The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 19, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy, 59, had died at 7:45 a.m. this date in Detroit of a coronary occlusion. He had been in the hospital for several days but there had been no indication of a serious illness. Justice Murphy was appointed to the Court in 1940 by FDR from his position as Attorney General and had served one term as Governor of Michigan and as Governor of the Philippines prior to that time.

As Governor of Michigan, he had refused to use force to break up a sit-down strike of the auto industry and was accused at the time therefore of being a "tool of Communists". He told the people of Michigan that if they wanted a Governor who would shoot the strikers, they would need to find someone else, as he refused to write "a lesson in blood". For his restraint, he drew the admiration of President Roosevelt. Defeated for re-election, he later said that he believed sit-down strikes were wrong. He had also been Mayor of Detroit.

Justice Murphy was not married but, according to friends, was preparing to give an engagement ring to a woman he had been dating. Her family initially denied that there were wedding plans, but his fiancee confirmed the existence of the plans a few days later.

A Catholic, he was considered a deeply religious man. By tradition, the spot on the bench went to a Catholic.

Among the listed prospects for his replacement on the Court was Attorney General Tom Clark, a Presbyterian, who would be nominated shortly by the President as his third appointment, the other two having been Justice Harold Burton for retiring Owen Roberts in October, 1945 and Chief Justice Fred Vinson for Harlan Stone who died in April, 1946. President Truman would appoint one more Justice, former Senator and then Court of Appeals Judge Sherman Minton, later in 1949, following the death in September of Justice Wiley Rutledge. Justice Minton was Catholic.

On the Court, Justice Murphy was regarded as a solid liberal. His last majority opinion, delivered June 27, was Christoffel v. U.S., and one of his two last dissents, of the same date, was in Wolf v. Colorado, 338 US 25, at 41, a Fourth Amendment search and seizure case in which the majority held that the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process clause did not make the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule applicable to state cases per the 1914 Weeks decision which held that in Federal cases, evidence collected in violation of the Fourth Amendment had to be excluded from evidence. Justice Murphy, joined by Justice Rutledge, and with whom Justice William O. Douglas in his short, separate dissent agreed, dissented on the ground that the only practicable sanction for violation of the Fourth Amendment was the application of the Weeks exclusionary rule to the states via the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. At the time, as stated in the majority opinion, 30 states had rejected the Weeks doctrine and only 17 had adhered to it to apply the exclusionary rule.

Wolf was expressly overruled in this regard, however, in 1961, in Mapp v. Ohio, 367 US 643, a decision delivered by Justice Tom Clark, holding that the exclusionary rule is mandated by Due Process to apply to the states when a search and seizure is deemed to violate the Fourth Amendment. Justice Murphy's last dissenting opinion twelve years later thus became the majority rule, well ingrained in the law since 1961. It is not, for those foolish "law and order" advocates, a mere "technicality" to protect the guilty that they might escape conviction of a crime for the fact of suppression of evidence. In Federal cases, it has been around since 1914 and is the only way to protect the citizenry against unwarranted intrusions to their persons, homes and effects by police officers going beyond the scope of a warrant, engaging in a warrantless intrusion without probable cause for the search, or as a search outside the allowable scope incident to a lawful arrest, that is of the person or of objects within his or her immediate reach, deemed necessary for the safety of the officer, or as a basic inventory search.

The 5 to 4 majority in Mapp—with Justice Potter Stewart agreeing with the reversal but agreeing also with that part of the dissent of Justice John Harlan, joined by Justices Felix Frankfurter and Charles Whittaker, which found that the Court exceeded judicial restraint in overruling Wolf—, concluded:

"The ignoble shortcut to conviction left open to the State tends to destroy the entire system of constitutional restraints on which the liberties of the people rest. Having once recognized that the right to privacy embodied in the Fourth Amendment is enforceable against the States, and that the right to be secure against rude invasions of privacy by state officers is, therefore, constitutional in origin, we can no longer permit that right to remain an empty promise. Because it is enforceable in the same manner and to like effect as other basic rights secured by the Due Process Clause, we can no longer permit it to be revocable at the whim of any police officer who, in the name of law enforcement itself, chooses to suspend its enjoyment. Our decision, founded on reason and truth, gives to the individual no more than that which the Constitution guarantees him, to the police officer no less than that to which honest law enforcement is entitled, and, to the courts, that judicial integrity so necessary in the true administration of justice."

In 1984, in U.S. v. Leon, 468 US 897, the Court, in a 6 to 3 decision delivered by Justice Byron White, with Justices William Brennan, Thurgood Marshall and John Paul Stevens dissenting, carved an exception to the exclusionary rule when police officers objectively and reasonably rely in "good faith" on a facially valid search warrant issued by a judicial officer but lacking probable cause in fact in the affidavits on which the search warrant was based. That "good faith" doctrine has since been applied to other contexts by the Supreme Court, in 2006 in Hudson v. Michigan, 547 US 586, a 5 to 4 decision delivered by Justice Antonin Scalia, involving violation of the "knock-and-announce" rule by not waiting a sufficient amount of time before forced entry, and in 2009 in Herring v. U.S., 555 US 135, also a 5 to 4 decision delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts, involving a search incident to execution of an arrest warrant which, unknown to the officers, had been recalled months earlier, as well as other contexts among the Circuit Courts of Appeal. This gradual expansion of the good faith exception has been greatly criticized as gradually eroding thereby the exclusionary rule and with it, Fourth Amendment protections, for the sake of obtaining convictions in "tough cases", which, as the old axiom in the law goes, always make bad law.

Thus, to bring matters right up to date, with a vacancy on the Court open right now, disgracefully, because of the unprecedented recalcitrance of the Republican Senate in refusing, in obfuscation from the people of his merits, even to hold hearings on Judge Merrick Garland, you might ask yourself, if you are still on the fence, down at the border, whether you stand with President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton in support of the Fourth Amendment and the exclusionary rule or whether you stand with some turkey off a reality show with no legal or political experience who wants to appoint judges off reality shows, who, more than likely, would erode further not only your Fourth Amendment rights but every other fundamental Constitutional right you have. Think about it long and hard. There is far more to your Constitutional rights than the Second Amendment, and no one on the present Supreme Court appears in favor of eroding existing gun control laws in any event which do not act as absolute bans on possession in the home of otherwise legal firearms. Do you really know what the guy with the wild orange hair would do in any phase of his governance of this country should he be elected?

If you do, you know more than we do, for sure. You must be exceedingly brilliant, for all we have heard is a series of bizarre pronouncements to achieve crowd approval, positions from which he then regularly retreats when backed into a corner on their Constitutionality or practicality of achievement, nothing regarding substantive policy and the means, in detail, by which he would, pursuant to the Constitution and existing laws, about which he obviously knows nothing, actually have that policy translated into legislation. He deserves far more scrutiny in this regard than any other major party nominee in U.S. history for the fact that he is the first such nominee not to have served in a major position in government, either at least as a governor of a state or a Cabinet official, or as a leading general of the United States Army in time of war. He is precisely the sort of ill-prepared demagogue whom the Founders sought, as much as they could, to exclude from the possibility of ever becoming President.

The notion that an "outsider" can best protect your interests, can best protect you from "the Government", is nonsensical and paradoxical in the premises, becoming of only an uninformed child's logic in any event, as once you elect someone President, that person is the chief executive officer of the Government and sworn by law to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States, thus can never again be an "outsider" without being subject to impeachment. If you want an "outsider" with plenty of panache, why not vote for Vladimir Putin as your next President?

What on earth can a billionaire, who received from his wealthy father his first million dollars while in college, skilled in one thing, salesmanship, know, even from childhood memory, of the average person's plight and needs in this country?

The leading foes of the Atlantic Pact, Senators Taft, Kenneth Wherry, and Arthur Watkins, were seeking to write into the treaty a last-minute provision which would expressly state that there was no commitment to provide arms or military aid to the other members. Senators Irving Ives and John Foster Dulles, both of New York, relayed a message from former Secretary of State under President Hoover and Secretary of War under FDR, Henry Stimson, that he believed it important to keep any reservations out of the treaty as it would breed fear in the other NATO members.

In Guatemala City, armored troops were reported to be battling for the national palace as confusion and violence gripped the country after the murder of the Army chief of staff, Col. Francisco Aranha. There had been no casualty reports from the violence. The supporters of Col. Aranha were believed to be attacking the palace. The Government said that the situation was under control.

Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson said that no other generals faced suspension despite Maj. General Harry Vaughan, the President's military aide, having reportedly been linked to the Army procurement scandal which resulted in the suspensions of two generals the previous week by Army Secretary Gordon Gray.

Prior to Senate and House adjournment after the death of Justice Murphy, the agriculture bill embodying the Brannan plan was largely scrapped in both houses. In the House, the opposition was led by Representative Albert Gore of Tennessee, who sought passage of a substitute bill which would continue the old parity program. Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan had proposed a program whereby overproduced perishable produce would be sold at market price to aid consumers while farmers would be subsidized by the Government on the basis of a formula to determine a fair price. Non-perishable produce would continue under the parity program.

The Senate-House Atomic Energy Committee would meet the following day to discuss U.S. relations with Britain and Canada on atomic energy, the apparent subject of the secret meeting with the President the previous Thursday night. The principal problem was reported to be the British view that it should be provided all American secrets on the atomic bomb. But a majority of the Committee was said to be opposed to that position.

Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin told Commons that the American welfare state for the farmers had produced high prices for agricultural products which had drained dollars from the British reserve, in turn causing the strain on the British economy. His remarks were in response to Conservative leader Winston Churchill's remarks blaming the social welfare programs of the Labor Government for the crisis and saying that U.S. dollars should not be utilized to make up for the deficits caused by such Government financing of social programs.

In Chicago, 15,000 Shriners paraded down Michigan Avenue to Soldier Field where a crowd of 100,000 were expected to turn out to hear a speech by the President, a Shriner.

Governor Kerr Scott of North Carolina said that he was preparing to cut all of the "dead wood" from State boards and commissions. His anti-petty graft program was also spreading among the departments.

The North Carolina Veterans Administration hospital for neuropsychiatric patients was to be located in Salisbury, disappointing Charlotte which was among a half dozen cities in the state competing for it.

On the editorial page, "Industrial Czar" tells of the United Mine Workers Journal justifying the three-day work week called by John L. Lewis and accepted by the mine owneres while a new contract was being negotiated after the old one ran out June 30.

The high price of coal appeared, however, to be the result of multiple wage hikes since the war and was also curtailing the market for coal, leading to an excess supply and less need for production. The UMW had taken it upon itself, therefore, to limit the supply and maintain the price high to put themselves in a better bargaining position. The UMW had also intervened to prevent an application for a natural gas line through the Piedmont Carolinas to try to deny the use of a competing fuel.

"Weak Highway Links" tells of a weak link in Highway 29 between Gastonia and Kings Mountain to be strengthened. There were many unnecessary curves in the road causing it to be especially dangerous. It also urges remedy to the by-pass around Concord, Kannapolis, and China Grove.

The Lexington-Thomasville route had just been opened on Highway 29 and was a benefit to the whole Piedmont.

You can go buy yourself a new Lincoln and travel that smooth ribbon of asphalt now without worry.

"The Pollsters Are Back" tells of the Gallup Poll having found that among Republicans, their choices for the 1952 presidential nominee were, in order: General Eisenhower, former Governor Harold Stassen, Governor Dewey, General MacArthur, Senator Taft, Senator Vandenberg, Governor Earl Warren, Senator John Bricker, Speaker of the House Joe Martin, and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

General Eisenhower also led among independent voters, with Governor Stassen again second.

The piece finds the information useless, as 1952 remained a long way off and the bosses of the GOP had never cared much about what the people wanted anyway.

"A Neighborly Greeting" congratulates the Greensboro Daily News on reaching its fortieth birthday during the week, finds that the newspaper had retained the vigor of its youth and found dignity in the process.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Too Much Presidential Aide", urges the President to get rid of his military aide, Maj. General Harry Vaughan, for reasons explained further in the pieces by both Joseph Alsop and Robert Ruark.

The Congressional Quarterly discusses the President's report on the economy to Congress. It has already been discussed quite enough on the page.

Drew Pearson finds that summer was not a time when the public liked to worry about world problems but reminds that World Wars I and II started in the summer, and now there was a financial crisis in Britain reminiscent of that in 1931, preceded by generous American aid for a decade to Europe, much of it to Germany which it then used to pay reparations back to England and France. The U.S. then came to the aid of the British, acquiescing to requests for a moratorium on both reparations from Germany to Britain and repayment of war debts by Britain to the U.S. The crisis, however, only deepened, causing political unrest which eventually resulted in Hitler coming to power, halting disarmament. The League of Nations ceased to be relevant. War began to loom.

England and Western Europe were in about the same circumstance in 1949. The British had recently formulated a million-ton wheat deal with Russia which could undermine the anti-Communist goal of the Marshall Plan. Such an arrangement would strengthen the Soviet bloc and make the rebellion in Yugoslavia to Moscow less necessary as it was triggered by economic deprivation and the need in remedy for Western trade. It would also direct Europe's political thinking toward Russia.

The Marshall Plan still had three more years of life and the financial crisis in Britain had come early so that the Marshall planners could probe more deeply into Europe's basic economy. He urges meeting the problem immediately so that 1949 would not turn into another 1931.

Joseph Alsop finds the fact that the President had chosen Maj. General Harry Vaughan as his military aide to have shown his lack of direction. General Vaughan had ideas and ideals, but was not the sort who would forward a Fair Deal agenda, causing the President's domestic policy to be taken not so seriously.

Colonel James V. Hunt reportedly had been taking large fees from businessmen for obtaining Government contracts and favors. One of the Colonel's major contacts in the Government was said to be General Vaughan. The Senate Investigating Committee had evidence which suggested that the General had helped the Colonel in his operations, though he had not been implicated in the resultant profit-making.

Mr. Alsop urges that the standards of behavior in Government needed to be reconsidered to eliminate the ways by which such people as Col. Hunt and the other "five percenters" like him gained favorable treatment for their clients.

Robert C. Ruark takes issue with Princess Margaret for "gussying herself up, to flaunt her ruffled fanny in a dance that used to be called wicked", finds nothing in the abstract wrong with it but that decorum called for something more, given her vaunted role in England, living on the Government dole.

He also takes issue with the President for keeping General Vaughan as his aide and making pretense of being a "little man" for the other "little men" when nothing of the kind was the case.

He believes that the appointment of Perle Mesta, Washington socialite who threw lavish parties, as Minister to Luxembourg to have been an insult to the people who voted for the President.

The President's loyalty to old cronies, such as former Washington Senator and Governor Mon Wallgren and to deceased Kansas City boss Tom Pendergast, was a matter with which Mr. Ruark was becoming more impatient as the days wore on. He advises Mr. Truman to behave as President rather than as a "cheap ward boss" associating with his "poolroom companions".

A letter from the Eastern field secretary of the Board of National Missions of the Evangelical and Reformed Church thanks the newspaper for publicity for its mission project in Charlotte, the St. Matthew's Community Chapel.

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