F.F. — Make of him what you will, but . . .

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5 Responses

  1. Orin Kerr says:

    Ron, your post has me scratching my head.

    In my experience, Frankfurter’s jurisprudence was and remains very influential. He was one of the Court’s leading advocates of judicial restraint, and he remains closely associated with that important school of constitutional thought. He makes Cass Sunstein’s list of top Justices, and he would probably make mine, too. Did I miss the memo on why we’re supposed to think he is so terrible, so much that it requires “prefatory words” before saying positive things about him?

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  3. Joe says:

    The OP mentions Cass Sunstein. The “prefatory words” speaks in general terms — “of those with whom we disagree” etc.

    “It is hard to be fair when writing of those with whom we disagree, and harder still when we dislike their personal manner. Arrogant, argumentative, and devious – these are not the words that fair-minded scholars like to use unless the fit is fair.”

    The comments thus also suggest why some specifically don’t like him. Scratching my head on the confusion except for a difference of opinion on his legacy though some of the other side (though one link is only for payment) are cited to give another view.

  4. Gerard Magliocca says:

    Orin,

    Because FF was a terrible writer. His opinions are awfully verbose and unclear.

  5. Orin Kerr says:

    Gerard, I disagree. He’s not my favorite writer, but I certainly wouldn’t call him “terrible.” Further, I can’t say I recall others criticizing Frankfurter for his writing.

    Joe, as has happened before, I think you’re missing the point. Please re-read my comment.