ASSOCIATE JUSTICE FELIX FRANKFURTER - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 06/01/1961 - HFSID 51880
He send this letter regarding missing his deadline for writing a preface to an upcoming reprint of his book on the Sacco-Vanzetti case
Typed Letter Signed: "F.F." as Associate Justice, 1p, 7½x9½. Washington, D.C., 1961 June 1. On letterhead of the Supreme Court of the United States, Chambers of Justice Felix Frankfurter to Seymour Lawrence, Esq. Begins: "My dear Sam". In full: "Today is the first of June, which you designated as the deadline for my introductory note to the forthcoming republication of the Sacco-Vanzetti book. Happily, long experience has taught me that a deadline, except for a daily paper, is not a dead line, but has its flexible potentialities. Even though the ultimate product will hardly show it, I have been thinking a good deal not only what to say but how to say it. Were I still at Cambridge it would be easy to write a preface. As it is, you will have what I have to say Monday or Tuesday of next week, and I can assure you that its length will bear no proportional relation to the preoccupation that will have produced it."Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965), who served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1939-1962, wrote this letter the year before his retirement. The letter concerns his account of a case that has impacted judicial procedures to this day. Four decades before, as a member of the Harvard Law School faculty (1914-1939), Frankfurter intensively sought to overturn the murder convictions of two Italian anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Frankfurter did not attempt to define the defendants' guilt or innocence; he considered the Sacco-Vanzetti trial a test case for the objectivity of legal procedure and intolerance of the establishment. His efforts were in part financially supported by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who gave him an annual stipend for legislative research and activities dealing with social and political importance. The article Frankfurter submitted to "Atlantic Monthly" was later published with footnotes as a small book, The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti. The third edition of the work (referred to in this letter) was published in 1962 with a Note on Republication, which Frankfurter wrote on June 5, 1961, four days after he corresponded with Lawrence. Frankfurter's liberal reputation was derived from his many involvements: he helped found the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920 and actively supported the Zionist movement and labor unions. He also served as advisor to President Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference (1919) and advised Franklin D. Roosevelt during both his governorship and presidency. FDR would appoint Frankfurter to the Supreme Court in 1939. While on the Court, Frankfurter emphasized the Court's function to base all opinions on constitutional law instead of personal opinion.
Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Stray red ink mark at upper portion. Fine condition. Framed in the Gallery of History style: 29x19½.
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