Benjamin Franklin Bledsoe

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Benjamin Franklin Bledsoe
Benjamin F. Bledsoe.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California
In office
October 16, 1914 – March 24, 1925
Appointed byWoodrow Wilson
Preceded bySeat established by 38 Stat. 580
Succeeded byEdward J. Henning
Personal details
Born
Benjamin Franklin Bledsoe

(1874-02-08)February 8, 1874
San Bernardino, California
DiedOctober 30, 1938(1938-10-30) (aged 64)
Crestline, California
EducationStanford University (A.B.)
read law

Benjamin Franklin Bledsoe (February 8, 1874 – October 30, 1938) was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

Education and career[edit]

Born in San Bernardino, California, Bledsoe received an Artium Baccalaureus degree from Stanford University in 1896, and read law to enter the bar. He was in private practice in San Bernardino from 1896 to 1910. He was a Judge of the California Superior Court from 1900 to 1914.[1]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On September 30, 1914, Bledsoe was nominated by President Woodrow Wilson to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of California created by 38 Stat. 580. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 16, 1914, and received his commission the same day. He resigned on March 24, 1925.[1]

Notable case[edit]

Bledsoe heard the case of Robert Goldstein who produced The Spirit of '76, a patriotic film about the American Revolution. Released just as World War I was starting federal censors required depictions of British atrocities to be cut. Goldstein was tried after an uncut version was shown. Bledsoe sentenced him to 10 years in prison and the media and public opinion turned harshly against him despite initially favorable reviews. Goldstein's sentence was commuted after three years but he was never able to clear his name.[2]

Later career and death[edit]

Bledsoe resigned from the federal bench to run for Mayor of Los Angeles, California, but was unsuccessful in that bid. He returned to private practice in Los Angeles from 1925 until his death on October 30, 1938, in Crestline, California.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Benjamin Franklin Bledsoe at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ "Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights — 'Spirit of '76' as Propaganda". September 30, 2013.

Sources[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Seat established by 38 Stat. 580
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California
1914–1925
Succeeded by
Edward J. Henning