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PRESIDENT GERALD R. FORD - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 10/02/1958 - HFSID 48341

GERALD FORD Writing to a constituent in 1958, he asserts that the Warren Court has gone too far in protecting "the personal privileges of individuals" at the expense of "the rights of the community as a whole." Typed Letter signed: "Jerry Ford" as US Representative, 2p, 8x10½. Washington, D.C.

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GERALD FORD
Writing to a constituent in 1958, he asserts that the Warren Court has gone too far in protecting "the personal privileges of individuals" at the expense of "the rights of the community as a whole."
Typed Letter signed: "Jerry Ford" as US Representative, 2p, 8x10½. Washington, D.C., 1958 October 2. On Congressional letterhead to Thomas E. Gaertner, Grand Rapids, Michigan. In full: "Thank you for sending me the pamphlet entitled 'On Whose Side is the U.S. Supreme Court?' I can report that I have not seen this before and was, therefore, quite interested in noting its contents. In a number of its recent decisions, the Supreme Court has, I think, gone out of its way to protect the personal privileges of individuals without taking into full consideration the rights of the community as a whole. In its great effort to protect the personal freedoms which we so much cherish in our country, it has simply in a number of instances made it much more difficult to protect the interests of the community at large. The Congress has been cognizant of this fact and the House of Representatives passed two measures in the past session to remedy the situation brought about by recent Supreme Court decisions. One of these would have restricted the implications of the Nelson vs. Pennsylvania Case by declaring that the Congress by no means intended to preempt the legal field involved in control of subversive activities. This bill, H.R. 3 which I supported, declared that it was the policy of the Congress not to preempt any legal area unless the act of the Congress specifically so stated. Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate did not see fit to enact this legislation during the past session. I am sure that it will again become a legislative issue in the 86th Congress. The House of Representatives also passed remedial legislation to correct the court decision in the Mallory Case. This case had to do with the admissibility of evidence of confessions obtained by police officers. The court's decision made it extremely difficult to use certain confessions and the House legislation, which I supported, would have strengthened the power of the law enforcement officers in this regard. In this instance also, the Senate was not disposed to follow the lead of the House of Representatives, but I am certain that new attempts to remedy the situation will be made in the next Congress. You may be certain that the Congress is going to make every effort as a coordinate and equal body in the government to see that decisions of our courts are kept in line with the best American traditions. Warmest personal regards. Sincerely". Accompanied by original mailing envelope with Ford's stamped Congressional frank. As Ford states in this letter, the US Supreme Court in the era of Chief Justice Earl Warren (1954-1969) arrived at many controversial decisions which broadened the rights of accused criminals. In Pennsylvania vs. Nelson (1956), the Warren Court voided the conviction of a Pennsylvania communist party leader under the state's anti-sedition law on the grounds that the accused (Nelson) had only advocated the overthrow of the federal government, not the government of Pennsylvania, and that legislation of the US Congress had preempted state lawmaking on the subject. In Mallory vs. United States (1957) the Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction on the grounds that a confession was obtained during an unreasonable delay between his detention and arraignment. These decisions, as well as later ones like Gideon vs. Wainwright (1963) and Miranda vs. Arizona (1966), which further broadened the Court's definition of personal rights in relation to the police and court system, infuriated conservatives and remain "hot button" issues in American politics to the present day. The future 38th President makes his viewpoint and voting record clear in this detailed letter. Fine condition.

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