The Warren Court was obviously a major champion of civil rights, but it’s worth noting how close it was to never happening. Warren was Thomas Dewey’s running mate in 1948, and had that famously erroneous headline actually been correct — Dewey was widely favored to win — Warren would have been vice president and almost certainly not the steward of some of the most important Court decisions of the 20th century.*
*None of which Sarah Palin can name. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.