Nine Men Against America - Rosalie Gordon

The Last Bastion is Stormed

In the years following the segregation decision—and particularly in the last year or two—the Warren Supreme Court struck down practically every bulwark we have raised against the communist conspiracy in America. In doing so, it continued to wipe out state lines and actually to leave the sovereign states helpless in the face of subversion. The examples given at the beginning of this book are only a few of the many decisions that have fallen from this revolutionary tribunal like manna for all those who would wreck our form of government.

The shape of things to come was indicated in 1955, when the Warren Court decided a case involving Dr. John P. Peters. Dr. Peters had a long pro-communist record. He also had a government job. When a question arose as to his loyalty to the government—and to the American taxpayers who were paying his salary—a loyalty board in the department in which he worked looked him over and decided he was all right. But his case had to go for final decision to a loyalty review board. It apparently made a much more thorough investigation of Dr. Peters, decided he was a loyalty risk—and ordered him out of his government job.

Dr. Peters (who has since died) took the case to the Supreme Court. It cleared him by declaring that the loyalty review board had no right to reverse the findings of a lower board—on what grounds nobody has been able to figure out clearly. Presumably only the Supreme Court can indulge in the reversal of findings as it suits the members' own peculiar conception of what is loyalty and what is not. The decision (Peters v. Hobby) was written—or at least delivered—by Chief Justice Warren, with Justices Black, Frankfurter, Minton, Clark, and Harlan concurring. Only Justices Reed and Burton dissented.

A year later, in the spring of 1956, the Warren Court struck a crippling blow (Pennsylvania v. Nelson) to the power of the sovereign American states to protect themselves against sedition. In so doing, it also continued to dip its busy fingers into the affairs of the states in direct contravention of the Constitution of the United States. Steve Nelson was an admitted leader of the Communist Party. He was considered by some as perhaps the most dangerous communist official in the country. The State of Pennsylvania had an anti-sedition law and in 1952 it convicted Nelson under that law and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

Once again, President Eisenhower's Chief Justice, Earl Warren, was on tap to protect the "rights" of the leftists and communists. He issued a decision which literally wiped out the anti-sedition laws of forty-two state—and freed Steve Nelson from the Pennsylvania conviction. The Chief Justice did this on the fantastic grounds that a federal law covered sedition and that therefore the state laws were null and void. He so held despite the fact that Congress, in passing the federal law, had no intention whatever of interfering with the state laws. Just how fantastic were these grounds for wiping out the states' protection against sedition, we will see in a moment when we come to that federal law which Chief Justice Warren said gave the states all the protection they needed. In freeing Steve Nelson, Warren had the concurrence of all his colleagues save Justices Reed, Burton, and Minton.

This decision had some strange repercussions, which may well lead us to ask if the real "reasoning" behind it did not perhaps hark back to the Court's action in the school segregation cases. The question comes to mind because of some facts revealed by the Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security (Hearings, October 28-29, 1957)—facts which were reported in few, if any, Northern newspapers.

State law-enforcement officers in Kentucky were extremely troubled about increasing communist activity in their state, particularly around Louisville. It seemed to head up in a man named Braden. Whether he was an actual communist or not had not been proved. But, in any case, he and his wife bought a house in a suburb of Louisville in a neighborhood where only white families live. A day or two later, they transferred the house to a colored family. Whether the colored family were communists or just innocent dupes is not indicated. But before they moved into the house, they asked for police protection. The local police refused, on the ground that nothing had been brought to their attention to indicate there would be any trouble. It later transpired that the house was a virtual arsenal, loaded with power rifles, shotguns, and pistols.

Shortly thereafter, a white man with a communist record turned up at the house. He said he had come to "guard" it. A portable radio was placed under the house and a little after midnight one night the house was blown up. The state and local authorities had two theories to go on. One, of course, was that the white people in the neighborhood wanted to chase the colored family out. The other was that the whole thing had been communist-planned and inspired. Every one of the white neighbors submitted readily to questioning by the police and other state authorities, and every one of them voluntarily took a lie-detector test. They all passed it with flying colors. But when the authorities questioned the "guard" and other suspected communists, they took the Fifth Amendment—refusing to answer on the ground that their answers might incriminate them. They called the investigation of the blowing up of the house a "witch hunt." They refused to take lie-detector tests.

The authorities placed what evidence they had before a grand jury, which investigated further. It then brought in an indictment against Braden and five others for criminal sedition. The grand jury acted under the Kentucky sedition law which was almost as old as the State of Kentucky itself and the legality of which had never before been questioned. Braden was tried in the courts of Kentucky, found guilty as charged, and sentenced to ten years in prison and a five-thousand-dollar fine. The indictments against the other five were pending when the Supreme Court, speaking through Chief Justice Warren, issued its decision in the Nelson case, in which it wiped out all the state laws against sedition.

The State of Kentucky then was forced to free Carl Braden, who had been convicted of sedition by a jury of his peers, and it had to drop the indictments against his five cohorts.

One week after issuing the Nelson decision, the Supreme Court came up with another one on April 9, 1956. It is known as the Slochower case, and by its decision in this case the Court took away from the states and cities the right to fire a teacher in tax-supported schools who refuses to reveal his communist connections. You pay the taxes. You send your youngsters to the schools these taxes build and support. You also pay the teachers. You expect them to teach to your children, besides all the other things they must learn, the fundamentals of American government and life. But the Supreme Court of the United States says you have no right to fire a teacher—whom you pay—when he refuses to reveal his connection with a conspiracy that hates and despises every inherent principle of Americanism.

Harry Slochower was a teacher in Brooklyn College—a free, tax-supported institution in one of the boroughs of New York City. The City has had a law on its books since 1938 which requires that any teacher in its public schools or colleges who is called before an investigating committee and hides behind the Fifth Amendment in order to conceal his communist connections is automatically fired. That is what happened in the case of Slochower. He was called before an investigating committee, asked about his extensive pro-communist record, and, in answer to each question on this score, hid behind the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer. The Board of Higher Education, which administers Brooklyn College for the City of New York, fired him. But the Supreme Court, speaking this time through Justice Tom Clark, ordered the Board of Higher Education to reinstate Slochower in his job and give him $40,000 in back pay.

Justice Clark had the concurrence of Chief Justice Warren and Justices Frankfurter, Black, and Douglas. In this case, there were four dissents—by Justices Reed, Burton, and Minton, the three who had also dissented in the Nelson case, and by Justice Harlan.

But Justice Harlan didn't stay off the reservation for long. One month later he was back in the camp of his "liberal" colleagues with a decision (Cole v. Young) that has broken down the government's own security program. Justice Harlan and his colleagues—with the exception of Justices Reed, Clark, and Minton—evidently "reasoned" that to hold a government job is some sort of inherent "right" on which every left-wing troublemaker has a claim. The rights of all other Americans, without whose sufferance—and taxes—there would be no government jobs, did not seem to concern Justices Harlan, Black, Douglas, Frankfurter, Warren, and Burton. The taxpayers, to the justices' way of thinking, have no right to demand that the employees they hire to run the government should not jeopardize the security of that government.

The justices, of course, could not declare boldly that it is all right to keep a communist or a drunkard, let us say, in the secret laboratory of the Atomic Energy Commission. So they did the next best thing. Speaking through Justice Harlan, they said that security risks employed by government bureaus—and paid by American taxpayers—could not be dismissed unless they were in so-called "sensitive" positions. It seems not to have occurred to the justices that a government position of any type is a position of trust and that any government's existence is jeopardized which cannot trust its own employees—no matter what position they hold. This decision has resulted in the restoration to their jobs in the government service of at least 300 security risks!

But Justice Harlan did not let the matter rest here. A year after this decision, he wrote still another (Service v. Dulles), involving the dismissal from the State Department of a man named John Stewart Service. Service was one of that group of State Department employees, which also included in the top echelon Dean Acheson and General George Marshall, who were knowingly or unknowingly doing the bidding of the communist-dominated Institute of Pacific Relations in delivering China into the hands of the communists. But Service's record proved too much even for Dean Acheson and he finally felt called upon to drop Service from the State Department.

Service had been mixed up in the very smelly Amerasia case, which came up in 1945, while we were still at war. Amerasia was a magazine set up by the IPR and edited by a communist, Philip Jaffe. The FBI found in its offices 1,700 secret government documents—one of them, for instance, dealing with something called "A-bomb" and marked "top secret." Amerasia and its editor, Jaffe, came into possession of these documents from a number of sources. But the FBI discovered John Stewart Service visiting Jaffe's hotel room and turning over to him State Department documents which he warned Jaffe were secret. Service later admitted he had made copies of documents which came into his hands during the course of his State Department work and turned these copies over to Jaffe.

All this meant nothing to Justice Harlan. He ordered John Stewart Service restored to a job in the State Department and, at this writing, there he is—at a nice increase in pay. The decision of the Supreme Court in this case—on June 17, 1957—was 8 to 0. Justice Clark took no part because he had been in the Attorney-General's office when the Amerasia case arose.

Hardly a week went by during the spring 1957 session of the Warren Supreme Court that a new crack was not hammered into the wall we had raised against the communist conspiracy. Through those cracks the communist termites are now happily swarming. In January the Court ordered a new trial for Ben Gold, a labor leader who had been convicted of perjury because he lied when he took the non-communist oath required by the Taft-Hartley Act. While Gold was being tried, the FBI contacted several members of the jury on another and entirely unrelated case. The FBI agents were not even aware that the jurors were sitting in the Gold case. But the Court, always solicitous for the rights of communists, said this was an "official intrusion into the privacy of the jury" and ordered a new trial. The government threw up its hands in disgust and dropped the case against Gold.

Then, in May, the Court arrogated to itself the functions of a State Bar Examining Board to say who could and could not practice law before the state courts. A man named Konigsberg applied for a license to practice law in California. He came up before the State Bar Examining Board. The Board must certify that an applicant is a person of good moral character before he can be admitted to practice. The California Committee on Un-American Activities in 1949 listed Konigsberg among "notorious Stalinists who have consistently followed the twists and turns of the Stalinist line." When he was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities he hid behind the Fifth Amendment when asked about his communist connections. The California Bar Examining Board, in the face of this record, asked him a simple question: "Are you a communist?" He wouldn't give a direct answer, but went into a spiel about "nameless informers." One such was a woman—who did not hesitate to give her name—who, in Konigsberg's presence, testified that she knew him to be a communist. He was asked if he cared to deny her statement. He twisted and turned and dodged answering. The State Bar Examining Board refused to grant him permission to practice law before the California courts. Not so, the Supreme Court of the United States. Speaking through Justice Black (Konigsberg v. State Bar), it ordered the sovereign State of California to admit him to its bar. Justice Black actually said the California Board could not draw inferences of doubtful "character and loyalty" because a man won't say whether he belongs to the Communist Party! Thus the Court seized from California and every other state in the Union the right to say that the members of the communist conspiracy, who hate all American law, shall not be permitted to practice it before their courts. It's that same law, incidentally, that the justices of the Supreme Court take a sworn oath to uphold.

The Court topped off these decisions with one (Sentner v. Barton) canceling the deportation of a communist because "the Justice Department lacks authority to ban communist activity by an alien who has been under a deportation order for six months"—despite the fact that an act of Congress (the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act) conferred that authority. Fast on the heels of this came Justice Brennan's decision opening the FBI files to all and sundry.