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I know men that tried to evade their military duty during the war, who are now foremost in the patriotic societies.
It was disgusting to me, if you will permit the word, during the war, to see the number of men anxious to gain exemption, ablebodied men, strong, healthy, that could fight, and yet they would not fight.
The CHAIRMAN. I believe, Mr. Cooke, you desired to ask á question.
Mr. COOKE. My question, Mr. Chairman, I think was pretty well cleared up by Mr. Cable. I wanted to bring out that question No. 24 naturally derives itself from the promise in the oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Do you not think so, Mr. Griffin?
Mr. GRIFFIN. What was that?
Mr. COOKE. Do you not think the question contained in No. 24 is the natural derivative of the promise in the oath to protect and defend the Constitution?
Mr. GRIFFIN. You mean it is a fair interpretation according to your idea?
Mr. COOKE. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Of course, that is where the difference arises as to the interpretation of the oath. The word "defend," for instance, the majority of the court in the Schwimmer case, 4 to 3, decided that it was as you say, a derivative from the oath, that defense by fighting was a part of the obligation, but, on the other hand, Justice Holmes and Justice Brandeis and Justice Sanford held the contrary opinion. Then, in the Macintosh and the Bland cases, the Chief Justice, himself, the Hon. Justice Hughes, took the view that it was not a derivative.
Mr. COOKE. Assuming that Madam Schwimmer had been admitted to citizenship, having given a negative answer to question 24, and that we had then become involved in war, and Mrs. Schwimmer, using her great talents as an orator, had gone back and forth across the country lecturing against the war, and lecturing and advising and counseling against enlistment in the Army, do you think she would have then been protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States?
Mr. GRIFFIN. That is an unfair presumption
Mr. COOKE (interposing). I do not think it is.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Because, if Madam Schwimmer were admitted to citizenship, I am sure she would have had enough patriotism to give help and support to everything that the Government did, because if she did not, she would violate her oath.
Mr. COOKE. You are assuming that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. There is no assumption there.
Mr. COOKE. I am trying to get your idea of what supporting and defending the Constitution is.
Mr. GRIFFIN. My idea is that a person who takes the oath is presumed to carry it out, and the lady in question, whose name has been mentioned, having been given the oath, having taken it, and having been admitted to citizenship, I am quite sure that as a conscientious woman of high ideals, she never would have taken the attitude which my friend and colleague here suggests. It is utterly inconceivable. Mr. COOKE. Not to me, because there were a great many of those cases that did occur during the past war, did they not?.
Mr. COOKE. A great many people were preaching pacifism throughout the land.
Mr. JOHNSON. Opposing the Liberty bond issues and opposing everything that meant winning the war.
Mr. GRIFFIN. There is no doubt the Labor Department had troubleduring the war with so-called pacifists, but those people were mostly native-born pacifists.
Mr. FREE. Suppose everybody refused to defend their country,. what situation would you be in then?
Mr. GRIFFIN. All would be in a splendid condition. There could be no war.
Mr. FREE. It every country was armed and fought us and we stood and took it?
Mr. GRIFFIN. That could never happen.
The CHAIRMAN. I think we are going a little too far now.
Mr. CABLE. Mr. Griffin, an alien has no right to become a citizen. Mr. GRIFFIN. Absolutely not; it is a privilege.
Mr. FREE. Mr. Griffin, as I followed your testimony you take the position that all these people that you referred to in these cases would. take the oath if permitted to do so; did you not take that position? Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. FREE. All right. You go on further and state that a great many people take the oath who just take it perfunctorily and with no idea of living up to it exactly as some one else might interpret it,. but living up to it as they might interpret it themselves.
Mr. GRIFFIN. That is true.
Mr. FREE. Now, then, do you not think that if that is the caseif there are a whole lot of people now holding up their hands and taking the oath and intending to put whatever interpretation they please on it-that it is then incumbent upon the Supreme Court of the United States to place an interpretation on it?
Mr. GRIFFIN. No; there are a million who take the oath thoughtlessly, as against one or two or three who take it with sober consciousness of the burden that they assume.
Mr. FREE. What have you got to say, then, about this syllabus in the decision rendered by the Supreme Court when it says that it is the duty of citizens by force of arms to defend our Government against all enemies whenever necessity arises is a fundamental principle of the Constitution?
Mr. GRIFFIN. I'll let the Justices of the Supreme Court fight that out among themselves.
The Macintosh decision was a 5 to 4 decision. Four judges of the Supreme Court took the contrary view on that. They held that it was not a fundamental duty of the citizen to fight, to shed blood.
Mr. FREE. Well, do I understand from that, that you do not want. to recognize the majority decision of the Supreme Court as the fundamental law of the land?
Mr. GRIFFIN. I do; but I feel like Lincoln did about the "Dred Scott" decision. I am going to fight as long as I can against an injustice even by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Mr. FREE. That is all right. I grant you have that privilege, and that right, but do you not think that the fact that there are
so many people who place their own interpretation on the Constitution, that that justifies the great Supreme Court in placing an interpretation on it, and whenever that interpretation is placed, it is our duty to support it?
Mr. GRIFFIN. These poor aliens that accept naturalization, coming up to the court to be sworn in, have not the slightest idea of interpreting the Constitution, or reserving any opinion to themselves with respect to what they will do, or what they will not do when the war comes. They simply do not think about it.
Mr. FREE. Then, do you not think in that case the Supreme Court, or some great power, ought to take a stand and interpret the Constitution so that anybody, who can read at all, can understand what they say the Constitution means?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Precisely. That is what I am fighting for. I would like to see the Congress take a stand to cut out and eliminate all such questions where human conscience and human concepts of religion come into consideration. Those questions should be eliminated.
Mr. FREE. What is the meaning of the word "defend "?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Justice Hughes, in his minority opinion, the dissenting opinion, gives a very good definition of defense. He says there are a thousand and one ways in which a citizen may defend his country. He may defend his country the same as Doctor Macintosh and Miss Bland defended their country, by serving in the forces overseas, as in various duties of kindness for the troops. Miss Bland was a nurse. Several other people who have been denied citizenship served during the war as nurses.
Our exemption law is filled with exceptions. I will put that in the record at this point. It is a good place to put it in. Exemptions of school teachers and clergymen, and policemen and firemen, and city officers, and Members of Congress.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean exemptions from war?
Mr. GRIFFIN. They are exempted from service in war.
(For the exemption list referred to by Mr. Griffin, see p. 195.)
Mr. RUTHERFORD. That has no connection with the oath of allegiance. That is a matter for Congress.
Mr. GRIFFIN. This is simply elaborating on the question that was asked as to the interpretation of the word "defend."
The reason why these people are exempted is that it is assumed that the schools have got to carry on, and the churches have got to carry on, pilots have got to conduct ships in and out of the harbors, other activities of the Government have got to go on. Those men are defending the country. That comes within the scope of the proper interpretation of the term "defend" in the oath, and that is. the view that Chief Justice Hughes expressed, and I stand with him.
Mr. FREE. Do you not think it is a dangerous proposition to encourage the average alien to consider that when the Supreme Court of the United States renders a decision 4 to 5 that it is only fourfifths right, because four decide one way and five the other, and it is only four-fifths the law?
Mr. GRIFFIN. It does not make any difference to me if none of them took the stand for the defense of freedom of thought and religious liberty. I am one of those who is willing to stand alone.
Mr. COOKE. It seems to me that it is not right to ask all these people to stand, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair is very mindful of that and is arranging to go down to the room of the Committee on the Judiciary within a half an hour (they are having an executive session), where everybody will have a seat and be more comfortable.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I said I would introduce Professor Davis, but before I leave I want to read for you the opinion of one of the ablest constitutional lawyers that we have in this land to-day, a man who was a candidate for President of the United States and a man whose views on constitutional questions are looked upon with great respect. This is from the office of Davis, Polk, Wardwell, Gardiner & Reed, 15 Broad Street, New York, under date of January 25, 1932, and is addressed to me at Washington, D. C.
(For letter of Hon. John W. Davis, see p. 195.)
The CHAIRMAN. Well, so far as that goes, they would deny citizenship, whether a person is intelligent or less intelligent, if he refused to answer questions 22 and 24, if he refused to bear arms he was practically excluded from citizenship whether a professor of college or a bricklayer.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Absolutely.
There is just another paragraph:
True the majority of the court decided otherwise. Our contentions, however, were fully grasped and forcefully and lucidly presented by Mr. Chief Justice Hughes. In his opinion he states
He then quotes the opinion which I have already put in the record, so I will not repeat that. I will read this part of it. Justice Hughes is speaking.
I think that the requirement should not be implied because such a construċtion is directly opposed to the spirit of our institutions and to the historic practice of the Congress, it must be conceded that departmental zeal may not be permitted to outrun the authority conferred by statute. If such a promise is to be demanded, contrary to principles which have been respected as fundamental, the Congress should exact it in unequivocal terms, and we should not, by judicial decision, attempt to perform what, as I see it, is a legislative function.
That is by Chief Justice Hughes.
Mr. RUTHERFORD. Now, Mr. Griffin, all the laws we pass, as a rule, give the bureaus the right to make rules and regulations. Under that right they inserted in the application for naturalization the question 24, which has been sustained by the majority decision of the Supreme Court, and is now the law of the land. That argument was very good before the court at the time, but that is res adjudicata, and is all settled.
The CHAIRMAN. They are coming here and want the law amended. Apparently they concede that that is the law.
Mr. GRIFFIN. That is the reason I am here, to try to make an appeal to the judgment of Congress itself to defend its rights, and its prerogatives.
Mr. JENKINS. You talk about Madam Schwimmer. I notice in the opinion of the Supreme Court this sentence is used.
1 And that she was an uncompromising pacifist, with no sense of nationalism, but only a cosmic sense of belonging to the human family.
If this woman has only got a cosmic sense of belonging to the human family, what kind of a woman is she?
Mr. GRIFFIN. If you are asking my opinion, I will say that perhaps I have not advanced far enough in civilization as yet to take that lofty stand, but I will frankly say I have the utmost respect for any human being who, with humility at heart, bows to the infinite and
I am a mere speck in the universe. I love all of the human race. I stand for the principles of liberty and freedom of thought, and of conscience.
That, I would say, is a noble attitude-too noble an attitude for anybody to criticize.
(For addenda by Mr. Griffin, see p. 152.)
The CHAIRMAN. The chairman would like to make an announcement.
We will run along here until about 12 o'clock, then we will take a recess until 1, and we will convene back in the room of the Committee on the Judiciary where this hearing will be continued at 1 o'clock. That is room 379.
When there is a vote in the House we will suspend and go and voté. Mr. GRIFFIN. Professor Davis was here
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). I will put him on right now, and we will run along until 12 o'clock, then we will take a recess until 1 o'clock and reconvene in the room of the Committee on the Judiciary, where everybody will have a seat.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I will now call Prof. Jerome Davis, of Yale University.
STATEMENT OF JEROME DAVIS, PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY OF YALE UNIVERSITY
Mr. DAVIS. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, ladies and gentlemen, at the outset I want to make clear that I am not a naturalized citizen. My ancestors fought in the Revolution. My great, great, great grandfather was Brig. Gen. John Glover, who had charge of the boats when George Washington crossed the Delaware. Two of my other ancestors were governors of Massachusetts. My father was a lieutenant colonel on the side of the North in the Civil War. I was born and brought up in a patriotic tradition.
I am not here to question whether Congress should legislate for conscription. I am not here to question the decision of the United States Supreme Court. I am concerned with whether Congress. should amend the present naturalization law, and I believe that Congress should amend that law in accordance with the suggestion and bill which is proposed by Congressman Griffin or Senator Cutting.
The first point which I want to make is that the present naturalization law, as now construed, is contrary to the entire traditions of the United States, as the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court has said.
It goes without saying that it was not the intention of Congress, in framing the oath, to impose any religious test.
Now, there are two contrasting theories of Government operating in the world to-day. One is the theory of the divine state. It is the theory which is exemplified by Prussia. It is the theory that