Was Cardozo First Hispanic On Supreme Court?

Sonia Sotomayor is touted as the first Hispanic nominated to the Supreme Court, but some have suggested Benjamin Cardozo deserves that honor. Cardozo served on the Supreme Court from 1932-1938. He is regarded as one of the best writers ever to sit on the court.

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

And as we said, if confirmed, Sonia Sotomayor would become the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court. But some have suggested another justice may deserve that honor.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Benjamin Cardozo. Cardozo served on the Supreme Court from 1932 to '38. He's regarded as one of the best legal writers ever to sit on the court. Cardozo's family came to the United States in the mid-1700s from Holland and England; that's as far back as family documents go. But family legends claim Portuguese-Jewish ancestry.

NORRIS: Cardozo attended the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue in New York City. His family tree is chock full of names like Mendez, Gomez, Navarro and Sechez, names that are common in Portugal.

BLOCK: But even with Portuguese heritage, would that make him the first Hispanic member of the court? That hinges on how you define Hispanic, a subject of much dispute. Anybody know a good lawyer?

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