tv QA David Dalin CSPAN November 12, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm EST
coverage of tax reform using the radio app. next, q&a. the new review on the austrian session of parliament and a discussion on u.s.-cuba relations. announcer: this week, the historian and rabbi talks about his book, "jewish justices on the supreme court." host: why did it take until 1916 to appoint a jewish justice to
the supreme court? guest: anti-semitism. the supreme court was a until thereeserve were one or two catholic justices on the court and, after thebrandeis appointment and beginning of the "the jewish the catholicwas seat. one of the fascinating things is that justice scalia, when he was alive, before his death, you had 6 catholics and 3 jewish justices, unimaginable at the time of the brandeis appointment, as it would be that there would be 3 simultaneous
jewish justices, but the idea of a court without a protestant and -- it was just a amazing. -- just amazing. until been since 2010, the gorsuch appointment that there was no protestant. it is primarily anti-semitism .nd that i in 1916, woodrow wilson nominated brandeis. put up the numbers and you can see the protestants, 113.ut of unknown is 1. there is a justice who turned catholic after he left the
court. where did you get the idea of doing a book on this? guest: i am an ordained rabbi. and a been an author scholar of american jewish history and my field is american jewish political history. i have written a book called the presidents of the united states and the jews and articles about the presidency. on cabinetles focus appointments and ambassadorships. i am fascinated by the supreme court. to brandeis went university and, over the years, many biographies of brandeis, itdoza, and frankfurter made
occur to me that it would be interesting to have a book on the jewish justices. , had would have been 9 merrick garland then confirmed. confirmed. there were some great biographies of brandeis and frankfurter. the 2016is through presidential election. my idea was that it would be a collective agar fee of the jewish -- collective biography of the jewish justices. diversity, religious the court has changed over the years. screenutting up on the your book, you have brandeis, cardoza, frankfurter, goldberg,
fortis, ruth bader ginsburg, stephen breyer, and elena kagan. justices, who did the best legal work on the court? legacies ofverall ginsburg, breyer, and kagan, they are forthcoming. brandeis, in all probability. years, every so rate theholars justices, in terms of judicial greatness, just like the presidency. invariably, the three greatest marshall, allohn of her wendell holmes, and louis
brandeis. oliver wendell holmes, and the was brandeis. -- and louis brandeis. in 1890, when the harvard law review began had a classmate and law partner who wrote an article about privacy that basically introduced a new the rightso law -- to privacy. is widely brandeis recognized as the greatest of the jewish justices, serving 23 years.
ruth bader ginsburg recently surpassed him and is in her 24 th year. brandeis is considered one of the top five justices in all of american history. could do this briefly, we could get through all eight. i want to ask you about them on a personal basis. not legal. who was louis brandeis? he grew up in louisville, kentucky and his parents were german-speaking immigrants from oprague. in everyprodigy, it sense of the word. he graduated harvard law at the age of 20 and was too young to be certified by the
massachusetts bar. they had to give a dispensation because he was not old enough to practice. they say that he had the highest scholastic average of any harvard law student before or since. apocryphals may be and they say that about fortis at yale. , he graduatedase at a young age and build a practice with a fellow student and law partner and live the rest of his life in boston. much of his family -- to come back to his jewish identity -- he made a fortune. his goal was to make enough money so that he could devote himself to pro bono work.
that was his invention, so to speak, the idea that you would work for worthy causes and cases. he was a millionaire before he was 35. be worthdays, it would much more. renowned corporate lawyer. he became one of the leading progressive reformers. the context of this -- i should give some background -- as late as 1908, he voted for william howard taft and his uncle, after whom -- his full name is l brandeis -- was a founder
republican party in kentucky and he was a delegate who nominated lincoln. untilis was a republican woodrow wilson was nominated. host: woodrow wilson nominated him to be -- guest: on the supreme court. i discuss this in my book in great detail. he was a social and economic reformer and opposed the legal /businessrate establishment in boston and it cost him a lot of problems in the wilson administration. host: you talk about cardoza and tic jew. safari
what is the difference? ? trace their background to the spanish and the portuguese jews who were expelled from spain and portugal. their synagogue that he was a member of is the oldest in america. known as the spanish-portuguese synagogue. descendent oft the one jewish clergyman who spoke at george washington's inauguration. ancestor of his was a close ancestor of hamilton, who nominated him to be on the board college.ors of kings'
he grew up in the united states and they were descendent from jews who had not migrated from central europe, but from the middle east. it is interesting. i talk about this a little bit in my book. sotomayor wasa nominated, she argued she was the first hispanic, but you could argue that cardoza was. he came from a venerable family and he was a first cousin of was atzarus and he columbia university and columbia law school in the 1890's.
two things about him. his father was a judge who got the boss tweed scandals and his father was disgraced and forced to resign from the new york supreme court. i have a part of the chapter called "redemption." life was to redeem the family name and he did everything to doing this -- devoted everything to doing this. he is known for his years as the chief judge as the new york in whichurt of appeals, most of the legal cases are the whilethat he adjudicated the chief judge of the court. 6st: he was on the court for years.
did he die in office? guest: he died. he was in poor health. it was declining on the court 1938. eventually died in court.an 6 years on the host: hoover nominated him. all of the jewish justices were liberal democrats, cardoza.exception of they were nominated by democratic presidents. smith inupported al 1928 against hoover. hoover did not have the greatest presidency in history and did a
lot before he was president more notably. many historians of hoover say that his appointment of cardoza was a great achievement of his presidency, appointing a democrat and also -- there were -- first of all, there was already a jewish justice on the court and that did not please some people, having a second one and there were already two new yorkers on the court. the senator who was the head of the judiciary committee said that cardoza was of such brilliance and so noteworthy that he represented the entire country, not just new york. host: here is video of dennis hutchinson talking about this book that he put out on john knox, a clerk to james
mcreynolds. i want to show a little bit of what he said and you fill us in. hise was a severe man and anti-semitism was notorious. there is no photograph of the court because he would have had protocol required, no to louis brandeis and he would not do it. in, cardoza was sworn was reading a copy of the washington herald on the bench. guest: let me talk about mcreynolds. talked about him before, but this is interesting. things in my the book is the decline in
anti-semitism from the beginning to the time of kagan. asleeplds was a tory anti-semitic. there was the portrait he did not sit for. point, whontage would have the audacity to nominate cardoza? how dare you afflict the court with another hebrew, he wrote to hoover. ofwas said that, in the days brandeis, if they ever saw each other, he would walk on the other side of the street. refused toa died, he sign the memorial. when brandeis resigned and mcreynolds, refused -- also signed the customary
, not a thank you note, but the thing to the justice that was retiring. hisid not try to camouflage anti-semitism. mcreynolds was not going to sit. see mcreynolds all the way on the left and brandeis all the way on the right. guest: that is right. host: in your opinion, why was he so anti-somatic? tost: i have never been able understand it. was one of woodrow wilson's closest advisers on economic issues. andupported mcreynolds
didn't realize that mcreynolds was so anti-somatic. -- anti-semetic. ti-semitic.n he was a southerner, but there were a lot of southerners. if you think of the opposition appointment and frankfurter, it was often veiled. not often someone as asnly anti-semitic mcreynolds. i know that there are letters and correspondence of his two different people. host: was louis brandeis
married? guest: he was married to a second or third cousin of his, actually. they were -- can i mention a cts?le of fa one of the things that talks about anti-semitism is his law veryer who came from a socially prominent place, the daughter of a senator. anyways, she was tremendously anti-semitic. even though brandeis was one of the closest friends, she would never invite the brandeis family over and, when she got married, she refused to invite brandeis
and his wife and that says something about the social anti-semitism of the era. much of the great law practice dobrandeis and warren had to with -- the worn family were multimillionaires from a shoe company -- but it is interesting that brandeis is considered as the first jewish justice, but he the least jewish background of the others. host: we have to move on. felix frankfurter, what is the best thing about him? was appointed to the harvard law faculty in 1915 and he was the only jewish member of the law faculty and his initial theor was henry simpson,
secretary of state, and he managed the campaign. war he went to the department, frankfurter went with him. frankfurter and fdr were the and they born in 1882, met at the harvard club in new york city. fdr had graduated and they were both tremendously politically ambitious. it started a relationship that later evolved into a friendship one frankfurter was working for the war department and fdr was the assistant secretary of the navy
fdr,e became an advisor to when he was the governor of new york. het is interesting is that was a flaming liberal, a andnder of sacco vanzetti. the new writer of republic magazine and he was viewed as a radical. it is interesting. one of his closest friends was dean atchinson. part of the opposition to him was that he was so radical. when he retired from the court, he was the most conservative member of the war in court. -- warren court. that hissenhower said biggest mistake was appointing
earl warren. he became one of the greatest civil libertarians on the court. fdr had lived,f he would say the same of felix frankfurter. married to the daughter of a protestant minister, they never had children. although he grew up in orthodox-jewish home, as a aenager, he was no longer religiously practicing jew and never stepped into a jewish synagogue in his adult life, except to give a talk. in his will, on the nose to his wife and friends, he asked that the traditional jewish prayer of mourning be recited in hebrew by a law clerk who became a
distinguished professor at columbia university and he was a son of one of the preeminent orthodox rabbis. frankfurter was an agnostic and was always so impressed by and hetaking the sabbath this his onlysel close friend who was a practicing orthodox jew and he said, you know, i came into this and i lived most buty life not as a jew, want to leave as a jew. the rest citation was a link to that tradition. host -- the rest
ecitation was a link to that tradition. host: he appointed coleman. guest: in became a leader of the and there is an interesting footnote here. 1959, albert sachs, who recommended law clerks, recommended a credentialed young woman named ruth bader ginsburg. frankford or refused to interview her, saying that he had never appointed a woman as a hisclerk and he was set in ways and could not imagine even considering her. you quote ruth bader ginsburg and here is the video of what you quoted her saying.
and becameginsburg: a bulwark against the kind of dppression the jews have endure throughout history. in large numbers became lawyers in the united states and some became judges. the best of the lawyers and judges use the law for personal gain and to secure justice for others. that?why did you quote most people know who she is. important point, necause jews have always chose the legal profession -- lawyers are a legal profession. many of the jews who entered law
and went to law school -- come from backgrounds where grandparents or great-grandparents were rabbis a in aey have been imbued study of jewish law and there is a natural affinity between those who grew up religiously or whose families had, i. in america, there was a toansition from torah constitution and there is that aspect. some have often been called "secular rabbis." it was an avenue of upward mobility for the children of immigrants. age ofrter came at the
10 and did not speak a word of english. for ruth bader ginsburg, it was a different story. i don't know if we will get to goldberg and fortis, but when they graduated law school in 1929 and 1930, respectively, they were at the top of their law classes and could not get jobs. fortis went into the new deal and goldberg went into a jewish law firm. because of anti-semitism. this was a problem that frankfurter had. he was number one at his law school and could not get a job -- 20 out of 21, whatever the number was of firms
he applied to. not appoint jews or, for that matter, catholics, in those days. the one firm that offered him a lesshat he worked for four than one year, the department took him aside and said to although frankfurter was not a practicing jew, religiously, he refused. it was his father's name and wanted to continue to honor it. brian: let's watch. [video clip] get reflects a successful harmonizing of our respective points of view toward a single war, to fence the flames of and begin to move toward peace in the arts.
david: i interrupted. did you say that he grew up in the tenements in chicago? david: yes, the first member of his family to go to college. his father barely eat out a living. i forget exactly how it was. finally, he went to northwestern, to northwestern hospital. graduated top of his class. he could not get a job in the with adelaide livingston. the firm he joined incidentally owned by -- who was the secretary of congress
and the obama -- the two eventually branched out, buying the highest hotel chain and now are one of the wealthiest -- on the forbes 400. firm ining jewish law chicago. brian: why did arthur goldberg and leave the court? is something that nobody has an answer for. answer in one chapter. it had to do with lyndon johnson. lyndon johnson basically ruined justices,of two goldberg and fortas. goldberg was appointed and serves for less than three years
. he was appointed by jfk to succeed felix frankfurter. in 1948, lyndon johnson had a safe seat in texas. he ran for the senate. in the election, there were about 560,000 votes passed. he was determined to win it by 87 votes. it was so close that a blue-ribbon commission of wasrneys in washington called upon to adjudicate it. it was headed by abe fortas. abbasid -- after his forcacy, it was called
johnson by 87 points. his primaryned political advisor. johnson always wanted to reward fortas for what he did. there was a so-called jewish seat on the court. it had to persuade goldberg to resign -- he had to persuade goldberg to resign. no one resigns after two and a half years. goldberg was in good health until the last year. he would have been on the court for 28 years. he may have succeeded her awareness chief justice. everyone close to him from his family, friends, trying to -- lbj offered him the position of you and ambassador -- of u.n.
ambassador. that is a position that is at the pleasure of the president. everyone assumed that johnson would run for another term. it wasn't lifelong. goldberg had a falling out with johnson. goldberg was not known for his humility, let us say. negotiator.at labor he was profoundly anti-vietnam. he thought he could negotiate to the vietnam war. he did not count on lbj here they had a falling out. goldberg's wife called allender , one of his cl erks, to try to persuade him.
no one has been able to understand. part of it is that you couldn't turn down the president. lyndon johnson was known for his persuasiveness. but there was another thing. gave -- maden that, when for award retired, he would renominate him as chief justice. that is the thing he dangled out before him. he and goldberg had such a falling out over before that he resign lbj fired him. brian: arthur goldberg married? david: yes, married with children. grew up in chicago. he had a very close relationship. can i mention this passover seder?
brian: mention anything you want. probablyldberg was jewish religiously involved to do on the court. he and his wife would have a passover seder every year in washington. brian: what do you mean? david: the passover holiday is one of the main religious holidays in the jewish community. it is probably the holiday that however religious or nonreligious, whether you belong to whatever kind of temple, the more liberal or the more orthodox, or even if you don't belong to a temple or synagogue, it is in the evening service an evening meal. boast of it revolves around the meal, to be honest. it's a very traditional jewish holiday. it always takes place at the same time as easter in the spring.
it's often a very celebratory occasion. so it was a big event in washington. members,d senators, fellow justices -- brian: not all jews. david: not all jews. his wife was very involved in yiddish. she sang used songs. they have a list of all of the rsvps. what is interesting is -- and this is just an interesting not keep he did kosher. but his law clerks were always invited, or people who did, he always provided completely
kosher seder meal, dinner. dershowitz who was a strictly orthodox jew, he and a the mosts -- he got well-known kosher caterer in washington, d.c., to cater their seder. courtte on his supreme letterhead the goldberg family recipe for a traditional jewish dish served at the center. this is on the supreme court letterhead. he sent it to the caterer and that became part of the meal. clerkedlan dershowitz for which justice? david: goldberg. brian: we have to go into abe fo
-- we have to go on to abe forta s. david: 1965. brian: here is on the court. [video clip] look out this morning over the sea of upturned faces, i thought most of the time before i was appointed before the united states supreme court, i would be sitting out there with you, calling my clients, counting up the fees, and smoking big black cigars. [laughter] and because of an act of friendship, i am here. [laughter] brian: was he married to a jew? david: no, he was not. carol, also graduated from yale law school. brian: was he a practicing jewbrian:? david: not at all.
he, like front for her, grew up in an orthodox family. -- it was more at his wife's behest. there was no practice of judaism in his home. -- and thisis wife led to the scandal that led to his resignation -- he and his his wife had950's, extremely lavish lifestyle. s.ey had twin rolls-royce 's wife had one closet of 150 shoes. offered by lbj to be attorney general. his wife said not on my life. he would have had to take such a big salary cut. he took a 90% salary cut to be on the court. his wife was livid. -- he hadeard this
thaten two letters to lbj he would not accept an appointed to the court. to the ovalted him office to have a discussion. it was about the vietnam policy that he was an advisor on. he said join me, i'm going to the rose garden. there is an announcement i have to make. on the way over, i'm announced wife, i'mand his going to appointed to the court. there was nothing they could do. his wife was livid and furious. she calls the white house. one of the white house aides said they had never heard anyone talk to lyndon johnson like that. she berated him for half an hour. how dear you? i thought -- how dear you?
you?w dare i thought we were friends. he was nominated to the court. they insisted on keeping this lavish lifestyle, his wife did. so he started taking on early honoriliums from different people. brian: he didn't teach while the was on the court. david: at american universitydavid:. by louisy was given wilson, a financier, who was one of his times, who later was indicted or a whole host of things. this puts it in context the notion of extrajudicial activities. when you are on the court, you are not supposed to be advising a president. , he spend abe fortas
more time in the white house than he did in his supreme court chambers. brian: you say he had a private line to the white house from his desk at the supreme court? david: from his office. yes. not only did he have a private included on was policy matters on p caps on policy matters, on policy on policy matters, on policy decisions. of vietnamphoto policy. brian: he managed policy? david: yes. state of thej's
union address. brian: while he was on the court? david: yes. he shouldn't have been there for the major vietnam policy committee. brandeis advised wilson and advised fdr. but in advising wilson, he did that himself. he helped convince the wilson administration to support the balfour declaration. important, but wilson was out of office, he helped wilson write a new manifesto for the democratic party. but what really became today
air -- to fdr. and what were the extrajudicial activities of frankfurter? david david: he worked for years trying to pressure roosevelt into nominating learned -- leonard hand. he was a federal judge at the time. that didn't work. he lobbied with roosevelt, which you are not supposed to do, 2.80 series of federal judges, which to appoint a series of federal judges. also appointments to the supreme court, where he was less successful. ironically, during the
holocaust, frankfurter had relatives in austria, including his favorite uncle, who were arrested by the nazis. that he did not bother roosevelt about. he had no reticence to call roosevelt in the middle of the night on judicial appointments. there's a famous meeting. in 1942, when the representative of the polish government in exile comes to washington to tell them about the final solution, he had been smuggled into the auschwitz death camp and was able to get out. ter, andith frankfurr he told himsaid -- about what was happening, the
mass murder of jews in the death camps. stood up and said, sir, i cannot believe what you're saying. he said, mr. justice, i am not lying. he said, not that, i cannot believe this is happening. he later sabotaged a meeting with stinson and fdr. brian: let's put the book back up on the screen so people can see the jewish eight justices in the history of this country. the first baby louis brandeis in 1816. the first catholic was roger tawney. david: andrew jackson nominated him. he was later nominated to the court. he was appointed by andrew jackson. he had been his attorney general. brian: and led the court in the dred scott decision. david: yes. -- which kindd
are you? david: i'm in eskenazi jew. lithuania.ame from what is the precision of di?enazi versus safar david: i don't know. brian: how did you become a rabbi? david: my father is a rabbi. my brother is a rabbi. my parents said they never pressured me to do it. but i was expected to do that. i grew up in san francisco and i went to uc berkeley. i have my phd from brandeis university where i first wrote biographies of brandeis. ordained at the
jewish theological survey. i have been interested in the education and it was a natural career path. new grow up in this -- many sons of lawyers grow into law because one of their parents or both of their peers were lawyers. i have always been interested, never necessarily having a pulpit or congregation. hi, i suck a rabbi without portfolios. i have -- i call myself a rabbi without portfolios. i always felt that i wanted to write. this is my 12th book. brian: stephen breyer was here in 2010 when he had written a book and we were talking about the fact that there are a number of jews on the court. watch this. [video clip] confirmed, i went
back to logan and senator kennedy was with me. brian: the airport in boston? >> yes. and a young reporter from a jewish newspaper came and said how do you feel about two being on the court? and myrick -- -- -- my reaction and his were identical. fine. fine. just like that. you recognize it. it's a fact. is -- youhe question find them here or there, so? david: i've never met justice breyer himself. he is also from san francisco. brian: his brother is a judge. david: his brother is a federal judge, charles breyer, who was appointed by bill clinton. my late father and his late father knew each other. attorney. was an they weren't close friends, but acquaintances.
family.embers of his he is interesting for so many reasons. -- heof all, he worked was on the watergate prosecution. he later became chief counsel for the judiciary committee. his great mentor was ted kennedy. thise had and he still has -- a very affable person -- this great ability to get along with everyone. the person he was closest to was orrin hatch. pushwo of them together lobbying for his appointment as a federal judge, just before jimmy carter left office. and that for the supreme court. people have sai that, anyone who can get along so well with ted kennedy and orrin hatch
deserves to be on the court. brian: euro in the book that he married a non-jew. david: he married a non-jewish woman. she is part of the british aristocracy. her father, lord something or other, was not only in the house of lords, but the chairman for several years of the conservative party in britain. harolded in two mcmillan's cabinets. i was a more of a centrist democrat, but a lifelong democrat. what's interesting, his children protestants,sed as at this for palin -- episcopalian. one is an episcopal priest. since on the court, he has been a major voice on matters relating to the jewish community
and especially to israel. he has been a great supporter of the state of israel. a article in the new republic, talking about the fact that two of his predecessors, brandeis and frankfurter, were leaders of the zionist movement. brian: i want to make sure that you say something about elena kagan. she was appointed in 2010 by barack obama. david: she grew up on the upper west side in manhattan. she went to princeton, graduated at the top of her class, graduated in 1981, was one of the first generation of women graduates at princeton. she then was the marshall was steve oxford, as breyer, who had gone to stanford. then she came back and went to harvard law school, clerked for thurgood marshall, then became
-- worked in the clinton mess despotism is -- worked in the clinton administration. when the bush administration she worked at a short time -- for a short time at the university of chicago. that's where she met barack obama. they were both research tribe.enceand woman deanthe first of harvard law school in 2003. she met larry summers when they were both working in the clinton administration. she was a very successful, by -- liberals and
conservatives loved her at harvard. womanhe became the first solicitor general of the united third jewishhe solicitor general in 2009. then she was appointed to the supreme court by obama. -- ruth baderader ginsburg have the same physical trainer. they work out together. 30 years apart. they are very close friends. i didn't get a chance to talk about ginsburg and scalia. also, she was appointed at the age of 49, the exact same , just shy oforsuch her 50th birthday. so she will probably stay on the
court, if she has good health, could be another 25 years. brian: guess what, we are out of time. your book is called "jewish justices of the supreme court, from brandeis to kagan, their lives and legacies." we missed 95% of what is in your book. we thank you for coming and we enjoyed having you on the program. david: i thank you very much for your test for inviting me. ♪ for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at q&a.org. candidate programs are also available as podcasts.
>> if you enjoyed the interview, here are some other programs you might like. stephen breyer on his new book "making our democracy work." and a film director who talks about her documentary on jewish rosenwald. you can watch these anytime or search our entire video library at www.c-span.org. ♪ >> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. monday morning, amanda becker discusses the status of tax reform efforts on capitol hill. then alliance for manufacturing. an american made movie producer talk about the state of u.s. manufacturing. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal, line at 7:00 a.m. eastern monday morning.
join the discussion. >> next, highlights from recent sessions of the australian parliament. after that, discussion on u.s.-cuba relations. then another chance to see q&a on jewish supreme court justices. >> the british parliament was in recess last week. prime minister's questions will not be seen tonight. instead, we look at the latest session of the australian parliament hosted by tom connell , a political reporter with sky news australia. topics included australia's handling of asylum seekers, handling isis militants in syria, and rising energy costs. this is about 30 minutes.