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contempt for the Nation's highest court, disrespect for the law, and those who practice it is further heightened when the American Bar Association places its seal of approval on so shabby a political product."
As we said on September 24, 1969, in this same room before this same committee, the confirmation of such a nominee would serve notice that our Government intends to block off the few avenues that are now available for legal attack on the bastions of racism in our country. For it is the Supreme Court, my colleagues, which has given black people a certain measure of faith in the slow-moving and creaky legal machinery with which we are afflicted. To impair the courts? ability to deal with racism is to impose strains on the fabric of a society beyond its limits.
We urge you to reject the nomination of Judge Carswell. His appointment would hardly be consistent with the constitution's uncompromising hostility to segregation and inequality. It would unequivocally tell black people that the one significant route for peaceful resolution of our society's racial injustices now open to them is gradually being phased out.
In this Nation today we face more than a credibility gap. Amidst all the rhetoric the people of our country feel a profound lack of faith in the institutions of American Government and their ability to fulfill their charged responsibilities. Therefore, it is incumbent that the United States Senate insist on the appointment to the Supreme Court only of individuals of the highest standard, men who clearly will measure up to the awesome responsibilities and duties of membership on that court. This should be decided only on the basis of distinctive achievement and a demonstrated record of fidelity to the principles of equality inherent in the Constitution. We submit that in the nomination of Judge G. Harrold Carswell, this has not been so demonstrated. In our judgment, Judge Carswell is unqualified to sit on the Supreme Court, and we consequently urge that you reject his nomination.
That, Mr. Chairman, concludes my formal testimony and I will make myself available for any questions or discussions that might be desired.
Senator KENNEDY. I just want to extend a word of greeting to the Congressman and express my appreciation for your taking the time to be witness. As I understand the thrust of your statement, Congressman, am I right in observing that you don't feel that the blacks of this country who might have their cases adjudicated by the nominee sometime in the future, if Judge Carswell is approved by the Senate, would feel a sense of security or a sense of justice or fairness in having their cases decided by him?
Mr. CONYERS. Absolutely not, and it isn't based on suspicion. It is based on impartial evaluations that have been brought to my attention about the record that the judge already has. We are not predicting what he might do in the future, but all we as human beings can do is guide ourselves by his activities, his conduct, his statements, and his philosophical beliefs in the past, and I think that that is eminently correct. Not only do black Americans have little faith in this appointment, but millions of white Americans who have as much discretion know that if we don't have a fair court and a fair government we are not going to be able to succeed in this democratic experiment and I think they too take the same kind of objection to this nomination.
Senator KENNEDY. You have always been one that has been pledged to nonviolence as well as to progress, equal rights and equal opportunities for all citizens.
In your efforts to deal with the tempers and frustrations of many of our black citizens, do you think your job will be easier or more difficult when you seek to get young blacks who are disillusioned and have a sense of hopelessness to try and work through the system, if this nominee is approved ?
Mr. CONYERS. Senator Kennedy, not only is it getting more difficult, but with these and other kinds of activities and lack of activities coming from the Congress as a whole and the executive, in my judgment, it is becoming impossible to convince a lot of our young black citizens that they do really fit into this society.
They believe that they are not included. They believe from all the statistical evidence that is now clearly made available to them, and more importantly, from what they can see going around them, that there are two distinct separate societies in America, a black society catching hell, if you will pardon the expression, and a white society living in comparative affluence.
Now it does no good for nine black Congressmen to be trying to run around this country telling everybody that we are really trying to get together, that the Kerner commission report is being given any kind of fair understanding much less application, that the Walker riot commission report or the other commission reports on violence in this country, and all the other measures and records that indicate that black people are more unemployed, are more neglected by our Government, in greater numbers than whites. It is impossible for us to begin to tell them through this nomination that we are doing anything but losing the battle of persuading our colleagues in the Senate and in the House of Representatives that we can come together in this country, that we can resolve our differences, because you cannot put a man who had made these kinds of statements and others on the highest bench of the land with a prayer that maybe he will shape up.
I think that is an unfair imposition to ask of any American, be he black or white.
Senator KENNEDY. Last Friday the President said he hoped black Americans would judge him by his deeds, not by his words. What is your reaction to that statement in the context of the Carswell nomination ?
Mr. CONYERS. Well, of course we have been doing both, and I can't tell you which is more disappointing. I suppose the deeds are really more disappointing, because we all speak a certain amount of political rhetoric not to be fulfilled. I don't think black people are any more naive on that subject than any other part of our American citizenry.
But what is going on is that we are definitely moving away from the coming together that the President had originally made such a great emphasis about, and I deplore it, and I think that this nomination, like the Haynsworth nomination before it, leaves us shuddering every time a vacancy opens up on the Supreme Court. If this is the direction we are going, heaven help us when he gets a chance to name a third vacancy on the Supreme Court,
Senator BURDICK: Senator Hruska.
Senator TYDINGS. I only wish to apologize to the Congressman for keeping him waiting.
Mr. CONYERS. That is quite all right. I enjoyed what I heard.
Senator GRIFFIN. I would like to welcome to the committe my colleague from the Michigan delegation. I do not have any questions, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BURDICK. Senator Cook.
Mr. CoNYERS. Mr. chairman, excuse me, but may I include in my testimony the excerpts from the Carswell speech from which I quoted as part of my testimony at this hearing ?
Senator BURDICK. I think it is in the record but it will be included without objection.
(The material referred to is printed previously in this hearing.) Mr. CoNYERS. Thank you very much.
(The Chairman subsequently made the following letter a part of the record :)
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C., February 2, 1970. Hon. JAMES 0. EASTLAND, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, New Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR EASTLAND: As the legal and political background of Judge G. Harrold Carswell has been publicly scrutinized, it has become increasingly obvious that he h:us neither the legal credentials nor the jurisprudential qualifications to meet the exacting standards of excellence rightly demanded of Supreme Court nominees. At a time of great stress on all our democratic institutions of government, we cannot afford to choose a man of less than the highest legal qualifications with a demonstrable sensitivity to critical problems facing our society today. The man considered by the Senate this month will, if confirmed, have a profound effect on the direction of Supreme Court decision-making for years to come. We feel that Judge Carswell's mediocre legal background and public statements make it impossible for us to remain silent about his nomination.
Despite his propitious disclaimer of his 1948 statement in support of segregation, his actions since then, both on and off the bench, do not lend credibility to the repudiation.
In 1956 we find that while a U.S. attorney, he joined others in Tallahassee, Florida in incorporating a public golf course as a private club to escape the mandate of the Court he now seeks to join.
While a District Judge for the Northern District of Florida, three out of four civil rights cases decided by him were reversed.
In Steele vs. Leon County Board of Education, a school desegregation case, it took from 1965 to 1967, three years of delays and denials, to grant the relief sought.
In testimony before your Committee, Professor John Lowenthal of Rutgers University testified that Judge Carswell took unusual steps to block efforts of those seeking to help enroll black voters in Florida.
Only six months ago was he nominated to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. At that time the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights opposed his appointment on the ground that he had as a District Judge been preculiarly hostile to the civil rights of Negroes. An examination of the civil rights cases tried by Judge Carswell, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, from 1958 67 bears that testimony out.
The challenge of racism in a democratic society is the most fundamental challenge we face domestically. Both study and sad experience have affirmed that the division between black and white threatens the very fabric of our nation. If legal processes are not able to bring redress of grievances and equal opportunity to all citizens, then increasing conflict and violence will be an inevitable result. The Supreme Court has been a fundamental force in maintaining a belief in legal process as an agent of change. It is the Supreme Court which affords citizens ultimate redress of grievance and it is to the Court that many responsible citiens look for guidance.
To consent to the nomination of a man to that Court who has a record of regressive decisions in the most critical area of contemporary law and who in addition has a very mediocre background as a jurist, is an affront not only to blacks, but to all Americans.
Judge Carswell has never published in legal journals, has been a member of the Circuit Court only six months and even a previous supporter of Judge Haynsworth, Professor William Van Alstyne of Duke University Law School, does not believe that Judge Carswell is qualified to be appointed to the Court.
We urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to minutely scrutinize his qualifications, his judicial decisions, and his judicial temperament. On the basis of what has been made public of Judge Carswell's background and racial attitudes, we believe he does not meet the high standards for a Supreme Court Justice and we oppose his confirmation. We request that this letter be included in the record of the hearings. Sincerely,
JOHN CONYERS, Jr.
TESTIMONY OF STEPHEN I. SCHLOSSBERG, GENERAL COUNSEL,
INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE WORKERS Mr. SCHLOSSBERG. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, my name is Stephen I. Schlossberg and I have the honor to be the general counsel of the UAW with headquarters in the great State of Michigan. I am here to testify against confirmation of the nomination of Judge Carswell.
It might be useful to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the members of the committee, if I were to tell you something of my background.
Senator BURDICK. I believe all the witnesses have been sworn. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
Mr. SCHLOSSBERG. I do.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was born and raised in Roanoke, Va., a city not too far from the great city of Washington. I had the honor to go to the University of Virginia. I have an undergraduate degree from that school, and an LL.B from that law school. I am a member of the Order of Coif and I was a member of the Virginia Law Review and I belong to the Raven Society and Omega Delta Kappa in the University of Virginia.
I guess if some one had told me back when I lived in the city of Roanoke, Va. that in the short space of a few months I would twice be coming to the Senate Judiciary Committee to complain of the Presi. dent's choice of a nominee to the Supreme Court, I would have told them they were mad. It seems incredible to me that in this day and time,
in this age in which we live, that we are seeing the same sad and dreary thing all over again, only this time much worse. I say much worse because it seems to me that the President of the United States and the Attorney General have in effect said to the Senate, and through the Senate to the people of the United States, especially to the minority groups in the United States, you did it to me once and I am going to do it to
you This is an insult. This appointment is an insult in terms of professionalism and in terms of commitment to the Senate of the United States, to the people of the United States, to the Negroes of the United States and to the whites of the United States.
It is an insult to the white southeners that I grew up with in Roanoke, Va., and people like them throughout the whole South, because it is not necessary to be indecent and to be a bigot to have a political career in the South, and certainly it wasn't necessary in the 1940's.
I graduated from high school in Roanoke, Va. in 1938, and the leaders of the established community in Roanoke did not feel it necessary to use the kinds of words that Judge Carswell felt it necessary to use some years later, to swear allegiance to white supremacy. The very idea that a man who did that and who has lived a judicial and official career tied in with the U.S. Government that has not given the lie to those words, that that man now stands as the nominee before the U.S. Senate for the Supreme Court of the United States.
Predictably Judge Walsh and his blue ribbon panel have stamped their approval on this undistinguished nominee. This nominee. The only things I know he has written: I know he has written a segregationist speech 22 years ago, one of the worst I have ever heard. I know he has written some very pedestrian court opinions, because I have read them. I know he helped to write an application for a club, for a country club which would subvert the bill of rights of the U.S. Constitution. He has not written a law review article. He has not written a book. He may have written some checks. I know he wrote a loan application once in which he borrowed, he and his wife, some $48,000 on her $75,000 worth of stock in a plant called the Elberta Crate and Box Co., and I will get to that Elberta Crate and Box Co. in a moment.
This man, who graduated from the third best law school in Georgia, I believe there are four, has not grown. To read his opinions is not to read opinions by a scholar, by a jurist, or by one who loves the law and follows the law. It is to read the opinions of a pedestrian man, and a pedestrian man not only in his opinions but in his action on the bench that has shown itself undivorced from those racist sentiments expressed some 22 years ago.
The UAW does not oppose him because he is an antilabor judge. We are not that parochial in our opposition to judges. We believe that this union as other institutions in this great country of ours have an obligation to do something about the quality of life, and that means more than just rhetoric. When we stand as this country does at a crossroads between brotherhood and fratricide, it seems to me that when a man stands for confirmation by this great body, by the Senate of the United States, and his civil rights, his human rights record is not only questionable but tarnished, that man cannot be