The Charlotte News

Monday, June 2, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 this date, in Youngstown Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, that the President's seizure of the steel industry on April 8 had been unconstitutional, that he did not have inherent executive power to do so under the extant circumstances, absent statutory authority granted by Congress. Within minutes after the decision had been announced, United Steelworkers and CIO president Philip Murray called a nationwide strike of the steelworkers.

The decision, delivered by Justice Hugo Black, was accompanied by five separate concurring opinions. The majority opinion indicated that the President could not base the seizure on his military power as commander in chief or on other provisions of the Constitution granting executive power to the President, that the President could only recommend legislation and not act as lawmaker, the role reserved for Congress. It went on to indicate that the Constitution was clear in enabling Congress to authorize the taking of private property for public use and to enact laws regulating the relationships between employees and employers and prescribing rules for the settlement of labor disputes in certain fields of the economy, and that these powers were not made conditional to either presidential or military supervision or control. Congress had not lost those powers or had them curtailed, said the majority, by the fact that previous Presidents had taken possession of private business enterprises to settle labor disputes. The majority referred to the seizure provisions recognized under both the 1948 Selective Service Act and the 1950 Defense Production Act, the latter enacted in the wake of the start of the Korean War, but indicated that the Government had conceded that the conditions for resort to those seizure provisions had not been met and that the Government had not sought to rely on any more than the President's "inherent authority" to act in an emergency as justification for the seizure.

Among the five concurring opinions, it was indicated that under certain emergent circumstances, even without specific statutory authorization, the President might be able to seize vital industries, but not in the situation where there was already statutory authority occupying the field, as in the current dispute, in the form of Taft-Hartley. The President could not resort to inherent powers when there were statutory remedies available for dealing with the emergency, especially as Congress had expressly declined, in enacting Taft-Hartley, to grant the President the power to seize an industry. Justice Robert Jackson stated in this regard: "When the President acts in absence of either a Congressional grant or denial of authority, he can only rely upon his own independent powers, but there is a zone of twilight in which he and Congress may have concurrent authority, or in which its distribution is uncertain. Therefore, Congressional inertia, indifference or quiescence may sometimes, at least as a practical matter, enable, if not invite, measures on independent presidential responsibility. In this area, any actual test of power is likely to depend on the imperatives of events and contemporary imponderables rather than on abstract theories of law."

Similarly, Justice Tom Clark stated: "...[T]he Constitution does grant to the President extensive authority in times of grave and imperative national emergency. In fact, to my thinking, such a grant may well be necessary to the very existence of the Constitution itself. As Lincoln aptly said, '[is] it possible to lose the nation and yet preserve the Constitution?'" Justice Clark concluded that "where Congress has laid down specific procedures to deal with the type of crisis confronting the President, he must follow those procedures in meeting the crisis; but that in the absence of such action by Congress, the President's independent power to act depends upon the gravity of the situation confronting the nation."

Justice Harold Burton distinguished the case from a national emergency occasioned by actual or imminent enemy attack and total war: "Does the President, in such a situation, have inherent constitutional power to seize private property which makes Congressional action in relation thereto unnecessary? We find no such power available to him under the present circumstances. The present situation is not comparable to that of an imminent invasion or threatened attack. We do not face the issue of what might be the President's constitutional power to meet such catastrophic situations. Nor is it claimed that the current seizure is in the nature of a military command addressed by the President, as Commander-in-Chief, to a mobilized nation waging, or imminently threatened with, total war."

Parenthetically, the U.S. District Court in California which recently held in 2019, in issuing its preliminary injunction, that it is likely the plaintiffs will be able to show that the President lacked authority to transfer a billion dollars from a fund for military personnel involved in drug interdiction to construction of the border barrier with Mexico, cited, at page 34 of its opinion, this reasoning from Youngstown, particularly that of the concurring opinion of Justice Felix Frankfurter, regarding the Congress having specifically refused a grant of authority to the President in passing on particular legislation, in the steel case, Taft-Hartley, in this instance, Congressional provision for 1.375 billion dollars and no more to be spent on sections of border barrier in specified areas. The District Court quoted from Justice Frankfurter the following: "It is quite impossible ... when Congress did specifically address itself to a problem ... to find secreted in the interstices of legislation the very grant of power which Congress consciously withheld. To find authority so explicitly withheld is not merely to disregard in a particular instance the clear will of Congress. It is to disrespect the whole legislative process and the constitutional division of authority between President and Congress."

The dissent in Youngstown was written by Chief Justice Fred Vinson, and joined by Justices Stanley Reed and Sherman Minton. The Chief Justice wrote that the courts could review the President's findings to determine whether a real emergency existed, but that in the present instance, there was not "the slightest basis for suggesting that the President's finding in this case can be undermined." He indicated that the three dissenters believed that the present majority decision had undermined the powers of the President and future presidents to act in time of crisis.

In consequence of the called strike after the decision was announced, steelworkers immediately began exiting the mills which were engaged in defense work at Gary, Ind., Youngstown, O., and Chicago. A short walkout for three days had occurred April 29, following the original ruling by the Federal District Court in Washington, initially declaring the President's seizure unconstitutional, but that walkout had ended after the U.S. Court of Appeals had quickly stayed that decision the following Monday.

The steel industry was reported to have been pleased by the decision of the Court.

At the Koje Island prison camp in Korea, General Mark Clark, U.N. supreme commander, said this date that the bloody riots and other disturbances caused by the Communist prisoners at the camp had, "without question", been directed by Communist delegates to the armistice negotiations. He said that the delegates did not care anything for the lives of the prisoners and so were willing to direct them to do all kinds of things which would embarrass the allies. He conceded that the U.N. had no positive proof that there was a direct connection between the truce negotiators and the uprisings at Koje, but that there had been so many instances in which the Communist world had known of the events taking place at the prison camp and then reflected that knowledge in the truce negotiations, and so many instances in which events at the negotiations had been reflected in the prison camp, that the implications had been obvious. He also said that the maximum amount of force would be used to make rebellious Communist prisoners obey orders.

A half hour after General Clark departed the camp, a South Korean officer had shot and wounded a prisoner who had been taunting him.

The Army this date approved the retirement of General Eisenhower, indicating that he would be on retired status when he departed the following day for Abilene, Kans., and his first speech out of uniform in the Republican campaign for the presidential nomination. The order placing him on inactive status, would free him to campaign actively, while he retained his five-star rank as General of the Army plus his annual pay. The General had indicated that he would resign his commission if he were nominated.

The General's homecoming the previous day had been strictly military in nature, with the Army giving him a 17-gun welcome, reserved for military heroes.

The General spent his last full day of active duty at Walter Reed General Hospital receiving treatment for conjunctivitis. Don't let that become iritis or you won't be able to campaign a lick for at least about three days, instead being confined to quarters with dark glasses.

In Sioux Falls, S. D., supporters of General Eisenhower discounted the effect of General MacArthur's open support of Senator Taft as having any impact on the Tuesday South Dakota primary. Write-in votes would be prohibited in the primary and it would be the last time that General Eisenhower would be pitted against Senator Taft, prior to the convention. Fourteen delegates would be at stake. The latest Associated Press tally had 421 delegates committed to Senator Taft and 387 to General Eisenhower, with 604 needed to nominate. Taft supporters were contending that if the Senator won the primary, it would head off any possible stampede developing for the General in association with his return to the country and its attendant publicity.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott fired Dr. T. C. Johnson as State commissioner of paroles and announced the appointment of N. F. Ransdell, State probation director, as his successor. The firing had been rumored for some time, as Dr. Johnson had openly supported William B. Umstead in the gubernatorial race over Hubert Olive, the candidate favored by Governor Scott. Dr. Johnson had written the Governor in late January apprising him of his support for Mr. Umstead and indicating that he would leave it to the Governor to determine whether he would terminate him. Dr. Johnson had been in the post for three years.

In North Carolina's primary race the prior Saturday, William B. Umstead had won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and, for all intents and purposes, therefore, would be elected Governor in November in the traditionally one-party state. Mr. Umstead had tallied 297,000 votes to 261,000 for his chief opponent, Judge Hubert Olive.

There was a strong chance of the necessity of a runoff primary in the races for lieutenant governor and the State Supreme Court, as well as in three of the state's twelve Congressional district races. Luther Hodges, a retired textile industrialist, led a four-man field in the lieutenant governor's race, but had not achieved a clear majority. One incumbent Congressman, John Kerr of Warrenton, had been defeated by a margin of two to one by State Senator L. H. Fountain of Tarboro. Another race, in the 7th Congressional district, embracing Fayetteville and Wilmington, might require a runoff between the challenger and the incumbent, Congressman F. Ertel Carlyle.

In the State Supreme Court race, a runoff was probable between Judges R. Hunt Parker and William Bobbitt, with the interim appointee, Justice Itimous Valentine, having come in third in the six-candidate field. It remained unclear, however, whether Judge Parker or Judge Bobbitt led the race for the short term of two months between the general election and the following January. It had been assumed by everyone that the candidate who had run first for the regular term beginning in January would also lead in the other race. As a result, no one had bothered to tally the results in the short-term race. The results would not be known for several days.

On the editorial page, "The People Have Spoken, but Softly" remarks on the results of the statewide primary the prior Saturday, indicating that four years earlier, Governor Kerr Scott had done what no one else had done since 1920, defeated what V. O. Key had called the ruling "economic oligarchy" in the state's politics, and beaten it soundly. But he had been unable to consolidate his hold, after his interim Senate appointee, Frank Porter Graham, in early 1949, upon the death of just elected incumbent J. Melville Broughton, had been defeated in the mid-1950 runoff primary by Willis Smith. Furthermore, the Governor's campaign manager and state chairman, Capus Waynick, had accepted diplomatic posts from the Administration, and his successor, future Senator B. Everett Jordan, proved not to be a supporter of Governor Scott's program. In addition, his appointment of a liberal national committeeman, Jonathan Daniels, had come to an end when Mr. Daniels recently announced that he would not be a candidate for re-election. Then, Judge Hubert Olive, Governor Scott's supported gubernatorial candidate, had lost the primary to William B. Umstead, though not by a decisive margin.

It appeared that voters had based their choices on personalities rather than issues, as there had been no decisive issues in the campaign at the state level.

Luther Hodges, an amateur in politics, had upset veteran legislator Roy Rowe to become the apparent winner in the race for lieutenant governor, though it was still not clear whether a runoff would be required.

Superior Court Judge William Bobbitt had run second statewide in a six-man field for the open spot on the State Supreme Court, and had an excellent chance to win the runoff.

The Congressional primary had gone about as expected, but incumbent Congressman Hamilton Jones had a tough race ahead in the fall against Charles Jonas, the Republican nominee.

There had been few surprises also in the local races.

It finds that voters had not spoken loudly in the election because there had been no important issues generated at the state and local levels. But the size of the turnout had indicated a new interest in public affairs, and presaged a "rip-snorting" election in November, when there would be genuine issues on the national level.

"You Can't Whip Reds with Votes" indicates that in Berlin, the Communists were plotting new and sinister moves, while in Korea, they were threatening to launch a new offensive, and at the Koje Island prison camp, were engaging in new demonstrations of Communist fanaticism. In addition, in the Middle East, Communist agitators were stirring up problems, and in France, Communist demonstrators had staged a bloody protest against General Matthew Ridgway assuming the position of supreme commander of NATO the previous week. Meanwhile, the Fascists were gaining strength in Italy.

All over the world, there were signs that the East-West dispute was far from settled and could easily flare into violence.

Yet, the House had placed an arbitrary 46 billion dollar ceiling on defense spending, six billion less than requested by the President. Both houses had severely cut the Administration's Mutual Security Program request for foreign aid. It finds that Congress, as it was presently constituted, was not a competent authority to make those cuts. The brass hats in the Pentagon and the planners in the State Department were not perfect and it was possible for them to have overestimated their needs rather than risk underestimating them. Yet, if Congress had its own independent budget arm and investigative branch, matching the President's Budget Bureau in skill and persuasiveness, it would feel better about trusting Congressional judgment. Instead, Congress lacked the machinery for determining how much should be spent for any given purpose, resulting in budget guesswork through compromise and logrolling, especially true in an election year.

Right or wrong, the Congress had concurred on the basic foreign policy which viewed Stalinism as desiring world conquest, with the consequent need of its containment. For that policy to work, the nation and its allies had to be strong. It finds, therefore, that to ignore the growing military and air strength of Russia and the new Communist pressures around the world, and playing to the popular will in an election year, as Congress appeared to have done, could invite disaster.

"Good News from France" tells of it being apparent that France was getting back on its feet from the fact that Frenchmen were selling their gold, considered their supreme security, treasured even above land and good wine. As a result of that special status, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of gold had been hoarded by the French since the war, gold which could have been used to reconstruct the country had the French possessed confidence in their future.

The prior Wednesday, it had been reported that on the Paris market alone, 3.5 million dollars worth of gold louis were sold, and the sellers had purchased Government bonds instead. The Government had reasoned that back taxes were practically uncollectable and so provided tax amnesty for those who had evaded taxes by investing outside the country. That strategy was working.

It posits that anyone who invested in their own country and government was confident of the nation's future, and the obvious optimism of the French allowed Americans more confidence regarding the future of the Atlantic community, in which the U.S. had invested so heavily.

A piece from the Chicago Tribune, titled "That's Gratitude", tells of Duke University having formerly been known as Trinity College until the late James B. Duke had endowed the College in 1924 from his tobacco fortune. Because of Mr. Duke, Dr. Geiolol McHugh had been able to conduct his research in psychology anent how to cure one's self of the smoking habit. He did not favor cutting out smoking all at once but rather allowing 10 or 12 cigarettes per day, complemented by a controlled non-smoking period each day, gradually to be extended until smoking was eliminated completely.

The piece suggests that the ability of tobacco magnates to build great fortunes to be used in endowing universities might be severely curtailed should Dr. McHugh's theory prove successful. "Duke needn't worry. It snagged its butt when the pickings were good."

Drew Pearson tells of General Eisenhower having originally planned only to make one or two speeches after returning to the U.S., but having changed his plans to include a speech in Detroit on June 14, based on a political battle between two giant auto companies, Ford and Chrysler, in between which was positioned Republican national committeeman Arthur Summerfield, one of the largest Chevrolet dealers in the world, facing Chrysler, which wanted Senator Taft to be president, while Ford appeared to support General Eisenhower. Mr. Summerfield had initially supported Senator Taft, but was trying to walk a line between the Senator and the General, as he got help from both Ford and Chrysler. To benefit Senator Taft, he had arranged, at the behest of Chrysler, to bring General MacArthur to Michigan, where the latter had made a speech that no general should be president, intended as a direct slap at General Eisenhower. That statement had been resented by Henry Ford II, who sent word to Mr. Summerfield that he might as well not try to seek campaign contributions from Ford unless he made amends for the MacArthur visit. Paul Hoffman, former Marshall Plan administrator and former head of Studebaker, was urging Mr. Summerfield to bring General Eisenhower to Michigan as well. Arthur Vandenberg, Jr., son of the late Senator, also wanted the General to visit. Thus had been born the hasty invitation to General Eisenhower to present a major address in Detroit.

Government officials who had visited the United Steelworkers convention in Philadelphia the previous month were anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court decision on the steel dispute, knowing that there would be an immediate showdown between the union and the steel industry should the Supreme Court rule against the Government seizure of the industry. The rank-and-file were chafing at the bit and Government observers had reported to the White House that if it invoked the 80-day injunction period under Taft-Hartley, the union members likely would not observe it, having already postponed their strike for much longer than 80 days. The rank-and-file were itching for a fight with U.S. Steel, and believed they might as well have a showdown at present.

U.S. Steel also was determined to take a hard line, a different approach from a few years earlier when Myron Taylor had been chairman of the board and deceased former Secretary of State Edward Stettinius had been president. FDR had been friendly with Mr. Taylor, and the father of Mr. Stettinius had served with FDR during the Wilson Administration, those associations having in part led to the steel industry signing a union contract with labor. At the time, J. P. Morgan Co., which dominated U.S. Steel, had been dominated by the late Thomas Lamont and influenced by Dwight Morrow, both of whom were politically liberal bankers. But since that time, Enders Voorhees, a tight-fisted New York Dutchman, had become the J. P. Morgan representative who chiefly guided the destinies of U.S. Steel as chairman of its finance committee, and J. P. Morgan had swung away from its business liberalism after the deaths of Mr. Morrow and Mr. Lamont.

He suggests, therefore, that one of the toughest showdowns in recent labor history might be in the offing between one of the most powerful unions and one of the largest corporations in the world, should the Supreme Court rule adversely to the Government—as it had this date, prompting an immediate strike by the United Steelworkers.

Raymond Moley, Columbia law professor and political scientist, and former Brain Truster in the Roosevelt Administration who departed during the latter Thirties to become a critic of the New Deal, in the first of 12 articles in the serialization of his book, How To Keep Our Liberty: A Program for Political Action, tells of the people of the country being presented with a choice of two forms of political and economic life, one being that of the country's traditions, where individual liberty prevailed and was guarded by the law, and the other being the dominance of the state. He regards this latter dominance as never involving the European form of tyranny, but rather a benign type of guardianship. He indicates that more than a century earlier, however, Alexis de Tocqueville, during his observations of the country in his Democracy in America, had warned that the country need not fear tyrants but rather "guardians".

He regards gentleness as often not accompanied by a capacious mind able to comprehend "what may come of their ministrations".

He regards the constitutional form of government as a guarantee of rights which could not be denied even by the sovereign who granted them. When adopted by the majority, it became the law and the source of law, and the repository of sovereignty. Since it created the Federal Government, it also governed the institutions of that Government. Under the U.S. Constitution, it was expressly the supreme law of the land, and not the state, but the reason for the state. This law became the guardian against encroachment on the liberties of the individual by the state.

The notion embodied in the Fifth Amendment that no one may be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, had been carried over from the English tradition, as expressed in the philosophy of John Locke, the major inspiration for Thomas Jefferson. Locke had stated that "the preservation of property" is "the end of government". Because the individual had intermingled his labor with the procurement of property, it became indivisible from his other liberties and rights.

Dr. Moley posits that there could be no hierarchy of values among human rights, that they stood together or fell together. The Constitution produced a great tension deliberately between the three branches of Government and between the Federal Government and the states, to afford a broad range of free action by the individuals living under the system. The Constitution invested the Federal Government with limited, specified powers, plus unspecified powers necessary and proper to carry out the specified powers, with the states provided all other powers not given to the Federal Government or denied specifically to the states. Thomas Jefferson had expressed this form as a means "to make us several as to ourselves but one as to all others."

He regards the states as the "best security against revolutionary change". New practices developed under the law as the country grew, by custom and by the growth of human enlightenment, changes which were not abrupt breaks with the past but an extension thereof. He posits that new principles of government came from many sources, but rarely from formal authority, rather from humble origins, slowly becoming generally accepted, eventually by the political leaders. He indicates that political leaders did not create but rather discovered and exploited such new principles. Among the new principles had been the concept of the Presidency as the emblem of national unity, the two-party system, the independence of the judiciary, the indissoluble union, world responsibility, and a classless society.

He concludes: "We are not creators, we are trustees. We serve in an endless succession of watches at the citadel of liberty."

Incidentally, to the El Trumpistas among us, who apparently believe, as in the old country, that government ought be by executive fiat and to hell with the majority and with Congress whenever either or both might disagree with the fiat, we recommend Dr. Moley's above-cited century-old text aimed at new immigrants, to achieve an understanding of the basic American system of government. For those who never took a course in civics or political science or studied it assiduously on your own, you are, essentially, in the shoes still of a new immigrant, no matter how fancy your shoes might be, probably less knowledgeable, in fact, about the system than immigrants who have gained their citizenship by virtue of having passed an examination, and so you might benefit greatly from the lesson, however elementary it might be.

Joseph Alsop, writing from Dallas, again regards the "theft" of the state delegation to the national convention for Senator Taft by the Republican leaders in Texas, with the full imprimatur of Senator Taft's representatives on the scene, despite the majority of delegates from the counties to the state convention having been for General Eisenhower. He again describes this process, as he had the prior Saturday, with the Taft supporters forming their own rump meetings in counties which had voted in their local meetings for General Eisenhower, and then managing, through the offices of the GOP national committeeman, Henry Zweifel, to get the state executive board to certify the Taft slates of delegates and seat them rather than the Eisenhower slates, though the latter had been duly elected locally under existing law and rules.

Mr. Alsop indicates that he was not equipped to gauge groundswells in Texas but that the political experts of the leading newspapers in the state, who had all been gathered at Mineral Wells for the state convention, could be considered impartial, sound judges of the matter, and they had been unanimous in finding that Texans wanted to be rid of the Democrats in Washington, a sentiment which was largely responsible for the Eisenhower surge, and that the surge had been a true popular movement, with more people attending the GOP precinct meetings than the Democratic precinct meetings. They also found that Texas might vote for Senator Taft in the fall election were it not for the ugly business which had taken place at the state convention, unless the Senator repudiated the actions of his local agents. Finally, they observed that if General Eisenhower were nominated at the Republican convention, there would be an excellent chance that the 1952 election would start a genuine two-party system in Texas.

He indicates that Mr. Zweifel and other Republican leaders in the state, as well as Senator Taft's personal representatives on the scene, including former RNC Chairman Carroll Reece, had defended their actions on the basis that many of General Eisenhower's supporters were former Democrats and independents, only recently having converted to the Republican fold. Mr. Alsop finds this defense a bit odd, for the fact that the only way the Republicans could win in Texas was through attracting the votes of independents and Democrats. He concludes that the national Republican Party would have to consider the issue as to whether their hope in 1952 was to be utterly extinguished.

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