Benjamin Nathan Cardozo Criticism - Essay

Thomas Reed Powell (essay date 1922)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Behavior of Judges," in The Nation (New York), Vol. CXIV, No. 2959, March 22, 1922, pp. 347-48.

[In the following essay on The Nature of the Judicial Process, Powell comments on Cardozo's belief that judges too often allow personal feelings and experience to inform their decisions.]

Those who brought the Tables of Stone from Mount Sinai were not the last to thrust the lawgiver behind the mask of myth or of abstract formula. Unthinkers still assure us that ours is a government of laws and not of men, rejecting as unholy the emendation that it is a government of lawyers and not of men. Judges, they say, do but passively apply what the law in its...

(The entire section is 1314 words.)

W. F. Dodd (essay date 1922)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: A review of The Nature of the Judicial Process, in American Political Science Review, Vol. XVI, No. 4, November, 1922, pp. 710-11.

[In the following essay on The Nature of the Judicial Process, Dodd focuses on Cardozo's explanation of the various factors that influence the decisions of appellate courts.]

Seldom in a similar space will a student of legal institutions find so much of interest as in these lectures of Judge Cardozo [The Nature of the Judicial Process]. With a wealth of knowledge and a felicity of practical illustration the author outlines the influences which actually mould the judgments of appellate courts. He draws aside the...

(The entire section is 564 words.)

James Hart (essay date 1925)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: A review of The Growth of the Law, in Political Science Quarterly, Vol. XL, No. 3, September, 1925, pp. 479-80.

[In the following essay, Hart praises The Growth of the Law for both its readable style and its scholarly insight.]

Judge Cardozo, of the New York Court of Appeals, has given us another book [The Growth of the Law] which fully comes up to the expectations of those who were fortunate enough to read his earlier lectures at Yale [The Nature of the Judicial Process]. Lucid in style, eclectic in philosophy, well balanced in point of view, this work is the contribution of a true scholar who sees the judicial process steadily and...

(The entire section is 690 words.)

Simeon Strunsky (essay date 1928)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "About Books, More or Less: Courts and Crowds," in The New York Times Book Review, May 27, 1928, p. 4.

[In the following essay on The Paradoxes of Legal Science, Strunsky discusses Cardozo's ideas about the creative function of the judicial process in terms of the American voting public's behavior and sentiments.]

The presiding Judge of our New York State Court of Appeals confesses to the higher discontent which every good man brings to the practice of his profession. Judge Cardozo is not proof against the familiar belief that the grass in his neighbor's field is greener and the air on the other side of the creek is much more bracing. Why, he asks...

(The entire section is 2068 words.)

John Dickinson (essay date 1929)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: A review of The Paradoxes of Legal Science, in American Political Science Review, Vol. XXIII, No. 1, February, 1929, pp. 200-2.

[In the following essay on The Paradoxes of Legal Science, Dickinson explores Cardozo's theory that the goal of the judicial process is to reconcile opposing considerations, particularly stability and progress.]

It may be not too much to predict that as the account now stands the chief American contributions to literature and the progress of human thought will prove to have been made in the field of jurisprudence. The writings of Holmes, Cardozo, and Pound have presented the results of a deeper probing into the operation...

(The entire section is 932 words.)

Joseph P. Pollard (essay date 1935)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Introductory," in Mr. Justice Cardozo: A Liberal Mind in Action, Yorktown Press, 1935, pp. 7-20.

[In the following excerpt from his full-length study of Cardozo's legal opinions, Pollard provides an overview of Cardozo's career and legal philosophy.]

A gentle, modest man sits on the extreme left of the Chief Justice of the United States. As he listens intently to the arguments of counsel, he radiates an atmosphere of benevolence and wisdom. Everyone in the austere courtroom, judges and lawyers alike, pay him the homage of warm good-will and admiration bordering on awe. Confidence in the just decision dispels doubt. It is a feeling which could only be directed...

(The entire section is 4883 words.)

Morris Raphael Cohen (essay date 1938)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Three Great Judges: Holmes, Brandeis, Cardozo," in The Faith of a Liberal, Transaction Publishers, 1993, pp. 20-45.

[In the following excerpt, Cohen praises Cardozo as an inspirational force whose humanitarian philosophy, sensitivity to conflicting interests, and adaptation to changing social conditions profoundly influenced the legal profession. Cohen's commentary on Cardozo was originally published in National Guild Quarterly in 1938.]

A man's philosophy, his view of life, grows out of his own experience at the same time that it reveals his work.

Perhaps the most significant fact about Justice Cardozo's career is the way in which he...

(The entire section is 2247 words.)

Jerome Frank (essay date 1948)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Cardozo and the Upper-Court Myth," in Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 13, No. 2, Spring, 1948, pp. 369-90.

[Frank was an American jurist who served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1941 until 1957. In the following excerpt from a review of Selected Writings of Benjamin Nathan Cardozo, Frank faults Cardozo's description of the judicial process because it ignores the operations of trial courts.]

The practical is disagreeable, a mean and stony soil, but from that all valuable theory comes.

[Oliver Wendell Holmes, Holmes: His Book Notices and Uncollected Letters and Papers]...

(The entire section is 9973 words.)

Robert B. Downs (essay date 1970)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Legal Mind at Work: Benjamin N. Cardozo's The Nature of the Judicial Process," in Books That Changed America, Macmillan Co., 1970, pp. 207-15.

[In the following essay, Downs examines Cardozo's legal philosophy as outlined in The Nature of the Judicial Process, focusing on Cardozo's analysis of the primary forces that influence the establishment of judicial principles.]

Benjamin Cardozo was rated by Roscoe Pound, an eminent legal scholar himself, as one of the ten greatest judges produced by the American bench. The names included in the illustrious line, beginning with John Marshall, shared certain common characteristics, according to Pound:...

(The entire section is 3180 words.)

Louis Auchincloss (essay date 1979)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Styles of Mr. Justice Cardozo," in Life, Law and Letters: Essays and Sketches, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1979, pp. 47-58.

[In the following essay, Auchincloss praises Cardozo's writings for their literary qualities, using examples from his legal opinions to illustrate his various methods of decision making and his different prose styles.]

When I went to the University of Virginia Law School in the fall of 1938, I was determined to turn my back forever on the world of letters. I had failed—I had decided grimly—because my first novel, written during my junior year at Yale, had been rejected by Scribner's. It was thus ordained, I reasoned with the violence of...

(The entire section is 3623 words.)