Felix Frankfurter: Opinion in Colegrove v. Green

(1946)

About the Author

Before Felix Frankfurter came to the U.S. Supreme Court, he had had a long and accomplished career as a liberal political activist and academic. Most onlookers assumed that he would continue to function in both roles on the Court but that his liberalism, rather than his academic nature, would predominate. In fact, it was his academic side that did. Frankfurter's penchant for pedantry combined with his philosophy of deference to legislative and administrative decision making, and the result muted both others' expectations and his own judicial accomplishments. His philosophy of judging, which emphasized process over results, was designed to be a value-neutral method of reaching a decision. This process jurisprudence, as it has come to be known, has been championed by some as an admirable form of judicial restraint. To others, Frankfurter's brand of judging more closely resembled abdication of responsibility.

Perhaps ironically, given Frankfurter's avowedly...

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Felix Frankfurter (Library of Congress)

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