In the News

Justice William Brennan Gives Cardozo Lecture

On September 17, 1987, I was privileged to be in the audience at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York when Justice William Brennan, who had become the conscience of the Bill of Rights on the high court, gave the 42nd Annual Benjamin N. Cardozo Lecture.

That lecture, still available in the archives of the Association of the Bar of this city, should be read by members of Congress and every law student and law professor in the country—as well as by every judge, from local housing and family courts to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Titled “Reason, Passion, and ‘The Progress of the Law,’ ” Brennan’s emphasis on what he called “the human reality of the judicial process” is even more vital now that the Rehnquist Supreme Court has prioritized economic rights and the rights of individual states over the rights and liberties of individual Americans throughout the country.


Nat Hentoff
The Village Voice
May 11, 2005