Burger, Warren E.


1977 initialed TLS as Chief Justice declining invitation to attend "opening" and dinner at the National Portrait Gallery


Autograph ID: 6527
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1902-1995) 15th US Chief Justice 1969-86. Although a conservative, the U Court delivered a variety of transformative decisions on abortion, capital punishment, religious establishment, and school desegregation during his tenure. Minnesota lawyer, Asst. Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division 1953-56, US DC Circuit Court of Appeals judge 1956-69. On July 24, 1974, Burger led the court in a unanimous 8–0 decision in United States v. Nixon which ultimately led to Nixon’s resignation as President. He poured much energy into the other role of the Chief Justice, administering the nation's legal system. He initiated the National Center for State Courts, the Institute for Court Management, and the National Institute of Corrections (to provide professional training for judges, clerks, and prison guards). He initiated the annual State of the Judiciary speech given by the Chief Justice to the American Bar Association. Burger retired Sept. 26, 1986, in part to lead the campaign to mark the 1987 bicentennial of the Constitution, at which time he commissioned the construction of the Constitution Bicentennial Monument. In 1988, he was awarded the prestigious United States Military Academy's Sylvanus Thayer Award as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As Chief Justice, Burger was instrumental in founding the Supreme Court Historical Society and was its 1st president. One of the Chief Justice's roles by statute is to serve as ex officio member of the Board of the Smithsonian Institution (of which the National Portrait Gallery is a part) and he served as Chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution 1969 until his retirement.

TLS "WEB" on 9 1/2 x 7 1/4 Court "Chambers of the Chief Justice" engraved letterhead with white embossed seal at top left, Washington, October 26 1977, to his friend Marvin Sadik, Director, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC. Chief Justice Burger regrets he cannot attend the May 14 "opening" and dinner at the National Portrait Gallery.

MARVIN SADIK (1932-2013) Director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery in Washington 1969-81. Responsible for shaping the museum's collections in competition with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Washington rival the National Gallery of Art, he added many treasures to the NPG's holdings and oversaw the broadening of the Gallery's mission to include noteworthy photographs.”
Type: Letter

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