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CARDOZO, Benjamin.

The Nature of the Judicial Process.

New Haven: Yale University Press, 1921 Stock Code: 146085
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First edition, first printing, a major and influential work of American jurisprudence by the future Supreme Court justice, based on lectures delivered at Yale in 1921.

"'What is it that I do when I decide a case?' Cardozo asked in The Nature of the Judicial Process. His answer made it clear that he accepted the view, controversial at the time, that judges did not 'find' a preexisting law, but rather 'made' the law. At the same time, Cardozo argued, judges were not free to make law as they pleased or 'travel beyond the walls of the interstices, the bounds set to judicial innovation by precedent and custom'. Judges must draw their inspiration from 'consecrated principles', he asserted, and not yield to a 'vague and unregulated benevolence'" (ANB).

"Cardozo presented a strikingly modern interpretation of judicial decision making that radically subverted the conventional understanding. Yet his presentation was so adroit, balanced, and elegantly fashioned that potential critics were generally disarmed" (Polenberg, p. 86).

Cardozo's principles, a basis for what is now referred to as judicial activism, were applied when he served on the Supreme Court in the 1930s, part of the smaller liberal bloc supporting President Roosevelt's New Deal legislation, against conservative claims that they were unconstitutional.

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo. Original green cloth, spine lettered in gilt.


Hinges and spine extremities expertly restored. Newspaper clippings pasted to endpapers and terminal page, note of Cardozo's death to front pastedown. A couple of instances of toning from inserted clippings, else contents clean. A good copy.


Richard Polenberg, The World of Benjamin Cardozo, 1997.


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