Last modified on October 18, 2021, at 21:06

William E. Jenner

William Ezra Jenner
Former U.S. Senator from Indiana
From: January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1959
Predecessor Raymond E. Willis
Successor Vance Hartke
Former U.S. Senator from Indiana
From: November 14, 1944 – January 3, 1945
Predecessor Samuel D. Jackson
Successor Homer E. Capehart
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Janet Cuthill
Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Service Years 1942–1944
Rank Captain
Battles/wars World War II

William Ezra Jenner (July 21, 1908 – March 9, 1985) was a strongly conservative,[1] anti-Communist Republican from Indiana who served as the state's U.S. senator from the mid-1940s to the late 1950s. He was previously a member of the Indiana State Senate.

Jenner was an adamant opponent of the administrative state.[2]

U.S. Senate

Following the death of sitting Democrat U.S. senator Frederick Van Nuys, Jenner successfully ran in the special election for the Class III seat.[3] He decided against running for re-election to a full Senate term, and instead ran for the state's Class I Senate seat two years later.[4] He was re-elected in 1952[5] and retired from Congress in the 1958 midterms.

An ally of fellow Wisconsin Republican Joseph McCarthy, Jenner was a strong critic of George C. Marshall.[1][2][6] In 1950, he accused Democrat Sen. Millard E. Tydings of Maryland of having

...conducted the most scandalous and brazen whitewash of treasonable conspiracy in our history.[7]

In 1956, Jenner, who staunchly opposed foreign aid,[1][2] criticized President Dwight Eisenhower's policies as being too moderate, and formed a group of isolationist Republicans along with McCarthy as well as Herman Welker of Idaho.[1] The following year, he introduced the "Jenner Bill" which would have restricted the jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court over cases involving subversive activities.[8][9] This was in response to several decisions by the Court which sided with communists.

Jenner voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.[10]

His retirement in 1958, which he attributed to his disgust with the D.C. Swamp,[2] came as a surprise to the party leadership.[1] He missed 10% of all roll call votes during his Senate tenure.[11]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wilkerson, Isabel (March 11, 1985). WILLIAM E. JENNER, EX-SENATOR, DEAD. The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 LAT Archives (March 13, 1985). Anti-Communist Ex-Sen. William E. Jenner Dies. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  3. IN US Senate - Special Election Race - Nov 07, 1944. Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  4. IN US Senate Race - Nov 05, 1946. Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  5. IN US Senate Race - Nov 04, 1952. Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  6. Marshall and McCarthyism. America's Library. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  7. 'HIDEOUS' COVER-UP IS LAID TO TYDINGS IN REPLY BY JENNER; Committee Attack on McCarthy a 'Blasphemous Perversion,' Indiana Republican Says IVES ALSO HITS MAJORITY Lodge Renews Plea in Senate for Full Bipartisan Inquiry Into the State Department. The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  8. The Jenner Bill. Federal Judiciary Center. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  9. BILL TO CURB COURT DEFENDED BY JENNER. The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  10. HR. 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957.. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  11. Sen. William Jenner. Retrieved June 5, 2021.

External links

  • Profile at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Profile at Find a Grave