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The “Pipeline From Washington” Still Flows Freely – A Mr. Magazine™ Blast From The Past, Circa June 1953

July 10, 2019

You may have noticed lately that I am not as active on the blog as usual.  Two reasons for that, first, the summer break and second, working on two books, the first on how to launch a magazine and the second on the magazines of the 1950s.

As I continue to delve into the Mr. Magazine™ research project for the book I will be doing on the magazines of the 1950s, I came across this article in Dare magazine, issue date June 1953. The article is titled “Washington Pipeline” by Paul Scott and focuses on a maneuver to control the Supreme Court by the party in power, which at the time was the Republican Party. Dwight D. Eisenhower had been sworn in as president of the United States in January 1953 and while this struggle was far different than the most recent power play that took place within the structure of the Supreme Court, the Brett Kavanaugh controversy, the fact that magazines were and still are the best reflectors of our society’s times and actions remains the same.

There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to topics such as politics. The players may be different, but the scenarios can be variably similar. And while “variably similar” may be an oxymoron, the past and the present can be harmoniously contradictory as well, especially where magazines are concerned.

So, I hope that you enjoy this Mr. Magazine™ Blast From the Past and please feel free to leave me your comments. I look forward to your thoughts…

Dare Magazine – June 1953

WASHINGTON PIPELINE

BY PAUL SCOTT

WASHINGTON, D.C.—– History is about to repeat itself.

A determined move to pack the supreme court will be underway by June 15.

The battle will rival the famous legislative struggle which began on February 5, 1937, when the late President Roosevelt disclosed his plans to enlarge the high court.

While the present objective is the same- control of the court by the party in power -the battle stage will be set very differently from the ’37 struggle.

Main attack on the court will come from congress, not the White House.

GOP Senate leaders, aiming to strip the court of its New Deal influence, will direct the battle. President Eisenhower will remain in the background.

The senators already have mapped their secret strategy. Plans call for restricting and packing, not enlarging the court. First objective is to slip quietly through Congress Joint Resolution No. 44 sponsored by Senator John M. Butler, R., Md. It proposes:

  1. -Compulsory retirement of all Supreme Court Judges at 70.
  2. -New powers for Congress to restrict appellate jurisdiction of the high court.
  3. -Prohibition against any member of the court running for presidency or vice presidency.

The exact proposals were considered at length by Roosevelt and his advisers. While all agreed they would accomplish the late president’s objectives, the proposals were rejected in favor of the much simpler approach to enlarge the court. This was done on the belief that it would be too much trouble to seek ratification of a resolution by the legislature of three-fourths of the states.

GOP leaders Taft, Knowland, and Butler take a different view. They believe they can profit on ROOSEVELT’s mistake and plan to use the legislatures to drum up support for their court packing plan.

Note. Ban on justices seeking the presidential office in aimed directly at two 1956 Democratic hopefuls on the court-Justices Vinson and Douglas.

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