SOBELOFF, SIMON ERNEST (1894–1973), U.S. jurist. Sobeloff was city solicitor of Baltimore from 1943 to 1947. He became chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals in 1952. He was appointed solicitor-general by President Eisenhower in 1954. In this capacity he played a significant role in helping to formulate the government's stand in regard to the Brown v. Board of Education cases (1954). As a result, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that separate but equal facilities for blacks in public schools did not meet the constitutional requirement of equal protection by the law. Sobeloff broke with precedent by refusing, although solicitor-general, to sign the brief in a case before the Supreme Court in which the government attempted to support the blacklisting of a professor. The court later vindicated his position. In 1956 he became a judge of the fourth circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and its chief judge in 1958. A prominent figure in Jewish communal circles, Sobeloff was a national vice president of the American Jewish Congress and a member of many other Jewish philanthropic and educational organizations. (Morris D. Forkosch)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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