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Preview of a Justice, 48 Yale Law Journal 819 (1939)

Abstract

A MAN writes - an event transpires - the work is reset to another theme. Felix Frankfurter scribbles about :Mr. Justice Holmes; an advance sheaf of the opinions of :U!r. Justice Frankfurter is sought within his pages. Thus circumstance interposes to transmute what was to have been a review of a book into a preview of a justice. To search his printed word for the judge-to-be is a revealing adventure. Apropos of Holmes, Frankfurter speaks for himself.On other occasions he has written about :Marshall, Taney and Waite; about Mr. Justice Brandeis and Mr. Justice Cardozo. In reciting what other jurists have done, he cannot escape what he as a jurist might do. In attention to legal events of yesterday, he addresses himself to issues now current. A gallery of affectionate portraits reveals less of judgments to come than would an exhibition from the judicial workshop; and we may anticipate less clearly the concretions which to Frankfurter will be the Constitution than we could with Holmes and with Cardozo. But the new justice lives in a democracy; he has freely chosen his gods. His pieces arc appreciations rather than critical appraisals; his selection and comment have remade his subjects; another choice of items and a different text would have created another Marshall, Holmes or Brande.is. In citation, comment, concurrence we catch the potential jurist within the writer. In respect to fellow members of his craft, Felix Frankfurter recites his faith.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1939

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