Felix Frankfurter: Opinion in Colegrove v. Green

(1946)

Felix Frankfurter remains something of enigma. An activist in early life, after his appointment to the Supreme Court, he came to stand for a restraint that seemed at odds with his past. His Opinion in Colegrove v. Green is the embodiment of his philosophy of judicial restraint. Kenneth W. Colegrove, a professor at Northwestern University, sued the governor of Illinois, Dwight H. Green, over the state’s 1901 apportionment law, which he saw as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. In his opinion, Frankfurter held that by becoming involved in state districting issues the Court would be meddling in a state’s political processes and therefore overreaching the Court’s constitutionally granted powers.

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Felix Frankfurter (Library of Congress)

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