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Answer The U.S. Supreme Court is often known by the name of the Chief Justice who presides or presided over the Court during a certain period. For those with an interest in politics and constitutional law, this helps identify what era the person is referring to, what landmark cases occurred under that Chief Justice, and what general ideology was dominant during that time. There have been 17 Chief Justices of the United States since the Supreme Court's inception in 1790.

The Supreme Court known as the Warren Court was commonly referred to by the name of its Chief Justice, Earl Warren, formerly Governor of California, who was nominated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower expected Warren to be a moderate and likely came to regret his nomination. The Warren Court was viewed as a judicially active court, noted for constitutional rulings which expanded the rights of minorities through decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, which found that separate public school systems for blacks and whites were "inherently" unequal. Another famous decisions of this court was Miranda v. State of Arizona, which enunciated the warnings which must be given to felony suspects. In a side note,Miranda's conviction was reversed, but on retrial he was convicted and sentenced to 11 years. For years, he made a modest living autographing policmen's Miranda cards, which had the Miranda rights printed on them so they could be read to suspects. He died in a bar fight.

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Judging from your first question about Earl Warren, it seems you may be asking about references to the "Warren Court." It's not unusual for people, especially in the journalism and legal communities, to refer to the US Supreme Court by the last name of the Chief Justice for the era they're discussing, if the decisions of the Court during that time were particularly significant, or the Chief Justice well enough known. Not only does this indicate what time period is being mentioned, it is also a form of shorthand for communicating the Supreme Court's ideological leanings, landmark cases (or particular themes), the associate justices that might have served under that Chief, and other political information. Usually, the term is used when making historical references, rather than talking about current events.

For example, Earl Warren presided over the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, (1954), as well as a number of other civil rights cases. The "Warren Court" was generally progressive and favored ending Jim Crow legislation (with a little push from the NAACP).

When Earl Warren retired, he was replaced by Chief Justice Warren Burger, and the Court consequently became the "Burger Court," although you don't often hear it referred to as such. Warren Burger was followed by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who oversaw the "Rehnquist Court," which could be distinguished from the "Warren Court" by its much more conservative stance and stronger support of Federalism (a better friend of the central government and US President than of the states or individuals).

On the other hand, you never hear about certain Chief Justices. For example, the Chief Justice who oversaw the Court during the Civil Rights Cases, (1883) and Plessy v. Ferguson,(1896), was Melville Fuller. Although both cases represent significant travesties of justice, and were historically important because of the way they undermined African-Americans' civil rights after the end of Restoration, no one ever refers to the cases as occurring during the "Fuller Court."

Perhaps only the most influential Chief Justices are memorialized in this way. During the period of February 1801 until July 1835, the Supreme Court is known as the "Marshall Court" after the United States' fourth Chief Justice who lead for more than 34 years. Chief Justice John Marshall made important interpretations of the Constitution that defined the relationships among the branches of the federal government, and the balance of power between the federal government and the states that are still relevant today.

Future generations may or may not discuss the "Roberts Court," which would be named for our current Chief Justice, John G. Roberts, Jr.

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Q: Why was the US Supreme Court known as the Warren Court?
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