Judge Clement Haynsworth Jr., though not considered a forceful personality in the sense of exerting ideological influence on his colleagues on the bench, has some strong opinions about both the judicial process and the 4th Circuit's rulings.
Choosing Judges: "It's always been a political process and always will be. The nominations are as political as they can be."
President Carter's new merit selection nominating commission for circuit judges "is just a transfer of power from the senators to the White House." The commissions, he said, are staffed with political activits and strong Carter people.
"At least when a senator is involved, he's responsible for the quality of the judges and he can be hurt if he puts a bad judge on the bench."
School Desegregation: Despite some criticism of his court's civil rights record, Haynsworth thinks "the Southern courts, including my own, did a splendid job of carrying out" the Supreme Court's desegregation order.
"Our execution was far better than in the East and the West," he said, contrasting progress there with that in his own home town. "They still have all-black schools in Boston and Chicago. We don't in Greenville."
Court Owrkload: Congress, he said, "has enacted so many statutes in the past 10 years enlarging the federal jurisdiction that we're getting a flood of cases that greatly burden us."
This extra work "is being heaped on us so rapidly," Haynsworth said, "that the federal system will have to grow in such a way as to be unrecognizable."
Suggesting that Congress could well review some of the jurisdictional expansion, the chief judge said the appellate court should not be considering ordinary social security cases and veteran claims.
"We had a truth-in-lending act case today that could just as well have been handled by an agency head as a multitude of courts."