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Letter to Justice Stanley F. Reed Regarding His Withdrawal From the Commission on Civil Rights

December 03, 1957

Dear Mr. Justice:

I have your letter concerning your situation in relation to the work of the Commission on Civil Rights.

Under the circumstances, I must respect the reasons you give for being unable to serve as a Member of the Commission. Nevertheless, I appreciate your interest in its work and the extensive consideration you have given to it.

With warm regard,



Note: Justice Reed's letter, dated December 2, 1957, follows:

My dear Mr. President:

Upon reflection I have concluded that I must withdraw my acceptance of your much appreciated offer to appoint me to the Civil Rights Commission.

When I recently indicated to you my willingness to serve on this Commission, I permitted my desire to be of use in the orderly adjustment of civil rights matters to blind me to the weightier harmful effects of possible lowering of respect for the impartiality of the Federal judiciary.

For me to accept such an investigatory and advisory office in the Executive Department, after service upon the Supreme Court in many civil rights cases, now seems to me incompatible with my obligations as a judge. The Commission participates in policy making through its investigations and its appraisals of federal laws concerning civil rights.

The interference with the preliminary work of the Commission has been considered by me but I am sure it will be less now than with later necessary withdrawal.

With regret that I have added to your burdens by my former acceptance, I am,

Very respectfully yours,


Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Justice Stanley F. Reed Regarding His Withdrawal From the Commission on Civil Rights Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233992

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