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Wiener v. United States

Justice Felix Frankfurter

Justice Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) was among the most highly regarded jurists ever to sit on the Supreme Court. As a professor at Harvard Law School from 1914 to 1939, he taught a number of notable figures in the next generation, including future Secretary of State Dean Rusk. He also pioneered the study of federal courts' jurisdiction. Even before his appointment by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the nation's highest bench in 1939, he was known as a champion of liberal causes: one of the founding members of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 1920, Frankfurter became a prominent national figure with his critique of the Sacco and Vanzetti trial in the 1920s.

Frankfurter strongly supported Roosevelt's New Deal programs in economics, jurisprudence, and other areas; therefore his appointment to the Supreme Court on the eve of World War II was no surprise. He served on the Court for the next 23 years, until 1962, a period that spanned from the latter years of Charles Evans Hughes's chief justiceship to the early days of the Earl Warren Court. During that time, he became known for his opposition to the view of Justices Hugo Black and William O. Douglas, that protection of free speech rights should be absolute.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962Wiener v. United States - A "quasi-judicial" Body, Shifting Precedents, Justice Felix Frankfurter