This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—January 11

by Ed Whelan

1954— President Eisenhower nominates former California governor Earl Warren to serve as Chief Justice.  Warren is already serving as Chief Justice pursuant to a recess appointment by Eisenhower in October 1953.  Years later, Eisenhower will call his appointment of Warren “the biggest damned-fool mistake I ever made.”  Those familiar with the legacy of Justice William Brennan, also appointed by Eisenhower, might vigorously dispute that proposition.  But Eisenhower’s death in 1969 prevented him from fully comparing what he accurately labeled his two biggest mistakes.