He signs a typed 1977 letter, tactfully disputing a claim in Smithsonian
Magazine that a Supreme Court Clerk was "high strung."
Typed Letter signed: "Arthur J. Goldberg". 1 page, 8½x11. No place,
1977 January 4. On personal letterhead to The Editor, The Smithsonian
Magazine, Washington, D.C. In full: "The article and photographs in
the January, 1977, issue of the Smithsonian Magazine relating to the Supreme
Court were outstanding. The writing and pictures illuminated the workings of the
Court and are a major contribution to public understanding of this important
branch of our government. I and, I am sure, your other readers look forward to
further material on this subject which is to be published in subsequent issues
of the magazine. There is, however, a statement in Mr. Williams' excellent
article about the Court which I would like to amplify on the basis of my
personal experience. The statement relates to Mr. Michael Rodak, the
distinguished Clerk of the Court. It characterizes Mr. Rodak as "high strung."
In my three years of service as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, I had
daily and close association with Mr. Rodak, who then was a Deputy Clerk, in
matters relating to the business of the Court. I never found him to be high
strung, but, on the contrary, found him, to borrow another word from Mr.
Williams, "unflappable." The Court, in its history, has had many able and
dedicated Clerks, and Mr. Rodak is not the least among them. Sincerely yours".
A labor lawyer, Goldberg (1908-1990) served as President Kennedy's
Secretary of Labor (1961-1962) before being appointed Associate Justice
of the Supreme Court. In 1965, he was convinced by LBJ to give up his
lifetime Supreme Court appointment to succeed the late Adlai E. Stevenson as
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Goldberg's frustration at the
continuing escalation of the Vietnam War prompted him to resign his U.N. post in
1968. Michael Rodak, Jr., a graduate of Georgetown Law School, joined the
staff of the US Supreme Court as an assistant clerk in 1956. He served as
Chief Clerk from 1972 until his retirement in 1981. Three filing holes at
left margin. Staple holes at upper left corner. Normal mailing fold creases.
Pencil note (unknown hand) at upper right margin. Soiled, toned and lightly
foxed. ½" tear at lower right fold.
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ARTHUR J. GOLDBERG
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