Benjamin N. Cardozo
Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (1870-1939) had a distinguished legal career. He was a successful attorney, highly versed in all aspects of the law. In 1913, he was elected to the New York Supreme Court, and two months later he was appointed to New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. He served on the Court of Appeals for twenty years, rising to the position of Chief Judge. In 1932, President Herbert Hoover nominated Cardozo to the United States Supreme Court, a position he held with great distinction. His deep learning, compassion, eloquence, and graceful writing style made him one of the most respected figures in American legal tradition.
In 1895, Cardozo participated in an important meeting of the Elector’s of Congregation Shearith Israel. He spoke impressively on the need for the congregation to maintain its historic traditions and to remain true to the customs and practices of the generations that had come before. His speech served to quell the calls for reform and to solidify the congregation’s commitment to its ancient traditions.