View Poll Results: Who was the best of these Supreme Court Chief Justices?

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  • Roger B. Taney

    0 0%
  • Warren E. Burger

    5 55.56%
  • William Rehnquist

    4 44.44%
  • John G. Roberts, Jr

    0 0%
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Thread: Who was the best of these Supreme Court Chief Justices?

  1. #11
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    Re: Who was the best of these Supreme Court Chief Justices?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    Warren Burger-a rather dim fellow-tried to roll back the massive expansion of "rights" the Earl Warren Court "found" in the Constitution. He was appointed as a reaction to the Earl Warren Court (I believe DDE considered appointing Earl Warren his biggest mistake)
    I'm certainly not suggesting Warren Burger was a great chief justice (although I can't really comment on how dim or smart he was, as he was a bit before my time). But I think he was the least bad of the options in the poll.

    I agree with you that it's too soon to judge Roberts' performance, until his term ends...which might not be for decades. Rehnquist was mediocre-to-bad, and Taney is in the running for the worst Chief Justice we've ever had. (Honestly I thought it was a joke at first when I saw Taney as an option...until I realized that that would be a pretty obscure joke.)
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  2. #12
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    Re: Who was the best of these Supreme Court Chief Justices?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    Roberts has yet to finish his term. He is arguably the brightest of all time.
    that's why I"m hesitant to pick him. I'll go with Rehnquist instead

  3. #13
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    Re: Who was the best of these Supreme Court Chief Justices?

    I wouldn't be too surprised if someone votes for Taney or claims that racist was a wonderful chief justice. I've met people on the internet who think we should go back to segregation or even slavery. There are whole sites on the Internet dedicated to that.

    Here's what I think is a good judge. It's someone who is dedicated to upholding the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights part and is impartial whether it's a question of the rights of those who are popular or those who are extremely unpopular. It's someone who doesn't plan in advance how he or she would rule. This whole thing of trying to get a justice in there who will be predetermined to vote to overturn or to uphold Roe v. Wade is the wrong approach. A good jurist impartially listens to the evidence presented and evaluates it based on the law, not on personal feelings or political ideology.

    That said, the only decent one on the list IMO is Burger. Yes, Roberts hasn't finished his term. Maybe he'll get better with time. So far he appears to be driven by political ideology, which is the absolute wrong approach. I agree with the person who said Renquist ranged from mediocre to bad. I do think he did an okay job with the Clinton impeachment hearings.
    Last edited by Luna Tick; 04-05-12 at 03:03 PM.

  4. #14
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    Re: Who was the best of these Supreme Court Chief Justices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Dog View Post
    I wish John Marshall was an option.
    Or the original, John Jay
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  5. #15
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    Re: Who was the best of these Supreme Court Chief Justices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot 88 View Post
    Or the original, John Jay
    Yes, he did a really good job. Didn't he almost become President?

  6. #16
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    Re: Who was the best of these Supreme Court Chief Justices?

    Out of curiosity, what exactly is the benchmark you guys use for how "good" a SCOTUS chief justice is?
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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  7. #17
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    Re: Who was the best of these Supreme Court Chief Justices?

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    Out of curiosity, what exactly is the benchmark you guys use for how "good" a SCOTUS chief justice is?
    I wrote mine in post #13.

  8. #18
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    Re: Who was the best of these Supreme Court Chief Justices?

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    Out of curiosity, what exactly is the benchmark you guys use for how "good" a SCOTUS chief justice is?
    I would say that a good chief justice is one who can understand how the world has changed and will continue to change, apply the Constitution effectively to new situations, and has the foresight to look ahead to the future to see how their rulings will affect political/legal/technological issues that might just be on the horizon at the time of the ruling. Also, they should be influential and intelligent enough that their rulings are still cited for many decades after they retire. Bonus points if they can form broad consensuses with a majority of the other Supreme Court justices.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 04-05-12 at 07:59 PM.
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