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From 1946 Benda was member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). From 1954 to 1957 he was member of the Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin, the parliament of Berlin. 1957 he was elected to the Bundestag, the West German parliament. In 1965 he was involved in bringing significant changes to West Germany's statutes of limitations for murder. Without these changes it would not have been possible to bring charges of murder against erstwhile National Socialists. Since 1967 he was Secretary of State in the German interior ministry and since 1968 Minister of the Interior. 1969 he was appointed as a judge to the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany. From 1971 to 1983 he was president of the court. From 1984 Benda was professor of law at the University of Freiburg.