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charges made against him, including those just enumerated, or whether he denied them, or whether he pleaded the fifth amendment.
Apparently Simon Sobeloff either had knowledge of Peters which was not available to the public, or else he is not concerned about the question of security risks. How else can his recommendation that Peters be reinstated be explained?
In the opinion of Virginians, who are threatened with the awful prospect of seeing this man, Sobeloff, sit over them as a Federal judge, his peculiar defense of Dr. Peters, judged a security risk, is bad enough. His refusal to sign the brief and appear before the Supreme Court on behalf of our Government is intolerable.
We will never willingly accept as a public servant a man who so odiously persists in his rebelliousness.
We are mindful, too, that Sobeloff's view, if dominant, would virtually destroy intelligence work. His stand on confrontation would, for all practical purposes, put the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for example, out of action.
We feel that Sobeloff knows this.
A second example of Sobeloff's stand on the matter of confrontation is the case in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Government in a Coast Guard security case. It held that the discharge of maritime workers under a Coast Guard security check was illegal because they were not confronted with their accusers. This, again, raised the issue of the secret informant.
Solicitor General Sobeloff refused to appeal to the Supreme Court over this decision. As a result of his refusal, the Coast Guard has been forced to completely rewrite its security regulations to cover screening suspected Communist-sympathetic seamen.
This particualr case was known to be very important and received much attention. The New York Times printed in a lead article on March 25, 1956:
The decision was widely regarded as the strongest attack by any major American court on what the opinion called a "system of secret informers, whisperers, and talebearers."
The Solicitor General, Simon E. Sobeloff, described the ruling as having "obvious far-reaching implications for the various governmental security programs."
We will comment here that it had "obvious" and "far reaching" implications, indeed. One "implication" that is particularly "obvious" is that the security program would be crippled if not completely destroyed. That is a pretty far-reaching "implication," to make use of Mr. Sobeloff's term.
To return to the Coast Guard case, as the closing date for petition to review the case approached, there was much interest among lawyers in the security field as to whether or not the Justice Department would petition the Supreme Court to review the case. Mr. Sobeloff, as Solicitor General, is in charge of the Justice Department's Supreme Court business.
As the deadline for petition approached, Mr. Sobeloff requested and was granted a 2-month extension from the court. He then allowed that time to pass without taking action to get the case, which was most important, reviewed by the Supreme Court.
The article in the New York Times said:
The extended filing period expired today. It did not simply go by default. The decision not to appeal was made by Mr. Sobeloff after consultation with
many other officials concerned, including Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr., and with their concurrence,
Just last year, in the case of Dr. John P. Peters, the Justice Department took a vigorous position in the Supreme Court against any requirement for confrontation in security cases. Mr. Sobeloff broke with his colleagues in that case, and refused to sign the brief. The court decided the Peters case on narrow grounds, avoiding the confrontation issue.
Virginians, as citizens vitally affected by the Fourth United States Circuit Court of Appeals, are aware of Sobeloff's behavior and ideas, and they are firm in their belief that he is not suitable material for a Federal judge.
We do not want to sit under the judgment of a man who has, to our way of thinking, exerted himself on behalf of one officially declared a security risk. We do not want to come before a bench occupied by a man who, by his strange conduct of his high office, has raised doubts in many minds as to his regard for the security efforts of our Nation.
Further, we are not unmindful of Mr. Sobeloff's propaganda activities. For example, in a speech before the Ninth Annual National Conference on Citizenship, Washington, D. C., on September 16, 1954, Mr. Sobeloff devoted his efforts to an attack on the immigration policy of the country as laid down in the McCarran-Walter Act. He is, apparently, in favor of a general open-door policy. He said. in that speech:
While recognizing the good motivations of those who enacted the present laws, I respectfully submit that these provisions are working unnecessary hardships without compensating advantages to the Nation. They go far beyond the needs of security or economic protection.
Once again, then, we find Mr. Sobeloff alining himself on the opposite side of the fence from those of us who favor security and the necessary measures to insure it.
Mr. Sobeloff's views on the race question are well known to us, and we are resentful of his use of his office to further his ideas, which we regard with distrust, to say the least.
In the same speech quoted earlier, Sobeloff said:
The age-old, humiliating policy of discrimination along color lines in the Armed Forces has been practically eliminated. It is noteworthy, and deeply reassuring to us as we contemplate other areas, that despite numerous warnings that this policy would not work, it is working, and there have been no untoward incidents.
Mr. Sobeloff says, you will note, that—
it is noteworthy, and deeply reassuring to us as we contemplate other areas *** we would ask, Whom does he mean by "us"? Whom does he mean by "we" in "we contemplate other areas ***”?
Certainly he does not presume to speak for us. We find it noteworthy indeed, but hardly reassuring. And we flatly reject Sobeloff's propagandizing when he claims that no untoward incidents have resulted from the so-called integration of the Armed Forces. No less an authority than Gen. Mark Clark said as recently as April 27, 1956, that, from a military viewpoint, he opposed the integration policy by the Government in 1951, and that he was still opposed to it.
General Clark also stated that a Negro division bolted from theenemy and was the worst he ever commanded.
We believe that there have been numerous untoward incidents as a result of the integration of the Armed Forces, and that as white men are pushed into ever closer and more intimate contact with Negroes, there are apt to be more such incidents. The overall effect is incalculable.
Moreoever, it is the opinion of many thousands of Virginians that one of the main reasons the Armed Forces are losing men so rapidly is that the men resent the efforts to integrate them. Certainly, no southern man will willingly submit for long to being integrated.
Virginians do not want a man who makes unsubstantiated statements to sit as a Federal judge over them. We fear that his enthusiastic furtherance of his strange sociological ideas might even further weaken the respect of our people for their National Government, and in particular for its courts.
Perhaps the thing that stirs the deepest concern in our hearts, however, is Sobeloff's expressed philosophy of the function of the Supreme Court. We make our strongest plea that Sobeloff not be confirmed because of his ideas as expressed in the following extract from a speech made by Simon E. Sobeloff before the Judicial Conference of the Fourth Circuit, at Hot Springs, Va., June 29, 1954:
*** The Court may reject a case, not because the question is unimportant, but because it thinks the time not ripe for decision. In our system the Supreme Court is not merely the adjudicator of controversies, but in the process of adjudication it is in many instances the final formulator of national policy. It should therefore occasion no wonder, if the Court seeks the appropriate time to consider and decide important questions, just as Congress or any other policymaking body might. For example, for several years before taking the School Segregation cases the Court repeatedly turned away opportunities to decide questions in that area, perhaps because they deemed them premature. Lately it declined to review a ruling on segregation in public housing, perhaps because the Court thought it best, after deciding the School cases, not to say more on other aspects of segregation at this time. Or the Court may think the record in the case at hand not adequate or otherwise unsuitable to raise and decide the point. We can only speculate. In the decision of great constitutional questions, especially those which are in the realm of political controversy, timing can be of supreme importance * * *.
Gentlemen, the people of Virginia will never accept the cynicism of Sobeloff. They will scorn it. They will despise it. We are born and bred to hold in contempt, to loath, to hate with all our hearts, that kind of shabby opportunism.
This man, whom we plead with you not to recommend for confirmation, stands condemned by his own words. The Supreme Court of the United States is to him a plaything—a tool to be used “when the time is right."
We can never respect such cheap theatrics. Virginia has given this Nation too much to ever stoop to pleading a suit at law before a man who admits to holding such a cynical conception.
We understand his remarks to mean that the Supreme Court has the right to determine the policy of this Nation. That is not true, though it has erred in that direction.
We further understand his remarks to mean that the Supreme Court shall, presumably with the guidance of a crystal ball or some such black magic, determine the time to inflict its ideas of policy on this Nation.
When did the Supreme Court acquire any such right? And by what authority shall it withhold justice because the "time is not right"?
In Virginia we have a higher conception of justice. It is not to be meted out, nor is it to be withheld, at the discretion of any courtbecause the "time is right" or wrong, whatever Mr. Sobeloff may mean by that.
If this man should, through some terrible error, be confirmed as a judge in the Fourth United States Circuit Court of Appeals, what guaranty will we have that he will not arrogate unto himself the same extraordinary powers he has so generously bestowed on the Supreme Court? How can we go before his bench with any assurance that he will deal with us as the law demands and not as his sense of "timing" demands?
If circumstances should conspire to force us, God forbid, to appear before Sobeloff for judgment, how can our counselors prepare themselves? Must they throw away their lawbooks and take up a study of the newspapers, so that they can appeal to Sobeloff's sense of timing, and argue for a verdict that is based on Sobeloff's conception of "political controversy" and consonant with his sense of timing?
Is it for this mockery that our own George Washington led our ragged ancestors through hell and back? Did Thomas Jefferson spend his genius and exert his noble mind so that we, his spiritual heirs, could come crawling before a mystic mountebank who may well decide to either hang or free us-because of his sense of timing?
What would Patrick Henry say to this if he could speak? In Virginia we have never forgotten that he said, "Give me liberty or give me death."
What are we to say? Will you force us to come before Simon Sobeloff and say, "Give us your verdict-based not on the justice bought for us by our ancestors with their hearts' blood, but based on your sense of timing"?
Is that what the future holds for us?
Virginia says, Almighty God, forbid it. Deliver us from a man with such foreign ideas. Restore to us our ancient rights, bloodbought and jealously treasured.
And, as if all of this were not enough, we are faced with still another dangerous aspect of this man's thinking.
As recently as March 30, 1956, the B'nai B'rith Messenger quoted Simon E. Sobeloff in its "Quote of the Week." Sobeloff said:
The things we do in private business under the sanction of Government, and what our Government does in managing our relations with other peoples, are the rightful concern of religion. Democracy accepts as fundamental the religious doctrine that "righteousness exalteth a nation." And so, while church and state are rightly kept separate, there need be, and there must be, no separation between religion's principles and the life of the people. Our Bill of Rights is not only a legal document; it is the embodiment of the highest religious teachings as to the nature of man and the ethical basis of human conduct.
Sobeloff's remarks puzzle us. On the one hand, he endorses separation of church and state, and, on the other, he clearly ties them together. What manner of man is it who must characterize the Bill of Rights as having "religious" properties?
We are not prepared to recognize any such "embodiment" in the Bill of Rights, if for no other reason than because we don't recognize the word "religion" as having any great significance.
What does he mean by "religion"? Whose "religion"? There are many kinds of "religion" in Virginia, some of them quite opposed to one another. Our common basis of behavior is the law, and the law
only, not the law as screened through someone's conception of "highest religious teachings."
We fear lest Simon Sobeloff go too far afield in his idea of the proper relationship of the church and the state. We do not want a man to judge us who might allow himself to look upon our laws through his notions of "religious teachings."
For the reasons which I have outlined briefly for you, we request that Simon E. Sobeloff not be recommended for confirmation as Federal judge in the Fourth United States Circuit Court of Appeals.
We fear for our safety under his judgment, and we fear for the future of the court. We who know Simon E. Sobeloff and his works can never accept him as a judge, nor can we feel the security that we have a right to feel, if there is any chance that he will sit over us as a judge.
The relationship of the people to the courts is already strained, and it will be more so should Sobeloff be sent among us to preside over our pleadings.
Senator WATKINS. Are you an attorney?
Mr. STEPHENSON. No, sir; I am not an attorney.
Senator WATKINS. Who wrote this statement?
Mr. STEPHENSON. I wrote the statement.
Senator WATKINS. Did your organization meet and hear it read and then authorize you to make it here?
Mr. STEPHENSON. I have talked to a good many of them, Senator Watkins, and I know their feelings about Judge Sobeloff, because we have opposed him since his name was first mentioned.
Senator WATKINS. I know, but has your organization taken any official action on this?
Mr. STEPHENSON. The board of directors.
Senator WATKINS. Who are the board of directors?
Mr. STEPHENSON. May I get my briefcase? I will give you a list of them.
Senator WATKINS. Who is the head of the organization?
Mr. STEPHENSON. I am the president of the organization.
Senator WATKINS. You are the president. How many do you have on your board of directors?
Mr. STEPHENSON. We have five.
Senator WATKINS. You can remember those, can you not?
Senator WATKINS. Don't you know the names? You have only five.
Mr. STEPHENSON. I am at present employed by the league.
Senator WATKINS. What did you do before this league was organized?
Mr. STEPHENSON. I formerly worked in the shipyard in Newport News, Va.
Senator WATKINS. That is all.
Senator O'MAHONEY. Thank you very much. You are excused. Senator WATKINS. I just asked for the list.