Bench Memos

Tuck This One Away

for an opportune moment in the upcoming hearings:

“[A]s judges we are neither Jew, nor Gentile, neither Catholic nor agnostic.  We owe equal attachment to the Constitution and are equally bound by our judicial obligations whether we derive our citizenship from the earliest or the latest immigrants to these shores.  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.”

–Justice Felix Frankfurter, dissenting in West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 646 (1943).

Matthew J. Franck — Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.

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