Reaction to the probable appointment of Governor Earl Warren as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court varied from outright jubilation to mild resignation among professors contacted last night.
It is believed that Attorney General Herbert Brownell has asked President Eisenhower to appoint Warren and that official confirmation will be forthcoming soon. The vacancy was caused by the death of late Justice Fred M. Vinson.
Most satisfied with the probable choice was Law School professor Arthur E. Sutherland. "This is an excellent move," he said last night. "Governor Warren has a great deal of experience in public law dating back to 1941 when, as attorney general in California, he was interested in federal state relations.
"As governor he has had wide administrative experience," Sutherland added. "About the only thing against him ins the fact that he's been in politics and if you look back, Taft, Hughes and John Marshall were also in politics before they became Chief Justices."
Robert G. McCloskey, associate professor of Government, was less certain of Warren's capabilities. "My reaction would not be great enthusiasm. I don't know anything about his qualifications as a jurist. I'm afraid I can be neither indignant nor enthusiastic," McCloskey said.
Mark A. DeWolfe Howe, 28, professor of Law, echoed McCloskey's uncertainty. "I think it's all right, but it's not too exciting, he said. "It seems like a perfectly good appointment. But I would rather see him an associate justice first. A man should be tested before he becomes Chief Justice. I thin he'll be a good moderate liberal. I think he will take a liberal stand, for instance, on civil liberties. I think he is a moderate man, moderate in ability, in wisdom and I think he'll make a moderately good justice.
"But if appointed now I question whether he should take his chair until the Senate gives confirmation. I wouldn't like to see a man decide on segregation cases while the Senate is deciding on him. Of course, that might be the reason that he was appointed. A lot of other men have things against them that might prevent their confirmation, while I think Warren is neutral enough to have a clean slate."
Charles R. Cherington '35, professor of Government, greeted the choice of Warren warmly. "It seems a very logical political move. He's a very admirable man, and this is just like the appointment of Charles Evans Hughes. I look forward to a distinguished Chief Justiceship. And I'm pretty sure he'll take a stand against segregation; he's a good American, isn't he?"
Law School professor Warren A. Seavey also lauded the choice, saying. "He's probably a good man. He'll be a middle of the road man, and that's what you need on the Supreme Court.