THE PROGRESSIVES IN AMERICA [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]
Sin,—The report of the attitude of Americans towards their Supreme Court, published by your American correspondent last week, is to any discerning American too obviously partisan and misleading-to be allowed to pass without question.- That the nomination of Mr. Hughes to be Chief Justice will be -generally accepted as eminently proper is true enough. BUt
that any considerable number of Americans would feel the slightest concern at the appointment of one of the " so-called Progressives" is nothing but that sort of peculiarly trans- parent ex parte nonsense for which Americans have invented a short name with which surely-your correspondent must be familiar. .
Who are these " Progressives "• who, your Mr. Ivy Lee says, are inclined to verge strongly upon radicalisM," whatever that statement may be intended.to convey ? Justice Holmes is commonly admitted to be one of the greatest jurists in our history. Justice Brandeis, a brilliant and successful advocate, did, to be sure, before his elevation to the bench, put his abilities at the service of organized labour. Justice Stone, formerly Dean of the Law School of Columbia Uni- versity, came to the Court from the Coolidge Cabinet, to which he had been summoned in order that public confidence in the administration of justice by the Federal Government might be restored after the unspeakable scandals of the Harding regime.
In their judicial opinions, Justices Holmes, Brandeis and Stone are generally found to express the view that big business should, and under the law may, properly be subject to stricter control by the public in the public interest. They are sup- ported in their view by an increasing body of intelligent opinion in Congress and country. They are opposed by the majority of the Supreme Court and by the dominant group in both political parties. They are opposed by big business.
But they are also opposed by Mr. Ivy Lee in the columns of the Spectator, pursuing the familiar methods of American political propaganda. The minority is always in sin. Justices Holmes, Brandeis and Stone,. being a minority, ",are inclined to verge strongly upon, radicalism," and, if any one of them were made Chief Justice,. all good hundred r ercenters who vote straight would tremble for the safety of the Republic. This is, of course, to the American familiar stuff. The, only thing new is that -it should of all places in the world, appeal
in the Spectator, yet so it am, Sir, .&c.,