Term Paper: The Burger Court (1969-1986)

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This is a sample term paper on law. The beginning of the Burger Court signified, to many, the courts return to a more conservative stance.

The beginning of the Burger Court signified, to many, the courts return to a more conservative stance. In comparison, Chief Justice Burger and  Chief Justice Warren joined the court as conservatives. Chief Justice Warren disappointed President Eisenhower, who appointed him, for his liberal stance. Though Burger may have been philosophically a conservative, he was not able to lead the court in that direction. In Bernard Schwarz’ compilation book, The Burger Court: Counter-Revolution or Confirmation?, Mark Tushnet questions the idea that the Burger Court represented a court headed in a direction opposite than that of the Warren Court. Legal standards for capital punishment were stricter under the Burger Court, no police practice that the Warren Court deemed unconstitutional was reversed by the Burger Court. The most debated court decision, perhaps in the history of the United States was decided by the Burger Court—Roe v. Wade. The Burger Court did not veer much from the previous court in areas of separation of church and state, freedom of speech, federal power and the right to privacy. In addition, desegregation stood and affirmative action was approved. The court also made many discriminatory practices against women illegal.

Though the Burger Court did often side with the Warren Court, there were instances where the court reversed the Warren Court, especially in areas that involved the rights of criminal defendants (Levinson).

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