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Sen. Mansfield Sees ‘absolutely No Anti-semitism’ in Fight on Fortas Appointment

Senate Democratic leader Mike Mansfield, of Montana, insisted today in a television interview that there was “absolutely no anti-Semitism” involved in the continuing attacks on the nomination of Supreme Court Associate Justice Abe Fortas as Chief Justice. Sen. Mansfield, who leads forces seeking approval of the Fortas nomination, was asked about the factor of anti-Semitism. A newsman pointed out that President Johnson last weekend raised this question when he depicted a similarity in the opposition to Mr. Fortas to the campaign against confirmation of the late Louis D, Brandeis, first Jew ever to serve on the Supreme Court.

The fate of the Fortas appointment remained in doubt with Sen. Robert P. Griffin, Michigan Republican, leader of anti-Fortas senators, renewing the attack. Sen. Griffin asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to reopen the inquiry into the fitness of Mr. Fortas to be Chief Justice. In a memo to Sen. James O. Eastland, of Mississippi, committee chairman, Sen. Griffin denounced Mr. Fortas for allegedly advising President Johnson on policy matters and thereby flouting the constitutional separation of powers doctrine.