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President Roosevelt's startling message to Congress, asking for power to name six additional Justices of the United States Supreme Court, left Harvard's government experts apparently speechless yesterday.
Thomas Reed Powell, Langdell Professor of Law, and one of the nation's authorities on constitutional law, when asked for a statement said simply, "No." Be said he would elaborate his opinion further in an article in a technical law journal.
Edmund L. Morgan, Acting Dean of the Law School, said merely, "No, thank you, I don't care to comment on it." Arthur N. Holcombe '06, professor of Government, likewise declined to express a public opinion as yet of the message. Felix Frankfurter, Byrne Professor of Administrative Law in the Law School, whom many believe wrote both the bill and much of the message which accompanied it, said, "You're very kind to ask me, but I have not a word to say. No, NOT A WORD."
Charles G. Haines, visiting professor of Government, returned to the simpler method of refusing to comment, saying simply, "No, nothing to say." Benjamin F. Wright, assistant professor of Government, also refused to say anything for publication. Payson S. Wild, assistant professor of Government, elaborated a bit more, saying he felt "something of the sort would have to be done if we were to have an efficient democracy. I think it's rather ingenious, but Im not appalled by it."
It is not known whether the extreme reticence has anything to do with the prevalent rumor that some Harvard faculty members are in line for the new Court positions should they be created.
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