After the Supreme Court issued its decision dissolving the Standard Oil monopoly in May 1911, the government's lead attorney, Frank B. Kellogg of St. Paul, was lionized in many newspaper and magazine articles. But he also became the object of petty partisan sniping. House Democrats launched an investigation into what they considered the shocking enormity of his fees ($59,000) and costs ($23.322.67) incurred during the marathon Standard Oil case.
The effectiveness of the Court's ruling also was questioned. In June 1912, Kellogg published a short defense of the decision in an article in "The American Review of Reviews." It resembles a lawyer's brief, as it moves from point to point.
Kellogg did not discuss the Court's ruling that the Sherman Antitrust Act prohibited only "unreasonable" combinations in restraint of trade and commerce. The Court's "rule of reason" was attacked by politicians, journalists and lawyers but defended by others, including future Supreme Court Justice Pierce Butler, who praised it in an address to the annual convention of the Minnesota State Bar Association in mid-July 1911. History, however, has not been kind to the Court's Standard Oil decision or its "rule of reason," as legal historian Rudolph J. R. Peritz makes clear in "Competition Policy in America, 1888-1992," published in 1996. Butler's paper and an excerpt from Professor Peritz's book are posted in the Appendix.