AUGUST 15, 1955
MEEKER, Colo.—I have just finished reading "The Nine Men," a political history of the Supreme Court of the U.S. from 1790 to 1955, by Fred Rodell, professor of law at Yale University. This is a most-interesting book and one I think all of us should read.
The Supreme Court from the very beginning was made up of men who handed down decisions and interpreted the Constitution according to the way they were influenced by their background, their prejudices, their knowledge and political beliefs. All of the book is fascinating reading, but Chapter 6, "Associate Justice Holmes Dissenting," was for me pure joy.
I remember Justice Holmes when he was still active and enjoying the society of younger men. I can recall how the latter relished the Sunday afternoons or any other opportunities to spend time in his company. I remember him again when my husband and I went to call on him after my husband's first inauguration. He was still keen, and my husband was deeply impressed by him, as always.
For me, of course, Chapter 7, "The Court Collides with the New Deal and Wins the Battle by Defaulting the War," had a particular interest.
And the last chapter (9), "Yesterday's Court, the Court Today and the Court That Could Be Tomorrow," is a good review and holds out a hope which all of us must be anxious to see come to reality.
I was glad to see some of the men I have admired come through the close scrutiny of this author very well. Justice Black and Justice Douglas have nearly always stood where I felt I would be glad to back them. And in this book they get full recognition for their courage and ability.
This is no difficult book to read. It is easy and entertaining, and I think every American citizen will profit by it.
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The other evening Mrs. Alphonzo Bell, a great admirer and friend, I imagine, too, of ex-President Herbert Clark Hoover, gave me a delightful brochure containing two of President Hoover's addresses. One is entitled, "A Remedy for Disappearing Game Fishes," and the other is the address of Mr. Hoover at Madison Courthouse, Virginia, which is his acknowledgment and thanks for the welcome given him and Mrs. Hoover when he was building his summer camp on the Rapidan.
Mr. French Strother wrote the forward to the brochure, saying what is true of many public men—that there were many Herbert Hoovers, and that some of the most-charming sides of this President are little known to the public.
Everyone knew, I think, that President Hoover was interested in fishing, but this address appeals for greater care for our streams where game fish are to be found. He recognizes that some streams are polluted beyond repair, but he gives good advice in saying we should awake to the need for clean streams and for more fish in our waters for the ever-increasing number of men and boys who go fishing.
He suggests that the best practices in hatcheries should be studied and that we should take advantage of all up-to-date knowledge. I am sure that since Mr. Hoover wrote this address much has been done. I am also sure that one can never stand still in conservation measures, and in our conservation of fish, as in all other kinds of conservation, we must keep constantly on the watch and constantly improve our methods.
Mr. Hoover's address, delivered to the Izaak Walton League of America when he was Secretary of Commerce, has charm and humor and common sense, and I am delighted to have had an opportunity to read it in an area of the country where the trout is very much a part of everyone's daily life.