John Jay assumed many roles during his life.
Born to a wealthy family of merchants in 1745, he always had a prominent role
in New York City. Documented as the first Chief Justice of the United States
Supreme Court, his political life successfully geared him
for all the important roles he assumed. During his first public role he served
as Secretary to the New York Committee
of Correspondence. John Jay’s later role as Chief Justice to
the Supreme Court intensified his political views and governance of
the United States.
In 1789, John Jay was appointed as first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President Washington. Being the first
appointed Chief Justice, many of the duties and responsibilities delegated by
the Supreme Court were initiated by John Jay and his members. John Jay’s primary functions as Chief justice were to oversee the Supreme Court during public sessions,as well as preside
over private conferences while the chamber of members discussed the rulings of
Being the first appointed Chief Justice, John Jay had to set the tone in the manner the Supreme Court would
operate. With no set practice of the Supreme Court in the Constitution, in the
first decade of the judicial system the Supreme Court was
known as the weakest link of the three branches of government.The implementation of John Jay and his views
of how things should operate helped strengthen the judicial system overall.
During his reign as Chief Justice
from 1789-1795, John Jay reviewed important cases which helped the Supreme
Court gain recognition as an honorable
institution. When John Jay first assumed power as Chief Justice, most of his time was
spent establishing practices and protocol. John Jay demonstrated the act of
fair treatment within the Supreme Court system.
As Chief Justice three major cases were
presented under John Jay’s ruling. The first case, Chishlom v. Georgia, involved the right of private citizenship of one State to sue another. John Jay agreed with the conditions
of this case and implemented the
ruling giving an individual the right to sue another State. This is allowed under affiliation of a corporation
denouncing the practice of sovereign rights. This ruling, however, was later
overruled by the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution. Other similar cases involved other State to State
appeals,as well as the role of foreign government policies and the United
His concerns of politics and warfare lead
John Jay to implement the Jay Treaty during the term he served as Chief Justice in
1794. This Treaty was implemented to shift the odds of war between
the United States and Great Britain. It also helped solve a number of problems
that came about as a result of the American Revolution. Under the John Jay Treaty, fair trade between countries increased and it also
helped the first colonies gain there separation from British practices. The Treaty also helped the United States gain access to the North Western
John Jay’s strong
political force and practice of fair ruling lead Washington to renominate John
Jay as Chief Justice in 1795, which he declined. John Jay continued to be a
political influence to the United States and internationally as well, retiring from the
political world under the presidential reign of John Adams.
background tells of a life of humble beginnings. He was one of seven children,
played sports in high school and joined the Union Army. Unlike some other Chief
Justices before him, Warren Burger did not come from a wealthy background. He
worked selling Mutual Life Insurance while he attended night school at the
University of Minnesota. After college he enrolled in law school and took a job
at a firm now known as Moore, Costello & Hart.
Warren Burger was Chief
Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1969-1986. Since this was a
time where conservatives were the majority of the population, many expected
that the Supreme Court under the ruling of Warren Burger would overturn the
liberal rulings of Chief Officers before him. However, a year into his term as
Chief justice it was obvious that the Burger Court had no intentions of doing
so. In fact, many of the liberalists’ beliefs were extended.
One of the major rulings
under the Burger Court was the Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of
Education ruling in 1971. This was one of the most important cases to target
methods of desegregation in public schools. In an earlier ruling by the Warren
Court, it was declared that school segregation was unconstitutional. School
buses were integrated in order to promote racial desegregation in
Another major ruling by
the Burger Court was the unanimous ruling against the Nixon administration’s
desire to deprive the need of a search warrant and the requirements of the
Fourth Amendment regarding cases of domestic surveillance. The Nixon
administration wanted the free will to search and seize anything they felt was
warranted. This was a huge case involving the Watergate Scandal. In this case
of the United States v. U.S District Court, the Burger Court system ruled
against the Nixon administration.
Many other cases ruled
under the Burger administration were considered landmark cases. In the Furman v.
Georgia case regarding the death penalty, the Court ruled that the implication
of the death penalty under the conditions of the case served as cruel and
unusual punishment violating the Constitution. The Court’s decision forced
states to rethink the nature of the death penalty, not allowing it to be used
in a discriminatory manner. Warren Burger kept his conservative thoughts
towards the matter of gay rights, opposing approval.
Warren Burger also regulated the business practices of the Government,
emphasizing the practices of checks and balances between the branches of the Government.
Many people argue that Burger was a Chief Justice who did not deliver verdicts under his own
changing his opinion to fit the casted votes of the majority. Some cases
were held up in deliberation for twenty months because of Burger’s
procrastination. However, under his ruling many laws were passed to
William Howard Taft was the only political
officer to hold rank as the 27th President of the United States. He also later went
on to serve as Chief Justice to the Supreme Court in
Born to a
powerful family, Taft’s life always revolved around the
political world, starting with the appointment as Supreme
Judge in 1887. In 1904 he then became President of the United States. Theodore
Roosevelt appointed Taft as Secretary of War with all the intentions
of training him to succeed as President, which he did in 1908.
In 1921, President
Warren G. Harding appointed Taft as Chief Justice of the United
States Supreme Court, which Taft assumed until his death in 1930. During his
Howard Taft has always been an avid traveller. After his presidential reign, he spent
time furthering his education and developing different techniques to resolve disagreements
outside of the Court. Taft also spent time in the search of
world peace before he assumed role as Chief Justice.
The goal of William Howard Taft was to gain the title as Chief of Justice and
when he gained power, he traveled to Britain to research the different
practices of their court system. He was fascinated by the way the British court
system seemed to resolve a large number of cases quickly and was influenced to
bring this practice back to America.
return to America, Taft introduced the Judiciary Act of 1925.
This Act reduced
the workload of the Supreme Court, enabling it to hold preference over the
cases they oversaw. The implementation of this Act gave the Supreme Court a better handle on
cases of national importance, allowing the courts to work more efficiently.
the implementations of William Howard Taft gave the Supreme Court more
control, while supporting new legislation and organizing the roles of the
Judicial Conference. Taft’s decisions also gave power to the Supreme Court to
oversee the Federal courts which, at the time, were very disorganized.
Many additional rulings by Taft were over the continued battle of desegregating
the school systems. In the Lum v. Rice case of 1927, the Court
overruled the prevention of Asian children attending white schools during
racial segregation. Some rulings opposed business practices that used child
laborers such as the Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Company
case of 1922. Other rulings targeted cases regarding the
use of the Fourth Amendment as well as Federal income tax laws.
Taft continued to bring structure to the development of the Supreme Court by
fighting for the construction of a separate building, just for the Supreme Court
system. In his argument, Taft stated that it was important for the
Supreme Court to
branch itself separately from the daily practices of the Federal Government.However, Taft did
not live to see the completion of this building since it was finished in
1935 after his passing.
helped streamline many of the business practices of the Supreme Court under his
ruling. He implemented decisions that distinguished the responsibilities of the Supreme Court
giving them more organization and control.
William H. Rehnquist was a lawyer and political figure who severed
the Supreme Court as Associate Justice and later became Chief Justice of the
United States Supreme Court. During
his early life he entered the United States Air Force and served in World War II from
William Rehnquist was also interested in
meteorology. He took a couple of meteorology programs which lead him to a job overseas as a weather instructor
in North Africa.
Rehnquist became Chief Justice after Warren Burger retired in 1986.
William Rehnquist was nominated by Ronald Regan to fill the position. Many
other political officers were pleased and supported William H. Rehnquist
as he took place in office. Members of the Senate felt he would be a great judicial
leader and his nomination was met with acceptance and joy by the majority.
William H. Rehnquist
was known as a conservative. During his time served as Chief Justice, he
was the only member of the Court with conservative views, which did not
stop him from applying his decisions. One of his early rulings in 1973 was
regarding the Committee for Public Education and Religious Liberty v. Nuquist.
schools approached the Court for State aid and the implementation of religion in the pubic
school system.William Rehnquist made a dissent to this request along with other
members who were not fond of the idea of any religious beliefs being regulated
in the public school system.
30 years after his disapproval, he approved school vouchers after the Zelman
Simmons-Harris case which parents could use to send their children to to any
school of their choice. With the belief that the school would further a child’s
knowledge. Although other members of the Court opposed this ruling, William Rehnquist finally
voted to approve
this Bill in
Many rulings were given the final call by William Rehnquist. He is the
one that had the ultimate deciding factor of women’s involvement in the army in
1981. Although he signed previous laws in favor of some feminist beliefs, his
final call on women’s drafting remained an exemption.
calls made by Rehnquist reversed previous judgments made by judges. He wrote a
decision recalling the approval of raising teachers salaries in the State of
Missouri. This was one of a few cases that William Rehnquist realized was a
prolonged determination by the judicial court system.
It is his work as Chief Justice in later years for which William
H. Rehnquist will long be remembered. In the United States v. Morrison
case, the Supreme Court reviewed a Federal law
that held the courts responsible for the rulings of domestic affairs which was
always handled by State laws.
of the United States v. Morrison in which a college girl was raped
by a football player caught the attention of the media and many people were
looking towards the Supreme Court to provide a ruling. However, William
H. Rehnquist passed a judgment that kept domestic affairs out of the hands of
court system, which was also applied to the domestic case of the United States