In the past 80 years of American history, who casts the biggest shadow over the Country's social, political and religious landscape ?
Martin Luther King, Jr.? FDR?, Ronald Reagan?, Lyndon B. Johnson?, or Rev. Billy Graham?
What if I say, Former Chief Justice "Earl Warren"?
You say, WHO?
Let me make the case.
Earl Warren was appointed Chief Justice of U.S. Supreme Court by President Eisenhower in 1953.
He held that office until 1969. Prior to that he was Governor of the State of California.
The only California Governor elected to that office three times.
Earlier, he was Republican Thomas E. Dewey's vice Presidential running mate in the 1948 U.S. Presidential election, which was won by the Democrat candidate Harry Truman.
He also ran for President in 1952 and lost to Eisenhower in the republican primary.
It is the legacy of Warren Court that caused a constitutional revolution in America.
In 1954, through Brown v. Board of Education case, it declared public school segregation unconstitutional.
This paved the way for much of Civil Rights legislation of the 1960's.
According to David French's article in The Wall Street Journal, Warren Court decisions impacted
religious practices as it "ended school prayer, ended daily Bible readings, blocked displays of the Ten Commandments and banned the teaching of creationism".
Religious Fundamentalists mark this period as the beginning of "Godlessness" in America.
The Warren court and its successors expanded the "right to privacy" to strike down ban of contraceptives, and to allow women the right to abortion in the famous Roe v. Wade case.
These were such sweeping changes that even late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in 1992,
"Suppose the Court had not gone on to fashion a regime blanketing the subject, a set of rules that displaced virtually every state law then in force. Would there have been the 20-year controversy we have witnessed?".
Warren Court also reshaped the Criminal Laws of the country through cases establishing the Miranda rule and defenders right to appointed counsel.
Under Warren's aggressive court, the Judicial Branch progressed as the Legislative Branch was regressing. In effect, this was the beginning of the period of legislation through the courts.
This was not all.
In 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson created a Commission headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate the case.
The so called Warren Commission concluded that both Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby acted alone in their respective roles in the assassination of the President and the subsequent killing of Oswald.
Even today, controversies over the Warren Report findings linger.
According to experts, since the Warren era, the American public has increasingly turned to the courts rather than to their elected officials, for quicker response to solving their problems.
"Litigation" rather than "legislation" seems to be the order of the day.
The courts have also obliged by taking on, in addition to legal matters, more legislative issues in their docket.
That is why President Trump's appointment of over 200 new judges to the U.S. Lower Courts, in his first term, is as important as his nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
No matter what happens on the elections in November 3, with the courts turning decidedly to the right, the Democrat party is already snookered by the opposition.
Ghosts of the judicial past shall continue to rule the country in the future,
perhaps this time from a different direction.