Update on the Warren Family Christmas Card from Chief Justice Warren’s Grandson #SCOTUS

August 12th, 2016

In June, I acquired a Christmas card sent from the family of Chief Justice Earl Warren. As I noted in the post, I could not figure out exactly when it was mailed.


Due to the wonders of the internet, Chief Justice Warren’s grandson, Jeffrey Earl Warren emailed me. (In the cartoon, he is wearing red pajamas, with his bottom showing, on the second sled). With his permission, I post this message:

Saw your note on Papa Warren’s Christmas Card. Doubt it was sent from the Court.  Papa Warren was appointed by Ike in ’53.  I was born in ’48.  My brother Jocko, was born in ’50.  He would have been on the card.  I was 5 when Papa Warren was appointed.  My father, James Cleveland drew the card.  He was an amateur artist who worked in an Ad agency at the time.  The card was sent out when Papa Warren was Governor.  I’m the one in the back with his backside showing and the red colored pj’s.

The card was sent in this envelope with SCOTUS letterhead.

Jeffrey doubted it was sent from the Court:

Papa Warren would not have sent out old Christmas cards, nor do I think he sent out cards when he was on the bench–that would have smacked of politics and self-promotion. My guess is that the recipient got a letter or something else from the court and kept the Christmas card in that envelope.  The card would not have been sent in an “Industrial” envelope like that.  Too business like.

In all likelihood, the card was sent in 1949–after Jeffrey was born in January 1948, but before Jocko was born in 1950–and long before Warren was appointed to SCOTUS. There you go.

This email goes in my #ConstitutionalPlaces hall of fame, alongside my correspondences with Homer Plessy’s great-great grandson about Plessy v. Fergusson, and calls with the granddaughter of the plaintiff in United States v. Carolene Products.