The Antagonists: Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter and Civil Liberties in Modern America

James F. Simon, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-47797-4
From 1939, when he joined the Supreme Court, until his retirement in 1962, Justice Frankfurter often engaged in vociferous arguments with Justice Black over the interpretation of constitutional law. Simon reveals how their olympian arguments shaped American law during the 23 years they served together. Tracing their very different backgrounds--Black, a rough-hewn populist senator from Alabama, was once a member of the Ku Klux Klan; Frankfurter, an Austrian-born Jew, became a Harvard law professor--Simon explains why initially they were bitter judicial enemies, yet developed a mutual respect that eventually turned into friendship. The author analyzes the cases in which the two men were most passionately involved, with Black leading the Court's ``activist'' wing and giving special attention to the protection of the civil rights of minorities, while Frankfurter concentrated on preserving the integrity of the judicial system itself. This is a scholarly work yet accessible to lay readers. Dean and professor of law at New York Law School, Simon is the author of Independent Journey: The Life of William O. Douglas. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-671-72503-7
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