A Change in Philosophy.
Looking at the ideological change in the United States Supreme Court during the 1950s, one would think that it underwent a drastic change in personnel. However, changes in three seats on the Court, between 1953 and 1956, made the difference: with this turnover in justices came a turnover in the way the Court saw its role in government.
One Vote in Nine.
The most visible and significant change in the Court occurred when Earl Warren became chief justice in 1953, replacing Fred M. Vinson, who had led the conservative Court since 1946. Warren has been celebrated as the force behind the Court's active drive toward establishing human and civil rights. (Certainly the John Birch Society thought so: they waged a campaign to impeach him.) Nevertheless, a chief justice has just one of nine votes, and no chief justice can command the beliefs and decisions of his associates.
(The entire page is 1670 words.)
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