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"youngstown sheet tube company" Discussed on C-SPAN Radio

C-SPAN Radio

13:58 min | 11 months ago

"youngstown sheet tube company" Discussed on C-SPAN Radio

"The south portico of the White House a large crowd witnesses the impressive ceremonies in which justice broader of the court of appeals wears in Fred M. Vinson thirteen Chief Justice of the Supreme Court former secretary of the treasury is congratulated by members of his problem on his shoulders rest the immediate past bringing harmony the nation's highest tribunal so I'm really interesting to see the kinds of crowds that were attracted to watch the swearing in of the Chief Justice out what was America like in a post war era that this court what was going to be a part of well you know it's very interesting you ask that you heard the the quote in the clip that part of the idea behind Vincent's appointment was to bring unity to the court I think to understand that you have to understand what what immediately preceded Vincent which was Chief Justice stone and this is a very funny segue because we just talk a little bit about the court packing FDR the new deal and Chief Justice Hughes when van Devanter retires in F. E. R. gets a new court pickets Hugo black and Hugo black had notorious feuds with several members of the court the Chief Justice Vinson in the clip we just saw was you know appointed to try to unify very tough job Chief Justice stone is the Chief Justice who immediately preceded Vincent and Hugo black Robert Jackson get a significant jurisprudence big part in brown V. board with which we can talk about they had a notorious skewed because Hugo black a previously been in the Senate there was some cases leading up to Vince's appointment one was about fair labor standards act issues which basically he replied before was on the Supreme Court had taken a position on the U. S. Senate and Jackson felt like he was conflicted black was conflicted in some of the ruling so we have this notorious feud Chief Justice stone was unable to make peace and control what ended up being a very public airing of some divisions on the courts of Chief Justice Vincent in the the ticket system died just as Jack was very frustrated with Chief Justice stone sort of inability to manage the court critically to manage Plaxo justice Jackson had gone off to do the Nuremberg trials very strange things you still active member of the Supreme Court but he wasn't sitting so you had an eight member court no tie breaker the chief is also frustrated by sad but unable to do anything so Truman's idea was a point Vincent and let's see if you can bring some order to this and sadly he was unable to do so he inherited this fractured court and rather than getting better I have to tell you I think that all the historical current counts are it got demonstrably worse I don't know if it makes sense to talk a little bit about that and then maybe some of the cases sure did he have a judicial philosophy that he brought to the court that is known for I don't know that he has a judicial philosophy the way you know what people think of some chief justices today I think you know he was close to to the president I think it was difficult for him because some regarded him as it is as a crony as it were Felix Frankfurter was on the court Harvard professor in the account so that that they would you know at least she doesn't Vincent's don't like Frankfurter had some disdain for him and I will tell you you know Vincent was the presiding Chief Justice wouldn't brown versus board of education came up for the first argument before the Supreme Court and the historical accounts you can see them on the society's website or that the court at that time had open contempt for the chief and the reason I mention this is you know what she's ability to manage the court as a first among equals because he can actually control what they do so with the control not control has tremendous consequences for that first round brown the case was argued Vincent in this is out in the in the record was in conference he had one of Justin's who would have upheld the segregation issue and brown he couldn't get a clear majority for the rest of the conference and was basically paralyzed his inability to handle that land you know with people talk about Vincent sort of pushing out the time one having the case come up for re argument buying the quite some time to figure out what was going to do the accounts are actually that it was Felix Frankfurter who came up with the idea that they should have five questions to be re argue and by some time for the court to sort out its position and what happened after that is actually Chief Justice Vincent died before the re argument the historical accounts are you know this is a rather unflattering thing but it's reported the Frankfurter so that's my first time ever that there is a god that Chief Justice Vincent past and justice Chief Justice Earl Warren was appointed and it was a very different approach to brown after that there's a major private notes project going on as you well know about where that notes that the justices take in these private conferences are beginning to be digitized and made available I saw on a story about that that in December of nineteen fifty two when this case which was then called brings versus how it was being heard and the conference notes show this split that for just this work we're ready to find segregation unconstitutional and one Stanley reed voted to uphold it and Chief Justice Fred Vinson's notes say from that day I'm not sure what we should do today so he he couldn't find a way out of that ultimately they they felt it was important for brown I heard by the next court to be unanimous what's the what's the strength I mean it seems obvious but why could they not to let it go as a split decision why was it important for brown to be a unanimous decision yeah I mean I'll comment on the digitization project project in a moment because I think that's it's it's a significant one but to the point the unanimity was the idea to Chief Justice Earl Warren who was appointed to replace Vincent the idea was really trying to bring some unanimity to the court on decisions like brown and his thought you know he was governor of California he was again very deft and looking at the conference in looking at the country in saying if we do this it's got to be unanimous in their two reasons for that one is it was a a fairly divisive issue even at the time and then secondly they were over ruling a major precedent as you've probably noticed heard in the Supreme Court is not a political body so it can't just change its mind overrule its own decisions on a whim or because of political sentiment in the country there has to be a reason and Chief Justice Earl Warren was I think extremely sensitized to the fact that if they overruled the segregation that was before the court in brown they would be overruling the court's sixty role decision Plessy versus Ferguson its head under the reconstruction civil rights amendments the quality is filled by having separate but equal facilities and so Chief Justice Earl Warren understood that you had to get to a unanimous opinion and more than that and we can talk about how he did that which again is is I think a point well the Chief Justice and getting consensus on the court that was still split getting it short so the papers could publish people could see the work of the court is one everyone could read it and then there came how to administer that which we know from the so right it was very difficult but that was the following chapter two does this one who had a which Chief Justice Vincent couldn't get it done one of the other big cases that we dealt with in our landmark cases series during the Vinson years was Youngstown sheet tube company versus where I why is this a landmark case what was significant about it and how did the Chief Justice Vinson approach this case this is the steel seizure case the Chief Justice I think again it was a function of you know maybe not fully understanding of the views of the other justices in his conference in fact in that case it was one where obviously the executive branch wanted to see is you know steel production factories in the in the country what time justification in the question is does the executive branch have the power to do that it infringes on commerce and states rights and the like and Vincent fought and and and and a crystal clear him so he actually sure the president at the court would approve it and he didn't know his own conference well enough to know that they in fact would not the reverse there and it was significant I think because one of the court's major roles and it's a very delicate one as you can imagine starting back with Margaery is acting as you know the final word on when the constitution draws a line on another branch of government so that the steel seizure case like some others that we've seen you can talk about about the court saying when another branch has gone too far in that case it was exactly so I want to stop in one part of the story that just caught my ear which is that the Chief Justice assured the president that this would not be overturned so how much do we know from history about conversations between chiefs especially when they are the same party actually signaling to the president which direction of major case that they care about might go I think it's rare or is it my sense is it's rare you know but it's hard to know I mean this is where frankly you know some of the projects like the digitization project that you mentioned you know can be illuminating you know because you can get contemporaneously notes or you know from the other justices by the way I should say I mean that the notes to the justice is typically the conferences are not public their clothes but the notes are the personal property of the dresses so they can obviously decided to leave their public papers of the library of Congress or you know in an institute so there's a woman in my sense is it's not common you know that was also one of the reasons for good I think undermined Chief Justice Vinson's credibility with the court you know I mention the cronyism point you know there was some criticism that he was too close to the president you know and that that's not the job of the court that's not the job of the Chief Justice you know it's it's not you're not part is in your article you're there to do a particular job and there was some criticism I think that damage maybe his credibility with the conference so we segue to enter a Warren who was successful in a unanimous decision on brown versus board of education another key landmark case but let's talk more broadly about the the Warren court was a long one nineteen fifty three three nineteen sixty nine now Eisenhower appointed him did president Eisenhower gets what he expected philosophically from our a warrant he was our lawn order governor so when he appointed him what was he hoping his view might be on some of the big issues of society at the time it's hard to say what the president had in mind or even if you had a particular view in mind I think one thing he the president said publicly in appointing Chief Justice Warren he certainly got was someone who could bring unanimity and some consensus to the court that the court is thought of now is a much more liberal court we had a Republican president wanting him so philosophically were Republican surprised at how the Warren court turned out in some respects I mean you know the the party alignments on a partisan level I think are different than they are today so I think in in some respects the Republican Party the party of Lincoln you know it wasn't a great surprise that the the Chief Justice Warren the Warren court would be as active in support of as it was civil rights which was in line you know with the the party of Lincoln and the idea that there should be some quality so I think in that respect maybe not so much of a surprise but again you know the issue is the question raises were I think high that's a really important point about the relationship between appointing president and the court right which is once the once the justices get on the court this is the balls and strikes you get these cases you gotta calm as you see him in a justice Thomas is said that you heard the chief say that and I think that's why you know whatever presents expectations on some level you know if you see some diversions that that's probably a good thing because it to us is are doing their job so during the war years besides frowned others and number of landmark cases in categories and wrote voting in redistricting Baker versus Carr rentals versus Sam's we dealt with a number of the criminal procedure landmark cases map versus Ohio Maranda which gave us Miranda rights Gideon versus rain right and cats versus United States what we talk about criminal procedure since he was Attorney General and lawn order governor those landmark cases in the area of criminal procedure how does that change the country what was it what do they do I mean I think the you know the the the terms the country probably in a new wearable ways but I think going back to the foundation of what the constitution talks about it goes back to the basic notion of due process I know a lot order government got governor it's not necessarily surprising to say well look the only way that law and order maintains its credibility and you know even as a prosecutor if if your prosecutions hold is if they're done fairly and this the colonel defendant has rights that our constitution contemplates and so I think what we saw during the war quote was a build out of you know this just basic fundamental constitutional concept of due process and so that wasn't a surprising and I will tell you it's a great example I'm glad you raised it about how the court I think is sometimes mis perceived as having jurisprudence that's on a partisan basis when you look at for example justice thomas' Fourth Amendment jurisprudence a number of his decisions are very pro defendant in exactly the way that many of the Warren court decisions you mentioned are in the sense that they enjoy the defendant has certain rights as against the government as as against law enforcement and you know you look at someone like justice Thomas who I think is is perceived that you know if you look at media accounts as as a conservative justice on the so called white of the court who has many cases that are pro criminal defendant because they they derive from the same constitutional principles as some of the more quarters for under free speech the famous New York.