Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Looks like an interesting new book by Noah Feldman, exploring four of FDR's Supreme Court appointments: Felix Frankfurter, Robert Jackson, Hugo Black and William O. Douglas. This is the Supreme Court as it appeared in 1943.
The narrative picks up steam when it turns from what drew these men together to what tore them apart. The pages overflow with rivalries and a “Devil’s Dictionary” of invective. Jackson blasts Black for not recusing himself from a case that his former law partner argued. Black exacts his revenge by persuading the president not to appoint Jackson chief justice. Douglas assails Frankfurter as a pedant, complaining that his speeches at the justices’ conferences last precisely 50 minutes — the length of a Harvard Law School class. Frankfurter calls Douglas one of the “two completely evil men I have ever met.”
Here's more ...