Frankfurter, Felix


Frankfurter, Felix
(1882-1965)
   Born in Austria, Felix Frankfurter’s family moved to the United States in 1894. Frankfurter gained a law degree at City College of New York and went on to Harvard University, where he graduated in 1906. He practiced briefly in New York and then became an assistant to Henry Stimson, a U.S. attorney in New York. Frankfurter became a professor at Harvard Law School in 1914, a position he held until 1939. During World War I, he became assistant secretary of labor and served as secretary for the President’s Mediation Commission that investigated the labor unrest in the West in 1917. In 1916, Frankfurter headed the investigation into the convictions of Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, labor leaders sentenced to death for a bombing in San Francisco in which 10 people were killed. Frankfurter reported that there were several grounds for a retrial, and as a consequence, the death sentences were commuted. In 1918, he was appointed to chair the War Labor Policies Board to unify labor standards used by federal agencies.
   After the war, Frankfurter called for recognition of the Bolshevik regime in Russia, joined the American Civil Liberties Union, defended immigrant members of left-wing groups against deportation, and called for a retrial in the case of Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Frankfurter was a close friend of Franklin D. Roosevelt and influential in drawing up various pieces of New Deal legislation. Many of his students went to work in New Deal agencies. In 1938, Roosevelt nominated him to the Supreme Court, where he served until 1962. Frankfurter was not consistently “liberal” as a justice but believed in “judicial restraint” and the importance of precedent. He is most remembered for his majority opinion in Minersville School District v. Gobitis in 1940 and his dissents in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette in 1943 and Baker v. Carr in 1962. In the first case, he ruled that the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses could be expelled from school for refusing to salute the flag. When this was over-turned in West Virginia State Board of Education, he rejected the argument that the First Amendment barred mandatory flag salutes. In Baker v. Carr, he rejected any judicial remedy for malapportioned legislatures.
   Frankfurter also upheld the government’s actions in interning Japanese Americans during the war in cases like Korematsu v. United States. He was, however, conspicuous in his support of African Americans, and he wholeheartedly supported the decision against segregated schools in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954. He did not, though, support picketing by African Americans to secure employment in supermarkets (Hughes v. Superior Court of California for Contra Costa County, 1950), nor did he approve of sit-ins or other militant tactics. Frankfurter retired in 1962. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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  • FRANKFURTER, FELIX — (1882–1965), U.S. jurist. Frankfurter, who was born in Vienna, was taken to the United States at the age of 12. His parents settled on the Lower East Side of New York, where his father, scion of a long line of rabbis, was a modest tradesman.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Frankfurter, Felix — born Nov. 15, 1882, Vienna, Austria Hungary died Feb. 22, 1965, Washington, D.C., U.S. Austrian born U.S. jurist and public official. Immigrating to the U.S. at the age of 12, he was educated at the City College of New York and Harvard Law School …   Universalium

  • Frankfurter, Felix — (1882–1965)    US Supreme Court judge and Zionist. Frankfurter was one of the Jewish immigrant boys who rose to distinguished positions in American life. His family arrived from Vienna and settled in the Lower East Side of New York when he was… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Frankfurter,Felix — Frank·furt·er (frăngkʹfər tər), Felix. 1882 1965. Austrian born American jurist. A founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, he served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1939 1962). * * * …   Universalium

  • Frankfurter, Felix — (1882 1965)    American jurist. He was born in Vienna and was taken to New York at the age of 12. He served as professor at Harvard Law School (1914 39), and associate justice of the US Supreme Court (1939 62). In 1919 he was the legal adviser to …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Frankfurter, Felix — (15 nov. 1882, Viena, Austria–Hungría–22 feb. 1965, Washington, D.C., EE.UU.). Jurista y funcionario público estadounidense nacido en Austria. Emigró a EE.UU. a la edad de 12 años, se educó en el City College de Nueva York y en la escuela de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Frankfurter, Felix —  (1882–1965) American jurist …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Felix Frankfurter — (né le 15 novembre 1882) était un juge américain siégeant à la Cour suprême des États Unis. Originaire de New York, il étudia au City College of New York, avant de brillantes études à Harvard. Il fut nommé à la Cour suprême des États Unis par …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Felix Frankfurter — [Felix Frankfurter] (1882–1965) a US ↑Supreme Court judge (1939–62), born in Austria. He believed in ‘judicial restraint’, the idea that judges should not try to influence government policies through their decisions in courts of law. He helped to …   Useful english dictionary

  • Felix — /fee liks/, n. a male given name: from a Latin word meaning happy, lucky. * * * (as used in expressions) Bloch Felix Candela Felix Frankfurter Felix Laue Max Theodor Felix von Mendelssohn Bartholdy Jakob Ludwig Felix Schwarzenberg Felix prince zu …   Universalium

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