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The Nature of the Judicial Process Paperback – February 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486443868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486443867
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (1870 1938) was a well-known American lawyer and associate Supreme Court Justice. Cardozo is 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. Cardozo served on the Supreme Court only six years, from 1932 until his death in 1938, and the majority of his landmark decisions were delivered during his eighteen year tenure on the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court of that state. 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." 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. However, Hoover was running for re-election, eventually against Franklin Roosevelt, so a larger political calculation may have been operating. Cardozo was confirmed by a unanimous voice vote in the Senate on February 24. 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". 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). 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 a member of the Three Musketeers along with Brandeis and Stone, which was considered to be the liberal faction of the Supreme Court. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book reflects the profound intellect of one of the most highly regarded jurists in American history. Despite its age, Justice Cardozo's classic treatise provides insights into the "real" workings of the judicial decision making process that remain relevant to a modern analysis of American jurisprudence. His exploration of the motivations, ideals, and even prejudicies of judges serves to demystify this crucial aspect of the legal system. His insights into "legal realism" provide an appreciation of this judicial approach and offers an understanding of its underlying rationale, as well as an argument for its continued utility for modern jurists. Most importantly, he strives to make the judicial process comprehensible and, even, approachable to the non-practitioner of law, as well as law students, thus attempting to make public law, truly, "public."
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Friedman on July 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
The judicial process is often a maddeningly confusing one. Cardozo, one of the most well known and respected jurists in the history of American law, aims to give a relatively straightforward account of the judicial process.
The book is a good introduction to law and its processes. It certainly is not an authoritative text, as certain of his discussions seem to be out of date. However, given the authority accorded Cardozo in the legal world one can hardly go wrong starting out with this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Benjamin Nathan Cardozo has often been held up as one of the leading Supreme Court Justices in history, despite serving a mere six years on the high court (1932-38). Prior to this tenure, he served on the New York Court of Appeals, one of the principal courts of the nation, particularly during his time, from 1913-1932. Cardozo's opinions on interstate commerce, conflict of laws between federal and state, and congressional powr are still required reading not only for law school students, but also for those engaged in understanding the general manner in which Constitutional law is developed and regarded.

This book, first published in 1921, is a series of four lectures by then Judge Cardozo outlining his method of judicial process. The first lecture lays out a philosophical method. He explores the implications of Constitutional priority as well as the principle of stare decisis. 'Stare decisis is at least the everyday working rule of our law.' Cardozo is well aware of judicial power, be it in the Supreme Court or the lower courts. 'Every judgment has generative power,' he wrote, 'it begets in its own image.' However, precedent is not all powerful, and a good dose of reason and logic must be present in decision making.

In his second lecture, Cardozo looks at the issues of history (apart from precedent and particular case law), tradition and sociology in the judicial process. These all speak to the way in which society influences and shapes what kinds of judicial decisions and processes are needed. The third lecture develops this further, even going so far as to have the subtitle 'The Judge as Legislator.' This goes to the heart of one of the principles heavily in debate in the current Supreme Court and lower court selections.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Langley26 on August 14, 2011
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The General Books version is some kind of scanned/OCR copy of the original. It is riddled with typos (no one seems to have checked what they scanned) and the layout is a disaster -- footnotes are interspersed with the principal text, for example. Unless you want to pull your hair out while reading this otherwise classic text, please find a different edition to buy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric Catfish on May 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written in 1921, its no longer copyrighted. No need to buy it when you can download it free.

In fact, the printing I received seems to be a poorly formatted PDF printout of an older scanned copy (in a fancy binding). It seems to include some underlining and comments from the owner of the original book.

I felt a little cheated by the publisher - Bibliolife.
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