For RELEASE AUGUST 24, 1961
 


CONGRESSMAN'S REPORT

By Morris K. Udall

SHOULD WE IMPEACH CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN?

House Committee chairmen are important and busy people. Chairman Francis E. Walter of the House Un-American Activities Committee is one of the few major Committee chairmen who really goes out of his way to assist newcomers to the House with their problems.

I have often disagreed with particular projects and actions of HUAC, but have steadfastly maintained the need for this committee to investigate -- under proper rules and safeguards -- and to recommend necessary laws on subversion.

The veteran Pennsylvanian, now in the twilight of a long congressional career, is a man of great courtesy, integrity and good humor. Last week he sought me out to inquire of my progress and to ask if he could help me in any way.

I decided to take him up on his offer because I get letters from people asking me for the facts about charges they've read -- charges which attack the patriotism of such Americans as Chief Justice Earl Warren, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, and other prominent persons.

I thought perhaps Chairman Walter could help me answer these letters and I wrote him an official inquiry posing these questions:
 

"1. Does the Committee have any information which would suggest disloyalty or other grounds for the impeachment of Chief Justice Earl Warren?
"2. Does the Committee have any information indicating that Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt is or has been a member of any subversive organization?
"3. Does the Committee have any information indicating that Edward R. Murrow is or has been a member of any subversive organization?"

Following is the text of the answers from Chairman Walter:
 
 

"1. I do not believe that under Section 4 of Article II or under Section 3 of Article III of the Constitution, there are sufficient grounds to initiate impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Earl Warren. As you know, Section 4 of Article II provides: 
 
"The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
 
Further, Section 3 of Article III defines treason as follows: 
 
"Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort..."
"2. I think it well to indicate that Mrs. Roosevelt is generally respected as the
 
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CONGRESSMAN'S REPORT... SHOULD WE IMPEACH CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN?

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wife of a former President, and although her views on some subjects appear to be inaccurate or controversial, I do regard her as a sincere and patriotic individual. Her public record reveals that assistance by her has been in the past rendered to certain Communist-dominated organizations, but it likewise appears that she did so unwittingly or for benign purposes, and has been quite critical of them on discovering their true nature.
"3. A check of the public records, files and publications of the Committee on Un-American Activities reveals no records on Edward R. Murrow."

Among groups seeking to impeach the Chief Justice are the John Birch Society and an organization calling itself the Arizona Mothers for Earl Warren's Impeachment.

I think the statements by Chairman Walter should lay at rest some of the irresponsible charges being made by these and other groups. I hope our people will support their leaders in these critical times and avoid making reckless and unfounded charges against fellow Americans.

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Previous Report: August 17, 1961 -- Foreign Aid: Does It Do Any Good?
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