Article II of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the President to appoint Supreme Court Justices “with the advice and consent of the Senate.” Unfortunately, the Senate has not always done its duty in this regard.
For example, when President Franklin Roosevelt nominated Hugo Black of Alabama, the Senate failed to inquire into well-founded rumors of his Ku Klux Klan membership. After Black was sworn in as Supreme Court Justice, he admitted that he had been a card-carrying, dues-paying member of the Klan and had been issued a life member ship card.
Likewise, when President Eisenhower nominated Earl Warren to the Supreme Court, the Senate failed to investigate Warren’s major role in the greatest violation of civil liberties in American his tory. When Warren was Attorney General of California, he participated in the imprisonment in concentration camps of 100,000 American citizens of Japanese descent, without a trial and without any proof that they were guilty of anything. President Eisenhower later told friends that the Warren appointment was the greatest mistake he ever made.
President Ford’s appointee to fill the Douglas vacancy should be asked fundamental questions about the major moral and constitutional issues that have come before the Court in recent years. For example, what is his position on the alleged right of a woman to kill her unborn baby? What is his position on the decisions that knock out state laws forbidding Communists to teach in public schools?
What is his position on the Supreme Court decision that, after nearly two centuries, it has suddenly become unconstitutional to have a voluntary prayer in public schools or released-time religious classes? Does he approve the newly-invented Supreme Court doctrine that states may aid religious colleges but not religious grade schools and religious high schools?
What is his position on the Court decisions that prevented enforcement of the Subversive Activities Control Act against Communists, but make it mandatory to issue passports to Communists? Would he vote to affirm or reverse the recent Supreme Court decision that the First Amendment prevents prosecution of those using obscene speech or carrying obscene signs in public places?
Does he agree with the Supreme Court mandate that children must be bused across town away from their neighborhood schools in order to satisfy racial quotas arbitrarily decreed by the bureaucrats? Does he agree with the Supreme Court decision invalidating capital punishment?
The public has even more right to know the views of Supreme Court candidates than of Presidential and Congressional candidates, be cause Supreme Court Justices will be in office for life. The American people have a right to have a new Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court who will try to undo some of the damage done to the fabric of our Constitution by Justice William Douglas over the last 36 years.