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1999

Owen Roberts

Legal History

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Lost Fidelities, Barry Cushman Jan 1999

Lost Fidelities, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

Owen Roberts was accused of a variety of things in 1937, but “fidelity” was not among them. Justice Harlan Fiske Stone and Professor Felix Frankfurter were among many who accused Roberts of performing, as Frankfurter put it, a jurisprudential “somersault” “incapable of being attributed to a single factor relevant to the professed judicial process.” To Frankfurter, it was “all painful beyond words,” and gave him “a sickening feeling which is aroused when moral standards are adulterated in a convent.” Yet when Roberts announced his retirement from the Court eight years later, Chief Justice Stone, along with now-Justices Frankfurter and Robert …