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Letter to Secretary Goldberg Upon His Resignation To Accept Appointment to the Supreme Court

September 20, 1962

Dear Arthur:

The regret with which I accept your resignation from the Cabinet is matched only by the depth of pride and pleasure which accompany my opportunity to name you to the Supreme Court.

You have been a wise and invaluable member of the innermost councils of this Administration; and your voice, counsel and tireless efforts will be sorely missed. But you shall bring distinction to our highest Court for many years after this Administration has gone; and I did not feel that I could deny our country and Constitution those benefits of your talented service.

As Secretary of Labor, you have brought to that Department a stature and significance which have never been surpassed. Your ceaseless and judicious laboring on behalf of industrial peace and economic stability have earned you the high respect of both management and union representatives. Your effectiveness in championing the rights of working men and women and their families is demonstrated by the enactment in this Congress of new legislation increasing minimum wages, supplementing unemployment compensation, tightening the safeguards on welfare and pension funds, providing for the retraining and placement of our unemployed manpower, aiding areas of chronic distress, improving the lot of migrant workers and modernizing our eight-hour laws. You have, in addition, played a major role in the passage of the Trade Expansion Act, new programs for juvenile delinquents and unemployed youth and executive efforts to improve the employment opportunities of minority groups.

You go now to a post of grave responsibility; and I have the utmost confidence in your ability to fulfill the obligations of that post with honor and brilliance. While the Constitutional separation of powers now rightly alters our relationship, you will always remain in the esteem and affection of us all.



[Honorable Arthur I. Goldberg, The Secretary of Labor, Washington, D.C.]

Note: Mr. Goldberg served as Secretary of Labor from January 21, 1961, through September 24, 1962. His letter of resignation, dated September 20, 1962, follows:

Dear Mr. President:

I respectfully submit my resignation as Secretary of Labor. I do so with mixed emotions: deep appreciation of the great honor of your nominating me for the Supreme Court, the profound regret in leaving the Cabinet and your Administration.

I shall always regard the months I have served as your Secretary of Labor as the most rewarding period of my life. You have been a great President, inspiring in your leadership, firm in your support, tolerant of shortcoming but demanding of performance. Whatever success my own administration of the Department of Labor may have enjoyed has been owing above all to this leadership.

You are guiding the country in one of the most difficult periods of history. I profoundly believe that you can look back to the last twenty months as a period of accomplishment and achievement. Under your leadership the Nation can look forward to ever greater and more significant advances.

I shall, with the approval of the Senate, turn to new responsibilities in the Judicial Branch of government. I shall assume these responsibilities conscious that you have appointed me ¢o a great seat once occupied by Story, Gray, Holmes, Cardozo, and Frankfurter. I cannot fill their places. I can only assure you that I shall do my best to discharge my high judicial office with fidelity to the principles of the Constitution and fidelity to the great traditions of the Nation's highest Court.



John F. Kennedy, Letter to Secretary Goldberg Upon His Resignation To Accept Appointment to the Supreme Court Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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