ERIC Number: ED224026
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Warren E. Burger: Editor-In-Chief Justice of the United States?
Schwartz, Thomas A.
A study attempted to ascertain whether Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger demonstrated a particularly unfavorable attitude toward the press in a pattern of press-related decisions. Sixty press freedom cases located through the indexes of the official "United States Reports" were examined. Hypothesis 1 predicted that Burger assigned majority opinions in press freedom cases proportionately more often than he assigned majority opinions in nonpress freedom cases. Between 1969 and 1976, Burger made 85% of all possible assignments, and made 85% of the assignments for press freedom cases alone, so there was no relationship between the proportions of press freedom majority opinion assignments made by Burger and the other assignments he made. Hypothesis 2 asked whether Burger assigned himself majority author more often in free press cases than in nonpress freedom cases, presumably because he had a special interest in writing majority opinions to limit freedom of the press. His majority assignment load in nonpress freedom cases was nearly equal to those of the other justices, or about 12%. In press freedom cases, however, Burger assigned himself about 27% of the total, while an equitable average would have been about 11%. Overall, he chose conservative justices significantly more often than liberal judges to write majority opinions in all cases, and conservative justices in press freedom cases more often than conservative justices for nonpress freedom cases. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Burger (Warren); Supreme Court
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982).