Ethics at Home and Abroad (1973-1978)


To view the complete text version of the exhibition checklist, click here.

Winifred I. Cook, “Senator’s wife maintains serene home,” The Home News, December 8, 1974 . Ruth Case Papers.
Ruth Case’s devotion to Clifford Case, whom she affectionately called “Buddy,” is detailed in this feature article from the New Brunswick Home News.  Mrs. Case maintained the couple’s Georgetown home, where they pursued their mutual interests in reading, the arts, and travel.  Senator and Mrs. Case took little interest in the social life of Washington, preferring to spend time with their family, participate in Rutgers and Columbia alumni programs, and do volunteer work.  Mrs. Case remained in Washington following the Senator’s death in 1982.  She relocated to Rahway to be near her family only a few years before her death in 2003 at the age of ninety-eight.


“Food for thought—Keep it coming,” The Daily Observer, Toms River, New Jersey, March 21, 1975.
This cartoon depicts the senator assisting children by opposing cuts in federal school lunch programs during the Ford administration.  Case’s independence of mind and strong commitment to strengthening public education at all levels was highly regarded by both Democratic and Republican colleagues, as well as the New Jersey electorate.


“A Clean Sweep,” Newark Star-Ledger, May 28, 1972.

Clifford Case considered one of his most significant accomplishments to be the appointment of U.S. attorneys for New Jersey who vigorously prosecuted cases dealing with organized crime and political corruption.  In this cartoon, Frederick B. Lacey and Herbert Stern, two Case appointees who later were elevated to the federal bench, are shown hard at work to “clean up” New Jersey while an appreciative Case applauds their efforts.

Door to Clifford P. Case’s Senate office with “Go Rutgers” bumper sticker
Clifford Case’s affection for Rutgers was a touchstone throughout his career. Having served as a University trustee in the 1950s and as a professor of public affairs from 1979 to 1982, Case was truly a “loyal son,” regularly attending his class reunions and supporting Rutgers projects being considered by Congress.  On March 17, 1976, Case congratulated the undefeated Rutgers men’s basketball team on the Senate floor.  “I am gratified to join the ranks of my colleagues who have been lucky enough to be able to adorn their offices with truly nonpartisan bumper stickers.  The front door of my office has for some weeks now proudly proclaimed, ‘Go Rutgers.’”

Clifford P. Case and New Jersey Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick with President Gerald Ford, June 3, 1976.
Senator Case fought to expand human rights protections throughout his career.  In this photograph he is pictured with co-sponsor Millicent Fenwick and President Ford at the signing of the legislation authorizing the U.S. Commission for Monitoring the Human Rights Provisions of the Helsinki Accords in 1976.  After leaving the Senate in 1979, Case was named chairman of the board of Freedom House, a non-governmental organization committed to strengthening free institutions worldwide.

President Jimmy Carter signing the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 with Senator Case and other legislators present, October 26, 1978.
Two decades after he began publishing his annual financial statement in the Congressional Record, Senator Case was present in October 1978 when President Jimmy Carter signed a government ethics bill containing much of what Case had long advocated. At the bill signing, Senator Case remarked, “Twenty years ago Dick Neuberger and I introduced the first disclosure bill in the Congress. And it’s kind of nice to have it come to fruition before I leave….I’m grateful indeed for all the Members of the House and Senate who came to see the light.  Thank you.”

Clifford P. Case and Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, at a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 21, 1978.
As the ranking minority member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Clifford Case was both a reliable supporter of U.S. aid to Israel, as well as an outspoken critic of policies that he viewed as threats to Israel’s security.  In May 1978, Case opposed the sale of U.S. F-15 jet fighters to Saudi Arabia, and later in the same year he was openly critical of the Carter administration’s efforts to pressure Israel to quickly conclude a peace treaty with Egypt.  A November 1978 article in the Israeli newspaper, Ma’ariv, stated that throughout all the controversies in Congress dealing with Israel since its founding, “only Clifford Case continued to stand alone as a solid rock in support of Israel.”

Senator Clifford P. Case, Senator Henry Jackson, Senator Jesse Helms, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn during the Soviet author’s visit to the U.S. Senate on July 15, 1975.  Ruth Case Papers.
During the Cold War, Clifford Case was a persistent voice opposing the expansion of Communist influence in Europe and other areas of the world.  By the 1970s, Case had worked closely with other Senate colleagues to raise awareness of human rights violations, particularly those directed against dissidents in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.  Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the world-renowned Russian novelist and dissident, is greeted here by Senators Case, Jackson, Helms, and one unidentified colleague during a visit in July 1975. 

Jim Testa, “Jersey ’s favorite son: ‘Gregarious as Hell’,” Rutgers Daily Targum, September 18, 1973.  Ruth Case Papers.
Clifford Case always found time to meet with journalists and that included reporters from the Rutgers Targum.  In this September 1973 interview, Case spoke candidly about Congress’ role in foreign policy and in limiting the powers of the president, issues that within a year contributed to Richard Nixon’s downfall.  Testa closed his article by paraphrasing Mark Twain, stating that despite skepticism about members of Congress, “if America has a worthwhile native son, it is Clifford Case.”