Monday, November 15, 2010

Felix Frankfurter (November 15, 1882)

Frankfurter was a Supreme Court justice from 1939 to 1962, replacing Brandeis, the first Jew to serve on the court. Today, with three Jewish justices, it’s hard to see how the two were both symbolic and significant as Jewish members of the court.

Frankfurter viewed being Jewish as "an accident of birth" – though he was influenced by Brandeis to support Zionism, in particular in support of the British Balfour Declaration of 1918 commiting to the development of a Jewish homeland in Israel. Frankfurter helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union.

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