May 17, 2011
DISSENT; EDUCATION; UNPOPULARITY
Cardozo, Benjamin N., Law and Literature and Other Essays and Addresses (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1931) (From ‘Law and Literature’: “Sometimes, as I have said, there is just a suspicion of acerbity, but this, after all, is rare. More truly characteristic of dissent is a dignity, an elevation, of mood and thought and phrase. Deep conviction and warm feeling are saying their last say with knowledge that the cause is lost. The voice of the majority may be that of force triumphant, content with the plaudits of the hour, and the recking little of the morrow. The dissenter speaks to the future, and his voice is pitched to a key that will carry through the years. Read some of the great dissents, the opinions, for example of Judge Curtis in Dred Scott vs. Sandford, and feel after the cooling time of the better part of a century the glow and fire of a faith that was content to bide its hour. The prophet and the martyr did not see the hooting throng. Their eyes are fixed on the eternities.” Id. at 3, 36. From the ‘The Home of the Law’: ‘Well, education means many things . . . . There is education in books, but education is life also; education in solitude, but education also in the crowd; education in study, but education even greater in the contagion of example. Ask any youth who has gone through a university what part of his training has counted most in later life. Almost invariably, I am sure, the first place will be given, not to shreds of information, the book-learning of the schools, but to the transfigured sense of values that is born of companionship with lofty minds, the living and the dead. There is more to be bestowed by Alma Mater than the possession of a sheep-skin,. There is more in membership in the bar than a license to sign a brief or intone a prosy argument.” Id. at 142, 145-146. “Popular the members of our profession have never been able to become through all the ages of its history. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why they have clung to one another with the solidarity that everywhere is born of persecution or resistance. It is a feature of nearly every Utopia, from Plato down to H. G. Wells, that there has been no place in it for lawyers.” Id. at 153-154.).