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To many observers, the appointment of Warren E. Burger to chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by President Richard Nixon signified a conservative counterresponse to the oft-characterized liberal judicial activism of the Court when it was led by Chief Justice Earl Warren. In light of the Warren court's record of supporting individual rights in criminal cases, school prayer, and desegregation, Nixon was committed to appointing a chief justice who supported judicial restraint, the belief that the Supreme Court should not leverage its power to influence economic and social policy development and that state legislatures and local governments were best suited to deal with such matters. To Nixon, Warren Burger, a former circuit court justice for the United States Court of Appeals for the ...

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