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Sen. Clark Sees Anti-semitism Playing Role in Opposition to Fortas Nomination

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Sen. Joseph S. Clark, Pennsylvania Democrat, warned today that anti-Semitism “is definitely playing a part in the opposition” to the nomination of Justice Abe Fortas to be Chief Justice of the United States. The Senator likened the Fortas nomination struggle to that which followed the nomination of Justice Louis D. Brandeis, the first Jew named to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said the Fortas case was a “test of America’s commitment to the ideals of fellowship and brotherhood” and assailed those who have remained silent on the Fortas issue.

But Sen. Clark disclosed that his mail has been running 11 to one against the Fortas confirmation. He made his remarks as the Senate Judiciary Committee today approved the Fortas nomination by a 10 to six vote and sent it to the full Senate. There a filibuster was threatened by the anti-Fortas senators led by Sen. Robert P. Griffin, Michigan Republican.

A two-thirds majority would be required to choke off filibuster. Opponents of Justice Fortas claim they have enough votes to forestall a debate-limiting cloture rule and perhaps even a simple majority to defeat the Fortas nomination outright.

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