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Benjamin Nathan Cardozo

Cardozo, Benjamin Nathan (kärdōˈzō) [key], 1870–1938, American jurist, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1932–38), b. New York City. Educated at Columbia Univ., he practiced law until he was elected (1913) to the New York supreme court. Cardozo was then appointed (1914) to the court of appeals, elected (1917) for a 14-year term, and elected (1927) chief judge of the court, which, largely through his influence, gained international fame. He was prominent in the efforts of the American Law Institute to restate and simplify the law, and he advocated a permanent agency to function between the courts and legislatures to aid in framing effective legislation. Of Sephardic background, he was active in a number of Jewish movements. He was appointed (1932) by President Herbert Hoover to the Supreme Court to succeed Oliver Wendell Holmes. Cardozo was one of the foremost spokesmen on sociological jurisprudence, and his views on the relation of law to social change made him one of the most influential of U.S. judges. With Justices Louis D. Brandeis and Harlan F. Stone, he voted to uphold much early New Deal legislation, dissenting from the majority opinion. Cardozo expounded his philosophy of law and the judicial process in three classics of jurisprudence: The Nature of the Judicial Process (1921), The Growth of the Law (1924), and The Paradoxes of Legal Science (1928). He also wrote Law and Literature and Other Essays and Addresses (1931).

See the selection of his writings edited by M. E. Hall (1947); biographies by J. P. Pollard (1935, repr. 1970) and A. L. Kaufman (1998); studies by B. H. Levy (rev. ed. 1969) and W. C. Cunningham (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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