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University of Michigan Law School

United States Supreme Court

1994

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Switching Time And Other Thought Experiments: The Hughes Court And Constitutional Transformation, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1994

Switching Time And Other Thought Experiments: The Hughes Court And Constitutional Transformation, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

For the most part, the Supreme Court's decisions in 1932 and 1933 disappointed liberals. The two swing Justices, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes and Justice Owen J. Roberts, seemed to have sided more with the Court's four conservatives than with its three liberals. Between early 1934 and early 1935, however, the Court issued three thunderbolt decisions, all by five-to-four votes on the liberal side and with either Hughes or Roberts writing for the majority over the dissent of the conservative foursome: in January 1934, Home Building & Loan Ass'n v. Blaisdell' severely limited the extent to which the Contracts Clause of Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution forbids state debtor protection legislation; in March, Nebbia v. New York2 stated in expansive terms the power ...


A Reaffirmation: The Authenticity Of The Roberts Memorandum, Or Felix The Non-Forger (Justices Felix Frankfurter And Owen J. Roberts), Richard D. Friedman Jan 1994

A Reaffirmation: The Authenticity Of The Roberts Memorandum, Or Felix The Non-Forger (Justices Felix Frankfurter And Owen J. Roberts), Richard D. Friedman

Articles

In the December 1955 issue of this Law Review, Justice Felix Frankfurter published a tribute to his late friend and colleague, Owen J. Roberts.' The tribute centered on what Frankfurter claimed was the text of a memorandum that Roberts wrote in 1945 to explain his conduct in the critical minimum wage cases of 1936 and 1937, Morehead v. New York ex rel. Tipaldo2 and West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish.' Scholars have often challenged the adequacy of Roberts's account of why he cast decisive votes for the conservatives in Tipaldo and for the liberals in West Coast Hotel.4 ...