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1981-03-17 Interview with Adam Yarmolinsky, March 17, 1981 Reed001:1981OH039Reed07 00:31:51 Stanley F. Reed Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Reed, Stanley Forman, 1884-1980 Adam Yarmolinsky; interviewee Edward Gilson; interviewer 1981OH039_Reed07_Yarmolinsky 1:|7(12)|40(9)|57(2)|78(4)|94(13)|117(8)|144(2)|164(2)|211(12)|227(8)|245(5)|263(9)|295(2)|316(6)|346(14)|384(2)|404(2)|460(10)|496(10)|519(2)|553(9)|566(6)|577(9)|622(2)|659(1)|673(7)|686(7)|703(2)|714(4)|735(10)|755(7) audiotrans SFReed reed001:interview GILSON: Well, Mr. Yarmolinsky, could you tell me a little bit about your background and your history, how you became a . . . how you became a clerk? YARMOLINSKY: Yeah. I went to a--it's kind of a funny story--I went to Yale Law School, graduated in the class of `48 . . . June of `48. That was when we were graduating classes three times a year. And we had a kind of a system where people were recommended to various Supreme Court justices depending just on their standing in the class, without any . . . it was a mathematical, simple, . . . GILSON: Oh, yeah? YARMOLINSKY: . . . mechanical procedure. And [buzz] . . . excuse me. Can you . . . ? GILSON: Certainly. [Interruption in taping] YARMOLINSKY: . . . again? GILSON: Yeah, . . . YARMOLINSKY: Right. GILSON: . . . I just want to . . . YARMOLINSKY: I started to say that the dean of the law school had put me up for the . . . the chief justice's clerkship. And then the chief justice decided not to take a second clerk that year or to keep his clerks on or something. GILSON: Yeah. YARMOLINSKY: And at the last minute I went to the Court of Appeals, although in those days I--and I had a magnificent year clerking for Charlie Clark who was the chief judge--although in those days it was more o- . . . at least as often people went directly to the Supreme Court. And I didn't even anticipate that I would go to the Supreme Court. I . . . I went and practiced with a Wall Street firm the second year out of law school, and then Bayless Manning, who had been my successor as editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal and who was my . . . who went directly to clerk for Stanley Reed when I was one year out of law school, was asked by Reed to stay on for a second year, and he didn't want to stay for a second year. One year, it's like, you know, the first prize is one week in Philadelphia and the second prize is two weeks. And he suggested to Reed that he ask me, and he did, and I . . . I hadn't been at the Court, and I was still only a year and a half out of law school. Well, I . . . so, I . . . I went. So that's . . . that's . . . it's an odd way in which I got to be Stanley Reed's law clerk. My co-clerk was Ed [Edwin] Zimmerman, a graduate of Harvard Law School, who had . . . he had clerked for . . . I think for somebody in the Second Circuit. You probably have it in your records and I don't . . . GILSON: I . . . I don't have . . . YARMOLINSKY: . . . recall. GILSON: . . . that now. YARMOLINSKY: Yeah. At any rate, so much for that. GILSON: So much for that? What were your first impressions of . . . of Stanley Reed? You probably knew him through . . . through law school and . . . YARMOLINSKY: Oh, yes. I had written . . . in fact, I had written my major writing as- . . . writing thing for the Yale Law Journal on the . . . the 1948 term . . . `47 term, I guess it was, of the . . . of the Court. It was a sort of a general analysis of opinions and where the Court was going. So I'd had a little more in-depth exposure. I guess my first impression was a kindly old gentleman wearing a . . . you know, he used to take off his suit jacket and put on a black alpaca sort of silk material jacket to work in--which was, I suppose, one of the many nineteenth-century customs that he preserved. He also had a spittoon in his office. Probably the last spittoon in the Supreme Court, which his . . . his messenger, [Gerald] Ross, used to polish. GILSON: Oh, yeah? YARMOLINSKY: But he was a . . . most people referred to him as "Uncle Stanley." He was a very . . . he was a very friendly, and yet he was a very tough, old man. He asked his law clerks to do a little personal legal research for him before the term started, not because he was . . . there was some question of his being thrown out of his apartment in the Mayflower that he'd had for years. In fact, he was not thrown out and stayed there for many years afterwards. But his . . . his approach was, "It makes sense for them to throw me out. When I was general counsel of the R.F.C. [Reconstruction Finance Corporation], I brought them a lot of business because a lot of people came and had meetings and we had drinks and meals. And now I'm on Supreme Court, it doesn't do them any good, so why should they keep me in the apartment?" GILSON: That's interesting. Well, I guess, for the record, if you would, please, describe your year as a clerk, what the clerks do for the . . . for the Court and for Stanley Reed. YARMOLINSKY: The main thing that . . . well, of course, clerks do different things for different justices. And the main thing that . . . that my fellow clerk and I did, I think, took . . . probably took a majority of my time was the cert [certiorari] memos. We went through all the cert petitions, which were not in the quantity that they get them now, but were still . . . it was a very thick batch every week and a lot piled up during the summer. We would write single-page memoranda summarizing the issue . . . the facts, the issues, and the argument, [buzz] and making a recommendation. I'm sorry, but . . . GILSON: Okay. YARMOLINSKY: . . . if you don't mind the . . . [Interruption in taping] GILSON: Let's see. You were telling me what . . . what you were doing as a . . . as a clerk . . . YARMOLINSKY: Yeah. I . . . GILSON: . . . that year. YARMOLINSKY: . . . was saying that the principal business is the cert memos, and I would not want to convey the impression that the clerks tell the justices what to do, or at least that they did in Reed's case, because they didn't. I mean, what was important to him was . . . were the facts, which I hope we stated objectively in the summary of the arguments on both sides, and he allowed us to include our recommendations but he didn't necessarily follow them. And it was a wonderful exercise because it gave you the whole panorama of the law and . . . and it was a great exercise in [inaudible] writing. We also did quite a bit of research for opinions, and occasionally we would do a first draft of the fact statement for an opinion, but that was rare. He pretty much wrote his own opinions all the way through. And that was about the size of the job. GILSON: Okay, . . . YARMOLINSKY: Occasionally he would have a . . . sort of a research project associated with a . . . some . . . a case . . . a big case. GILSON: Okay. Well, I was just wondering . . . YARMOLINSKY: We . . . we . . . we worked long hours; not as long as some lawyers do, but we worked . . . we . . . the conference was on Saturday, as I recall, in those days. And that meant that we worked six days a week . . . [chuckle] a full six days a week, and stayed around until the conference was over to find out what . . . how it came out. Two clerks shared an office and discussed things together. The clerks had a lot of interchange among themselves. We . . . we had a clerks' dining room. We'd go . . . go to the cafeteria and get our lunches in the cafeteria line, and then take it to the clerks' dining room so we could talk about confidential matters freely. GILSON: Where you talked with all the other clerks in the . . . YARMOLINSKY: Yes, and . . . GILSON: . . . Court. Yeah. YARMOLINSKY: . . . frequently we'd invite visitors. Sometimes the justices would . . . one or another justice would join us or people from the executive branch or Congress. GILSON: Interesting. That's one of the things I was going to ask you. What part did you have in . . . in writing the opinions? You said you occasionally would do a first . . . YARMOLINSKY: Occasionally . . . GILSON: . . . draft. YARMOLINSKY: . . . would do a first draft of a statement of facts, . . . GILSON: Umhmm. YARMOLINSKY: . . . not of the rationale. GILSON: Okay. When . . . YARMOLINSKY: That's as far as we got into . . . GILSON: Okay. YARMOLINSKY: . . . sharing in the writing. GILSON: Oh, then he would come along and . . . and cut you or . . . I was saying, would he come along then and take a pencil and go over what you've done and . . . YARMOLINSKY: Yes. GILSON: . . . just . . . YARMOLINSKY: He'd edit it and we would go over it with him and we would argue about cases, but a lo-. . . an amount of what we did was to get to . . . to be sort of a . . . a foil to him in . . . in talking out some of the problems. GILSON: Yeah. What . . . what kind of a writer was Stanley Reed? Was he . . . I mean, I've often heard that [William] Douglas can just more or less . . . used to just . . . YARMOLINSKY: Oh, I'm sure . . . GILSON: . . . dictate it. YARMOLINSKY: . . . he was a slow and painful writer, although I . . . I didn't have much occasion to observe him actually writing. But he was not . . . he . . . he . . . he was not a flashy or . . . or a quick mind. He was a slow and . . . he . . . he worried over things. GILSON: Umhmm. Well, let me move on here. What was his relationship with other members on the Court? Chief Justice [Frederick] Vinson was in at the time. YARMOLINSKY: Yes. I think his closest relationship was . . . was a kind of a love-hate relationship with . . . with Felix Frankfurter. And that was so because each one had the . . . the one thing that the other most wanted and . . . and couldn't get and maybe most wanted because he couldn't get it. Felix had the intellectual distinction that Stanley knew he would never achieve, and Stanley had the sort of social position or stature as a . . . as a native American that Felix could never achieve. And this . . . this made them sort of . . . created a kind of symbiotic relationship. Stanley . . . Felix would come into Stanley's office, and they would . . . would argue furiously about something, and then he would . . . he would deliver a parting shot, and it was sort of . . . as he walked out, and Stanley would say, "He'll be back in thirty seconds." And, by God, he was back in thirty seconds. [chuckle-- Gilson] He'd thought of something else. But it was a . . . it was not a . . . it was not a hostile relationship. It was an oil and water. I don't remember that he had particularly close relations with . . . relationships with other members of the Court. He certainly was friendly with all of them. He had a very strong hierarchical sense. He . . . his one regret was that he had not got to be chief justice and . . . and he wouldn't. GILSON: Oh, yeah? YARMOLINSKY: Because he thought that being chief justice was . . . was better than being just a . . . an associate justice. And that was the . . . that was the world that he had always lived in. GILSON: Yeah. Were . . . well, Vinson was another Kentuckian on the . . . who was chief justice at the time. Wa- . . . were there . . . were there any animosities between . . . YARMOLINSKY: No. GILSON: . . . the two? YARMOLINSKY: I wouldn't . . . I wasn't aware of any. Vinson was . . . he was more an administrator than a . . . an intellectual leader of the Court. No, I . . . I can't . . . I have no recollection of a positive relationship with . . . with Vinson. And Vinson was a . . . was a very wise politician and Stanley Reed had a lot of political wisdom, too, accumulated over years in Washington and the executive branch. And I'm sure he must have been active in politics in Kentucky when he was a younger man or he wouldn't have gotten where he did in . . . in Washington. GILSON: Yeah, he did dabble in politics some. Well, the [Hugo] Black- Douglas liberal block. Did it . . . were there any . . . any times that . . . that he would come in . . . in contact with them, either . . . either pro or . . . YARMOLINSKY: Well, he . . . GILSON: . . . con? YARMOLINSKY: . . . was . . . he was clearly a . . . on the conservative side. He was not as conservative as, say, [Sherman] Minton or . . . I'm trying . . . I'm trying to remember who made up the . . . that was . . . who was on the Court and I . . . I've got to go back and reconstruct the Court. Vinson, Black, Douglas, Frankfurter, . . . GILSON: [Thomas] Clark, Minton, [Robert] Jackson. YARMOLINSKY: Then . . . then you get Reed. GILSON: Was [Harold] Burton on at the time? YARMOLINSKY: Clark, Burton, Jackson, . . . GILSON: Yeah. YARMOLINSKY: . . . Minton, that's nine. GILSON: Umhmm. YARMOLINSKY: Yeah, that's it. Well, you had . . . you had Black and Douglas and usually Clark on the liberal side. And Burton . . . well, let's see. If you put Black, Douglas, . . . who did I say . . . GILSON: Oh, Black, . . . YARMOLINSKY: . . . the third liberal . . . GILSON: . . . Douglas, Clark. YARMOLINSKY: . . . Black, Douglas, Clark on the liberal side and . . . GILSON: Umhmm. YARMOLINSKY: . . . and you put Minton, Burton, Frankfurter on the conservative side. And that leaves you Vinson, Reed, . . . well, Jackson . . . Jackson was temperamentally at odds with Douglas and Black. I don't know that I'd call him . . . he's a . . . unpre- . . . they weren't any of them as conservative as their predecessors or their . . . or their successor conservatives, . . . GILSON: Yeah. YARMOLINSKY: . . . but I think the Court did split pretty much that way, and Reed was a kind of a swing man. He was seen that way, and I think he was. Although he once said to me . . . I was talking about a cert memorandum and I . . . on some question of commercial law, and I s- . . . we . . . which was challenged as unconstitutional. And I said, "Just because it's been on the books for a hundred years, it doesn't seem to me it means it's constitutional." And he said, "Tell me a better test." So, that . . . that was a strong streak of . . . of real conservatism. GILSON: Yeah. Were there any controversies still . . . I'm not . . . I hate to use the word controversies. It looks like I'm . . . YARMOLINSKY: Misuse it . . . GILSON: . . . trying to . . . YARMOLINSKY: . . . use it. GILSON: . . . a probe for something, but it . . . it seems that there were some . . . YARMOLINSKY: Is there anyone on the Court who's still alive? GILSON: No. They're . . . they're all . . . they're all dead. YARMOLINSKY: That's shocking. GILSON: Yeah. Stanley Reed was the last to go. YARMOLINSKY: That . . . GILSON: I'm wondering about Bob Jackson in Nuremberg. YARMOLINSKY: Yeah. GILSON: That's a little . . . actually that's a little af- . . . or, a little before your . . . your time. YARMOLINSKY: Yes. GILSON: But, there were . . . there were some animosities among the . . . the justices, and I was . . . YARMOLINSKY: That he went and did that. Oh, yeah. That . . . Reed was not involved in that. GILSON: Umhmm. Well, did he refuse just to take a side or . . . YARMOLINSKY: Well, there . . . GILSON: . . . was he . . . YARMOLINSKY: . . . wasn't any occasion for him to take a side. GILSON: Oh. YARMOLINSKY: So he didn't have to vote on whether Jackson could go to Nuremberg or not. And I don't . . . I mean, again, that was before my time. If it was discussed among the . . . the justices, and it probably was, I don't know what position he took. I just don't know. GILSON: I'll have to go back to that one. What was his relationship with the president at the time? I know he was very close to [Franklin D.] Roosevelt. Was he . . . YARMOLINSKY: Oh, I think he was very . . . I don't think he had any relationship with the president. Except for Abe Fortas, justices have been pretty careful about not having any, other than formal association, with the executive branch. He . . . Abe Fortas was criticized for his role, and I think properly so. GILSON: Yeah. One other thing in getting back, in the year before your term started in 1949, he . . . I believe it was `49. Yeah. He was a character witness for Alger Hiss and . . . YARMOLINSKY: Yeah, but . . . GILSON: . . . [inaudible] . . . YARMOLINSKY: . . . remember that he was subpoenaed. GILSON: True. YARMOLINSKY: And he insisted . . . GILSON: True. YARMOLINSKY: . . . on being subpoenaed. GILSON: Yeah. Well, in fact, both he and Frankfurter did . . . YARMOLINSKY: Yeah. GILSON: . . . give testimony. And, as I recall, there was some . . . well, just by going through the . . . the notes and . . . and things between the . . . the two justices, there seemed to be a bit of . . . of conflict between them over that. Did . . . did you . . . YARMOLINSKY: Between the . . . GILSON: . . . detect any of that? YARMOLINSKY: . . . two? GILSON: Between Frankfurter and Reed. YARMOLINSKY: Because Frankfurter what, didn't respond to the subpoena? GILSON: No, he did . . . did respond. YARMOLINSKY: He did testify. GILSON: Umhmm. He testified. YARMOLINSKY: And so did . . . and Reed did, too. GILSON: Umhmm. YARMOLINSKY: Well, then, why was there conflict? GILSON: Just . . . I don't know. I was asking you [chuckle]. YARMOLINSKY: I don't . . . I don't . . . I don't understand what the . . . I mean, . . . GILSON: Okay. YARMOLINSKY: . . . I do not recall any conflict . . . GILSON: Okay, you don't . . . YARMOLINSKY: . . . and I don't see what the . . . GILSON: . . . any conflict. YARMOLINSKY: . . . basis for the conflict would be if they both testified. Unless it was that one insisted on a subpoena and the other didn't, or . . . GILSON: Actually, I was just trying to probe a little deeper into that. It just seemed to me that there was a . . . some conflict between the two and I was wondering if you knew anything about it. YARMOLINSKY: Yeah, I'd better talk to . . . Excuse me. [Interruption in taping] YARMOLINSKY: I don't remember [chuckle] anything about it. GILSON: Okay. YARMOLINSKY: And I . . . I'm not . . . I'm not [chuckle] holding back. I just have no recollection . . . I've . . . I had forgotten that he had . . . GILSON: Umhmm. YARMOLINSKY: . . . testified until you mentioned it, . . . GILSON: Yeah. YARMOLINSKY: . . . and I was just trying to . . . to think why there would be any controversy or any argument or dif-. . . differences between [them]. Now, Felix would treat it more emotionally. Stanley would treat it more objectively. That certainly is . . . but I don't know what the basis for . . . for conflict or argument would be. GILSON: Okay. Well, I mean, that seems to mark a general trend. YARMOLINSKY: Yes. GILSON: It's kind of the beginning of McCarthyism in the country. YARMOLINSKY: Well, yes. It was . . . it was that time and Stanley was not . . . well, he was not a liberal. [Background voice--interruption in taping] GILSON: Now, we're getting back to the McCarthyism era. YARMOLINSKY: Yeah. I don't remember . . . he would not be terribly sympathetic with the outcry against McCarthyism, although he would certainly not be sympathetic with McCarthyism, either. He kind of . . . but . . . but I'm . . . I'm . . . I'm reconstructing here because I don't think the issue came up at the time I was on . . . at the Court and with him. GILSON: Hmm, let's see. YARMOLINSKY: There weren't any cases, were there? GILSON: Oh, there was the Anti-Fascist Committee versus McGrath [Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath]. YARMOLINSKY: Yeah. Was that in our term? GILSON: October term, `50? Yeah. YARMOLINSKY: Yeah. It was. GILSON: Well, he dissented in that. I don't know if it had come up before then or not. It came up in `49 and then it came up again in `50. YARMOLINSKY: And he dissented. Now, you see, I have to remember. What did . . . can . . . can you refresh my recollection a [chuckle] little more on that? I'm sorry to be so . . . GILSON: I really . . . no. I've read the case; I just don't recall how it went. YARMOLINSKY: Well, then it . . . then . . . then . . . then I have really forgotten. GILSON: Yeah, it's . . . that's . . . YARMOLINSKY: Shall we get it out and that might refresh my recollection? Have you got the citation? GILSON: I . . . I don't have the Shep- . . . a Shepherd number on it. YARMOLINSKY: No, I mean the U.S. code. Yeah. Are you . . . by . . . by the way, I'm assuming you're a lawyer and maybe . . . GILSON: No, I'm not a lawyer. [Interruption in taping] YARMOLINSKY: Well, that makes it harder for you. I can get the opinion and . . . and that may refresh my recollection if you don't mind my taking a minute to go look. GILSON: No. No. Go right ahead. Go right ahead. [Interruption in taping] YARMOLINSKY: Well, damn it. He did dissent. GILSON: Umhmm. YARMOLINSKY: And he dissented . . . [pauses to read] . . . Reed joined Vinson and Minton, and Reed wrote the dissent. Held that the government's motion did not . . . "The government's motion to dismiss the complaint . . ." Wait a minute. "The right of free speech wasn't violated." Well, you know, this is cer-. . . this is funny, because you would have think . . . you would think that I would remember this case, and that I would have argued violently with the justice about it, and I'm . . . my memory is . . . is very vague. [chuckle] And here is his . . . here is his dissent, and I just don't remember. It'd be interesting to see what Ed Zimmerman, my co-clerk, remembers about it. GILSON: Yeah. I'll be talking to him Thursday. YARMOLINSKY: Well, ask him. And ask him why I don't remember better. GILSON: Oh, okay. I'll do that. YARMOLINSKY: I'm sorry. GILSON: Also that year was the . . . the Zittman versus [Zittman v. McGrath] . . . YARMOLINSKY: Which? GILSON: Zittman? YARMOLINSKY: What was that? GILSON: The . . . once again I don't have the numbers, but . . . YARMOLINSKY: No, the numbers don't [chuckle] help. GILSON: Yeah. YARMOLINSKY: It was probably a companion case of some kind. I don't remember it. Yeah. Now, Brear [Breard v. Alexandria]. Did he dissent in Breard? Or you don't know . . . GILSON: I . . . YARMOLINSKY: . . . [inaudible]. GILSON: . . . I have it that . . . YARMOLINSKY: He wrote the opinion. GILSON: . . . he wrote the opinion, yeah. YARMOLINSKY: Well, Breard was one of those cases where he defended the right of . . . of solicitors . . . street-corner solicitors, or something, door-to-door . . . GILSON: Oh, yeah? YARMOLINSKY: . . . solicitors. I think. Yeah. And that's a . . . that's a position that I would have strongly [chuckle] agreed with. But these are . . . these are all the opinions. GILSON: Yeah. YARMOLINSKY: I don't . . . GILSON: From that . . . YARMOLINSKY: . . . even remember which ones I worked on. I remember Rock . . . Rock Island Motor Transit [United States v. Rock Island Motor Transit Co.] was terribly dull. It was one of those I.C.C. [Interstate Commerce Commission] cases. Very complicated, very dull. And then the Gypsum case [United States v. United States Gypsum Co.] was a big anti-trust case. GILSON: Yeah. YARMOLINSKY: And Touhy against Ragen [United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen] was a criminal law case, but I can't remember what it was about. GILSON: Oh, well. I could . . . okay. YARMOLINSKY: You have to realize this was thirty years ago. GILSON: Yeah. Yeah. Well, there's a . . . a question which I'm . . . I'm asking everybody. I guess it's a legitimate one. Did Stanley Reed start liberal and gradually go conservative? YARMOLINSKY: Oh, I don't think so. GILSON: You don't think so? YARMOLINSKY: He started conservative and stayed conservative. GILSON: He stayed cons- . . . YARMOLINSKY: He was a Kentucky lawyer, in . . . in establishment tradition, in a small or middle-sized town. And he was brought to Washington, not by Franklin Roosevelt, but by Herbert Hoover. He was not a screaming conservative at all. He was a very . . . very . . . he was a true conservative, unlike a lot of [chuckle] conservatives today . . . quote "conservatives" today. GILSON: Well, how did Reed treat you as a . . . as a clerk, or treat you and your co-clerk? Was it better to work for Stanley Reed than for another justice, or was it . . . YARMOLINSKY: Oh, I think it was as good to work for Stanley Reed as anybody. He did not have as interesting a mind as some of the clerks [sic justices], or as . . . as good a mind, but he certainly had as broad a background and he was as willing to engage in discussion [with his clerks] on an equal level, if not more so, than most justices. Felix would have been a more exciting justice to clerk for in some ways. His clerks, I think, felt closer to him, perhaps, than any of the other clerks. Black would have been a more congenial justice for me. Douglas was an impossible justice for anybody. People who worked for him . . . he was a . . . he was a sadist. A terribly difficult man. We used to have a pool to see who'd get him to say "good morning" in the elevator if we met him coming up from the garage. No, I think Reed was as good a clerk . . . person to clerk for as any of them. GILSON: Was he always serious? Now, that's the image that the public always gets, this . . . YARMOLINSKY: Oh, he had a very good, dry sense of humor, very dry sense of humor. And he saw life as . . . oh, as pretty savage underneath a thin veneer of civilization. His view of the world was . . . was quite pessimistic. GILSON: Hmm. That's interesting. YARMOLINSKY: I remember we talked about . . . it was something . . . it was not a segregation case, because . . . let's see, this was even before Brown against Board of Education [Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka]. It was a long time ago. But we talked about some religious education case and it involved the question of the . . . the effect of religious education on . . . putting kids from different religious sects in different groups. And Stanley said, "Well, that's the way they've always gone, it's the way they'll always go." And . . . GILSON: That's terrible. [chuckle] Well, I don't know if this is a fair question or not. Did Stanley Reed have any idea, or have any . . . well, any conception of a role of the Supreme Court or was he . . . I mean, . . . YARMOLINSKY: I think it was a fairly traditional conception. It was certainly one of judicial restraint. He had a very practical sense of political realities. He knew what . . . what any branch of government could get away with and couldn't get [chuckle] away with, and he was for preserving the status quo for fear of . . . I think Stanley probably would have agreed with Hillary Bullock in that lovely couplet, "Always keep a hold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse." [chuckle] GILSON: How did those annual law clerk dinners come about? YARMOLINSKY: Oh, naturally, most . . . I think most justices have annual [chuckling] law clerk dinners. GILSON: Oh, yeah? I was interested. I was talking to Judge [David] Schwartz yesterday and he . . . YARMOLINSKY: Yeah. GILSON: . . . he said they . . . when he was a clerk, that it just didn't . . . they didn't really have them and then they kind of grew up later. YARMOLINSKY: Yeah. Well, I stopped going to them after a while and I think many people did. There were some very distinguished people in the group. Some of them . . . some of the . . . perhaps the most distinguished are . . . are dead now and Harold Leventhal was a great judge. Phil Graham, who killed himself. Who else in the group is really . . . has really distinguished himself in life? Bennett Boskey is a very competent lawyer. I don't know that he's ever done very much. It's hard to say. I think it's a . . . rather disappointing to look at the collection . . . GILSON: Well, the . . . the . . . YARMOLINSKY: . . . of people. GILSON: . . . the clerks? YARMOLINSKY: Yeah. Bureaucrats or . . . or successful lawyers, mostly. GILSON: That's . . . that's interesting that you have that attitude about a group of people that you're included in. YARMOLINSKY: Well, . . . well, I think Ed Zimmerman is one of the more distinguished people in the group. Bill Rogers has had . . . certainly had an impressive career. Again, I'm judging them too harshly. GILSON: I guess not. Well, I think that's about all I had to ask you. YARMOLINSKY: Okay. GILSON: Would you care to ask any . . . I mean, to add anything more to that? YARMOLINSKY: Gee, I don't think so. I think I probably told you as much or more than I know . . . I remember. I wish I could remember more but, as I say, it's been [chuckling] thirty years. GILSON: Umhmm. Well, Mr. Yarmolinsky, I thank you very much. YARMOLINSKY: Well, you're quite welcome. Let me disentangle myself here. [End of Interview] Adam Yarmolinsky clerked for Justice Reed from 1950 to 1951, along with Edward Zimmerman. He begins his interview by describing the relationship between Justice Reed and Justice Felix Frankfurter, and goes on to discuss Chief Justice Fred Vinson's methods of handling the court. He also mentions the court's conservative/liberal split, and recalls Reed's opinions on McCarthyism, government, and the Supreme Court. Then he discusses the cases Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath and Breard v. Alexandria. He ends the interview by commenting on the relationship between Reed and his clerks. Kentucky Politics