Scale of justice

Benjamin Cardoza (1870 -1938) was destined for success. After all, his tutor was Horatio Alger! But even Horatio was probably surprised at how far this New York-born Jewish descendant of American Revolutionary War patriots was able to come. Starting as counsel to other lawyers, he soon gained a reputation as a “lawyer’s lawyer.” Rising to the Court of Appeals, the second most distinguished tribunal in America, his brilliance led him to become known as the “judge’s judge.” Little wonder then, with the retirement of Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1932, President Herbert Hoover named Cardoza to the Supreme Court.

Court pillars

During Cardoza’s tenure, a United States Court of Appeals had declared the Social Security Act unconstitutional and the Supreme Court was requested to give its ruling. On May 24th, 1937, by a five-to-four vote, the Supreme court upheld the constitutionality of the Social Security Act; the majority opinion was written by Justice Cardoza.

[My Comment: Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in August 1935. The first one-time, lump-sum payments were made in January 1937, and regular monthly benefits were first paid in January 1940. Over the past 71 years, countless millions of Americans have benefited from our Social Security Act, including me. Today’s younger generation is worried that the program may some day soon run out of money, but I feel it has become the bedrock of our nation and will long endure.]

Excerpt from the book by Rabbi Benjamin Blech, The Complete Idiots Guide to: Jewish History and Culture, pg. 238

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