It was fifty years ago today- Thursday June 13, 1968 – Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Earl Warren went to the White House to meet with President Lyndon Johnson to tell him he was planning on retiring. Warren thought that after the assassination of Robert Kennedy that a republican would win the presidential election in November and he wanted POTUS Johnson to be able to name his successor. Earl Warren was seventy-seven years old. He had been appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1953 to replace Fred Vinson as Chief Justice. Ike would later think of the appointment of Warren to the court as his biggest mistake as POTUS. Warren a republican had been Governor of California when he was appointed. Warren another in a line of appointees who when they got to the court and had to answer to no one- voted differently on issues than what the president who appointed them thought they were getting.
Johnson would appoint Associate Justice Abe Fortas a personal friend to replace Warren, Fortas would do poorly in the conformation hearings and would end up leaving the court and the appointment of Warren’s replacement would fall to the next POTUS Richard Milhous Nixon who in 1969 selected Warren Burger.