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Associate Justice Frank Murphy Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE FRANK MURPHY
Born: April 13, 1890 in Harbor Beach, Michigan
Died: July 19, 1949 in Detroit, Michigan
Biography | show moreshow less
Frank Murphy (1890-1949), a former Mayor of Detroit (1930-1933), Governor-General of the Philippine Islands (1933-1936) and Governor of Michigan (1937-1938), became FDR's Attorney General on January 2, 1939, serving until January 17, 1940. On January 18, 1940, he was sworn in as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, serving until his death in 1949. As an Associate Justice, Murphy wrote many of the Court's opinions concerning civil liberties, including that for the 1940 Thornhill v. Alabama case, in which he clarified labor's right to strike, holding that peaceful picketing was a manifestation of freedom of speech. In a vigorous dissent from the Court's decision upholding the internment of Japanese-Americans (1944), Murphy became the first Justice ever to use the word "racism" in his opinion. Murphy used the term in five of his Court opinions; after his retirement, no Justice would use the word again until 1967.

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