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A distinguished jurist provides insights into the judicial role by asking and answering the question, "What is it that I do when I decide a case?" In this legal classic, Benjamin N. Cardozo — an Associate Supreme Court Justice of the United States from 1932-38 — explains a judge's conscious and unconscious decision-making processes.Cardozo handed down opinions that stresseA distinguished jurist provides insights into the judicial role by asking and answering the question, "What is it that I do when I decide a case?" In this legal classic, Benjamin N. Cardozo — an Associate Supreme Court Justice of the United States from 1932-38 — explains a judge's conscious and unconscious decision-making processes.Cardozo handed down opinions that stressed the necessity for the law to adapt to the realities and needs of contemporary life. Famous for his convincing and lucid prose, he offers insights that remain relevant to a modern view of American jurisprudence. In simple, understandable language, he discusses the ways that rulings are guided and shaped by information, precedent and custom, and standards of justice and morals.Four of Cardozo's lectures appear here, bookended by an introduction and conclusion. They explore a variety of approaches to the judicial process: the method of philosophy; the methods of history, tradition, and sociology; the method of sociology and the judge as a legislator; and adherence to precedent and the subconscious element in the judicial process. Ideal for law students as well as anyone interested in legal theory, this volume offers a rare look inside the mind of a great jurist....

Title : The Nature of the Judicial Process
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ISBN : 9780486443867
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Nature of the Judicial Process Reviews

  • Leo
    2019-03-08 04:42

    In addition to the insights and wisdom featuring the book, the writing of the famous Justice is quite impressive. He seems always able to strike the point with least number of words and most accurate terms, avoiding ambiguity, redundancy, and confusion. A book written after the gilded age, it inherited Holmes' judicial pragmatism and realism, and revealed another experienced American judge's reflection over adjudication and judicial thinking. Do remember this book is essentially a collection of speech delivered by the author in Yale Law School in honoring a lated Yale graduate. It was not an academic work that aims to reveal an universally comprehensive definition and approach of judging, nor was it an effort to examine the plural patterns and methods of judging world-wide (though Cardozo did cite a number of European judges and jurists for comparative purposes). This work was an contextual one, a personal one. It only discussed to the judicial process in the context of common law tradition and was largely influenced by the progressive philosophy then. Judges, in Cardozo's eyes, are not merely "applying" laws when they decide cases. Non-legal factors such as history, tradition, and social changes certainly influence judges' thinking and, if considered and incorporated into the judicial process properly, may help the judges deliver the most appropriate and desirable result for the cases that they are deciding. Assuming law-making is necessarily part of adjudication work and the judges possess the power to weigh factors that exist outside the legal system in producing their result, the major problem for the author to deal with in this book is when the need of making laws rises in the judicial process and how could the judges avoid abusing the power and damaging the authority as they make laws on their bench. So this is a work of balance. It balance the recognition (positively and normatively) judicial activism with the warning that such practice presupposes proper limit and constraint. There is no way to theorize or abstract such balance--the success of it may only rest upon experiences and art of judging. I would call Cardozo's judicial process a conditional and limited judicial activism that echoes both the tradition of judicial conservatism and the contemporary demand of responsive judging.

  • Aditya
    2019-02-24 09:52

    A nuanced analysis of the factors operating in the mind of a Judge, when exercising his/her judicial function. Written in 1921, during his tenure at the New York Court of Appeals, Justice Cardozo draws upon his personal experience, as well as a wealth of research and reading, while deploying his considerable intellectual gifts, to flesh out and articulate, the nuance that lays behind the discharge of the judicial function. And he does all this, in the most wonderful and enjoyable prose that takes the reader along at every step, without ever letting their attention falter, as the prose in serious literature is often wont to do. The book is littered with quotable sentences, each stylishly articulating profound and universal truths, and dare I say, even crystallizing generations worth of knowledge and understanding into crisp, yet layered sentences which yield tremendous insights upon reflection. It is a testament to Justice Cardozo's immense gifts that a book of such a serious nature manages to be both informative, and insightful as well as being a treat to the senses for readers appreciative of the beauty of (and the clarity of thought that lies behind) well-written prose.

  • Hadrian
    2019-02-26 04:43

    Though this book is often intended for the judicial branch, I might add that this book might also be of use to those in the legislative areas and those who in any way discuss business or government policy. Cardozo discusses the limitations of attempting to adhere solely to a theoretical set of 'philosophy', but also the considerations of 'sociology', and the present demands of the public. A short, but incisive, legal work.

  • Sathyanarayanan D
    2019-02-24 09:59

    Wonderful lectures by the Justice Cordoza.

  • Dannielle
    2019-03-09 08:42

    I read this book as a lay person hoping to shed some light on all the current discussions about "activist judges" on the Supreme Court and the proper role of the judicial branch in our system. This book definitely helped. I particularly thought the organization of the chapters into discussions focusing on one method or set of methods at a time was useful and made an otherwise dense, esoteric topic somewhat more accessible. Still, while it wasn't a hard read necessarily, it was pretty dry in places.

  • B
    2019-03-18 06:49

    Cardozo's thesis is dedicated to the hard case. Repeated over and over again, he insists there will be cases where precedent does not guide the judge—almost always in constitutional or common law cases—and the judge must resort to his understanding of community mores and customs. This thesis is pretty far out stuff at present, but even Cardozo's asides in these lectures are worth consideration given his thoughtfulness and personal experience.

  • Robert
    2019-03-06 07:47

    Cardozo has a great writing style. There are no long, run-on sentences. The flow of each sentence and each subsequent sentence makes the writing easily accessible. A few thoughts and observations. Cardozo does a great job identifying the different influences of judicial decision making. It was interesting to see how the Lochner decision, even almost a hundred years ago, was heavily critiqued then as much as today.

  • James Sims
    2019-03-24 04:57

    Another must read!The law touches all, private citizens,lawyers and judges alike. I, a private citizen, study law as a defensive tool. Make the study of law a hobby because unlike most hobbies that may never bring one wealth, the hobby of studying law is guaranteed to "payoff" sooner or later!

  • Kenneth
    2019-03-07 09:38

    This is an interesting treatment of the implications of precedent. Do judges make law or do they simply interpret old law? How much interpretation is appropriate? Is law separate from morality or based upon it? He approaches these questions from three routes: philosophical, historical, and sociological.

  • César
    2019-03-23 09:59

    cardozo, the famous former supreme court justice, shatters the myth of law's objectivity. instead, he argues that law has a "subconscious," that is, the underlying philsophies that drive judges whose duty it is to interpret law.

  • Freddie Berg
    2019-03-20 04:50

    Almost everything I need to know about many current themes in the American legal system, and helping me to guide clients for the future.

  • Brian
    2019-02-26 09:47

    Anyone interested in judicial reasoning must read this book. Cardozo brings the spirit of a poet to the bench.

  • Marcus Devin
    2019-03-17 04:36

    Unknown soft