Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks at the Swearing In of Charles R. Simpson as Judge, Tax Court of the United States.

September 02, 1965

Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, Justice Clark, Senator McClellan, Chairman Mills, Mr. Cohen, my old friend Judge Trimble:

I found it possible to exchange views with the steel negotiators at a particularly appropriate moment today. I had to go order their lunch and have it sent over to the Executive Office Building. And they kind of had a press conference with me and asked a few questions back and forth, and I was delayed. But I know that Judge Simpson and Justice Clark and all of you good folks out there would hardly find any subject that is more important to the country than the steel negotiations, and I am sorry that it has given you a little extra suntan by having to wait. I am very proud that you are here.

There are few appointments that I have made in my term of office since I became President that have really given me as much inner satisfaction as this appointment. The reason for that, I think, is that it has given so much satisfaction to other people also.

Soon after I announced my intention to nominate Jim Simpson to the Tax Court, I received a great number of letters from all throughout this country.

Some of them were from his colleagues in the Internal Revenue Service. Some of them from those who had worked with him professionally through the years. But a great many were from men and women throughout all of America who find themselves, like Jim Simpson, suffering from disabling handicaps.

Now most of the professional letters did not even refer to Jim's handicap. They didn't mention it. Instead, they spoke of a man whose brilliance of mind and whose fairness of judgment made him the natural and, I would say, almost the inevitable choice for elevation to this high court.

From the letter of Sheldon Cohen, the brilliant young Commissioner of Internal Revenue, one who did not know Jim Simpson would have learned nothing about his sightless eyes. The letter didn't mention it. But what Sheldon Cohen, the Commissioner, said--and what all of his colleagues said--was that great ability and deep integrity had finally been recognized in a highly deserved appointment.

The other letter writers expressed their appreciation of the fact that here in this America of ours, it was possible for a man that is crippled by fate to rise to one of the most responsible .positions in the powerful Government of the United States, not because of his misfortune, but in spite of his misfortune. And I share their satisfaction, and I rejoice in the example that Jim Simpson has provided for all those in this Nation and elsewhere--the blind, the deaf, the crippled, those who cannot talk, and those who cannot hear--who aspire to conquer their disadvantages and to fulfill the promise of life.

Judge Simpson's career is illustrious by any standard. His academic marks at the University of Illinois Law School were the highest there in 25 years. He has taught at Harvard Law School. He has served in the Illinois General Assembly, and he was until today the Director of Legislation and Regulations in the Office of General Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service.

His preparation for this new task is beyond dispute. His courage is an inspiration-not only to the handicapped, but to every American, including the President of the United States. His colleagues and millions of disabled people proudly salute him. He did not apply for this job, he didn't even know he was being considered. He was appointed for one reason and one only-men whose judgments I rely on, including my own, knew him to be the best equipped man that we could find in the 50 States to occupy this high office.

So it is with great pride that we welcome you here today to participate in recognizing some of the unusual achievements of this good and modest man. It is with great pride that we in the Government welcome him to the Tax Court of the United States of America.

Note: The President spoke at 12:45 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. In his opening words he referred to Judge Simpson and his wife, Mrs. Ruth Simpson, who serves as his secretary, Associate Justice Tom C. Clark of the Supreme Court of the United States, who administered the oath of office, Senator John L. McClellan of Arkansas, Representative Wilbur D. Mills of Arkansas, Sheldon S. Cohen, Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service, and Representative James W. Trimble of Arkansas, formerly judge of the fourth judicial circuit of that State.

Following the administration of the oath of office, Judge Simpson spoke briefly. The text of his remarks is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 1, p. 191).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks at the Swearing In of Charles R. Simpson as Judge, Tax Court of the United States. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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