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Associate Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter was a noted law scholar who served as the high court's leading exponent of the doctrine of judicial self-restraint.
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Frankfurter's nomination was approved that January, and he took the bench later that month. He was the second Jewish Supreme Court justice, following Louis Brandeis, who resigned that same year. While he was a champion of civil liberties, Frankfurter supported the limitation or restriction of these liberties in certain cases. He wrote the majority opinion for Minersville School District v. Gobitis (1940),
which stated that a school district could compel its students to salute the flag. The suit had been filed by a family who objected to the practice on religious grounds. Frankfurter also sided with the majority in Korematsu v. United States (1944), which stated that the internment of Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals during World War II was constitutional. In 1954, Frankfurter supported the groundbreaking decision in Brown v. Board of Education that made school segregation illegal.
Frankfurter resigned in his position with the Supreme Court in 1962 after suffering a stroke. The following year, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President John F. Kennedy. Days after suffering a heart attack, Frankfurter died at the age of 82 on February 22, 1965, in Washington, D.C. He was survived by his wife, Marion, whom he married in 1919.
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