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Alice M. Kelleher, secretary-treasurer, Louisiana Press Clipping Service, 1702
Valence Street, New Orleans, La.
Munger T. Ball, Sabine Towing Co., Inc., Post Office Drawer 1500, Port
Tex. Senator TALMADGE. The next witness is Mr. Ernest W. Goodrich, attorney from Surry, Va.
Pardon me, Mr. Goodrich. I am sorry, but Senator Saltonstall has been waiting very patiently, and we would like to take him next, because he is very, very busy.
Excuse me, Senator. I am sorry. I forgot you were waiting.
STATEMENT OF HON. LEVERETT SALTONSTALL, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETS
Senator SALTONSTALL. That is all right.
Mr. Chairman and Senator Javits, I shall be very brief, but I do want to speak on Senate Resolution 30 very briefly because I originally had intended to file such a resolution myself. When Senator Knowland and Senator Johnson determined to do it, I joined with their effort.
I have no prepared statement, but I would like to go into history for a minute or two.
Back about 1946, we had a long debate which concerned an amendment to the Chaplain's prayer, and we debated that amendment for 2 or 3 weeks, and then by agreement it was withdrawn. That was an amendment offered by the late Senator Hoey who was a very distinguished Senator and a great friend of mine.
As a result of that and discussion at that time, I determined that if we were going to have a cloture rule, it ought to be an effective rule.
So, on May 7, 1946, I filed a resolution, after consulting with Mr. Charles Watkins, the Senate Parliamentarian, to insert the words "major motion or other matter pending before the Senate or unfinished business.”
The phrase "or unfinished business” was the suggestion of the late Senator Taft.
That resolution, filed in 1946, was heard by the Rules Committee. At that time, I did not make any suggestion on changing the number of Senators voting required for closure of debate. I simply wanted to include a "motion to take up" as a proper subject of a cloture.
Since there was no action on that resolution, I filed another resolution on January 6, 1947, which added that cloture could be invoked by a majority of the Senators present and voting.
I want to say now that I do not approve of that provision at the present time. I certainly have changed my mind on that subject. I believe it should be two-thirds of those present and voting but not a majority or a constitutional majority.
Again on January 5, 1949, with Senators Knowland, Ferguson and Ives, I submitted a resolution.
Now that resolution was made over into a clean copy—the same words that we filed on January 5, 1949—was made over into a clean copy on February 17, 1949, which became Senate Resolution No. 15 and was filed by Senator Hayden, who was then the chairman of the Rules Committee, and Senator Wherry, who was the ranking minority member of the Rules Committee, and it was put on the calendar. It was debated on several occasions, and an amended version was adopted on March 17, 1949, as the rule of the Senate.
It is the present cloture rule of the Senate. Under this rule the Senate may invoke cloture on anymeasure, motion, or other matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished business, the amendments thereto, and motions affecting the same, It also requires a constitutional two-thirds of the Senate to invoke cloture and eliminates the possibility of cloture if there is a motion to change the rules.
The final form of the present rule was worked out on a Sunday morning with Senators Russell, Byrd and one other Senator on the Democratic side, and Senator Wherry, myself and one other Republican whom I do not now remember and was adopted by the Senate by a substantial vote shortly after that Sunday morning conference.
Again on May 22, 1950, I filed a resolve for myself, Senators Ferguson, Smith of New Jersey, Senator Knowland of California, Thye of Minnesota, Ives of New York, and Hendrickson of New Jersey.
That resolve would have restored the vote of two-thirds of those present and voting to invoke cloture. I think it would have made no other change.
I testified before this committee on that proposal, according to my records, I think, in October 1951. No action was taken on it.
You now have before you Senate Resolution 30 which proposes in substance three modifications: It would change the requirement of a constitutional two-thirds to two-third of the Senators present and voting. It would change the rules so that cloture could be invoked cn a motion to take up a resolution to change the rules. The existing exception of the application of rule VIII prohibiting debate on motions made before 2 o'clock to motions to proceed to consideration of proposals to change the rules is not affected.
Personally I think that that is fair. It resulted from a suggestion that I made, if I may respectfully say so, to the majority and the minority leaders, after consultation with Mr. Watkins, the parliamentary clerk.
Now the third point simply puts into writing what the majority of the Senate felt this year: that the rules of the Senate shall continue from one Congress to the next Congress unless they are changed as provided in these rules.
Personally I feel that this is appropriate. It merely puts into writing what has been the understanding since 1789, and I am in favor of putting it in simply to obviate future arguments such as we had at the opening of this session; also because I think it supports what is certainly my interpretation and what I believe I think to have been the general intention of the Constitution when it was drawn up in Philadelphia.
I think, Mr. Chairman, that that is all I have to say. I believe thoroughly in the principles of cloture after a full and free discussion. I say that because I believe that the Senate should be given an opportunity to vote. I am not in favor of a majority or a constitutional majority being permitted to invoke the cloture rule. I believe that minority rights should be protected. I believe that they are amply protected by the requirement of a vote of two-thirds of those present and voting to invoke cloture.
I think a constitutional two-thirds is too difficult and too extreme.
I believe that the rules of the Senate should be continuing rules. I also believe that a resolution to change the rules should not be permitted to be made pending business of the Senate without an opportunity to discuss whether it should be brought up.
That is the substance of my thinking on this situation. I have been testifying on it now for 11 years before distinguished Members of the Senate, and I am glad to appear before two such thoughtful, able Members of the Senate who may have slightly divergent views on this subject.
Senator TALMADGE. Any questions?
Senator Javits. Senator Saltonstall, it is a great honor to have you before us. You are properly considered not only dean of the Senate but an intellectual leader of the Senate. I don't have to agree with every one of your findings to evidence my deep respect and regard
I have only one question. I think you are a man of very great conscience, and this question is most serious to me and many others:
Do you feel that if your suggestions were adopted in substance this would represent a denial of the right to express the point of view of a Senator or of his State in the Senate of the United States ?
Senator SALTONSTALL. No, sir, I do not. I would not be here arguing for it and I would not have been arguing for it for the last 11 years if I believed that that were true.
Senator Javits. You believe their rights will be fully safeguarded and protected within the purpose and spirit of the Constitution if your recommendations are in substance adopted?
Senator SALTONSTALL. Yes, sir, I do; and as I have stated, I repeat I do not believe in cloture by majority vote as I proposed 10 or 11 years ago. My experience in the Senate since then has convinced me that two-thirds of those present and voting is more fair than a majority or, on the other side, of a constitutional two-thirds.
Senator Javits. Thank you very much, Senator.
Senator TALMADGE. Senator, we appreciate very much your very fine statement and it certainly was enlightening to me on some of the background of the Senate rules. I appreciate it very much.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Thank you very much.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LIBRARIES
STATEMENT OF ERNEST W. GOODRICH, DEFENDERS OF STATE
SOVEREIGNTY AND INDIVIDUAL LIBERTIES, SURRY, VA. Mr. GOODRICH. Mr. Chairman, Senator Javits, without being presumptious might I make one observation before I begin. The Senator from Massachusetts said he has changed his thinking some in 10 years from the majority to two-thirds.
I have read just a little bit of the hearings back in 1949. There were a number of Senators who were originally for cloture and as time went on they changed their views. I think perhaps the Senator's expression here bears that out.
My name is Ernest W. Goodrich, of Surry, Va. I am appearing for the Defenders of State Sovereignty and Individual Liberties upon an invitation from the Honorable Herman E. Talmadge.
I have been a member of the bar in Virginia since 1935 and am admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Supreme Court of the United States. From 1935 through 1939 I was associated with the United States Department of Labor here in Washington. Since 1940, I have been attorney for the Commonwealth for the county of Surry in Virginia, except for 4 years spent in the United States Navy during World War II doing labor relations work for the Bureau of Yards and Docks here in Washington.
At the outset, I should like to make crystal clear, gentlemen, the fact that the Defenders of State Sovereignty and Individual Liberties is not a rabble-rousing, hate-engendering organization, as some segments of the press have inferred. Over a large area of Virginia the finest people are members and active workers in this organization.
While the organization came into being following the Supreme Court's decisions in the segregation cases, it has from its inception concerned itself, as its name implies, with matters other than segregation and integration. We are dedicated to the preservation of our republican form of government, wherein the several sovereign States retain all functions of government not specifically delegated to the Federal Government.
It is because of this dedication that we oppose the present resolutions pending before your committee which are the subject of these hearings From our view, the present attempt to change the rules of the Senate to make it possible for less than two-thirds of the Senators to cut off debate is but another manifestation of the determination of certain elements in our society further to throttle and ultimately destroy our State governments.
While I am not familiar in detail with the resolutions which are the subject matter of this hearing, it is my understanding that the purpose of the resolutions is to change the cloture rule, making it possible to cut off debate in the Senate with less than a vote of two-thirds of the Sena
tors, and it is to this general idea of making it easier to apply cloture that I shall address my remarks.
While it is considered old-fashioned and out of keeping with the modern philosophy of government to refer back to our Founding Fathers, it seems to me that a great many people in Washington need to review the genesis of our Government. I think that we need to study again the formation of these United States of America.
Subsequent to the Declaration of Independence and prior to the adoption of the Federal Constitution, I do not believe that anyone would argue that the State governments were not completely sovereign in every sense of the word, answerable only to the people of the States in which always reposes final sovereignty.
The architects of the Constitution—and I might say with pardonable pride that my State contributed its full share-were zealous to retain within the several States every element of sovereignty consistent with a workable Federal system.
As you gentlemen well know, the great issue before the Framers of the Constitution was how to preserve this balance of power. Had Alexander Hamilton had his way, the States would have been destroyed, and I believe firmly that we would not have survived as a Nation.
The great strength of our Government is the division of power between the Federal and State governments and, within the Federal Government, between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The present philosophy which permeates the Supreme Court, the executive department, as well as the legislative branches, harkens back to the philosophy of Alexander Hamilton.
Realizing the necessity of safeguarding the powers of the individual States, our
Founding Fathers very wisely provided that in this august body, the United States Senate, each State, regardless of its size, territorially or populationwise, should have equal representation. Thus, the Senator from Delaware has as much voice in the deliberations of this body as does the Senator from New York.
I have not studied the history of the cloture rule, but certain it is that no rule of the Senate affords greater protection to the several States of this Nation than does this rule.
While much of the encroachment on the sovereignty of the several States has come about as a result of the grasping for power by the executive departments of the Federal Government and by judicial legislation by the Supreme Court, it is sad but true that the elected representatives of the people in the Congress of the United States have also constantly, through legislation, extended the powers of the Federal Government. While the United States Senate has played its part in this unfortunate movement, it has, at the same time, served as a bulwark against wholesale extension of Federal control.
Except in isolated cases of filibusters against legislation of minor significance, I believe that the record will show that the recurrent attempts to apply cloture have come when there was before the Senate legislation affecting the basic fabric of our Government. Certain it is, the current interest in changing the rule is because of the insistent demand of minority groups that the so-called civil rights legislation be enacted. It is somewhat ironical that the minority groups interested in the civil-rights legislation are willing to sacrifice one of their greatest protections, that of unlimited debate in the Senate, in order to insure