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Whereas in most instances the said resolutions propose to permit the drastic curtailment, if not the complete destruction, of this right to free and open debate by no more than 33 Senators out of a total authorized Senate membership of 96 Members and in no instance by more than a simple majority of such total authorized Senate membership; and
Whereas in most instances the adoption of any of the changes proposed will place potentially tyrannical powers in the hands of a small minority of future Senate Members for whose prudence and patriotism no present Member of the Senate can now vouch: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That we, the Association of Citizens' Councils of South Carolina, do hereby appeal to the honorable members of this subcommittee to recommend that further consideration of these dangerous changes in Senate rule XXII be abandoned and that the said rule be permitted to remain unchanged; and be it further
Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be mailed to each Member of the United States Senate from the State of South Carolina.
Respectfully submitted this the 21st day of June 1957 by direction of the board of directors.
THE ASSOCIATION OF CITIZENS' COUNCILS
OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
CIRCUIT RIDERS, INC.,
Cincinnati, Ohio, July 10, 1957. Hon. HERMAN E. TALMADGE, Chairman, Senate Special Subcommittee,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. GENTLEMEN : It is a privilege to be recorded as advocating the continuance of the present and long-standing rule and practice in the United States Senate which permits free and unlimited debate.
In contrast with executives or officers of church-related organizations, who have created the impression they spoke for the individuals in their organizations, I announce that I speak as an individual who reflects the opinions of clergymen and laymen in the United States.
There is a mistaken impression that officers and executives of church and church-related organizations speak for millions of people. In the case of the Methodist Church, no officer can speak for the church.
It is important to the security of the United States as a sovereign power and of prime importance to the citizens of the United States that a Senator or group of Senators continue to be able to speak or debate without limitations beyond those already established by many years of custom and rules of long standing.
The men who founded the United States Government and established its structure were wise men. These Founding Fathers apparently believed they had devised a balanced legislative, executive, and judicial system of government which would always retain the identity, integrity, and independence of each of these three branches of government.
During the past two and present administrations there has been a shocking and alarming destruction of the effectiveness and value of the three-unit system of government made up of the legislative branch, the administrative branch, and the judiciary.
The executive branch of our Government, through the allocation and trading position of billions of dollars, political favors, prestige, and other bargaining positions, has emasculated and desecrated the function and performance of the legislative branch of the Government. It appears that an elected representative of the people in the Congress is more at the mercy of the executive branch of the Government than dependent upon his constituents.
Legislative aims and goals of the White House, by pressures upon the legislative branch of the Government through the direct efforts of the executive branch, seem to have been aided, and at times superseded, by decisions made by the Supreme Court, manned with individuals some of whom are not believed to possess either the legal training, knowledge, temperament, or other characteristics which would enable a jurist to reach decisions based upon law. It would appear that during the past 20 years decisions of the Supreme Court often fail to interpret the law. More often they seem to reflect the political, economic, and sociological beliefs or prejudices of individual judges, plus the habit or custom of reflecting the political, economic, and sociological viewpoints of the White House apparatus.
An important part of the formula which made the United States a great power for God and good, and which until now protected and preserved the rights of individuals and minorities, has been the inability of a numerical majority or a superior force in the Government to arbitrarily remove the rights of individuals or minorities.
It is imperative for the protection of all individuals and minorities (even those who now think they represent a majority position in the United States) to preserve the right and privilege of any Senator, or group of Senators, to speak or debate without limitations beyond those now incorporated in the rules and contained in the customs of the United States Senate.
It might be said that an individual Senator, or an occasional group of Senators, might sometimes capriciously take advantage of the practice of free and unlimited debate on the floor of the United States Senate. Those who are thus concerned, are requested to visualize whether or not an individual Senator, or a group of Senators, could successfully and continuously debate without limitation if the subject of their unlimited debate was shallow or meaningless. Such a fiasco would fall of its own weight, and the contsituents of the individual, or individuals, would correct that condition at the next election. A minor nuisance or annoyance such as this would be a historic speck compared with arbitrary or tyrannical pressures further directing, or forcing, the United States as we know it into the historic' garbage can.
M. G. LOWMAN.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LIBRARIES
COMMITTEE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT, INC.,
New York, 17, N. Y., July 9, 1957. Senator TH08. C. HENNINGS, Jr.,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. HONORABLE AND DEAR ŞIR: Herewith a corrected statement of Edward A. Rumely, regarding the proposed amendments to Senate rule XXII. The correction is in the final paragraph on page 1. The Senate judiciary report, one of the ablest public documents ever presented, was written by Senator Joseph O'Mahoney and was printed by the Senate committee in 10,000 copies, while the Committee for Constitutional Government printed and distributed an additional 200,000 copies.
Supreme Court decisions, and the dominant position of the executive branch because of huge spending under its control, have thrown new and greater responsibilities on Congress to assert its proper rule as "general manager" of the United States and to reestablish the balance between the three departments that the Constitution requires.
In this situation, the opportunity for adequate discussion without cloture is a valuable Senate right and a protection against precipitate action at a time when crowd emotions have been aroused.
Great issues persist and adequate discussion is basically important even if it involves postponement of decision over a longer period from one session of Congress to later sessions.
COMMITTEE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT, INC. STATEMENT OF EDWARD A. RUMELY, REGARDING PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO SENATE
RULE XXII My name is Edward A. Rumely. I am executive secretary of the Committee for Constitutional Government, 205 East 42d Street, New York City.
Had Senate rule XXII not been in effect in 1937, there is little doubt that the debate on the reorganization of the judiciary would have been ended by cloture long before the country could have been made aware of the danger to our form of government in the bill entitled "Reorganization of the Judiciary."
This bill would have empowered the President to appoint six new members to the Supreme Court and thus bring the judiciary branch of government under the control of the Presidency. The President at that time had been elected by the largest electoral vote in history. None ever had a greater majority of his own party in both Houses of Congress. The President stood at the peak of his power and he sought more.
Senator Borah told a group of opponents of this Court-packing bill, "There is no hope of defeating this proposal unless the people can be aroused. If this is not a people's fight, the fight is lost."
1 Garbage can of history.
Under the chairmanship of Frank E. Gannett, the Committee To Uphold Constitutional Government was to reach home folks and their leaders by mail, by radio, by radio transcriptions, by press releases, by telegram-every medium of communiciation. During the next 20 weeks, 10 million envelopes packed with arguments against the Court-packing plan were mailed. Every envelope went to a carefully chosen recipient.
This intensive campaign began February 6 and was continued without interruption and steadily broadened. Every piece of mail that went out carried a subscription blank. As rapidly as funds were available, the educational effort was extended ; 20,000 individuals sent in funds averaging $12.50 per person. But despite this, the issue was still undecided in June. At that time the opponents of the bill could definitely count on only 44 votes. There were 12 Senators in 11 States who had not yet made known their decision. James A. Farley, who was managing the President's bill, said, “We have this Court bill in the bag."
In the middle of June, the Senate Judiciary Committee released an adverse report, of which the Senate printed 10,000 copies and the Committee To Uphold Constitutional Government printed 200,000 for immediate distribution. This was one of the most effective statements. It called for a decisive defeat of the bill so that no future President might ever attempt to dominate the Supreme Court.
At that time, the showdown neared. The opponents of the amendments were sure of only 44 votes; 5 more, or 49 in all, were needed ; 12 Senators were believed to be wavering or still undecided.
Then the committee made its supreme effort. Out of its lists of hundreds of thousands were culled the names and addresses of 32,000 influential citizens in States represented by the 12 doubtful Senators. To each of these 32,000, at a cost of $1.27 per name, the committee sent a 125-word telegram explaining the situation. In part, it read:
“Your Senator (the recipient was given his name) in pivotal national position. With four others he can defeat Court altering bill, protect Nation and preserve democratic government in gravest constitutional crisis. Issue transcends party lines. You and your family can well pledge you will never forget his stand protecting courts from politicians' control.”
This was on a Thursday. When the 12 Senators reached their offices the next Monday morning they found floods of telegrams demanding that they vote against compromise on the Court bill. The next day, 8 of these Senators met in a colleague's office, and all but 2 expressed intention of voting to recommit the Court bill to the Judiciary Committee. That was 6 more votes, where 5 were neded, and it meant the legislative death of the Supreme Court plan.
Thus ended one of the most dramatically waged congressional battles in our history-as well as one of the most effective and intensive public mobilizations ever put forward during any legislative struggle.
But it had required a full 5-month period before the people of the country could be sufficintly informed to understand the destructive nature of the Courtpacking bill and to induce them to speak to their representatives in Congress, and particularly in the Senate. Even so, in the final count opponents had but 50 votes to recommit the bill.
Had cloture been possible, there is little doubt that it would have been invoked and debate cut off after a month or two of discussion. Thus rule XXII saved the independence of the Supreme Court.
I have checked my own judgment with that of Senators who participated in the fight. Senator Burton K. Wheeler was one of the leaders. He recently gave it as his judgment that had cloture been available, the fight to safeguard the Supreme Court could not have been won.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. PEDRO A. DEL VALLE, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
(RETIRED), PRESIDENT, DEFENDERS OF THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION, ON PROPOSED CHANGES IN RULE XXII
As president of the Defenders of the American Constitution, Inc., an organization dedicated to the preservation of the basic principles of the American Constitution, I hereby enter our determined objection to any changes in Senate rule XXII which have for their objective, facilitation of limit of debate.
Among these principles are found the sovereignty of the individual States which form the Union; and the God-given right of the people of these sovereign
States to defend themselves by every means available, against any invasion or encroachment by the Federal Government of this sovereignty. The most important single means of orderly, peaceful defense of these basic rights, guaranteed by the Constitution, is by means of their representatives in the Congress. The easements on rule XXII contemplated in Senate Resolutions 17, 21, 28, 29, and 32 have obvious, immediate, and very dangerous implications because they would deny a beleaguered minority the, right, by unlimited debate, to defend their sovereign rights against an unconstitutional assault by a misguided majority. The honorable gentlemen of this committee are respectfully requested to consider that this attempt to limit debate is a two-edged sword. It may cut right today and left tomorrow. It may be their ox that was gored today, and yours tomorrow.
That the majority can be in error is a fact proven by such historical blunders as the 16th amendment, the 18th amendment, the Federal Reserve Art, all of which are contrary to the basic principles of the Constitution, in which the powers of the Federal Government are spelled out, and in the 10th amendment wherein it is made clear that the powers not granted by the sovereign States to the Federal Government in forming the Union, are reserved to the States and to the people of the States. Any act of the Congress, or any amendment to the Constitution, which strays beyond the strict limits of the proven basic principles of the Constitution is bound, as George Washington warned us in his Farewell Address, to end disastrously. There is no need to remind the honorable gentlemen that they, even as I, have sworn an oath to defend and support the Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic.
Even now, we see the chaos induced by the highest Court in the land, in departing from those basic principles of which I speak, and in disregard of their oath to support the Constitution, upset the system it creates of checks and balances by invading the well-established prerogatives of the legislative branch. The Congress is astir with this violation of their constitutional rights. Would they submit without a struggle, or would they take every known constitutional means to protect their rights? Article III, section 2 of the Constitution reads as follows: "In all other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.”
This digression is justified because it is a case in point. Departure from the principles of the Constitution means the end of the Republic. The proponents of the changes in rule XXII may well be aiming at the ulterior purpose of forcing a minority to accept an invasion of their sovereignty, such as the pending civilrights bill indubitably is, by making it impossible for the minority to defend their sovereign rights by unlimited debate. I conclude, gentlemen, by repeating that this dangerous weapon you are forging here cuts both ways, and that its advocates today may easily be its victims tomorrow. Take warning from the tale of the Frankenstein monster.
I thank the committee for this opportunity to express the views of the Defenders of the American Constitution.
STATEMENT OF JOHN FRANK, PRESIDENT OF THE FRANKOMA POTTERY, SAPULPA, OKLA., PRESIDENT, TULSA MANUFACTURERS CLUB, TULSA, OKLA., ON PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO STANDING RULE XXII
Hon. HERMAN E. TALMADGE,
Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, Washington, D. C. Mr. Chairman and honorable Senators, it is a matter of real regret that I cannot present this statement in person. My business requires my constant attention, especially at this season of the year. Therefore, I am presenting this brief and humble statement in relationship to the issue at hand.
I claim no unusual wisdom, and I do not represent myself as a profound student. However, I am considered by my business associates and competitors as a typical independent manufacturer. It has been my honor to be recognized by national, regional, and State organizations interested in industry in general as well as the specialists in my own field.
I realize full well that this does not qualify me to speak with authority on the subject of constitutional law or parliamentary procedure, but I can at least speak as a citizen and taxpayer with what I believe to be a mature under
standing of the rich traditions of our constitutional Republic. I have spoken before over 500 educational, professional, and religious groups, both large and small.
As every Member of the United States Senate knows, the independent and small manufacturer is engaged in one of the most hazardous business enterprises known to our society. Competition is tense, keen, and permanent. It requires that we keep our mind on our business every minute of the day and every day of the year.
We cannot afford to retain special representatives in the Nation's Capital, and we do not have the time to journey to Washington ourselves except under rare and unusual circumstances. It is great consolation for me to know that if anything is brought before the Congress of the United States which might imperil my business, it cannot be rushed through as long as one man in the United States Senate understands the disastrous potentials contained in such proposed legislation.
The right of unlimited debate protects our citizenry from certain attempts which might be made to rush legislation through Congress in favor of some special interest. I say unlimited because some issues demand more time for thorough consideration than others.
To illustrate : Those of us who are engaged in the manufacture of porcelain, potteries, and other forms of ceramic merchandise are constantly facing the danger of being annihilated by foreign competition thriving on cheap labor. Five large China plants have closed their doors during the last 30 months in America mainly for this reason. As long as one man in the United States Senate is well informed concerning our problem, we can hope that unwise legislation, regardless of its sincerity, will not be passed until we have had time to alert our fellow manufacturers in every district and State in order that they in turn may concentrate on the enlightenment of their elected representatives concerning any ominous legislation which might be proposed regardless of how sincere the proposal may be. The right of unlimited debate in the United States Senate is the most logical method which could be imagined for protecting minorities.
Occasionally, our elected representatives forget that there are other minorities beside racial minorities in the United States. Businessmen are a minority. Small manufacturers are indeed in the minority, but as long as we have the magnificent formula of unlimited debate in the United States Senate, one Senator can slow down the legislative process if it becomes necessary to protect one isolated group against the potentials of hysteria, propaganda, corruption, and even sincere but misguided haste. I appeal to the Members of the United States Senate to do nothing to destroy the beautiful assurance which I have as an American citizens in knowing that one Senator or a little handful of Senators can save me from becoming the victim of legislation which might pass if deliberative processes intended by our Founding Fathers are not duly and properly respected.
I am indeed honored for the opportunity to present these humble remarks. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT H. GOLDSBOROUGH, BALTIMORE, MD.
The Constitution has provided for passage of bills in the Senate into law and proper discussion or unlimited debate has been established by these years of precedent and where it is true in a certain few instances a seemingly good piece of legislation has been talked into the ground, this procedure has provided ample protection for the less populated States to safeguard their constituents.
I am aware of the arguments put forth by those who wish to change Senate rule XXII by limiting debate in their statement that “after all that is enlightening has been said then debate should be shut off and a vote be taken,” however, the same advocates want a simple majority to close off debate which in the eyes of a smaller State affords them no protection whatsoever from vote trading of larger States to gain a purely sectional piece of legislation at the expense of the rest of the States. Also, if a simple majority was allowed to shut off debate the powerful States with plenty of trading would simply bide their time and when ready shut off debate by a simple majority. This, of course, in effect would be having law made by a simple vote.
For these reasons I respectfully request that Senate rule XXII be left unchanged.