Louis D. Brandeis, Justice of U.S. Supreme Court, Felicitated on 70th Birthday

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

Louis Dembitz Brandeis, outstanding American Jewish jurist, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, champion of justice and friend of the people, was the recipient of many congratulatory messages from prominent American Jews and non-Jews today on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. Dut to the wishes of the septegenarian, the occasion was not permitted to be made an event of wide public celebration although many demands coming from various quarters urged this.

The remarkable career of the Kentucky Jewish boy who, as a lawyer in Boston, played a prominent part in the fight for the introduction of new standards in the administration of public utilities in New England, since then emulated in other parts of the country; his work in investigating the principles of modern insurance and their application for the benefit of the working masses, his championship for the protection of women and minors in industry and his part in settling labor disputes, was praised by outstanding leaders of America and American Jews in statements made public.

“I count it a privilege to be numbered among the friends and admirers of Mr. Justice Brandeis, who will unite in extending to him congratulations and good wishes on the occasion of his seventieth birthday,” Harlan F. Stone, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, stated.

“He rounds out his threescore years and ten, after ten years of arduous service on the bench, with undiminished vigor of body and mind; with an accumulated store of experience and of wisdom, which encourage the expectation and the wish that he may continue his distinguished service on the Court for many years to come. An adequate estimate of his career as a judge of our highest court can be made only in the days yet to come, when the legal and economic history of our times is seen in its true perspective.

“For this, and for his steadfast courage and independence, and the clarity of thought and expression with which he has year by year carried on his judicial labors, he has the gratitude, not only of the judges and lawyers, but of countless others in walks of life remote from the mere machinery of the law. It is a merited reward for a devoted service, and I venture to think that no other would seem to him so worthwhile.”

Col. Edward M. House declared:

“There are few men of this generation whose careers are so interwoven with the life of our Republic during the past thirty years as that of Justice Louis D. Brandeis. He has forged his way to the front rank of our intellectuals by the lucidity of his mind, coupled with an ability to see things as they are, and the gift to express his thoughts in foreceful and eloquent terms.

“During the years when he was the people’s advocate, his conclusions upon public questions were accepted as final by a multitude of Americans.

“When he was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court, there was regret and joy. Regret that his services would be lost in the political debates of the day-joy that he would sit in judgment upon the issues that come before the Nation’s final tribunal.

“As citizen advocate and law gives, Louis D. Brandeis has made his impress upon these times, and he will leave a noble and enduring record.”

Louis Marshall. president of the American Jewish Committee, in a statement issued on this occasion declared:

“No American who loves his country and possesses a true appreciation of those who have furthered its growth and development can reflect upon the career of Justice Louis D. Brandeis without assigning to him a commanding position in our National Hall of Fame. As a citizen, as an active lawyer and as a jurist he has made signal contributions to the preservation and illumination of the sacred principles upon which the fabric of our Government rests, and to the cultivation and advancement of the public welfare. He has long been one of the pioneers of the effort to conserve the nation’s natural resources and to prevent their appropriation by private interests. He has waged many a successful battle for the maintenance of the dignity of labor and of the right of collective bargaining by the workingman. He has been a profound student of the many complicated problems relating to the operation of public utility corporations and the regulation of rates for service rendered, not only from the standpoint of the public, but of the agencies rendering service. As a lawyer and a jurist he has striven to maintain the fundamental human rights freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of conscience, and has made notable contributions to the elucidation of the doctrines controlling those precious rights. Some of his utterances regarding them bear the seeds of immortality. While recognizing the necessity of upholding basic legal principles hallowed by time and the experience of mankind, he has nevertheless been keenly aware of the fact that, in order that law as a science may properly function, it should always be regarded as a living organism which, in accordance with the light of reason, must from time to time adjust itself to changing conditions. In many luminous opinions he has applied this philosophy, and his efforts have largely served to vindicate the progressiveness of our jurisprudence without the sacrifice of that symmetry which is essential to its effectiveness.

“As a Jew, he has been loyal to his brethren, untiring in his efforts to foster the ethical concepts of our faith, and earnest in his devotion to the regeneration and upbuilding of Palestine, in order that those who are attracted there by wholesome sentiment and by a desire there to found a home which will afford them an opportunity to live their own lives unhampered by oppression and artificial limitations, may be enabled to realize their aspirations. All Jewry unites in the pious hope that this noble son of Israel may long be spared to continue his significant ministrations,” Mr. Marshall concluded.

“In thinking of the seventieth birthday anniversary of Justice Brandeis.” Dr. Stephen S. Wise stated, “I go back to the custom and speech of our fathers in uttering the word of the Psalmists, ‘This is a day which the Lord hath made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it.’ The day that gave Brandeis to his country and to his people ought to be a day of high rejoicing. Alas,– for him and for us alike,–that he has not always been closely associated, in or out of leadership, with the affairs of his people. ‘But he was ours’, we may proudly say with Schiller. He was our very own as leader in the most critical years of American history, in the years of Israel’s most urgent need, when the lofty quality of his ethical idealism meant much to the fortunes of Israel. It was a providential conjuncture that matched the man and the need, that made his the decisive contribution in the working out of Jewish destiny at a time when America had become supremely important in the leadership of world affairs.

“Whatever may be believed touching his return as an active participant in Jewish affairs, who can think of Louis Brandeis without rising to the hope that something of his own spiritual quality might pervade the leadership of American Israel,” he declared.

“Nor may we Jews forget that Brandeis has been one of the commanding ###igures in the realm of democracy. As much as any man of his generation, he has been a leader of the forces of liberalism, not spasmodically nor melodramatically, but consistently and selflessly. Throughout a generation he made the imperilled interests of the people his own, so that it was not a matter of chance that President Wilson named him, as he assured me again and again, with the deepest personal satisfaction as ‘an inevitable choice for the United States Supreme Court.’ He is today one of the three or four greatest of American jurists and it is richly satisfying to think that another within this limited number is the Chief justice elect of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, Benjamin N. Cardozo.“Slightly paraphrasing the Psalmist’s word, this is a day which the Lord hath made. We rejoice in and are grateful for him whom the day gave, Israel’s loftiest head to be found blameless to the end.”

Federal Judge Julian W. Mack stated:

“Louis D. Brandeis typifies in his life and in his character the best of the American and of the Jewish people. He is of those whose daily life exemplifies his own lofty ideas. Clear-visioned, straight-thinking, unafraid, a genuine liberal; his gifts of soul and of mind are dedicated to the service of Ms fellow men. They are to be congratulated that as he passes the seventieth milestone there is every reason to hope that with powers unabated he will continue in his work as jurist, as citizen, and as Jew for many years to come.”

Louis Lipsky, president of the Zionist Organization of America, issued the following statement:

“The Zionists of America send their felicitations to Justice Brandeis upon the occasion of his seventieth birth day. At a time of great stress in Jewish life, Mr. Brandeis came forward, and led the Zionist cause with distinction, contributing largely to the Zionist development in America. He brought into the Zionist movement a fine intellectuality, a keen perception of its problems, and extraordinary personal devotion and extraordinary personal devotion and sacrifice. The large body of Zionists deplore his absorption in the important judicial duties which has made it almost impossible for him to give his personal cooperation to the furtherance of the Zionist ideal. As a member of the highest court in the land, he in distinguished for the clarity of his thinking and the liberality of his views. His name heads the roster of Jews distinguished for their service in American life.”

Many messages were also sent by leaders of Jewish communities throughout the country, Jewish organizations and individual Zionists. The administrative committee of the American Jewish Congress, in the work of which Justice Brandeis took an active part, adopted a resolution at its meeting on Friday, felicitating Justice Brandeis. The resolution was forwarded to him.

Justice Brandeis was very active in the Zionist movement in the United States prior to the Cleveland convention of 1921. He played a prominent part during the Wilson administration in laying the political foundations for the new era in the Zionist movement which started with the issuance of the Balfour Declaration.

Louis Dembitz Brandeis was born in Louisville, Kentucky. November 13. 1856, the son of Adolph Brandeis and Fredericka Dembitz. His maternal grandfather took an active part in the Polish War for Independence in 1831. He was educated in the Louisville public school and high school and at the Annen Realschule, Dresden, Germany. He received the degree LL.B. from Harvard in 1877 and an honorary A.M. degree in 1891. He was admitted to the bar in St. Louis, Mo., in 1878. He practiced in Boston from 1879 to 1916. He was a member of the firm of Warren and Brandeis from 1879 to 1897, of the law firm of Brandeis, Dunbar and Nutter from 1897 to 1916.

He served as counsel for Mr. Glavis in the Ballinger-Pinchot investigation, 1910 and for the shippers in the Advanced Freight Investigation before the Interstate Commerce Commission, 1910 to 1911. Among his other outstanding cases was the Riggs-National Bank case in 1915, where he served as counsel for the government; he served as counsel for the people in the proceedings involving the constitutionality of Oregon and Illinois women’s ten hour laws; the Ohio nine hour law, the California eight hour law, the Oregon minimum wage law from 1907-1914 and in preserving the Boston municipal subway system, establishing the Boston sliding scale gas system 1900 to 1907; the Massachusetts Savings Bank Insurance, 1905 and in opposing the New Haven monopoly of transportation in New England 1907-1913. He served as chairman of the Arbitration Board of the New York garment workers strike in 1910 and under the protocol of 1910 to 1914.

He acted as the chairman of the Provisional Committee for General Zionist Affairs from 1914-1916.

He is the author of “Other People’s Money,” “Business, A Profession,” and articles on public franchise, Massachusetts wage earner’s life insurance, life insurance, savings bank insurance, scientific management, labor problems, railroad and trusts, and Zionism and Jewish problems.

The Industrial Council of Cloak, Suit and Skirt Manufacturers and the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union Thursday night agreed on a three-year wage contract, thereby paving the way for the ending of the general strike which began on July 1, cost the 30,000 strikers $30,000,000 in wages, the union $2,500,000 in disbursements, and the manufacturers a large part of their fall and winter trade.

By the terms of the settlement the union loses the main point in its demands–a guarantee of thirty-six weeks’ work or pay each year-and concedes the chief demand of the manufacturers, that they be given the right to limited reorganization of their working forces each year.

The union gets increases of from $2 to $4 in some classes of work above the minimums recommended by the Governor’s commission, and instead of the forty-hour week which it demanded, gets a forty-two-hour week until July 1, 1928, when the forty-hour week becomes effective.

The union also waives its demands for a limitation of contractors, recommended by the Governor’s Commission and which the manufacturers agreed to accept, and its further demand that union-made embroidery, trimmings and buttons be used in union shops.

All other provisions of previous contracts, including that for unemployment insurance, the maintenance of the joint board of sanitary control and joint label, are retained in the new contract, and provision is made for the setting up of a joint labor bureau for the better placement of help.

Milford Stem was re-elected president of Congregation Beth El. Detroit. A budget of $113,500 was adopted for the coming year, $22,500 was allotted for Jewish education.

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