Wayne Morse ( 1900-1974) began his career as a professor of law. He was elected to the United States Senate from Oregon in 1944 and served in the Senate for twenty-four years. An early opponent of the Vietnam war, Senator Morse was also noted for his work on labor and education legislation.
I write from the experience of some thirty years during which I admired Wayne Morse: ten of those years before I had ever met him, some twenty years of companionship and common work in the Congress of the United States, and twenty years of friendship.
When I first ran for the United States Senate in 1958, I had been in the House of Representatives for ten years and had observed during that time the Senate and the men who were there -- not just where they stood on issues but how they reflected in their judgments what the Senate should be. So when I ran, I asked two senators to come and campaign for me. One was Senator Paul Douglas, and the other was Senator Wayne Morse.
I will not write of Wayne's stand on the issues, for that is well known, but rather of his conception of and his respect for the Senate.
He was, of course, always the Senator from Oregon. But he was at the same time a United States Senator -- truly aware of the function of that body in the operation of this Republic. He knew that the Senate had a strong defensive responsibility: to stand against the House of Representatives, when that was necessary, and to lay down a challenge to the courts. And the second was a point which worried him a great deal. I thought of him in the summer of 1974 as we anticipated the Supreme Court decision on Watergate -- how Wayne Morse, along with great constitutional observers like Alexis de Tocqueville, had said that the ultimate test of democracy in this
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Hard Years:A Look at Contemporary America and American Institutions. Contributors: Eugene J. McCarthy - Author. Publisher: Viking Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1975. Page number: 197.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.