When Earl Warren stepped down as Chief Justice of the United States in 1969, an era ended. Anthony Lewis of the New York Times referred to the 16 years of Warren's tenure as years of legal revolution. "In that time," he wrote, "the Supreme Court has brought about more social change than most Congresses and most Presidents." Appraisals of the work of the Warren Court varied sharply. Harvard's Archibald Cox was confident that historians would find the decisions of the Warren Court "in keeping with the mainstream of American history-a bit progressive but also moderate, a bit humane but not sentimental, a bit idealistic but seldom doctrinaire and in the long run essentially pragmatic-in short, in keeping with the true genius of our institutions."

A. E. Dick Howard, From Warren to Burger: Activism and Restraint, 1 Wilson Quarterly 109–121 (1977).