Benjamin Cardozo

Benjamin Cardozo

Benjamin Cardozo, the son of Jewish parents, was born in New York City on 24th May, 1870. His father, Albert Jacob Cardozo, was a New York Supreme Court justice before being forced to resign in 1872 under threat of impeachment.

Educated at Columbia Law School, Cardozo was admitted to the bar in 1891 and became a successful courtroom lawyer. A man with liberal political views, he was elected to the New York Supreme Court as a reform candidate in 1913. He also wrote two important books on legal matters, The Nature of the Judicial Process (1921) and Law and Literature (1931).

When Oliver Wendell Holmes retired from the Supreme Court in January, 1932, President Herbert Hoover appointed Cardozo as his replacement. Over the next few years Cardozo joined with Harlan Stone and Louis Brandeis, in defending legislation that had been passed to protect individual civil rights against those of the large corporations.

During the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Cardozo disagreed with the conservative members of the Supreme Court that much of the New Deal legislation was unconstitutional. Cardozo favoured government intervention to control the economy and therefore defended most of the New Deal measures that was introduced by Franklin D. Roosevelt during his period as president.

Benjamin Cardozo died on 9th July, 1938.