Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor NOT the first Hispanic for US Supreme Court


I guess that if you are Jewish you don't count as "Hispanic"? Because, as Shelomo Alfassa so correctly points out in his article, "Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (1870-1938) was the first Hispanic Justice in the US Supreme Court."

Uh, I guess that Obama's PR team isn't capable of looking back in Supreme Court history 70 years? I know the drive-by media can't possibly do any research--that's nothing new. If Obama told them he was going to put the first person on the moon, they would probably just report it without remembering we already did that too.

Here's the short article by Shelomo Alfassa--in both English AND Spanish--followed by a short Encyclopedia article on the REAL first Hispanic on the Supreme Court.

Sonia Sotomayor NOT the first Hispanic for US Supreme Court
By Shelomo Alfassa

(May 26, 2009) - The media is making a huge mistake reporting that Sonia Sotomayor, chosen by President Obama, will be the first Hispanic to be chosen for the US Supreme Court. Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (1870-1938) was the first Hispanic Justice in the US Supreme Court. Cardozo, a Sephardic Jew, served on the Supreme Court from 1932 until his death. He was born in to a Jewish family which immigrated from Portugal via the Netherlands and England to America. He was a long time member of the 'Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue' in New York City, home to 'Congregation Shearith Israel,' which was founded in 1654.

Cardozo was a cousin of the poet Emma Lazarus whose poem "...Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ..." resides on the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of legal immigration into the United States of America.


(26 de Mayo de 2009) - En los medios de informacion se esta cometiendo un grave error al reportar que Sonia Sotomayor, escogida por el Presidente Obama, sera la primera hispana elegida para la corte suprema de los Estados Unidos. En realidad, Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (1870-1938) fue el primer juez hispano en la corte suprema de los Estados Unidos. Cardozo, un judio Sefaradi, sirvio en la corte suprema desde 1932 hasta su muerte. Nacido en el ceno de una familia judia que emigro de Portugal via Holanda e Inglaterra a la America. Fue miembro por largo tiempo de la Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue en la ciudad de Nueva York, Congregacion Shearith Israel, fundada en 1654.

Cardozo era primo de la celebre poeta Emma Lazarus, de la cual su poema "...Dadme a sus canzados, a sus pobres, a sus masas atestadas que desean respirar libres..." esta grabado en la Estatua de la Libertad como simbolo de la inmigracion legal a los Estados Unidos de America.

Shelomo Alfassa is author of "A Window into Old Jerusalem." He is the former executive director of the 'International Sephardic Leadership Council' and today is the US Director of 'Justice for Jews from Arab Countries,' which is based at the 'American Sephardi Federation' in the 'Center for Jewish History' in New York City.

Wikipedia Article:

Benjamin N. Cardozo

· History

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Benjamin Cardozo)
Jump to: navigation, search
Benjamin N. Cardozo
Benjamin N. Cardozo

In office
March 14, 1932July 9, 1938
Nominated by Herbert Hoover
Preceded by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Succeeded by Felix Frankfurter

Born May 24, 1870(1870-05-24)
New York City, New York
Died July 9, 1938 (aged 68)
Port Chester, New York

Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (May 24, 1870July 9, 1938) was a well-known American lawyer and the first Supreme Court Justice of Hispanic descent, remembered for his significant influence on the development of American common law in the 20th century, in addition to his modesty, philosophy, and vivid prose style. Although Cardozo served on the Supreme Court from 1932 until his death, the majority of his landmark decisions were delivered during his 18-year tenure on the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court of that state.



[edit] Biography

Born in New York City to Albert and Rebecca Nathan Cardozo, Benjamin was a twin, with his sister Emily. Some of Cardozo's ancestors were Portuguese Jews who immigrated to Britain's North American colonies in the 1740s and 1750s from Portugal[1] via the Netherlands and England. The surname Cardozo (Cardoso) is of Portuguese origin. He was a cousin of the poet Emma Lazarus. He was named for his uncle, Benjamin Nathan, a vice president of the New York Stock Exchange and the victim of a famous unsolved murder case in 1870.

Albert Cardozo was himself a judge on the Supreme Court of New York (the state's general trial court) until he was implicated in a judicial corruption scandal, sparked by the Erie Railway takeover wars, in 1868. The scandal led to the creation of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and Albert's resignation from the bench. After leaving the court, he practiced law until his death in 1885.

[edit] Early years

Rebecca Cardozo died in 1879 when Benjamin was quite young. He was raised during much of his childhood by his sister Nell, who was 11 years older. One of his tutors was Horatio Alger.[2] At age 15, Cardozo entered Columbia University[2] and then went on to Columbia Law School in 1889. Cardozo wanted to enter a profession that could materially aid himself and his siblings, but he also hoped to restore the family name, sullied by his father's actions as a judge. When Cardozo entered Columbia Law School, the program was only two years long; in the midst of his studies, however, the faculty voted to extend the program to three years. Cardozo declined to stay for an extra year, and thus left law school without a law degree.[3] He passed the bar in 1891 and began practicing appellate law alongside his older brother.[2] Benjamin Cardozo practiced law in New York City until 1914.[2] In November 1913, Cardozo was narrowly elected to a 14-year term on the New York Supreme Court (which is actually a network of trial courts, not the state's highest appeals court), beginning on January 1, 1914.

[edit] New York Court of Appeals

In February 1914, Cardozo was appointed to the New York Court of Appeals under the Amendment of 1899,[4] being the first man of Jewish descent to serve on the Court of Appeals. In January 1917, he was appointed to the Court of Appeals to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Samuel Seabury, and in November 1917, he was elected to a 14-year term on the Court of Appeals. In November 1926, he was elected to a 14-year term as Chief Judge on the Democratic and Republican tickets. He took office on January 1, 1927, and resigned on March 7, 1932 when he was appointed to the United States Supreme Court.

His tenure was marked by a number of original rulings, in tort and contract law in particular. This is partly due to timing; rapid industrialization was forcing courts to look anew at old common law components to adapt to new settings.[2] In 1921, Cardozo gave the Storrs Lectures at Yale University, which were later published as The Nature of the Judicial Process (On line version), a book that remains valuable to judges today. Shortly thereafter, Cardozo became a member of the group that founded the American Law Institute, which crafted a Restatement of the Law of Torts, Contracts, and a host of other private law subjects. He wrote three other books that also became standards in the legal world.[2]

[edit] United States Supreme Court

In 1932, President Herbert Hoover appointed Cardozo to the Supreme Court of the United States to succeed Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. The New York Times said of Cardozo's appointment that "seldom, if ever, in the history of the Court has an appointment been so universally commended."[5] Democratic Cardozo's appointment by a Republican president has been referred to as one of the few Supreme Court appointments in history not motivated by partisanship or politics, but strictly based on the nominee's contribution to law.[6]

Cardozo was confirmed by a unanimous voice vote in the Senate on February 24.[7] On a radio broadcast on March 1, 1932, the day of Cardozo's confirmation, Clarence C. Dill, Democratic Senator for Washington, called Hoover's appointment of Cardozo "the finest act of his career as President"[8] The entire faculty of the University of Chicago Law School had urged Hoover to nominate him, as did the deans of the law schools at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. Justice Harlan Fiske Stone strongly urged Hoover to name Cardozo, even offering to resign to make room for him if Hoover had his heart set on someone else (Stone had in fact suggested to Calvin Coolidge that he should nominate Cardozo rather than himself back in 1925).[9] Hoover, however, originally demurred: there were already two justices from New York, and a Jew on the court; in addition, Justice James McReynolds was a notorious anti-Semite. When the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, William E. Borah of Idaho, added his strong support for Cardozo, however, Hoover finally bowed to the pressure.

Cardozo was the second person of Jewish descent, after Louis Brandeis, to be appointed to the Supreme Court. In his years as an Associate Justice, he handed down opinions that stressed the necessity for the law to adapt to the realities and needs of modern life.

Cardozo was a member of the Three Musketeers along with Brandeis and Stone, which was considered to be the liberal faction of the Supreme Court.

[edit] Death

In late 1937, Cardozo had a heart attack, and in early 1938, he suffered a stroke. He died on July 9, 1938, at the age of 68 and was buried in Beth-Olam Cemetery in Brooklyn.[10] His death came at a time of much transition for the court, as many of the other justices died or retired during the late 1930s and early 1940s.

[edit] Personal life

As an adult, Cardozo no longer practiced his faith (he identified himself as an "agnostic"), but remained proud of his Jewish heritage.[11]

Of the six children born to Albert and Rebecca Cardozo, only Emily married, and she and her husband did not have any children. As far as is known, Benjamin Cardozo led a celibate life. The fact that Cardozo was unmarried and was personally tutored by the writer Horatio Alger (who had been accused of inappropriate sexual relations with young boys) has led some of Cardozo's biographers to insinuate that Cardozo was gay, but no real evidence exists to corroborate this possibility. Constitutional law scholar Jeffrey Rosen noted in a New York Times Book Review of Richard Polenberg's book on Cardozo:

"Polenberg describes Cardozo's lifelong devotion to his older sister Nell, with whom he lived in New York until her death in 1929. When asked why he had never married, Cardozo replied, quietly and sadly, I never could give Nellie the second place in my life. Polenberg suggests that friends may have stressed Cardozo's devotion to his sister to discourage rumors that he was sexually dysfunctional, or had an unusually low sexual drive or was homosexual. But he produces no evidence to support any of these possibilities, except to note that friends, in describing Cardozo, used words like beautiful, exquisite, sensitive or delicate."[12]

Andrew Kaufman, author of Cardozo, a biography published in 2000, notes that "Although one cannot be absolutely certain, it seems highly likely that Cardozo lived a celibate life." Judge Learned Hand is quoted in the book as saying about Cardozo: "He [had] no trace of homosexuality anyway."[13]

[edit] Famous opinions

  • Meinhard v. Salmon, concerning fiduciary duty of business partners -- "Not honesty alone, but the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive."
  • Wood v. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon was both a minor cause célèbre at the time and an influential development in the law of contract consideration.
  • Palsgraf v. Long Island Rail Road Co. in 1928 was important in the development of the concept of the proximate cause in tort law.
  • MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co. helped signal the end of the law's attachment with privity as a source of duty in products liability. It is one of Cardozo's landmark decisions wherein he ruled that manufacturers of products could be held liable for injuries to consumers who had purchased the product from a retailer rather than directly from the manufacturer.[14] This is the foundational doctrine underlying nearly all modern product liability lawsuits.
  • DeCicco v. Schweizer, where Cardozo approached the issue of third party beneficiary law in a contract for marriage case.
  • Jacob & Youngs v. Kent, in which Cardozo argued that expectation damages arising from a breach of contract are limited to the diminution of the property's value if the undoing of the breach was an economic waste.
  • Hynes v. New York Central Railroad Company, 231 N.Y. 229, 131 N.E. 898 (N.Y. 1921), which held that the defendant railway owed a duty of care despite the victims being trespassers.
  • Berkey v. Third Avenue Railway, 244 N.Y. 84 (1926), in which Cardozo pierced the corporate veil saying that the parent subsidiary relationship is a legal metaphor: "The whole problem of the relation between parent and subsidiary corporations is one that is still enveloped in the mists of metaphor. Metaphors in law are to be narrowly watched, for starting as devices to liberate thought, they end often by enslaving it. We say at times that the corporate entity will be ignored when the parent corporation operates a business through a subsidiary which is characterized as an 'alias' or a 'dummy.'... Dominion may be so complete, interference so obtrusive, that by the general rules of agency the parent will be a principal and the subsidiary an agent." (pp. 93–94)
  • Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan, in which he dissented from a narrow interpretation of the Commerce Clause.
  • Palko v. Connecticut, rationalizing the Court's previous holdings that incorporated specific portions of the Bill of Rights against the states via the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by declaring that the due process clause incorporated those rights which were "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty." Though Palko's specific result (namely the refusal to incorporate the double jeopardy clause upon the states) was overturned in 1969's Benton v. Maryland, Cardozo's broader analysis of the Due Process Clause has never been displaced.
  • Welch v. Helvering, which concerns Internal Revenue Code Section 162 and the meaning of "ordinary" business deductions.
  • Murphy v. Steeplechase Amusement Park, where Cardozo denied a right to recover for a knee injury from riding "The Flopper" because plaintiff Murphy had legally "assumed the risk."
  • Wagner v. International Railway, which created the rescue doctrine, holding that if a tortfeasor creates a circumstance that places the tort victim in danger, the tortfeasor is liable not only for the harm caused to the victim, but also the harm caused to any person injured in an effort to rescue that victim. "Danger invites rescue. The cry of distress is the summons to relief [...] The emergency begets the man. The wrongdoer may not have foreseen the coming of a deliverer. He is accountable as if he had."

[edit] In his own words

Cardozo's opinion of himself shows some of the same flair as his legal opinions:

In truth, I am nothing but a plodding mediocrity—please observe, a plodding mediocrity—for a mere mediocrity does not go very far, but a plodding one gets quite a distance. There is joy in that success, and a distinction can come from courage, fidelity and industry.

[edit] Buildings and organizations named after Cardozo

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ "Distinguished Americans & Canadians of Portuguese Descent". http://www.portuguesefoundation.org/famous.htm. Retrieved on 2008-01-09.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Christopher L. Tomlins (2005). The United States Supreme Court. Houghton Mifflin. pp. 467. http://books.google.com/books?id=Fy8DjOIxDm0C. Retrieved on 2008-10-21.
  3. ^ Levy, Beryl Harold (November 2007). "Realist Jurisprudence and Prospective Overruling". New York Review of Books LIV (17): 10, n. 31.
  4. ^ Appointment in NYT on February 3, 1914
  5. ^ "Cardozo is named to Supreme Court". New York Times. 1932-02-16. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40913FE355A16738DDDAF0994DA405B828FF1D3.
  6. ^ James Taranto, Leonard Leo (2004). Presidential Leadership. Wall Street Journal Books. http://books.google.com/books?id=zxBAnuWpg5kC. Retrieved on 2008-10-20.
  7. ^ (New York Times, February 25, 1932, p. 1)
  8. ^ (New York Times, March 2, 1932, p. 13)
  9. ^ (Handler, 1995)
  10. ^ Benjamin Cardozo memorial at Find a Grave. See also, Christensen, George A. (1983) Here Lies the Supreme Court: Gravesites of the Justices, Yearbook. Supreme Court Historical Society. Christensen, George A., Here Lies the Supreme Court: Revisited, Journal of Supreme Court History, Volume 33 Issue 1, Pages 17 - 41 (19 Feb 2008), University of Alabama.
  11. ^ Jewish Virtual Library, Benjamin Cardozo.
  12. ^ Jeffrey Rosen, NYT Nov. 2, 1997
  13. ^ See Andrew Kaufman, Cardozo (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000) at 89.
  14. ^ "Understanding Federal and State Courts: Case Study"]. United States government. http://www.uscourts.gov/outreach/resources/fedstate_casestudy.htm. Retrieved on 2008-10-21.
  15. ^ Benjamin N. Cardozo Lodge at www.cardozospeaks.org

[edit] Further reading

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Frank H. Hiscock
Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
1927 – 1932
Succeeded by
Cuthbert W. Pound
Preceded by
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
1932 - 1938
Succeeded by
Felix Frankfurter

1 comment:

  1. Yep,

    The Obama bandwagon is at it again this time with a little misandry for good measure.




Please do not use comments to personally attack other posters.