The American jurist Louis Marshall (1856–1929) was widely regarded in his day as one of the country's most significant Jewish leaders. Rooted in the patrician and politically conservative "German Jewish" milieu of the post–Civil War era, Marshall was a prominent New York lawyer who played a highly public and frequently pivotal role as an advocate of legal protections for marginalized individuals and minority groups. Likewise, Marshall's stewardship of American Jewish affairs stemmed from a strong combination of self-interest and profound belief in American democracy. He was a formidable legal presence who demonstrated extraordinary juridical talent and an ability to access the levers of American judicial power. His dual role as a communal steward and commanding legal figure raises important historical questions. This article suggests that Marshall's activism and legal approach reveals a curious admixture of political sensitivities that became a hallmark of the American Jewish experience.


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pp. 40-62
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