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Labor and the Federal System, 26 University of Chicago Law Review 542 (1959)


Mr. Justice Frankfurter was alone in dissent and wrong in conclusion when he wrote this wise and provocative paragraph:

The various aspects in which this problem [of accommodating state and federal laws] comes before the Court are seldom easy of solution. Decisions ultimately depend on judgment in balancing overriding considerations making for the requirement of an exclusive nation-wide regime in a particular field of legal control and respect for the allowable area within which the forty-eight States may enforce their diverse notions of policy.

Evoked by these words is the image of the judge placing weights on both sides of the law's mythical scale: so many for federal purposes; so many for state interest. It is to be sure a hackneyed image (it is mine, not the Justice's) but it suggests the delicate nature of an important judicial task.

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