Clifford P. Case

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Clifford Philip Case, Jr.


In office
1943–1945
Preceded by Robert C. Hendrickson
Succeeded by Bill Bradley

United States Representative for
New Jersey's 6th congressional district
In office
January 3, 194 – August 16, 1953
Preceded by Donald H. McLean
Succeeded by Harrison A. Williams

New Jersey State Representative

Born April 16, 1904
Franklin Park, Somerset County, New Jersey
Died March 5, 1982 (aged 79)
Washington, D.C.
Resting place Somerville New Cemetery, Somerville, New Jersey
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ruth Miriam Smith Case
(married 1928-1982, his death)
Children Mary Jane, Ann, and Clifford, III
Alma mater Rutgers University (B.A.)
Columbia University Law School (L.L.B.)
Religion Dutch Reformed Church

Clifford Philip Case, Jr. (April 16, 1904 – March 5, 1982), was a liberal Republican attorney who served as a U.S. Senator for his native New Jersey from 1955 to 1979. No Republican has been elected to represent New Jersey in the Senate since Case's last victory in 1972 though Republicans Nicholas Frederick Brady and Jeffrey Scott Chiesa served briefly as senatorial appointees.

Case was unseated in the 1978 Republican senatorial primary by conservative Jeff Bell, who then lost to Bill Bradley, pictured in later years.

After four terms, Case was unseated in the 1978 Republican senatorial primary by the conservative Jeffrey Langley Bell (1943-2018), who then lost the general election to Democrat former professional basketball player Bill Bradley. In 2014, Bell was again the unsuccessful Republican nominee against Democrat victor, Cory Booker.

Prior to his Senate service, Case was from 1945 to 1953 the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 6th congressional district.

Background

Case was the oldest of six children of Clifford Case, Sr., a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church, and the former Jeannette McAlpin. He was born in the Franklin Park section in Somerset County, New Jersey when Theodore Roosevelt was the U.S. President.[1] His father was a staunch Republican who canceled his subscription to The New York Times after it endorsed Woodrow Wilson in the 1912 presidential election against Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.[2] An uncle, Clarence Edwards Case (1877-1961), served in the New Jersey Senate and as Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.[3]

In 1907, Case, Sr., became the pastor of the Reformed Church in Poughkeepsie, New York. Case hence graduated in 1921 from Poughkeepsie High School.[3][4] After his high school graduation, Case studied at Rutgers University in New Jersey.[4] His father died the year before he entered Rutgers, and Case helped pay for his college expenses by working part-time jobs, including playing the pipe organ in church on Sundays.[3] At Rutgers, from which he graduated in 1925, he was named to the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa and played on the lacrosse team.[1]

Case then studied at Columbia University Law School in New York City, from which he obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1928.[4] He wed the former Ruth Miriam Smith (1905-2003), a Rutgers classmate, and the couple had two daughters, Mary Jane and Ann, and one son, Clifford, III.[1]

Career

After obtaining his law degree, Case joined the firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City, at which he remained until 1953.[3] He begam commuting to New York City from his home in Rahway, New Jersey. From 1938 to 1942, he was a member of the Rahway Common Council.[4] From 1943 to 1945, he was a state representative.[4]

U.S. Representative

Case was elected to the House in 1944, when Franklin D. Roosevelt amassed a fourth term as president though he served only a few weeks in the fourth term. Case defeated his Democratic opponent, Walter H. Van Hoesen (1924-1985), by a comfortable margin. He was subsequently re-elected to four more terms with at least 55 percent of the vote each time his name was placed on the ballot.[2] In 1952, he won twenty thousand more votes than any other candidate had ever received in his district and won ten thousand more votes than Dwight D. Eisenhower's majority in New Jersey.[2]

Representative Case frequently carried the endorsement of the liberal Americans for Democratic Action and the AFL-CIO. A strong supporter of civil rights, he backed a measure to end the poll tax, but that did not happen until the ratification of the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1964. He supported the Fair Employment Practices Commission, which supporters said would prohibit racial discrimination in the workforce.[3] He also opposed the establishment of a permanent House Un-American Activities Committee and the overriding of Democratic President Harry S. Truman's veto of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, also known as the McCarran-Walter Act, named for Nevada Democrat Senator Patrick Anthony "Pat" McCarran. He served on both the House Judiciary and the Education committees.

In 1953, Case was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, having been defeated by the wealthy businessman from Passaic, Paul Lyman Troast (1898-1972). In August of that year, Case resigned from the House to become president of the Ford Foundation's Fund for the Republic, a group that advocated protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties in the United States. He served in that position for less than a year.[4]

U.S. Senate

After Republican incumbent Senator Robert Clymer Hendrickson (1898-1964) declined to run for re-election in 1954, Case announced his candidacy. He defeated in the general election fellow U.S. Representative Charles Robert Howell (1904-1973), a Democrat.[5] During the campaign, Case openly criticized the staunchly anti-communist Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin and vowed to oppose seating McCarthy on any committee which carried investigative powers.[3] McCarthy's supporters labeled Case as "a pro-Communist Republicrat." [1] A conservative faction within the Republican Party unsuccessfully attempted to force Case off the ballot and proposed a write-in campaign for former U.S. Representative Frederick Allan Hartley, Jr. (1902-1969), the co-author of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which still forbids the forcing of workers to join labor unions. the measure was enacted over the veto of President Truman .[2] Case was endorsed by President Eisenhower and Vice President Richard M. Nixon. In 1959, William F. Buckley Jr.'s National Review magazine in the article "Hopeless Case" appraised Case's liberal positions within the Republican Party.[6]

On November 2, 1954, Case defeated Howell by only 3,369 votes.[5] It was the closest Senate election in New Jersey's history.[3] Case won a recount of the results by 3,507 votes.[1] In the Senate, he compiled one of the most liberal records of any Republican, much in line with his New York colleagues Jacob Javits and Kenneth B. Keating. He was re-elected in 1960, 1966, and 1972. Case voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1957,[7] the Civil Rights Act of 1960,[8] the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964,[9] and the Civil Rights Act of 1968, whhich forbids racial discrimination in the sale and rental of housing.[10] Case supported the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the confirmation in 1967 of Democrat Thurgood Marshall, the first black male appointed to the United States Supreme Court.[11]

In 1966, along with two other Republican senators and five Republican representatives, Case signed a telegram sent to Governor Carl Edward Sanders (1925-2014) regarding the refusal of the Georgia legislature to seat the recently elected Julian Bond in their state House of Representatives. This refusal, said the telegram, was "a dangerous attack on representative government. None of us agree with Mr. Bond's views on the Vietnam War; in fact we strongly repudiate these views. But unless otherwise determined by a court of law, which the Georgia Legislature is not, he is entitled to express them."[12]

At the 1968 Republican National Convention, Case attempted to hold the New Jersey's delegation's forty votes as a favorite son candidate so as to prevent Richard Nixon from being chosen on the first ballot and thus give Case's preferred candidate, Nelson Rockefeller, a chance of being chosen in potential subsequent ballots. Eighteen delegates deserted Case in order to vote for Nixon's nomination on the first ballot. Case was a co-author of the Case-Zablocki Act of 1972, which required that executive agreements by the president be reported to Congress in sixty days. He also co-sponsored the Case–Church Amendment, which prohibited further U.S. military activity in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The measure was signed into law in 1973 by President Nixon six months after the U.S. had already withdrawn from South Vietnam.

Later years

After leaving the Senate, Case resumed the practice of law in New York and also lectured at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers. He died in Washington, D.C., and is interred at the Somerville New Cemetery in Somerville, New Jersey.

One of Case's grandsons, Matthew Holt, served as the mayor of Clinton, New Jersey and was elected in 2005 to the Hunterdon County Freeholders.[13][14]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ex-Senator Clifford P. Case, 77, Is Dead," The New York Times, March 7, 1982.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "New Jersey: A Political Microcosm, Time Magazine, October 18, 1954.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Clarence Case," Current Biography, H. W. Wilson Company, 1956.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 CASE, Clifford Philip, (1904-1982). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on March 29, 2022.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 1954. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.
  6. Finis Farr, "Hopeless Case," National Review, November 18, 1959.
  7. HR. 6127. Civil Rights Act oF 1957.. GovTrack.us.
  8. HR. 8601. Passage of Amended Bill..
  9. HR. 7152. PASSAGE..
  10. To Pass H.R. 2516, A Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Sale Or Rental of Housing, and to Prohibit Racially Motivated Interference With a Person Exercising His Civil Rights, and for Other Purposes..
  11. Confirmation of Nomination of Thurgood Marshall, the First Negro Appointed to the Supreme Court.. GovTrack.us.
  12. "Georgia House Dispute". Congressional Quarterly 24 (3): 255. January 21, 1966. Cited in African American Involvement in the Vietnam War
  13. Stephen J. Nova, "GOP convention picks to fill district Senate and Assembly seats could lead to contentious primary season," The Express-Times in Easton, Pennsylvania, February 1, 2009.
  14. Hunterdon County Freeholder, Matthew Holt, elected NJTPA chairman - nj.com, accessed March 29, 2022.