|Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States|
February 5, 1940 – July 19, 1949
|Nominated by||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Preceded by||Pierce Butler|
|Succeeded by||Tom C. Clark|
|56th United States Attorney General|
January 2, 1939 – January 18, 1940
|President||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Preceded by||Homer Stille Cummings|
|Succeeded by||Robert H. Jackson|
|35th Governor of Michigan|
January 1, 1937 – January 1, 1939
|Lieutenant||Leo J. Nowicki|
|Preceded by||Frank Fitzgerald|
|Succeeded by||Frank Fitzgerald|
|1st High Commissioner to the Philippines|
November 15, 1935 – December 31, 1936
|President||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||J. Weldon Jones (Acting)|
|Governor General of the Philippine Islands|
July 15, 1933 – November 15, 1935
|President||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Preceded by||Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Manuel L. Quezon (President)|
|55th Mayor of Detroit|
September 23, 1930 – May 10, 1933
|Preceded by||Charles Bowles|
|Succeeded by||Frank Couzens|
William Francis Murphy
April 13, 1890
Harbor Beach, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||July 19, 1949 (aged 59)|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Resting place||Our Lady of Lake Huron Catholic Cemetery, Harbor Beach, Huron County, Michigan|
|Education||University of Michigan, Ann Arbor LLB)|
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1917-1919 |
|Battles/wars||World War I|
World War II
William Francis Murphy (April 13, 1890 – July 19, 1949) was an American Democratic politician and jurist from Michigan. He was named to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1940 after a political career that included serving as United States Attorney General, Governor of Michigan and Mayor of Detroit. He also served as the last Governor General of the Philippine Islands and the first High Commissioner of the Philippines.
Born in "The Thumb" region of Michigan, Murphy graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1914. After serving in the United States Army during World War I, he served as a federal attorney and trial judge. He served as Mayor of Detroit from 1930 to 1933 before accepting appointment as Governor-General of the Philippine Islands. He defeated incumbent Republican Governor Frank Fitzgerald in Michigan's 1936 gubernatorial election and served a single term as Governor of Michigan. Murphy lost re-election to Fitzgerald in 1938 and accepted appointment as the United States Attorney General the following year.
In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Murphy to the Supreme Court to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Pierce Butler. Murphy served on the Court from 1940 until his death in 1949, and was succeeded by Tom C. Clark. Murphy wrote the Court's majority opinion in SEC v. W. J. Howey Co., and wrote a dissenting opinion in Korematsu v. United States.
Murphy was born in Harbor Beach (then called Sand Beach), Michigan, in 1890. Both his parents, John T. Murphy and Mary Brennan, were Irish immigrants and raised him as a devout Catholic. He followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a lawyer. He attended the University of Michigan Law School, and graduated with a BA in 1912 and an LLB in 1914. He was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and the senior society Michigamua.
Murphy was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 1914, after which he clerked with a Detroit law firm for three years. He then served with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War I, achieving the rank of captain with the occupation army in Germany before leaving the service in 1919. He remained abroad afterward to pursue graduate studies. His graduate work at Lincoln's Inn in London and Trinity College, Dublin, which was said to be formative for his judicial philosophy. He developed a need to decide cases based on his more holistic notions of justice, eschewing technical legal arguments. As one commentator quipped of his later Supreme Court service, he "tempered justice with Murphy."
1919–1922: U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Michigan
Murphy was appointed, and took the oath of office as, first Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan on August 9, 1919. He was one of three assistant attorneys in the office.
When Murphy began his career as a federal attorney the workload of the attorney's office was increasing at a rapid rate, mainly because of the number of prosecutions resulting from the enforcement of national prohibition. The government's excellent record in winning convictions in the Eastern District was partially due to Murphy's record of winning all but one of the cases he prosecuted. He practiced law privately to a limited extent while still a federal attorney, and resigned his position as a United States attorney on March 1, 1922. He had several offers to join private practices, but decided to go it alone and formed a partnership with Edward G. Kemp in Detroit.
1923–1930: Recorder's Court
Murphy ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for the United States Congress in 1920, when national and state Republicans swept Michigan, but used his legal reputation and growing political connections to win a seat on the Recorder's Court, Detroit's criminal court. In 1923, he was elected judge of the Recorder's Court on a non-partisan ticket by one of the largest majorities ever cast for a judge in Detroit, took office on January 1, 1924, and served seven years during the Prohibition era.
While on Recorder's Court, he established a reputation as a trial judge. He was a presiding judge in the famous murder trials of Dr. Ossian Sweet and his brother, Henry Sweet, in 1925 and 1926. Clarence Darrow, then one of the most prominent trial lawyers in the country, was lead counsel for the defense. After an initial mistrial of all of the black defendants, Henry Sweet—who admitted that he fired the weapon which killed a member of the mob surrounding Dr. Sweet's home and was retried separately—was acquitted by an all-white jury on grounds of the right of self-defense. The prosecution then elected to not prosecute any of the remaining defendants. Murphy's rulings were material to the outcome of the case.
1930–1933: Mayor of Detroit
In 1930, Murphy ran as a Democrat and was elected Mayor of Detroit. He served from 1930 to 1933, during the first years of the Great Depression. He presided over an epidemic of urban unemployment, a crisis in which 100,000 were unemployed in the summer of 1931. He named an unemployment committee of private citizens from businesses, churches, and labor and social service organizations to identify all residents who were unemployed and not receiving welfare benefits. The Mayor's Unemployment Committee raised funds for its relief effort and worked to distribute food and clothing to the needy, and a Legal Aid Subcommittee volunteered to assist with the legal problems of needy clients. In 1933, Murphy convened in Detroit and organized the first convention of the United States Conference of Mayors. They met and conferred with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Murphy was elected its first president.
Murphy was an early and enthusiastic supporter of Roosevelt and the New Deal, helping Roosevelt to become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state of Michigan since Franklin Pierce in 1852 before the Republican Party was founded.
Melvin G. Holli rated Murphy an exemplary mayor and a highly effective leader.
1933–1935: Governor-General of the Philippine Islands
1935–36: High Commissioner to the Philippines
When his position as Governor-General was abolished in 1935, he stayed on as United States High Commissioner until 1936. That year, he was a delegate from the Philippine Islands to the Democratic National Convention.
High Commissioner to the Philippines was the title of the personal representative of the President of the United States to the Commonwealth of the Philippines during the period 1935–46. The office was created by the Tydings–McDuffie Act of 1934, which provided for a period of transition from direct American rule to the complete independence of the islands on July 4, 1946.
1937–1939: Governor of Michigan
Murphy was elected the 35th Governor of Michigan on November 3, 1936, defeating Republican incumbent Frank Fitzgerald, and served one two-year term. During his two years in office, an unemployment compensation system was instituted and mental health programs were improved.
The United Automobile Workers engaged in an historic sit-down strike at General Motors' Flint plant. The Flint Sit-Down Strike was a turning point in national collective bargaining and labor policy. After 27 people were injured in a battle between the workers and the police, including 13 strikers with gunshot wounds, Murphy sent the National Guard to protect the workers, failed to follow a court order that requested him to expel the strikers, and refused to order the Guard's troops to suppress the strike.
He successfully mediated an agreement and end to the confrontation, and G.M. recognized the U.A.W. as bargaining agent under the newly adopted National Labor Relations Act. This recognition had a significant effect on the growth of organized labor unions. In the next year, the UAW saw its membership grow from 30,000 to 500,000 members. As later noted by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), this strike was "the strike heard round the world."
In 1938 Murphy was defeated by his predecessor, Fitzgerald, who became the only governor of Michigan to precede, and then succeed, the same person.
1939–40: Attorney General of the United States
In 1939, Roosevelt appointed Murphy the 56th Attorney General of the United States. He established a Civil Liberties Unit in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, designed to centralize enforcement responsibility for the Bill of Rights and civil rights statutes.
1940–1949: Supreme Court
One year after becoming Attorney General, on January 4, 1940, Murphy was nominated by President Roosevelt as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, filling the vacancy caused by the death of Pierce Butler the previous November. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 16, and sworn in on February 5, 1940. The timing of the appointment put Murphy on the cusp of the Charles Evans Hughes and the Harlan Fiske Stone courts. On the death of Chief Justice Stone, Murphy served in the court led by Frederick Moore Vinson, who was confirmed in 1946.
Murphy took an expansive view of individual liberties, and the limitations on government he found in the Bill of Rights. He authored 199 opinions: 131 for the majority, 68 in dissent. One of the important opinions authored by Justice Murphy was Securities and Exchange Commission v. W. J. Howey Co. (1946), in which the Court defined the term "investment contract" under the Securities Act of 1933, thus giving content to the most important concept of what makes something a security in American law.
Opinions differ about him and his jurisprudential philosophy. He has been acclaimed as a legal scholar and a champion of the common man, but Justice Felix Frankfurter disparagingly nicknamed Murphy "the Saint", criticizing his decisions as being rooted more in passion than reason. It has been said he was "neither legal scholar nor craftsman", and he was criticized "for relying on heart over head, results over legal reasoning, clerks over hard work, and emotional solos over team play."
Murphy's support of African Americans, aliens, criminals, dissenters, Jehovah's Witnesses, Native Americans, women, workers and other "outsiders" evoked a pun: "tempering justice with Murphy." As he wrote in Falbo v. United States (1944), "The law knows no finer hour than when it cuts through formal concepts and transitory emotions to protect unpopular citizens against discrimination and persecution." (p. 561)
According to Frankfurter, Murphy was part of the more liberal "axis" of justices on the Court along with justices Wiley B. Rutledge, William O. Douglas and Hugo L. Black; the group would for years oppose Frankfurter's "judicially restrained" conservative ideology. Douglas, Murphy and then Rutledge were the first justices to agree with Black's notion that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporated the Bill of Rights' protection in it; this view would later become law.
Murphy is perhaps best known for his vehement dissent from the court's ruling in Korematsu v. United States (1944), which upheld the constitutionality of the government's internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. He sharply criticized the majority ruling as "legalization of racism."
This was the first time the word "racism" found its way into a Supreme Court opinion (Murphy had previously used the term twice in a concurring opinion in Steele v. Louisville & Nashville Railway Co. (1944) issued that same day). He would use that word again in five separate opinions before the word "racism" disappeared from Murphy's and the High Court's other opinions for almost two decades, not reappearing until the landmark decision of Loving v. Virginia (1967), which struck down as unconstitutional the Virginia anti-miscegenation statute. (See also Jim Crow laws.)
Although Murphy was serving on the Supreme Court during World War II, he still longed to be part of the war effort; and so during Court recesses he served at Fort Benning, Georgia as an infantry officer.
On January 30, 1944, almost exactly one year before Soviet liberation of the Auschwitz death camp on January 27, 1945, Justice Murphy unveiled the formation of the National Committee Against Nazi Persecution and Extermination of the Jews. Serving as committee chair, he declared that it was created to combat Nazi propaganda "breeding the germs of hatred against Jews." This announcement was made on the 11th anniversary of Adolf Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany. The eleven committee members included U.S. Vice President Henry Wallace, 1940 Republican presidential candidate Wendell Willkie and Henry St. George Tucker, Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
Murphy was among 12 nominated at the 1944 Democratic National Convention to serve as Roosevelt's running mate in the presidential election that year. He acted as chairman of the National Committee against Nazi Persecution and Extermination of the Jews and of the Philippine War Relief Committee. The first committee was established in early 1944 to promote rescue of European Jews, and to combat antisemitism in the United States.
Death and memory
Murphy died in his sleep at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit on July 19, 1949, of a coronary thrombosis at the age of 59. Over 10,000 people attended his funeral in Detroit. He is buried in Our Lady of Lake Huron Catholic Cemetery in Sand Beach Township, Michigan, near Harbor Beach.
The Frank Murphy Hall of Justice was home to Detroit's Recorder's Court and now houses part of Michigan's Third Judicial Circuit Court. There is a plaque in his honor on the first floor, which is recognized as a Michigan Legal Milestone.
Outside the Hall of Justice is Carl Milles's statue "The Hand of God". This rendition was cast in honor of Murphy and financed by the United Automobile Workers. It features a nude figure emerging from the left hand of God. Although commissioned in 1949 and completed by 1953, the work, partly because of the male nudity involved, was kept in storage for a decade and a half. The work was chosen in tribute to Murphy by Walter P. Reuther and Ira W. Jayne. It was placed on a pedestal in 1970 with the help of sculptor Marshall Fredericks, who was a Milles student.
Murphy is also honored with a museum in his home town, Harbor Beach, Michigan. Housed at his former residence, it contains numerous personal artifacts from his life and career, most notably from the Philippines. The Murphy Museum is open during the summer months, by appointment.
Murphy's personal and official files are archived at the Bentley Historical Library of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and are open for research. This also includes an oral history project about Murphy. His correspondence and other official documents are deposited in libraries around the country.
In memory of Murphy, one of three University of Michigan Law School alumni to become a U.S. Supreme Court justice, Washington, D.C.-based attorney John H. Pickering, who was a law clerk for Murphy, donated a large sum of money to the law school as a remembrance, establishing the Frank Murphy Seminar Room.
The University of Detroit has a Frank Murphy Honor Society.
Justice Murphy was the subject of "[r]umors of homosexuality [...] all his adult life". According to Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. The Supreme Court:
[a] gay reading of [biographies of Murphy] suggests that Murphy's homosexuality was hiding in plain sight. For more than 40 years, Edward G. Kemp was Frank Murphy's devoted, trusted companion. Like Murphy, Kemp was a lifelong bachelor. From college until Murphy's death, the pair found creative ways to work and live together. [...] When Murphy appeared to have the better future in politics, Kemp stepped into a supportive, secondary role, much as Hillary Clinton would later do for Bill Clinton.
As well as Murphy's close relationship with Kemp, Murphy's biographer, historian Sidney Fine, found in Murphy's personal papers a letter that "if the words mean what they say, refers to a homosexual encounter some years earlier between Murphy and the writer." The writer of the letter implied that he and Murphy had become lovers while Murphy was governor-general and congratulated Murphy on his appointment to the Supreme Court.
Murphy did have at least two female companions of note. Ann Parker was frequently seen horseback riding with Murphy in Washington during his tenure as U.S. attorney general, leading to speculation of a romance in the press. At the time of his death, Murphy was engaged to Joan Cuddihy; the wedding was scheduled for the following month.
- Demographics of the Supreme Court of the United States
- Ford Hunger March
- List of justices of the Supreme Court of the United States
- List of United States Supreme Court justices by time in office
- List of University of Michigan law and government alumni
- United States Supreme Court cases during the Hughes Court
- United States Supreme Court cases during the Stone Court
- United States Supreme Court cases during the Vinson Court
- Kevin Boyle (April 19, 2005). Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age. Holt Paperbacks. ISBN 978-0-8050-7933-3.
- Sidney Fine (1975). Frank Murphy. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-32949-6.[A]
- Melvin G. Holli (1999). The American Mayor: the best & the worst big-city leaders. Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 978-0-271-01877-5.
- Howard, J. Woodford, Mr. Justice Murphy: A Political Biography (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1968).
- This and a number of other books on Murphy by Fine are part of a list of 50 "essential" Michigan history books selected by noted historians. "50 essential Michigan History books". Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries. Archived from the original on November 16, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- "Justices 1789 to Present". Washington,D.C.: Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
- "Frank W. Murphy, 1940-1949". supremecourthistory.org. Washington, D.C.: Supreme Court Historical Society. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
- "Article: Michigan Lawyers in History-Justice Frank Murphy, Michigan's Leading Citizen". Michbar.org. January 1, 1937. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- "University of Michigan Law Quadrangle Notes on Frank Murphy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 27, 2009.
- Rapp, Linda. "Frank Murphy, 1890–1949". Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved January 26, 2008.
- Fine, Frank Murphy, The Detroit Years, p. 58.
- Fine, Frank Murphy, The Detroit Years, p. 73.
- Fine, Sidney (1984). Frank Murphy, The Detroit Years. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-32949-6.
- Finkelman, Paul (October 10, 2006). Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. Routledge. p. 2304. ISBN 978-0-415-94342-0.
- Boyle, Kevin (2004). Arc of justice: a saga of race, civil rights, and murder in the Jazz Age. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-8050-7145-0.
- "Ossian Haven Sweet". American National Biography.
- "Judge Frank Murphy's charge to the jury, People vs. Sweet". Famous American Trials. University of Missouri, Kansas City. Archived from the original on June 25, 2010.
- "The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM)".
- Holli, Melvin G. (1999). The American Mayor: The Best & the Worst Big-City Leaders. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. Archived from the original on June 27, 2007. Retrieved February 3, 2008.
- "Frank Murphy". Encyclopedia of World Biography. Retrieved September 20, 2019 – via encyclopedia.com.
- Connell, Mike (July 19, 2009). "Murphy: a judge – not a robot". Times Herald. Port Huron, MI. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- Professor Neil Leighton, Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan-Flint.
- "Detroit News on the Flint UAW/GM sit-down strike". Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2008.
- "The Sit-Down Strike at General Motors". Rearview Mirror. Detroit News. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
- "Flint Sit-down strike end anniversary". Detroit Free Press. February 10, 2008.[full citation needed]
- Tushnet, Mark V. (1996). Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936–1961. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-510468-4.
- McMillion, Barry J.; Rutkus, Denis Steven (July 6, 2018). "Supreme Court Nominations, 1789 to 2017: Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee, and the President" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
- "Supreme Court Historical Society on Hughes Court". Supreme Court Historical Society. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009.
- "Supreme Court Historical Society on Stone Court". Supreme Court Historical Society. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008.
- "Supreme Court Historical Society on Vinson Court". Supreme Court Historical Society. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008.
- See generally, Norris, Harold (1965). Mr. Justice Murphy and the Bill of Rights. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications; includes some of Murphy's opinions, as well as a biography.
- Maveal, Gary (March 2000). "Michigan Lawyers in History: Justice Frank Murphy, Michigan's Leading Citizen". Michigan Bar Journal. 79: 368. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009.
- Woodford, Howard J., Jr. (1968). Mr. Justice Murphy: A Political Biography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- Ball, Howard (1996). Hugo L. Black: Cold Steel Warrior. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-19-507814-5 – via Internet Archive.
- Ball, Howard (1996). Hugo L. Black: Cold Steel Warrior. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-19-507814-5 – via Internet Archive.
- Steele v. Louisville & Nashville Railway Co., 323 U.S. 192 (1944).
- "Full text of Loving v. Virginia". 388 U.S. 1 – via Findlaw.com.
- Lopez, Ian F. Haney (February 1, 2007). "'A Nation of Minorities': Race, Ethnicity and Reactionary Colorblindness". Stanford Law Review. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- "Oyez: U.S. Supreme Court media on Frank Murphy".
- Meyer, Zlati (January 24, 2009). "Murphy Unveils Anti-Nazi Effort". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014.
- Catledge, Turner (July 22, 1944). "Truman Nominated for Vice Presidency". The New York Times. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
- "Franklin Roosevelt". American President, An Online Reference Resource. Archived from the original on November 22, 2008. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- Edelheit, Abraham J. & Edelheit, Hershel (1994). History of the Holocaust: A Handbook and Dictionary. Boulder: Westview Press. p. 365. ISBN 978-0-8133-2240-7 – via Google Books.
- "(Frank) Murphy's Law".
- Christensen, George A. "Here Lies the Supreme Court: Gravesites of the Justices". Yearbook 1983 Supreme Court Historical Society. Washington, D.C.: Supreme Court Historical Society. 1983: 17–30. Archived from the original on September 3, 2005. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
- "Wayne County Prosecutor's webpage". Archived from the original on January 31, 2009.
- "Michigan Legal Milestones". Archived from the original on January 14, 2009.
- "Carl Milles sculptures, Detroit News". Archived from the original on January 21, 2013.
- Photograph of Carl Milles' The Hand of God, evidencing why it was put on top of a 24-foot (7.3 m) spire.
- Lidén, Elisabeth (1986). Between Waters and Heaven: Carl Milles, Search for American Commissions. Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell International.
- Zacharias, Pat (September 5, 1999). "The Monuments of Detroit". The Detroit News'. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- "Bentley Historical Library".
- List of repositories of Murphy papers Archived August 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Note: this list does not mention the Central Michigan University Clarke Historical Library; nor does it mention a number of other sources otherwise referenced in this article. See also lists in Bibliography Archived September 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, including speeches and writings, of William Francis "Frank" Murphy, 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. See also "Federal Judicial Center: Frank Murphy". December 12, 2009. Archived from the original on May 30, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2009.
- "Frank Murphy Honor Society, University of Detroit honors Judge Julian Cook". Archived from the original on May 12, 2009.
- "The Sweet Trials: University of Detroit Mercy".
- "Frank Murphy School"."List of Detroit Public Elementary Schools".
- Murdoch, Joyce & Price, Deb (2001). Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. The Supreme Court. New York: Basic Books. p. 18.
- Murdoch, Joyce & Price, Deb (2001). Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. The Supreme Court. New York: Basic Books. pp. 19–20.
- Quoted in Murdoch, Joyce & Price, Deb (2001). Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. The Supreme Court. New York: Basic Books. p. 19.
- "Justice Murphy Engaged to Wed". The Telegraph-Herald. July 24, 1949.
- Henry Julian Abraham (1992). Justices and presidents: a political history of appointments to the Supreme Court. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-506557-2.
- Frank Murphy[permanent dead link], American National Biography.
- Ariens, Michael, Supreme Court Justices, Frank Murphy (1890–1949).
- Arnold, Thurman Wesley. "Mr. Justice Murphy." 63 Harvard Law Review 289 (1949).
- Bak, Richard, "(Frank) Murphy's Law", Hour Detroit, September 2008.
- Baulch, Vivian M. and Zacharias, Patricia, Rearview Mirror, "The Historic 1936–37 Flint Auto Plant Strike", The Detroit News.
- Barnet, Vincent M., Jr. "Mr. Justice Murphy, Civil Liberties and the Holmes' Tradition." 32 Cornell Law Quarterly 177 (1946).
- Bibliography and Biography, William Francis "Frank" Murphy, 6th Circuit United States Court of Appeals.
- Biographical Dictionary of the Federal Judiciary. Detroit: Gale Research, 1976.
- Black, Hugo L., "Mr. Justice Murphy." 48 Michigan Law Review 739 (1950).
- Clare Cushman; Supreme Court Historical Society (October 1995). The Supreme Court justices: illustrated biographies, 1789-1995. Cq Press. ISBN 978-1-56802-126-3.
- "Frank Murphy, Dictionary of American Biography.
- Fine, Sidney, Frank Murphy, Michigan's 35th Governor, Archives of Michigan.
- Fine, Sidney, Frank Murphy in World War I (Ann Arbor: Michigan Historical Collections, 1968), photos, 44 pp.
- Sidney Fine (April 1, 1979). Frank Murphy: The New Deal years. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-24934-6.
- Sidney Fine (1984). Frank Murphy: The Washington Years. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-10046-0.
- Sidney Fine (1969). Sit-down: the General Motors strike of 1936-1937. University of Michigan Press/Regional. ISBN 978-0-472-32948-9.
- Leon Friedman; Fred L. Israel (May 1995). The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: their lives and major opinions. Chelsea House Publications. ISBN 978-0-7910-1377-9.
- Friend, Theodore, Between Two Empires: The Ordeal of the Philippines, 1929–1946 (1965).
- Hall, Kermit L. (2005) "Murphy, Frank." The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press 1150 pp. ISBN 978-0-641-99779-2; ISBN 978-0-641-99779-2.
- Kermit Hall (1992). The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-505835-2.
- Howard, J. Woodford, Jr., Mr. Justice Murphy: A Political Biography (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press: 1968).
- Lopez, Ian F. Haney, "A nation of minorities: race, ethnicity, and reactionary colorblindness", Stanford Law Review, February 1, 2007.
- Lunt, Richard D., The High Ministry of Government: The Political Career of Frank Murphy (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1965) (PhD diss. University of New Mexico).
- Marshall, Thurgood. "Mr. Justice Murphy and Civil Rights." 48 Michigan Law Review 745 (1950).
- Fenton S. Martin; Robert Goehlert (April 1990). The U.S. Supreme Court: a bibliography. Cq Press. ISBN 978-0-87187-554-9.
- Maveal, Gary, "Michigan Lawyers in History – Justice Frank Murphy, Michigan's Leading Citizen", 79 Michigan Bar Journal 368 (March 2000).
- Nawrocki, Dennis Alan, Art in Detroit Public Places (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1980), p. 63, biographical material on Frank Murphy.
- Norris, Harold, Mr. Justice Murphy and the Bill of Rights (Dobbs Ferry, New York: Oceana Publications, Inc., 1965).
- Ossian Sweet Murder Trial Scrapbook, 1925. Scrapbook and photocopy of the November 1925 murder trial of Ossian Sweet. Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University.
- Roche, John P. "Mr. Justice Murphy", Mr. Justice, Dunham, Allison and Kurland, Philip B., eds, 281–317 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956, rev. edn 1964).
- St. Antoine, Theodore J., "Justice Frank Murphy and American labor law", Michigan Law Review (100 MLR 1900, June 1, 2002).
- Toms, Robert, Speech on the Sweet murder trials upon retirement of the prosecuting attorney in 1960, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University.
- Mark V. Tushnet (May 20, 2008). I Dissent: great opposing opinions in landmark Supreme Court cases. Beacon Press. ISBN 978-0-8070-0036-6.
- Melvin I. Urofsky (1997). Division and Discord: the Supreme Court under Stone and Vinson, 1941-1953. University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1-57003-120-5.
- Melvin I. Urofsky (1994). The Supreme Court justices: a biographical dictionary. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-8153-1176-8.
- Vile, John R. (June 23, 2003). Great American Judges: An Encyclopedia. 1. ABC–CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-989-8..
- Phyllis Vine (March 18, 2004). One Man's Castle: Clarence Darrow in defense of the American dream. Amistad Press. ISBN 978-0-06-621415-3.
- White, G. Edward (2007). The American Judicial Tradition: Profiles of Leading American Judges (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-513962-4..
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Frank Murphy.|
- Frank Murphy at Find a Grave
- Frank Murphy at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- Gubernatorial photographic portrait of Frank Murphy, Michigan archives.
- National Governors Association, Frank Murphy Biography.
- Photograph, Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt and Frank Murphy, Virtual Detroit, The Detroit News.
- The Sweet Trials University of Detroit Mercy.
- The Sweet Trials home page, Famous American Trials, University of Missouri, Kansas City.
- Time magazine cover, Frank Murphy, August 28, 1939.
- "Death of an Apostle". Time. August 1, 1949. Archived from the original on January 31, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
- United States Conference of Mayors on Frank Murphy[permanent dead link]
- United States Department of Justice, Biographies of U.S. Attorneys General, Frank Murphy.