Quotations by Frankfurter, Felix


A clean desk is a sign of an empty mind.

Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) US Supreme Court Justice, jurist and teacher
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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One of the prerogatives of American citizenship is the right to criticize public men and measures — and that means not only informed and responsible criticism, but the freedom to speak foolishly and without moderation.

Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) US Supreme Court Justice, jurist and teacher
Baumgartner v. United States, 322 U.S. 665 (1944)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Morals are three-quarters manners.

Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) US Supreme Court Justice, jurist and teacher
Felix Frankfurter Reminiscences (1960) [ed. Harlan Phillips]
Added on 15-Feb-18 | Last updated 15-Feb-18
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If nowhere else, in the relation between Church and State, “good fences make good neighbors.”

Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) US Supreme Court Justice, jurist and teacher
McCollum v. Board of Education (1948)
Added on 26-Aug-10 | Last updated 26-Aug-10
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The history of liberty is the history of the observances of procedural safeguards.

Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) US Supreme Court Justice, jurist and teacher
McNabb v. United States (1943)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 8-Jul-15
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Freedom of the press is not an end in itself but a means to the end of [achieving] a free society.

Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) US Supreme Court Justice, jurist and teacher
New York Times (28 Nov. 1954)
Added on 29-Jun-04 | Last updated 29-Jun-04
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If one man can be allowed to determine for himself what is law, every man can. That means first chaos, then tyranny. Legal process is an essential part of the democratic process.

Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) US Supreme Court Justice, jurist and teacher
United States v. Mine Workers, 330 U.S. 312 (concurring) (1946)
Added on 29-Jun-04 | Last updated 29-Jun-04
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It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged … [by] not very nice people.

Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) US Supreme Court Justice, jurist and teacher
United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 US 56, 69 (dissenting) (1950)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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As a member of this court I am not justified in writing my private notions of policy into the Constitution, no matter how deeply I may cherish them or how mischievous I may deem their disregard.

Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) US Supreme Court Justice, jurist and teacher
Comment to reporters (9 Aug 1964)
Added on 4-Feb-11 | Last updated 4-Feb-11
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