Democratic Justice: Felix Frankfurter, the Supreme Court, and the Making of the Liberal Establishment

Brad Snyder

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Beschreibung

The definitive biography of Felix Frankfurter, Supreme Court justice and champion of twentieth-century American liberal democracy.

Scholars have portrayed Felix Frankfurter—Harvard law professor and Supreme Court justice—as a judicial failure, a liberal lawyer turned conservative justice, and Warren Court villain. Yet as Brad Snyder reveals, Frankfurter was a pro-government, pro–civil rights liberal. He helped found the ACLU, rejected shifting political labels, and practiced judicial restraint. A disciple of Oliver Wendell Holmes and a protégé of Louis Brandeis, he thrived as a power broker for FDR and as a talent scout for the liberal establishment. (Former students and clerks included Dean Acheson, Elliot Richardson, and Richard Goodwin.)

This sweeping narrative illuminates how an Austrian immigrant befriended presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson, led calls for a new trial for Sacco and Vanzetti, and helped achieve a unanimous opinion in Brown v. Board of Education. The result is a full and fascinating portrait of a lawyer and Supreme Court justice who championed democracy.

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Schlagwörter

american liberalism, fdr, oliver wendell holmes, warren court, harvard law school, supreme court, gomillion v. lightfoot, baker v. carr, liberal establishment, judicial restraint