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    Navy Christens Massive Ship Bearing Name of Legendary Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren

    Navy Christens Massive Ship Bearing Name of Legendary Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren

    Earl Warren, the late Supreme Court Chief Justice who presided over society-shaking civil rights changes in the 1950s and 60s, including ending racial segregation in public schools, was honored Saturday in   by the Navy which christened a 746-foot fuel ship in his name.

    The act was carried out with a hearty swing of a champagne bottle in front of a private audience of 300 people at General Dynamics-NASSCO, the ship's builder.

    Acting on behalf of the Navy, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan slammed the bottle against the gunmetal gray hull of the  Earl Warren, causing a frothy explosion that left her covered in bubbly.

    “If you ask, well, who is it that contributed so greatly to the civil rights struggle, and particularly to the struggle to ensure racial equality in our nation, Earl Warren has got to be among the top people on the list,” Kagan said.

    She said his greatness was particularly apparent in 1954 when the so-called “Warren Court” unanimously ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that state-sanctioned segregation in public schools violated the 14th Amendment.

    Before the ruling, schools could segregate Blacks and Whites, provided that their facilities were equal.

    Segregationists called for Warren's impeachment at a fraught moment in American history.

    “We in one society, a society in which people of all races are treated with equal dignity and equal respect,” Kagan said. “In 1954, none…

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