Murphy, Frank

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Murphy, Frank

Frank Murphy, 1890–1949, American political figure, associate justice of the Supreme Court (1940–49), b. Harbor Beach, Mich. After serving as a U.S. attorney (1919–20) and as a judge of recorder's court (1923–30), he was elected mayor of Detroit in 1930 and was widely recognized for his relief efforts. He resigned to become governor-general (1933–35) and later (1935–36) U.S. high commissioner in the Philippine Islands. Elected governor of Michigan in 1936, his settlement of the automobile strike (1937) in Flint, Mich., made him a national figure. In Jan., 1939, Murphy, a New Deal Democrat, was appointed U.S. Attorney General and served until his appointment to the Supreme Court. For a short time in 1942 he left the bench to serve as an army officer. Justice Murphy's opinions reflected his ardent liberalism. In his dissenting opinion in Korematsu v. United States (1944), he stated that the wartime internment of Japanese-Americans was unconstitutional.

See study by S. Fine (1979).

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