Steps to obtain a mandamus order to compel Frederick O’Byrne, Commissioner of Jurors for New York County, to reinstate Franklin Ford, studio manager and radio broadcaster for Station WHAP, New York, on the county’s jury list, were taken on Friday by Mr. Ford’s attorneys.
His name was stricken from the list at the suggestion of Judge Otto A. Rosalsky of General Sessions.
In his petition for a mandamus order Mr. Ford sets forth that Mr. O’Byrne ordered his name stricken from the jury list about Dec. 27 because of “certain political and civic opinions expressed in an examination before Judge Rosalsky” and also because of an additional statement of his civic and political opinions, which he broadcast from WHAP.
Mr. Ford, whose broadcasting is alleged to have been strongly anti-Catholic, contends that his civil rights and his constitutional right to freedom of speech have been violated by Mr. O’Byrne.
In exhibits accompanying his petition Mr. Ford presents a copy of the transcript of his testimony before Judge Rosalsky, which reads in part:
“Q.–Did you make the statement that no Catholic ought to hold public office?
“A.–Yes, I did…. If a Roman Catholic, as he does, owes allegiance to a foreign governor, a political and secular authority, his citizenship is divided, and that is the objection I have.”