- and he made a gesture, signaling that the court had tilted left.

Named chief justice in 1986, Rehnquist was no longer alone. Reducing federal power and limiting the reach of numerous Warren court rulings, Rehnquist redirected constitutional law in countless areas. More than any other justice in recent decades, Rehnquist succeeded in restoring what he considered to be the right constitutional balance.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Our World
Must Read
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks