In the Middle ages the Vikings came;
Rape and pillage was their game;
Europe was bathed in blood and flame;
Never again to be the same.

A millenium later the Viking Court;
With our Constitution made rapine sport;
Spawning hordes of mutants, the historians report;
It was just evolution, the lawyers retort;
And it improved the species, they piously claim.


D. J. Connolly


In 1953 President Dwight D. Eisenhower had the opportunity to appoint a new Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court.  World War II was almost a decade in the past, and active fighting in Korea had just ended, but we were still not secure against foreign threats.  The Soviet Union and Communist China had awesome military power and an ideological committment to take over the whole world; so Ike thought we needed a period of unity and stability at home.  Therefore, he didn't want to appoint any legal bomb throwers to the Supreme Court.  Eisenhower had political reasons to select Republican Governer Earl Warren of California for the position; and his advisors convinced him that Earl was a "safe" nominee.  So Warren got the job.

Ike soon learned that he had made a big mistake.  Warren led the Court in such brazen assaults on the balance of powers that some of his early biographers called admiring attention to his "Viking" heritage or Viking genes.  His mother was born in Sweden and his father in Norway; so his roots were in the Viking homeland [1].

The word Viking comes from a Norse word vikingr which means pirate.  In the era from about 800 AD to 1100 AD, the Vikings plundered much of Europe.  At first they merely raided seacoast towns and monasteries.  They would attack from the sea, kill those who resisted and many who didn't, steal anything of value, and sail off.  When they left, they often took the stronger or more attractive survivors along as slaves [2].

The Vikings didn't stop with piracy; in later years they attacked in greater numbers, killed off the local nobles, and stayed around to run things.  For many years, Vikings and their descendants ruled parts of England, Ireland, France, and Russia.

In 911 AD, a Viking chief called Rollo or Rolf the Walker and his men were rampaging in France.  Rolf was a very big guy, that's why they called him Rolf the Walker.  They couldn't find a horse strong enough to carry him for long.  The French king, a fellow called Charles the Simple, wanted to induce Rolf to settle down and quit tearing up the country.  So he gave the Vikings a big piece of France which then took the name of Normandy, or "North-man-dwelling."  Normandy is right across the channel from England.

Rolf's Vikings then settled in Normandy.  They intermarried with the natives, built up their numbers, and practiced their fighting skills.  They learned to speak French and even a bit of Latin.  After a while, people quit calling them Vikings and called them Normans instead.  In 1066 AD the Normans sailed over to England, killed the king, and took over the whole place.  The descendants of Vikings have ruled England ever since [3].

By 1100 AD, the era of Viking raids was over.  The most aggressive men from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden had scattered their Viking genes all over Europe.  Their countrymen who remained at home were much more peaceful.  Residents of the Viking homeland have long been among the most civilized people on earth.

Therefore, it's not likely that Viking genes or Viking heritage had much to do with Earl Warren's buccaneer style.  However, biographers who admired that style used the Viking metaphor to call attention to it.  We're going to follow their lead.  What the Warren Court did to the Constitution is a lot like what the early Vikings did to Europe.


Earl Warren's workplace, the Supreme Court building, did not inspire him to approach his job with restraint.  Early observers called it "The Marble Palace."  Its courtroom alone has roughly twenty times the volume of a typical middle class house.  Friezes (sculptured murals) adorn the courtroom's north and south walls.  They depict eighteen heroic figures from ancient and medieval history.

It's an amusing exercise to list the main occupations of those eighteen figures from the past.  The list includes four emperors and five kings.  When Supreme Court justices look up on that wall, half the role models they see are emperors and kings.  It didn't take Earl Warren long to start acting like a Viking king [4].

He already had a record of Viking leadership.  During his earlier career in California, Warren had persuaded the federal government to force 70,000 American citizens into concentration camps.  California, at the beginning of World War II, had a long history of anti-Japanese bias.   So the state's most unscrupulous politicians pandered to that bias.

In the months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, racists in the state saw a chance to strike a blow against "the yellow peril."  They claimed that all Japanese-Americans were security risks.  Never mind that they were born here.  Never mind that they were U. S. citizens [5].

Earl Warren seized the opportunity.  As California's Attorney General he became America's loudest and most visible advocate of locking up the Japanese-Americans.  Not one of them was charged with a crime, much less convicted; no crime had occurred.  One could argue that this smelly affair violated six of the first fourteen amendments to the Constitution [6].

The FBI opposed the move.  J. Edgar Hoover claimed his agency had already locked up the few Japanese-Americans we needed to worry about.  That was roughly a dozen people.  However, Attorney General Warren put up a much more vociferous argument than did the FBI.  So he won.  In 1942, tens-of-thousands of American citizens whose only crime was having as little as one-sixteenth Japanese blood were locked up in concentration camps.  In Nazi Germany that same year, one needed twice as high a proportion of Jewish blood to be subjected to similar treatment [7].

By 1943, a lot of people felt guilty about the whole thing.  A movement arose to free some of the prisoners.  Many of them were elderly and it was fairly clear they were loyal Americans.  Thousands of their relatives were serving in the American military [8].  At this point, most fair minded Americans recognized the internment as a monumental injustice.

However, California voters still wanted to keep the prisoners locked up.  So Earl again lobbied the Roosevelt Administration to continue the policy.  Warren's exploits in the 1940's made Joe McCarthy's later actions look moderate and restrained by comparison [9].


By the time Earl Warren was appointed chief justice, white collar criminals on our Supreme Court had been trashing the Constitution for a century-and-a-half.  The ink was hardly dry on the First Amendment when Federalist Supreme Court justices began running kangaroo trials to silence public criticism of officials of their own party.  In 1810 the Court trashed the Eleventh Amendment and abetted the largest and most brazen swindle in American history [9].

About forty years later, a biased Supreme Court handed down the catastrophic Dred Scott decision.  This decision gave birth to the substantive due process scam and also helped cause the Civil War [10].

Several decades after that, the Court started using the substantive due process scam to steal control of the national economy.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt described this era of judicial activism as the justices reading their own "personal economic predilections" into the Constitution.  Eventually, that practice led to the Great Depression.  None of our faithless judicial employees were ever fired for contributing to this long list of crimes against the Constitution [11].

In fact, you will never find an establishment historian or legal scholar willing to characterize these actions as crimes.  They view the risks associated with open public discussion of this issue area as too terrible to contemplate.  The public might lose trust in all our courts; and you can't have a civilization without a working court system.  So historians pretend the fraudulent court rulings are honest mistakes.  And law professors make up cock-and-bull stories describing how the Constitution "evolves" [12].

Any criminal act that repeatedly goes unpunished will eventually lead to an intolerable crime wave.  Smart lawyers finally figured out that Supreme Court justices can perpetrate any fraud they like, and get away with it, as long as no money changes hands.  About the middle of the twentieth century the Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, started acting on that realization.  We've lived with a judicial crime wave ever since. 


This web page provides links to three essays which describe some of the ways the Warren Court pillaged the Constitution.  The three essays are all slightly revised versions of Chapters in Grand Larceny: An Unexpurgated History of the Supreme Court.  See also the January 2000 work, The Temple of Karnak; How Rogue Judges Have Been Strangling Your Democracy.

Treason Has Found A Refuge
An account of Warren Court rulings which distorted the Constitution, gave aid and comfort to enemies of the United States, and, following the advice of Machiavelli, used the Court's powers to "extinguish" the political "families" of the justices' domestic "enemies."

Viking Jurisprudence, Part 2

A description of the 1954 coup by which the Warren Court defied the Constitution, created precedents for a half-century of judicial tyranny, and set in motion a process which ruined the educations of two generations of African-American children.

Viking Jurisprudence, Part 3

An account of the Warren Court's invention of new constitutional provisions to keep criminals out of jail to the great detriment of public welfare and domestic tranquility.


1.  Huston's Chapter 2 is entitled "Son of the Vikings." Pollack (page 17) suggested Warren's "Viking genes" might explain his "venturesome spirit." Rodell, page 324, refers to Earl Warren as looking "like a friendly Viking."

2.  A readable account of the Viking era can be found in Cohat.   See also the May 8, 2000 Time Magazine feature article entitled "The Amazing Vikings," by Michael D. Lemonick and Andrea Dorfman.  See also Clare, page 6.

3.  The Normans' Viking origins are described in Wright (1933), Vol. 9 and 10, page 2439, and Vol. 3 and 4, pages 680-682.

4.  I found a description of the Marble Palace, including the names of the eighteen figures, in Witt, page 781. The courtroom dimensions are 82 feet by 91 feet by 44 feet. A typical middle class suburban house is taken as 2000 square feet with 8 foot ceilings.

5.  See "The Patriot," by Ken Ringle; The Washington Post; August 21, 2000; page C01.

6.  The six Amendments are the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth.

7.  The Japanese internment is discussed in Cray, pages 114-23. I found the claim that the FBI had opposed the move in two letters published in the Washington Post on August 19, 1998. They writers were Grant Ichikawa and Lowell K. Dyson.  See also Note 5 above.

8.  Warren's opposition to the release of the imprisoned Japanese-Americans is discussed in Cray, pages 157-59, Huston, pages 59ff, and McKeever, page 135. The Japanese-Americans' World War II service in our military was described in the Washington Post letter by Grant Ichikawa (see Note 7 just above).

9.  A recent work, by Ann Coulter, made a fairly convincing historical case that Senator McCarthy's offenses were greatly exaggerated, if not fabricated out of whole cloth, by partisan interests in the Democratic Party and a liberal media.  Check the Bibliography for publication details on Coulter's book.  See also Chapters 1 and 4 in The Temple of Karnak and the online essays Judicial Activism, the Eleventh Amendment, and the Yazoo Land Fraud and The Reign of Terror.

10. See Chapters 5 and 6 in The Temple of Karnak.  See also the online essays, A Scam is Born and Evolution of a Scam.

11. See the online essay Off to see the Wizard.

12. See the online essay Our Evolving Constitution.



For publication data on works cited, check the Bibliography

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D. J. Connolly