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Today in history: Brandeis to the court

Today In 1916, Louis Brandeis became the first Jewish candidate for the Supreme Court of the United States.

Brandeis was born to a wealthy, undevout Jewish family of german descent in Kentucky, USA in 1856, and at the age of 20 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in law at Harvard University with honors. Brandeis was well-known as a lawyer for his idealism, and his actions for the weak in society; this reputation helped him find favor with progressive President Woodrow Wilson, who nominated him for the U.S. Supreme Court. Brandeis was approved by the U.S. Senate, overcoming prejudice and partial institutional anti-Semitism, and became the highest-ranking Jew in U.S. history (until then). Up to a few years ago, a third of the American Supreme Court was Jewish. During a 22-year court service, almost until his death, he had a great impact on the history of American law; Brandeis was credited with the initial development of the principles of the right to privacy—which has become increasingly relevant since his death. Brandeis did not express his Jewishness in his life, but became an strong supporter of the Zionist movement, and did not stop at means to exploit his high position in American politics to influence Zionism. Kibbutz ‘Ein Hashofet’ (the Judge spring) in northern Israel is named after Brandeis.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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