Civil Rights (1961-1966)


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Clifford P. Case meeting marchers from New Jersey at Union Station, Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963  Ruth Case Papers.

Program for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963  Ruth Case Papers.
Despite dogged resistance in the South to the expansion of civil rights protections, momentum built for a massive rally in Washington, D.C.  In this photograph, Senator Case, his wife Ruth, and son Cliff greeted marchers arriving at Union Station.  They later attended the Lincoln Memorial Program where noted civil rights leaders and supporters, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., addressed the crowd of 250,000.

Excerpt from Case’s statement on the Bobby Baker investigation, July 7, 1964.  Ruth Case Papers.
Journalists’ accounts of influence peddling by Senate aide Bobby Baker of Texas became front-page news in spring 1964, sparking calls for an investigation.  In May, Case proposed that the Senate Rules Committee question each member of the Senate about his dealings with Baker.  Rebuffed by the Rules Committee chair, Case delivered these remarks on the floor of the Senate July 7, 1964.  The incident strengthened Case’s campaign to pass legislation requiring full public disclosure of personal finances and assets by members of Congress and the executive branch.

Clifford P. Case with New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Mitchell in April 1961. (Mel-Art Photographers).
One of Clifford Case’s few electoral miscalculations was his advocacy of former U. S. Secretary of Labor Jim Mitchell as the Republican nominee for governor of New Jersey. Despite the misgivings of a number of leading New Jersey Republicans, Mitchell won the Republican primary and opposed Democrat Richard J. Hughes for the governorship.  Case is shown here with Mitchell at a rally prior to the April 18, 1961 Republican primary election.  Despite Case’s support, Hughes defeated Mitchell by a wide margin, thus commencing eight years of Democratic control in the governor’s mansion.

Clifford P. Case with three attendees at the Readington Township Republican picnic, April 26, 1962
Senator Case was always attentive to maintaining close ties with his New Jersey constituents.  As former administrative assistant Sam Zagoria recalled, the senator traveled regularly to New Jersey from Washington, attending functions both large and small to remain in touch with the needs and concerns of New Jerseyans, as well as to sustain his support from the New Jersey Republican party organization.

“Can Influence Be Curbed in Defense Awards?” Iron Age Magazine, April 11, 1963.
Senator Case used the media consistently in his efforts to improve the transparency of government operations and to maintain high ethical standards for public officials.  In this article in a leading metalworking industry publication, Case discusses his proposed legislation to strengthen congressional oversight in the awarding of defense contracts.


Bill Canfield, “Barry, Something Tells Me He’s Not Gonna Stop,” Newark Evening News, September 22, 1964.
In 1964, conservative Barry Goldwater won the Republican nomination for president.  Deeply troubled by Goldwater’s lack of support for minorities, Case, Senator Jacob Javits of New York, and others crafted amendments to the Republican platform supporting civil rights protections.  They were defeated at the San Francisco convention, but, as this cartoon suggests, Case’s support for civil rights legislation remained unwavering despite the threat of a “white backlash” among voters.  Case’s popularity and influence in New Jersey was undiminished by his stand, particularly given Goldwater’s crushing defeat in November 1964.

Clifford P. Case, “The Congress and Its Double Standard,” Federal Bar Journal, Summer 1964.
Persistence was a cardinal virtue for Clifford Case, as illustrated in this article concerning the public disclosure of financial interests by members of Congress and their top staff members.  Although he had proposed this same legislation in three prior Congresses, by 1964 only thirty members of Congress had joined Case and publicly disclosed their financial assets and liabilities.  Arguing that “through the years, Congress has shown it cannot, will not, police itself,” Case continued to propose financial disclosure legislation for members of Congress and the executive branch.