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Rusk QQQQ, Dean Rusk interviewed by Richard Rusk and Thomas Schoenbaum, Part 2, circa 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:00 - Constitutional amendment proposals / The Supreme Court's Equal Protection ruling

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Partial Transcript: We were treated to a curious irony a few months ago that very few people noticed.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about proposed amendments, including requirements for a balanced federal budget, a six year presidential term, and the Equal Rights Amendment. He warns against expanding the scope of the Constitution, supporting states' rights as outlined in the Tenth Amendment. Rusk questions the Warren Court's legal basis for the "one man, one vote" amendment (see more at link, Reynolds v. Sims 1964 below), given that representation in the Senate is not proportional.

Keywords: 10th Amendment; 14th Amendment; Congress; ERA; Fourteenth Amendment; Reagan; civil rights; equal protection; intermediate standard; legislature; levels of scrutiny; women's rights

00:09:41 - The Supreme Court and foreign policy

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Partial Transcript: In the Phinizy Lectures you had a number of comments, I think well taken, about the Court and foreign affairs...

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the role of Supreme Court Justices in providing foreign policy advice. He praises the court's cautious participation in Washington social life. Rusk talks about Chief Justice Warren's reluctance to head the Warren Commission, and he assesses constitutional challenges to the Vietnam War.

Keywords: Abe Fortas; Dean Acheson; Earl Warren; FDR; Felix Frankfurter; JFK; Johnson; Kennedy; LBJ; Roosevelt; Tonkin Gulf Resolution; William Douglas; assassination; war powers

00:16:02 - Litigation against Rusk and other executives

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Partial Transcript: ...beginning in the sixties and continuing today, the head of any government agency is subject to being sued in his or her personal name...

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about Afroyim v. Rusk (1967), which led to immigration law reform. He also discusses Goldwater v. Carter (1979), a case challenging President Carter's power to terminate a security treaty with China, stating that the Supreme Court does not have constitutional jurisdiction over such matters. Rusk talks about the source of foreign policy powers according to Justice Sutherland and explains how Congressional politics can prevent litigation.

Keywords: Arizona; Beys Afroyim; Carl Hayden; Taiwan; U.S. Fifth District Court of Appeals; United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation; immigration law; naturalization

00:25:03 - The State Department's legal counsel

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Partial Transcript: Did you get involved at all in preparing the defenses or advising your legal counsel on how to handle these constitutional cases?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks further about his involvement in legal cases, emphasizing the role of the State Department's legal adviser's office and the solicitor general. He names one exceptional case in which he refused legal advice to submit an extradition warrant for a Canadian labor leader.

Keywords: Canada; international law; perjury

00:29:33 - The implications of Watergate

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Partial Transcript: In your Phinizy Lecture you talked about your experience at the Law of the Sea Conference in Venezuela...

Segment Synopsis: Rusk recalls President Nixon's resignation and supports the pardon offered by President Ford because it prevented a "playacting" trial. He comments on the constitutionality and reality of power allocation in the period before Nixon's resignation, stating that Cabinet members guarded against irrational decisions. Rusk notes that Watergate showed the strength of the U.S. Constitution.

Keywords: Cabinet; Ford; Kissinger; Law of the Sea Conference; Watergate; impeachment; national military command center

00:35:54 - Runnymede / The British judicial system / Rusk's nomination to the Supreme Court

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Partial Transcript: The Runnymede incident, where you showed up representing Lyndon Johnson...

Segment Synopsis: Rusk remembers a memorial service in which Queen Elizabeth presented an acre of Runnymede land to the U.S in honor of President Kennedy. He discusses the common legal heritage of the United States and Great Britain, and he compares the two states' high courts. Rusk recalls that President Johnson sought to nominate him as a Supreme Court Justice, despite his lack of a law degree.

Keywords: Bill of Rights; Constitution; Habeus corpus; History of the Common Law; Law Lords; Magna Carta; William Holdsworth