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The Burger Court is defined by the years that Warren Earl Burger presided as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Richard Nixon nominated Warren Burger as chief justice in 1969, replacing Chief Justice Earl Warren. Chief Justice Burger's appointment to the Court came at a time when the criminal justice system was in the national spotlight. Burger had a reputation for “law and order,” and President Nixon thought that he would be more of a strict constructionist than his predecessor. In other words, President Nixon thought Burger would be a judge who would apply the law as it was written rather than legislating from the bench. Conservatives also hoped that the Burger Court would chip away at some of the liberal precedent set by ...

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