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William A. Ketcham :
Mr. Ketcham :
You have said that the matter of Judge Landis' action is pending before a Committee of Congress. My question is what authority you have for that statement?
Mr. Lewis :
Then I want to say to this assemblage that I wrote, as an individual, to protest to the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, and he replied to me that the matter had been before the Sixty-Sixth Congress, and they had declined to take any action upon it, and that there was nothing before the Sixty-Seventh Congress on the subject at all.
Therefore, I desire to say that the suggestion of the distinguished Senator from Illinois, that we should side track this resolution--because somebody else is investigating the matteris baseless, because Congress is not investigating the matter. This Association has a right to express its opinion upon the disgraceful conduct of any judge.
The Chairman :
Was the suggestion of Senator Lewis seconded that this resolution be referred to an appropriate committee?
Edward Q. Keasbey, of New Jersey:
The pending question is: Shall the resolution offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania be referred, under the motion made by Senator Lewis, to the appropriate committee for its consideration and report back to this Association ?
Mr. Lewis :
The Chairman :
If the gentleman from Indiana can state of his own knowledge that there is not pending before a Committee of Congress the matter to which we have alluded, of course, I gladly accept his word for it, but the fact is, as the eminent gentleman from Indiana now tells us, that his information was contained in a letter from a member of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. Now, that in no wise states that the matter may not be brought before the Sixty-Seventh Congress, and on this resolution the hearing would be much prejudiced. This we ought to avuid.
Walter George Smith, of Philadelphia, Pa.:
It seems to me that the question before us is: Is it or is it not established that the Federal Judge, whose conduct is the subject of the resolution introduced by the distinguished gentleman from Philadelphia, has accepted outside employment at large compensation ? Are the statements made by the mover of the resolution based upon facts, or are they merely based upon surmise, on unestablished accusations? If the charge is not based upon facts, then, of course, the Federal Judge should be given an opportunity to be heard. Most of us have no information on the subject, excepting that which we have derived from public prints. But I venture to say that if any one of us was accused by the newspaper press throughout the length and breadth of the land, we would be quick to deny an accusation so broad.
The Judge himself has said, according to newspaper reports that he has accepted a salary as counsel for the baseball clubs. Assume, for the purposes of this discussion, that the Judge is as pure as possible, assume that it is under an entirely mistaken idea of ethics that he has accepted this employment, then what is the sentiment of the American Bar? Unless the distinguished gentleman from Illinois, who with the chivalrous purpose which always distinguishes him, can say to us that this accusation is
not true, that this Judge has not accepted this outside employment, that he has not stated to the newspapers that he would receive pay for this work, then I, for one, am ready to vote on this resolution without any reference of it to any committee.
R. D. Robinson, of Illinois:
I come from Illinois, as well as the eminent gentleman, ex-Senator Lewis, and I say to this audience that if a judge has violated the ethics of the profession, he ought to be punished for it. Judge Landis would send a man to jail for 90 days without any consideration or the benefit of clergy if he appeared before him and violated the ethics of the profession. Ex-Senator Lewis knows that as well as I do. Gentlemen of the American Bar Association, I say to you that the people of the State of Illinois do not care to stand for this kind of business on the part of the Judge. We do not tolerate that kind of conduct.
John M. Harlan, of Illinois :
Perhaps unconsciously to itself the American Bar Association is on trial. There is no doubt whatever as to the fact that Judge Landis is the National Commissioner of the Baseball Associations. There is no doubt of the fact that he is being paid a substantial remuneration for his services. There may be a doubt as to the amount of his compensation. For example, I recall that when his employment in that capacity was first announced the press stated that he was to receive $50,000 a year. And the Judge himself, if he was correctly reported in the papers, responded that in justice to the situation he must credit upon the $50,000 the $7500 that he received from the federal government. If correctly reported, the distinguished judge accepted as a reasonable appraisement of the value of his time and services in a judicial capacity, whether exercising the judicial rôle as a national baseball commissioner or sitting in court, the sum of $50,000 and since the government was paying him $7500, he said he ought in reason to credit that sum upon the $50,000.
Now, I wish to say right here and now that the American Bar Association, if we are to have any esprit de corps as an association, if professional honor and dignity means anything, ought to tell the American public whether we countenance such an act.
If we have not the courage to tell the American public what we think upon that proposition, without side-stepping and without postponing, let us put it in the shape of a recital and file a caveat with our resolution.
Edward Q. Keasbey, of New Jersey:
Is it the fact that Judge Landis has taken $42,500 a year as a baseball commissioner, or has he taken that sum of money for compensation for legal services? We have a rule in this Association that no such resolution as this shall be sprung upon the Association without an examination as to the facts contained in it, or a reference of it to a committee.
The Chairman :
As many as favor the motion to refer the resolution that has been offered to an appropriate committee with instructions to investigate and report back will say aye, opposed, no. The noes seem to have it, the noes have it, and the motion is lost.
The question now recurs upon the original resolution. Are you ready for the question ? As
many as are in favor of the resolution will say aye; opposed, no. The ayes seem to have it, the ayes have it, and the original resolution is adopted. Mr. Ketcham:
I move that the President and the Secretary of this Association, under the hand and seal of the Association, send a copy of this resolution to the Vice-President of the United States and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives. I want Congress to have official notice of the action that this Association has taken.
The motion was variously seconded and carried.
Committee on Admiralty and Maritime Law:
Mr. Chairman, our report is in print, and I think every member of the Association has had an opportunity to look it over. I simply will present the report and move its acceptance.
The motion was carried.
(For Report, see Appendir, page 397.)
Committee on Noteworthy Changes in Statute Law:
The Chairman of that committee, Mr. Thomas I. Parkinson, is not present, and therefore the report of the committee will be passed. The committee has printed its preliminary report.
(For Report, see Appendix, page 398.)
Committee on Drafting of Legislation:
The Special Committee on Drafting of Legislation was first appointed in 1912. We have had two duties to perform. The first duty was to promote in connection with the legislatures of the different states and the Congress the organization of legislative drafting bureaus or corps of special draftsmen. Members of the committee devoted considerable labor to this end. We are glad to say that it is now generally recognized that legislative bodies should have expert drafting assistance. In Congress and in a large number of states such assistance is furnished.
I cannot say that the work of our committee during these years was the sole cause of the rapid progress of the movement to provide expert drafting assistance to legislative bodies, but I think I can say to you that the work of your committee and the the support given us by the Association has been an important factor in the steady growth of the movement during the past decade.
The second and far more onerous work imposed on your committee was the preparation of a legislative drafting manual. During the past six years different parts of that work have been submitted by the Committee to the Association. This year in the appendix to our report we submit an important part of the work. While the matter submitted this year and during previous years is not a complete legislative drafting manual, all the members of the coinmittee are convinced that we have completed all that it would be wise for the Association at this time to attempt. We therefore desire to be discharged. Before moving the resolution as Chairman of the Committee I desire to place upon record the fact that whatever value—and I believe there is decided per