Justice Fortas' Nomination Withdrawn:
`Constitutionally, Historically Tragic'
justice's chief misfortune was
to have his nomination consid-
ered in a political year.
Senator Hart said that Senate
conservatives joining the Fortas
filibuster were, in a curious way,
using the same political tactics
as the hippies and yippies they so
Hart said that a filibuster victory
over Fortas was a bad pre-
cedent for the nation because it
will make minority parties freer
to smother future appointees, and
so numb, if not paralyze, majority
Earlier, Dr. William A. Wexler,
president of Bnai Brith, condemn-
ed as "legislative lynching" the
filibuster to block Senate vote on
the nomination. -
The campaign to postpone a vote
"distorts the American system of
governmental checks and balances
and places partisan politics rather
than judicial merit as a priority
concern before the Senate," Dr.
Wexler said. The objections raised
by "a handful of Senators" to Jus-
tice Fortas' qualifications "should
be weighed against their silence
when Fortas was confirmed to the
Supreme Court in 1965," Dr. Wex-
ler said-. "Their silence then
speaks volumes now. Have three
BUENOS AIRES (JTA)—A lead- that "criminal action" was in- years on the nation's highest bench
diminished Justice Fortas' ability?"
ing Jewish journalist received a volved in the fire.
Dr. Wexler added. "Or has the
telephone threat a few hours be-
Dr. Borda said nevertheless that portent of a national electiop dim-
fore terrorists' incendiary bombs police are conducting a vigorous inished the integrity of those who
touched off an explosion and fire investigation to determine the would block Justice Fortas that
which destroyed a $2,000,000 Israeli cause and would prosecute anyone
commercial exhibit in downtown found responsible.
Buenos Aires last week. The caller
Asked if the fire could have
said that such an attack was being been accidental, he said "This
planned, the DAIA, central repre- possibility is not excluded at all."
sentative body of Argentine Jewry,
In reporting that Juan Rodolfo NY Students to Open
Rosenberg had been the victim of Storefront Centers on
a telephone threat, the DAIA also
said that the attack on the exhibit Behalf of Soviet Jews
and the latest bombing of t h e
NEW YORK (JTA)—The Stu-
Nachman Gesang Zionist Center in dent Struggle for Soviet Jewry
Rosario City, 160 miles northwest plans to open store-front activities
of here, were new "criminal epi- centers on behalf ,of Russian Jews
sodes" in a "long series of provo- soon throughout New York City,
cations." The statement reiterated
1,600 persons were told here at
an appeal "for energetic public a rally. Jacob Birnbaum, the or-
action against the provoking ele- ganization's national coordinator,
made the announcement at a
Firemen brought the exhibit
"freedom rally" for Russian Jews
fire under control after seven
held at the Statue of Liberty.
hours. Among the exhibits lost
Sunday was the 29th anniversary
in the? blaze were agricultural of the Nazi massacre of Russian
machines, medical supplies, elec-
Jews at the Babi Yar ravine out-
tronic parts, computers, and 100 side Kiev.
irreplaceable o i 1 paintings by
Birnbaum said a newly formed
Israel artists, as well as Jewish,
Babi Yar memorial council will
Christian and Moslem religious
ask a world-famous sculptor to
articles. The exhibit was to have
prepare a memorial for the Babi
opened in several weeks. T h e
Yar site to be offered to Soviet
sponsors say it cannot be rebuilt.
authorities, who have refused to
Later, the Argentine minister of mark the place of the mass murd-
interior, Dr. Guillermo Borda, said ers. The council will seek to es-
that there was not sufficient evi- tablish every Sept. 29 as a
dence so far to say categorically yahrzeit for the slaughtered Jews.
At the request of Supreme Senate in an effort to get a vote
Court Justice Abe Fortas, Presi- on confirmation. Had the effort
dent Johnson Wednesday with- to end debate succeeded, there
drew his nomination for chief was an assured majority for con-
justice, one day after the Senate firmation.
voted, 45-43, against ending the
A panel of 162 prominent Amer-
filibuster, 14 short of the neces-
ican lawyers, acting as a spe-
sary two-thirds required to end
cially formed committee, Sunday
contacted all U.S. Senators urg-
President Johnson said the de- ing an end to the filibuster and
prompt action on President John-
veloping controversy was "Con-
stitutionally and historically trag- son's nomination of Fortas as
chief justice. They condemned
the thivarting the will of the
Michigan's senior U.S. Senator,
majority by filibusters.
Philip A. Hart, in an address
Mr. Justice Fortas meanwhile
prior to the vote on cloture, in
Atlantic City, where he received was at work in his office preparing
the docket of cases that are to
an award, in recognition of his
"outstanding legislative leadership come up at the next session of the
in furthering the principles of high court that is to commence on
democracy," from the New Jersey Monday.
Regional Advisory Board of Anti-
(See Commentary, Page 2)
Defamation League of Bnai Brith,
Sen. Hart said that the
logic put forth by Fortas oppon-
ents had cracks so wide that the
"If his nomination goes down,
I don't think history will have
public could readily perceive the
many kind words to say about
political motives that lay under-
those who defeated him."
Hart, a leader of the pro-
Sen. Hart led a valiant, al-
Viough unsuccessful, battle in the Fortas forces, added that t h e
they stoop to appeals to prurience
to prevent a vote on the merits?"
Parliamentary tactics to evade a
vote "also evade the Senate's Con-
stitutional responsibility to main-
tain continuity in government,"
Dr. Wexler declared. He. described
the campaign against Fortas'
nomination as "tawdry in so much
of its content." He added that "in
all of American history, no nom-
inee for chief justice had to sub-
mit to the abuse and vituperation
to which Justice Fortas has been
subjected," Dr. Wexler said.
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