chapter  XXI
XXI Earl Warren Takes the Helm
Pages 18

When Chief Justice Vinson died in 1952, President Eisenhower replaced him with Governor Earl Warren of California. Warren came to the Court with one of the most remarkable records in the history of California state politics. After serving as an assistant and then county attorney, he was elected district attorney, state attorney general, and fi nally governor of California. Although a Republican, he was as popular with Democrats as with members of his own party. Warren was the only person elected to three successive terms as governor. Nominated for the vice presidency in 1948, he went down to defeat with Thomas E. Dewey in Truman’s upset victory. Had Dewey won, it is highly unlikely that Warren would have gone on to become chief justice. In that case, our constitutional history would have been different, perhaps as different as it would have been had President Adams not appointed John Marshall to the Court. No chief justice, with the exception of Marshall, has had a greater impact on our constitutional system.