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Highest US Court 'Should Abdicate' Says Fred Rodell


Fred Rodell, law professor at Yale Law School, last night climaxed an hour-long indictment of the present Supreme Court with the suggestion that "the nation will be better off if the Court temporarily abdicates."

Speaking with Arthur E. Sutherland, professor of Law, at a Law School Forum in Langdell Courtroom, Rodell attacked both the quantity and the quality of the Court's decisions in the last three years. He urged that the Court be regarded not as sacrosanct, but as merely "nine men with political power."

Of the nine, Rodell had praise for Justices Black and Douglas, whom he termed "the Court's only first class judicial statesmen." But he labelled Justice Frankfurter "the Emily Post of the Supreme Court" because of his "fetish for procedural issues" and opined-that "any student on the Harvard Law Review would make a better justice than Justice Burton."

In defense of the Court, Professor Sutherland termed Rodell's attacks "directly in line with our ancient tradition," of Court criticism. He cited similar attacks on Justices Brandeis, Hughes, and John Marshall, and urged that the present Court be judged "with understanding and above all, charity."

Citing specific decisions of the Court. Rodell especially deplored the recent trend of the opinions on the field of civil liberties which he believes is "the major issue in America today." He hit last week's upholding of the Feinberg Law.

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