chapter  XXIII
XXIII The New Judicial Activism
Pages 16

Had the Warren Court accomplished nothing beyond the fi eld of civil rights, its place in history would have been assured. But that achievement is only part of a larger record of remarkable success in dealing with a wide range of problems. By the time Warren retired in 1969, the Court had signifi cantly altered the institutional life of the nation. It effected more changes in law, politics, and government than during any comparable period since the Civil War and Reconstruction. With the exception of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Warren had a greater impact on our national life than any president since Lincoln. Although he did not invent judicial activism, he unapologetically made it one of the hallmarks of his tenure as chief justice. When the political branches of government faltered or failed to act on pressing issues, the Court would intervene and get the job done. Warren made the Court an engine of reform in areas where political will was weak or lacking. Without his leadership, government and life in the United States today would be vastly different.