The Warren Court (1953–69)

Freedom of Religion

What was Chief Justice Warren’s last opinion for the Court?

Chief Justice Earl Warren’s last opinion for the Court was Powell v. McCormack, delivered June 16, 1969. The case concerned the constitutionality of the U.S. House of Representatives’ action in expelling controversial African American New York congressman Adam Clayton Powell. Warren wrote that Congress did not have the constitutional power to exclude Powell from Congress when he had been elected by his constituents and met the qualifications for congressional membership mentioned in Article I, Section 2, of the Constitution. Warren explained: “A fundamental principle of our representative democracy is, in [Alexander] Hamilton’s words, ‘that the people should choose whom they please to govern them.’”


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