The attitude of United States Supreme Court Justice Lonis D. Brandeis in his explanation of his refusal to intervene in the SaccoVinzetti case is criticised by the “Jewish Morning Journal,” conservative Jewish paper. Arthur D. Hill, chief defense counsel, stated following an interview with Justice Brande is which occupied less than three minutes that “Justice Brandeis on being informed on what case we were acting stated that because of his personal relations to some of the people who had been interested in the case he felt that he must decline to act on any matter connected with it.”
In an editorial entitled “A Ne glected Opportunity.” the Jewish Morning Journal writes:
The Jewish Justice of the United States Supreme Court had an excellent opportunity to stay the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti and millions of Jews will regret that he did not find it proper to make use of it. Nor will Jews be the only ones who will resent this decision. Justice Brandeis. in his younger years, was known as a radical and all those who are inclined to go a little farther than the usual conservative American with regard to changes, considered him as their man.
“The opposition which came to the surface when he was nominated as Justice of the highest court of the land had more to do with his radicalism than with his Jewish origin. He was the right man in the Supreme Court to break through the wall of ‘technicalities’ which have prevented the sentenced from obtaining a new trial. Certainly he knew what he did and when he says that it was not proper for him to intervene, one must assume that he is right. None the less, this caution is also not more than a technicality. When one imagines that his decision not to intervene meant at that moment a death sentence for the two persons with whom his family sympathizes, a doubt arises if he had a moral right to stop at such a delicate point as the Biblical injunction: Whittem Nekiim. The fear that perhaps somebody would say something concerning him or that perhaps the action is not exactly correct should not stand in the way when a question of such importance is under consideration.
“In essence, the others before whom the case was brought have done likewise. Governor Fuller and the Lowell Commission have also found that it is not proper for them to decide against the sentence although they had a legal right to give another opinion. Such an attitude is more logical for one who believes that the sentenced were guilty than for one concerning whom there is every justification to assume that he is not convinced of their guilt. A doubt of 1 per cent, against 99 should have been sufficient to forget what is proper and what is not proper.
“However, not having any intention to blame the famous jurist, it is impossible not to regret the causes which have influenced him to act as he did.
“If more persons among us than among other men and women were against the execution of the sentence, it is only because the thirst for justice and the fear of shedding innocent blood is stronger among the Jews than among others.
“It would have made a marvelous impression upon the entire world if a Jew would give the word for which tens of millions waited with the greatest suspense. Even such persons who believe that under normal circumstances it is better for the Jew not to attract too much attention would admit that this case is an exception.
“One cannot imagine that a man like Justice Brandeis should not have been interested in the case, that he should not know more about it than the majority. Such an energetic spirit is also seldom in doubt concerning an important matter and there are. in our opinion, only two explanations for his action: either that he was convinced that the sentenced were found rightly guilty, or that he was certain that another would save them and had thought that in view of the fact that a stay would be granted anyway, it was more proper to relinquish the honor and to prevent the bad opinion which might have been expressed in certain circles. Otherwise, the explanation of impropriety is not sufficient to explain his attitude.”
A cable from Warsaw to the Jewish Morning Journal stated that the Sacco Vanzetti case was the subject of discussion at a special meeting called by the Poalei Amunei Israel, Orthodox Jewish labor youth organization. At this meeting the legal side of the case was discussed on the basis of Jewish law. Following the discussion a decision was reached that the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti was not justified according to Jewish law.
“The Day,” liberal Yiddish daily, commented yesterday on the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti in an editorial entitled “America Loses.”
The editorial contends that neither justice nor humanity nor society gained anything by the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. The newspaper further states that the execution was a shock to “America’s own sons who have always taken and still take her traditions earnestly and sincerely.” Those who advocated a stayfor Sacco and Vanzetti “cared for nothing more than the welfare and purity of America’s soul,” the paper states.
The Philadelphia Federation of Jewish Charities is the benefiary of a bequest of $50,000 under the will of while on a visite to Budapest, Hungary. His will, disposing of an estate valued at $100,000, was probated yesterday.
A bequest of $500 was also made to the Tifrith Israel Synagogue, and another of $200 to the Chevorah Mishnayis of that synagogue.