Washington Press Club Foundation
Charlotte G. Moulton:
Interview #2B (pp. 85-113)
February 1, 1991 in Falls Church, Virginia
Anne S. Kasper, Interviewer

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Session Two continued.
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[Begin Tape 2, Side B]

Moulton: —unexpected?

Kasper: The unexpected at the Court. Yes, when things didn't go according to plan.

Moulton: Well, of course, some of the things that you have to handle are not done by the Court itself, but are done by people who have cases in the Court, and the things that they file. For instance, you remember the celebrated case of President Nixon's tapes, whether he had to give up the secret tapes that he made in his own office, for the edification of everybody who was looking at his record and deciding if he was going to be impeached. And so, it was, I think, the clerk's office would notify the press officer if something of unusual significance had been filed and the press officer would then act on behalf of the reporters. So on this occasion that I remember, it was late afternoon on a Friday, and I was clearing my desk ready to go for a dinner date when the information officer walked in, put a document down entitled, United States against Richard M. Nixon, and he said, "Jaworski." [Leon Jaworski was the Special Prosecutor trying former White House aides in the Watergate "coverup."] Then he turned around and walked out. And there was this important thing that had been filed and I was supposed to grab the telephone immediately and dictate a story right then and there. And I think nobody who had really been covering this case in the lower court expected that it would be coming to the Supreme Court so soon, or just in this particular way. So, fortunately, I didn't have to grab the telephone and dictate that story because somebody from UPI was in the office of that particular attorney, and apparently had been notified. I didn't know about it, but this other reporter downtown, whoever it was, had probably been covering the Nixon case, and he or she got this petition at the same time. But when I picked up the phone to dictate, they said, "Well, we have that. That's coming in already." So I didn't have to have an ulcer over that.

The other time I think of, just off hand, was before I actually was on the Supreme Court beat, when Ruth Gmeiner was there, but we all remember hearing about John L. Lewis, who was the president of the United Mine Workers for a long time, and he was always involved in litigation. And so at one point when arguments were scheduled upstairs, Fred Vinson was Chief Justice then, he just delayed the arguments and started reading the Court's opinion in a very prominent contempt case involving John L. Lewis, just out of the blue. Well, one wire service reporter—maybe it was Ruth, I don't remember—she was just about to leave the building and by heaven's grace hadn't left when this happened, so she could get the story. Another one was over in the Capitol working on something and she heard about it—things get known very fast, those things—so she had to really break her neck to get over to the Supreme Court to cover this story. So those are just instances when you're in luck if you're in the right place at the right time.

Kasper: Well, and as we said earlier, too, it contrasts so much with the many long hours and days of—

Moulton: Of boredom.

Kasper: —of almost boredom.

Moulton: Oh—not almost boredom—boredom!

Kasper: Boredom.

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Moulton: Yes.

Kasper: When you would be sitting there poring over papers and then suddenly you'd have to go into this high gear.

Moulton: Yes. The adrenalin has to start pretty fast.

Kasper: Did you find that contrast difficult or did you just cope with it?

Moulton: Well, yes it is difficult—especially if you're not feeling particularly enthusiastic that day. [Laughter.] And then you have to grab the phone. But you remember that—another case, well it wasn't precisely in line with what I've just been saying, but do you remember President Truman seized the steel industry, seized all the steel production areas? And so, of course, the government was sued saying that that was not right. And I kept that steel thing from the very beginning in the District Court up through the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court—every stop it made, I covered it. And the Court finally ruled that Truman was wrong to seize the steel mills. And there again, talk about adrenalin and ulcers. Every segment of that story was a tremendous story throughout the country, you know, look what the president did. So I guess, after a while, to answer your question, you get used to it, I guess, as much as anybody ever does or could.

Kasper: Do you think you ever did really, or you just accommodated to it?

Moulton: Well, I guess I accommodated to it because, you know, it was the only way to keep the job. [Laughter.] You know, you either did it or you were not there. So, anyhow, there was a certain amount of excitement to it—and the hope that you'd beat the opposition—and it was just exciting—it really, really was. But there was that contrast between the excitement, and some days you'd be sitting there reading this stuff and you could hardly stay awake it was so bad. But, anyhow, did we want to have—

Kasper: I was going to say, one of the next things we thought we would talk about, and this interests me too, was writing some feature stories, you said, in particular, about some justices on the Court.

Moulton: Oh, yes. Well, of course, when a justice would come to the Court for the first time, you'd certainly write about him. And you'd watch him, as time went on, to—you know, of course, the Warren Court, was—you'd use the "L" word there and call it a liberal court. Then the Burger Court was less liberal and—well, Justice Brennan was one of the liberal justices and I think President Eisenhower said nominating Brennan was the biggest mistake he ever made. But when the justice comes, you follow him a little bit, and when he goes, you write about him—you write when he's sworn in and sworn off. Then you follow him as to his votes—whether he lines up with the majority and what the majority is. Is the majority conservative as far as law is considered, or is he in the liberal wing?

Now, like in this 1973 story, it says—and a lot of time you do it at the end of the term, along with a summary of the big cases that were decided, you take a look at the Court itself and you say, like in 1972-1973, "The term ended with President Nixon's four appointees firmly in control, although they did not always vote the way he might have liked."

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Then you mention the different ones, on which side they were, and what was accomplished that might have been decided some other way in the Warren years.

Kasper: The contrasts.

Moulton: The contrasts, yes.

Kasper: Between the Warren Court and the Burger Court.

Moulton: Yes. Right. And at the beginning, you know, for instance, in the beginning of the 1973-74 term, I have them plunging into the heaviest workload in the history of the Court on all kinds of constitutional issues, and then you name them and so on. And the justices themselves, like Justice Douglas, sat on the Court longer than any other justice. Well, he was fun to write about anyway.

Kasper: Why was that?

Moulton: Well, because he did so many things outside of the Court. I think you were speaking when we were at lunch about walking along the canal? And you remember there was a plan, I guess for the Park Service. Anyway, there was a plan to run a highway up through that area and up into—

Kasper: Into Frederick County, I think, or something.

Moulton: Up into Maryland, up there. And Justice Douglas took it upon himself to fight against that with every weapon he could think of. And one of the weapons was to organize a group to take a tour up there of several days, you remember? And some high ups from the Washington Post went, and a lot of people went for a day or two. It was in the early spring, and he pointed out the wild flowers, and the birds or animal life, he could see. And the whole idea was to say what a terrible thing this was to ruin this whole area by putting a highway in there. And, of course, eventually, they didn't do it.

So, that would be one of the things about Justice Douglas that you'd write about. And you could hardly imagine any of the other justices acting like that. He was very fast with an opinion and, you know, he could dash off an opinion and then do something else. I remember sitting covering arguments and he'd seem to be doing something else sitting up there on the bench—who knows, maybe writing one of his books. Then he would pop a question at the lawyer who was arguing the case—well what about this? And the lawyer would answer, or try to answer, and then Douglas would proceed with whatever he seemed to be doing.

Those are the things you'd sort of point out when you were writing about the justices and their little idiosyncracies and so forth. And you'd do it when they'd come, or when they've been there a time when they've established sort of a pattern of voting—you keep track of them all the time.

And I remember, let's see, I'm looking at this—an interview I had with him when he was thirty-four years on the Court which was the record. And, of course, another thing,

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he was a traveler—a lot of places in the world that you don't normally go to found Justice Douglas there. Oh, now that I remember, in this particular interview I had with him, he said President Johnson once told him that the White House telephone was tapped. He said eavesdropping is an old problem at the Court, too. That Chief Justice Hughes found a bug in the justices' conference room one time and it was planted by the connivance of two court employees and a District of Columbia policeman whose purpose was never discovered. So, as for Johnson and the White House, Douglas said Johnson knew his telephone was tapped when Johnson had disclosed to a confidante (of Johnson's) something, and then this disclosure appeared in a newspaper. So Johnson knew his telephone was tapped. And I obviously said to him, well, you know, it might have been the confidante that slipped this information to the press. And Douglas said, not if it was the President's wife or some secretary that had been with him for thirty years—that kind of a confidante wouldn't be slipping something to the press. So then he asked Johnson who was doing the tapping, and Johnson said, "How would I know?" Then Douglas said he said to the President, "If I were President of the United States, I'd find out." And Johnson said, "How would you find out?" And Douglas thought that this meant that several agencies of the government might have been involved in it and, you know, you never could get to the bottom of it. So, anyway, that's the kind of a story you could get out of Douglas that you probably could never get out of any other member of the Court because that's the way he was.

Kasper: He was more open.

Moulton: More open, yes.

Kasper: Did you have any preferences? I mean, you spent so much time there, did you find yourself liking some justices as opposed to others?

Moulton: Oh, I was wondering if you'd ask me that. You know my favorite justice was Robert Jackson—it was a long time ago—Robert H. Jackson. And he was very approachable. At the beginning of the Court term he would come down to the press room and say hello to the reporters and just shoot the breeze for a while. And I think maybe there's possibly more interaction of a social nature between the press and the justices than there used to be. But to have a justice come down and just chat with you for a while was something rather unusual in those days, and Jackson used to do it.

Kasper: When was his tenure on the Court?

Moulton: Well, I'd have to look that one up too.

Kasper: It must have been fairly early because I don't remember the name.

Moulton: Yes. He was Solicitor General and argued cases before the Court, I think, before he even got on the bench. But, of course, Thurgood Marshall was in that situation too. Thurgood Marshall, who later became a justice, was one of those who won the school desegregation case. I knew him quite well and I used to talk to him while he was still a lawyer and get help. We spoke of from whom you could get help when you were writing something, and Thurgood Marshall was one of the people you could get help from.

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Well, anyway, Justice Jackson, and this sounds kind of corny, but he says that he was reminded (I guess this must have been—I don't know what this is—it couldn't be out of an opinion—maybe it was out of a speech he made) of these stone masons—one of whom said his work amounted to earning a living, another one said he was shaping the stone to a pattern, and the third said he was building a cathedral. And Justice Jackson said the whole idea of the lawyers that come there to argue—some of them are just earning a living, some are doing the best they can for their clients, and others know that they're really building a cathedral because they're re-working the law and making it applicable to each generation as generations come and go. And, you know, it might sound a little corny, but it's pretty good philosophy and I just like the way—he wrote clear opinions that were easy to read and easy to—that's another thing. Some people write clearer opinions than others do. So he was really my favorite and I liked him a lot.

Kasper: What about your objectivity in cases? I mean, did you have strong opinions about some of the major cases—

Moulton: Oh, you bet. You bet.

Kasper: —particularly in the Warren Court? What did you do about that?

Moulton: Nothing—hopefully. [Laughter.] You know, that was one of the things that people told me when I was learning in the office. Joe Myler on the desk, and all those people telling me in that little school at the Newspaper Guild I was talking about earlier today, they rammed that home, that you were not supposed to put your personal opinions in these stories. I suppose it may be not possible to eliminate them completely, but you do the best you can to leave them out.

Kasper: Did you try to stay aware of it so that when you were writing a story that you would kind of bracket that in your mind?

Moulton: Well, I don't think so really. I mean, I don't think that was uppermost in my mind because, you know, when you're writing a story about abortion, which I certainly was on one side or the other, you can say objectively what the Court did. It's quite easy to do without—you know, you don't say, "Boy, oh, boy, what the Supreme Court did today!" [Laughter.] You say what it did, make the statement. No, I don't really think so.

Kasper: It was not a problem for you.

Moulton: Well, it was not a problem. And nobody ever complained to me and said, "Look, this is not objective." I can't remember anybody ever saying that. I think most wire service people, I think they were quite successful in keeping their own ideas out of a story.

You remember I said that I'd gotten a little irritated one time and wrote a story about how they were too secret in there, and I have this: "The Supreme Court, which decides when the President and everyone else in government must disclose information to the public, has made itself a bastion of secrecy in Washington. An overwhelming penchant for privacy has prevailed in the High Court for many years, doubtless stemming from the justices' desire to keep their deliberations out of the newspapers." And then it goes on to tell about the press officer there who was Barrett McGurn at the time. "He, as the public

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information officer, has coined a useful phrase for things he doesn't believe the public ought to know. They are 'internal matters,' he says—" and this goes on for a long time expressing exasperation. Of course, nothing came of it, naturally.

Kasper: Naturally.

Moulton: Naturally.

Kasper: However, you got it off your chest.

Moulton: Yes. And the United Press ran it on its wire because this is wire copy.

Kasper: That's wire copy. Let me see. Un huh. And so this would have been considered a feature story, is that correct?

Moulton: Yes.

Kasper: And you say in here, "Like the late Earl Warren before him, Burger gives reporters a wide berth. Unlike Warren, he has assumed an active public role off the bench maintaining strong ties with the American Bar Association and prodding Congress to raise the salary of federal judges." Well, I'm sure the UP saw fit to run this because this is in that longstanding tradition of newspapers versus social institutions and the idea that the role of the newspaper is to inform the public and the role of the institutions is to keep their business to themselves—

Moulton: Yes, right. Or try to. Yes.

Kasper: —so that's in the good old democratic tradition of the conflict between the two.

Moulton: Well, you know, the news business is really the only private business that's mentioned in the Constitution, anyway, and so the press has something to fall back on there.

Kasper: It has a fair amount of constitutional protection.

Moulton: Yes. A fair amount? It certainly has a lot. Let's see, what's a good case about that? Oh, the Pentagon papers case. Remember the Pentagon papers?

Kasper: Oh, sure do.

Moulton: Yes, which I don't remember enough about to discuss, but the people who were trying to keep the story out lost and the story got printed.

Kasper: Yes. In fact, again, Eileen Shanahan said something to that effect. Let me see what she had said to me. She said that she remembered the Pentagon papers case came to the Court when the Court was not in session and that nine separate opinions were issued as a result. She remembers that the AP wire came on for two or three minutes ahead of the UP wire, which was quiet, and this was one of those instances where she remembered the UP keeping the wire open for your story to come through.

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Moulton: Oh! Oh really?

Kasper: Yes. See because they knew it was clearly a big deal, breaking case.

Moulton: It was coming, yes.

Kasper: Yes, and they knew it was coming. That was one of those instances that she reported to me.

Moulton: Yes. Well, she was in there, was she not? And viewing the whole situation from the office angle. So I can see that she would remember those things. Yes.

Kasper: And you said you wanted to address two other things that you would sometimes write about other than cases and some legal matters outside the court, like the ABA [American Bar Association], that you would also write about.

Moulton: Yes. Well the ABA had conventions and sometimes I was sent to the convention. The first one was in Montreal. They usually lasted several days or close to a week. All kinds of things are going on. Different committees are meeting all over the lot and you have to pick out the one that you think is the most newsworthy. Then you go to it and if it doesn't prove to be newsworthy after a while, you run to another one. Then, of course, the ABA itself, in its own meeting officially, will have arguments about things and do things which you usually report. Then it will have luncheons and speakers and you report those. In other words, you're in four or five places at once. [Laughter.] Let's see, I know I went to Philadelphia one time and I think somewhere in Houston, Texas, was it? I went to quite a number of ABA—American Bar Association—conventions. I've even got this Fulbright thing with me. Senator William Fulbright, who was head of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate, had made just a scathing speech at one of those ABA conventions criticizing everybody and his brother for—I must look that up to see if I have it. Anyway, that was one of the big things at that convention.

Then, there's something called the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. They usually met at the same time as the Bar Association, but ahead of it. So we'd go to their meetings first, and—oh, Honolulu was another place that I was very happy to get to and one of the few places where I really enjoyed the place itself. In fact, I went to Japan. After I ran around Honolulu a little bit, I went to Japan and came home by way of Alaska. That was a very nice convention.

Kasper: I bet. [Laughter.]

Moulton: But the Uniform Laws people, as the name implies, have the objective of, after a committee has studied a certain subject, proposing a law that they'd like to see passed in all the state legislatures that would simplify matters countrywide by having the new law uniform everywhere instead of having the law mean one thing in one state and another thing in another. I never thought that their work was really given enough publicity. I thought it was a pretty worthwhile thing to be doing. So sometimes I used to call them (they're headquartered in Chicago) and get a story sometimes in between annual meetings. But I think one of the things that they did early, and I don't know how it came out really, [had to do with] people who want to donate body parts on their deaths so that they'll be

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used for heart transplants and all those things. That's the type of thing they might be involved in, as well as other more dull things, like some kind of trade or other, or, you know, things that you would have to just steel yourself to write anything about. Of course, the World Peace Through Law (what I was mentioning to you at lunch)—that's the same idea, but having the law uniform in nations throughout the world, rather than just in the United States. It's an entirely different organization.

Kasper: What was the full title of the organization you were talking about just before?

Moulton: The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. But it's now called Uniform Law Commissioners—that is the shorthand title of it now and I think that's pretty much what they go by, except maybe when they're filing something for posterity, they'll put the whole name on. Well, there are those things.

Then, of course, the Supreme Court isn't sitting in the summertime, and, of course, the cases and the appeals continue to come in all summer, whether you're there or not. But the office always seemed to think that you never had anything to do in the summer, and people take vacations in the summer, so I went to the State Department a number of times—I liked that—while somebody was on vacation there, one of the UPI reporters. Then, of course, I had covered the House of Representatives before so it was a natural to send me over there. I went to the Senate some of the time, just days at a time, perhaps, to fill in because summer was a time when we were very shorthanded.

Then there were times when almost the entire staff had to do something, like when Martin Luther King made his famous speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and they had that procession and everything. I remember I was down there in the Munitions Building—it was still standing, it hadn't been torn down yet—near a telephone just in case something happened. They had people all along the route, I guess, just to be in touch with the office in case something happened at that particular point. And I missed that whole darn speech, which I've regretted ever since, because I was parked there in that room with a telephone. Of course, I've heard it numerous times.

Another time was when John Kennedy was elected president and his inaugural—I don't know whether you remember, but there was a terrible snowstorm the night before, so the whole inaugural program was shot, more or less. I remember going to something in Constitution Hall, I think it was, the night before, and people were dribbling in one by one. And I guess the program people finally got there and it was all mixed up. Then, the inaugural itself, I was there in the—I guess I didn't take part in that. I was in the Supreme Court allegedly doing my work that day, when the inauguration was taking place over in the Capitol. Then when he was assassinated, everybody had to do something. I was up on Capitol Hill when the body was lying in state over in the Capitol Building. There were just lines and lines and lines of people waiting to pass through to pay their respects and I called in to say people are waiting for x number of blocks. So the desk called back and they didn't get me, they got somebody else. They said, this can't be. How can there be that many people waiting in line? So whoever got the phone call went out to check it again, and by that time there were even more. So things like that that you'd be called away from your own job to do or help do, would come up from time to time.

Kasper: But the fact of the matter is, that you did spend most of your time—

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Moulton: Oh, yes. Most of the time in the Supreme Court. That was definite.

Kasper: At the Court.

Moulton: Yes. That's right.

Kasper: Thirty years. Wasn't it just under thirty years that you were there?

Moulton: Well, I went up there in the fall of 1949, and, with the exception of that year off that I had that I mentioned working on the night desk, I left in 1978. So that was a long time.

Kasper: That's just under thirty years.

Moulton: It's a long time.

Kasper: So your tenure there took you through the years of the Warren Court and a good chunk of the Burger Court, is that correct?

Moulton: Right. Right, yes.

Kasper: Do you want to talk a little bit about what the major cases were during those two tenures that you not only participated in, in the sense of reading the briefs, hearing the oral argument, knowing these were issues being addressed by the Court, and then of course writing the stories on them?

Moulton: Well, I think I was lucky to have been covering the Court in the Warren years, which probably were the most dramatic of the modern history of the Court. The civil rights, the big civil rights cases that came up then, and all the race cases, and legislative reapportionment was a big thing. That was, I think, one of the biggest cases of all, where the Court insisted that congressional—what word do we want to say?

Kasper: Mandate?

Moulton: No, no. I want to say the areas from where—

Kasper: Jurisdiction.

Moulton: Jurisdiction, yes. When voters would be the same in each jurisdiction—the same number of voters would be in all jurisdictions. That you wouldn't have the sparsely populated areas having undue influence in state legislatures. That, as Warren said, people vote in person—they represent people, they don't represent cows and things in the country. So the Court insisted that voting jurisdictions be equal in population—or approximately equal—as equal as they could be. That was known as the one man, one vote rule. And, of course, the death penalty was big. Anything along—there were lots of criminal cases. And loyalty oaths were a big thing then—whether you should have to take a loyalty oath if you became a government employee.

Kasper: And that was just regarding government employees, is that right?

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Moulton: Well, I'm not sure. And obscenity was an area where they had a very hard time making up their minds because we have something in the Constitution about a free press. It's like the case of the outdoor movie that I told you about this morning. What about nudity in a situation like that? Could that be suppressed and so forth? Subversives—all that Joe McCarthy stuff and his hearings and all the things that that stirred up. And the right of an indigent to a lawyer—I think I went into that. So the Warren Court was really a great time to have been there.

Now, the Burger Court, of course, the quality—well, not the quality, but the direction of the Court—its approach—changed more when more conservative justices were appointed. That was part of the situation you had to watch all the time. You could see the way the votes—who was voting with whom, and what group was voting together all the time—and then you could tell the direction the Court was going. Were Brennan and Douglas objecting to everything instead of writing the majority opinions? So you followed that as you went along.

Kasper: Sort of keeping tabs on who was voting which way and what direction the Court was going in.

Moulton: Yes.

Kasper: Were there sometimes tricks in that? I mean, you'd think that you knew what was happening and then they'd fool you with a particular opinion and sort of keep you on your toes in terms of following the Court?

Moulton: Well, you had to be careful because justices, as you say, will fool you. They'll vote one way on one thing and one way in another thing. And you think, "Gee, I wonder why he voted that way." So you can't lay down iron clad rules about something like that. You could just say, well, for sixty percent of the time, this block in the Court voted together—they voted the same way, these justices, most of the time. That would indicate a trend of sorts—

[End Tape 2, Side B; Begin Tape 3, Side A]

Moulton: Chief Justice Burger had the shape of the bench changed to a half hexagon instead of straight across, the way it had been. Of course, that did away with our pneumatic tube and our tube stuffing and all that because he didn't think that he wanted the members of the press between the Court and the lawyer doing the arguing, which was the case. So, I'm not sure whether that was the main consideration. They said that one of the considerations was that when a justice would ask a question, if the justice were way over on one end of the bench, the justice on the other end might not hear correctly, or might not even hear at all, and there would be a little duplication there of questioning. What all the considerations were, I don't know, but anyway he did do away with the tube stuffing and all that. So we were relegated to seats in the alcove on one side and also, I guess, some of the wire services did have a front seat in the benches that were to one side—not where the public sits and not where the lawyers sit—but in a little space by themselves over on one side. And on the other side the justices' families sat.

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So when that happened, I had to send a copy aide out to the press room for the opinions. They would be delivered to the press room itself. Then there would be a boy running back and forth from the press room to where I was out there with the teletype operator—out there where the cylinders used to clunk down and no longer did. Do you see what I mean?

Kasper: So let me if I can get this straight. So when the Court rendered an opinion, it went to the press room, it didn't go to the press—

Moulton: We didn't have anybody sitting upstairs anymore. The opinions were delivered to the press room. There was a press officer there. The press officer would give out the opinions to the reporters. By that time, there were a lot more reporters there than just United Press, Associated Press, etcetera, etcetera. So the press officer would be giving out the opinions as he was notified that they were being announced in the courtroom. Somebody would call him and say, the xyz opinion is being announced now, so he would have received copies of that, and he would give them out. And we'd have a, usually I think it was a young man, who used to come out and he would grab an opinion and run down the hall to where I was. You know, there's a possibility there for error—that there might be something given out and the boy wouldn't be there, or would be on the way in or out or something. So we had to be very careful. At the end we'd have to say, "Now we have eight opinions here. You go check with the press officer and see if he gave out eight opinions," just to be sure that everything was all right. That went on for a while. Then, eventually, we had computers.

Kasper: Oh, my.

Moulton: Oh, we got into the twentieth century. Other places in the UPI system in Washington had computers so I knew what was coming. Eventually some workmen came into my office one day with this computer and set it down and installed it, and in about five minutes said, "Well, you do it this way," and then left. And that was that. I was supposed to use a computer from then on. And that was not too many yards from the press officer's office. Of course, I had somebody to come up to help me on Mondays anyway, as I had helped Ruth Gmeiner in the past. Somebody came to help me. So we could pretty much, between the two of us, get our own copies because they were that nearby. I don't think anybody came up just to run copies after that.

Kasper: But once you had the computers, you were expected to write your stories on that and it would go directly to your office?

Moulton: To the office downtown for editing. But sometimes, even then, I did quite a lot of work over the phone. See, we dispensed with the teletype operator then. We didn't need him anymore. And like if we had prepared material—I distinctly remember doing a lot by dictation over the phone. I don't quite remember how that keyed into the time the computer was installed. But a lot of times, if you had the material there, and you had somebody taking dictation downtown, and the material was all spread out on your desk, and you could say, "The Supreme Court did this and this," and just read off the paper into a telephone, it was almost easier than it was to copy the whole thing on a keyboard.

Kasper: Onto the keyboard of the computer. Yes, exactly.

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Moulton: And I know we did that. But I just don't remember how it keyed into the whole process. So that's what Burger did for us—and remodeling the bench. He also did a lot to the Court building and I reported that from time to time. Warren thought it ought to be a marble temple with nothing in it except the Court and us. It didn't cater to tourists very much. But Burger changed all that—he put pictures in and he hired a curator and he got all kinds of stuff on the walls there—and innovations of that kind. We reported things like that. They planted a lot of things outside in the yard. And we would write little stories sometimes saying how things changed up there.

Kasper: Do you remember some of the highlights of the Burger Court in terms of cases?

Moulton: Well, I'd really have to look at my records before I name some. Yes. We can put it in sometime.

Kasper: Roe v. Wade was—

Moulton: Was in the Burger years. Yes.

Kasper: Do you remember some of the conflict around that or what you might have written about during that time?

Moulton: Well, I remembered Blackmun's opinion. I must read that again because—well, I thought at the time that he really told women what they could do in pretty great detail—you know, whether for x number of months they were pretty well free to do as they liked, and then by the time they got close to nine months, there had to be some consideration for—I'd like to look at that again because he really had quite a lot of detail in there, which was very hard for some people to accept—that the Court could go into a situation as elaborately as that.

Kasper: Tom Stewart said to me that Roe v. Wade was the most important case of that time period. He said that, for him, he felt one of the differences was that the Court reached out beyond its normal confines of the narrow question, which is the whole role of the Supreme Court—to answer most cases on—

Moulton: Constitutional grounds.

Kasper: —grounds, right, on the narrow question of the case.

Moulton: Yes. And that's what I was trying to say just now—that they reached out.

Kasper: Yes. They reached out beyond it. And, I'm just trying to think—well, I guess what I'm wondering is, whether at the time you wrote any feature stories about Roe v. Wade. Now, for instance, I remember, and this is just anecdote, but I remember at the time there was some, and I don't know whether there was any truth to this, that Blackmun wrote as he did, as you have just described, because he has three daughters. And for him it was really a very personal case. I mean, he could—

Moulton: Visualize it, yes.

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Kasper: Relate. Yes. He could visualize it. He could realize it as a situation where his own daughters might become pregnant, want to have an abortion, and not be able to. And how that could have real disastrous effects in terms of their lives and the balance of their lives. And so that his opinion was, in fact, as strong as it was because of his own personal experience as the father of daughters. Do you remember any of that?

Moulton: I must say, I don't remember anything like that. You were talking about putting your own ideas and so forth into a story? That would be a case of his putting his own ideas into a Supreme Court opinion, instead of clinging to the Constitution. Of course, that's the old argument, you know, that Robert Bork and all those people—what does the Constitution mean? Does it mean what it says, or do you adapt it to changing times? And he was adapting it to changing times, I guess. Well, he was, anyway, but if he was thinking about his daughters, why—I never heard that one, no.

Kasper: Well, and it's the old argument too of objectivity versus subjectivity. Are those necessarily two different issues or even contrasting issues, or aren't they also in some cases, in most cases, one and the same? In other words, what we think of as our objective opinion is also most frequently deeply informed by our own personal experience, and therefore, we always bring a subjective component to anything we claim to be objective.

Moulton: Right. Yes.

Kasper: And neither shall be the two be separated—at least not easily.

Moulton: Yes. And George Reedy used to work for UP. He became Johnson's spokesman in the White House. And his wife, Lillian Greenwald, worked for International News Service at the time Ruth Gmeiner was working for us at the Court. She was covering the Court. And she had this saying about, you always see things through your own—what was it she said? Through your own colored glasses, or something like that.

Kasper: Your own personal lens or something.

Moulton: Yes. Something like that. She had a little saying, which is certainly true. You do. Do you want to—how can we cope with this abortion thing? Shall I look it up some more or—

Kasper: No, that's up to you. I mean, if there isn't anything that comes into your head that you can—?

Moulton: Well, I might be able to—but I just don't remember my handling that case. I remember talking about it afterwards and all, but the actual work of reporting that particular case—you'd think I'd remember it above all others in recent times—and I just don't remember it, and that's crazy.

Kasper: Memory is very selective.

Moulton: I guess so.

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Kasper: And who knows why. Is there any ready way for you to get your hands on that material or would that take some time and effort?

Moulton: Oh—

Kasper: Or any of the other cases for that matter.

Moulton: You mean my own story or the opinion itself?

Kasper: No. Your stories. In fact, any of these major issues of the Warren Court and then the Burger Court that were, in fact, really earthshaking or dramatic issues of their time. If there are any of those that are—would they take great time and effort, or are there any that you can get your hands on?

Moulton: Well, I think I can get my hands on some clips upstairs that I have stashed away up there. But, the funny part of clips is that there was a stage through the sixties, I guess, when we were provided with clips in one way or another, and sometimes people would send me clips. This same friend that I used to wave to who lived across the street from the Supreme Court? She moved to Meriden, New Hampshire, with the man she married when she was in Washington, and they had a paper every day from Lebanon, New Hampshire, called the Valley News. The Valley News was a UP client and it ran all my stories. So she sent me loads of stuff. She clipped every story that had my name on it and sent it to me—

Kasper: Isn't that wonderful.

Moulton: —which was marvelous. It fed my ego no end. [Laughter.]

Kasper: That's great. What's her name, this friend of yours?

Moulton: Well, her married name was Christine Creeger. Dr. Marion Creeger was, as I said, I think for the Methodist Church he was involved in getting chaplains for the military. He's still living. He's retired in Florida. But there was a certain period where I got a lot of clips in the sixties and in the early seventies, or very early seventies. I don't have any clips to speak of after that. I guess they stopped providing me with them. The office didn't provide me with any. And she moved away from Lebanon, New Hampshire. [Laughter.]

Kasper: She was your private clipping service.

Moulton: She was my private clipping service, right. But I might be able to—are you thinking about getting them at the present moment, or sometime—

Kasper: Well, either way. I mean, you'd have to tell me, if we took a break now, whether you could find them. And, if not, whether it was something you wanted to address at another time.

Moulton: Well, I suppose, since we've been at this quite awhile now, and it's twenty minutes to four, it would be better to see what I can do, and if it seems worthwhile.

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Well, outside of Roe against Wade, the big opinions that created a lot of hoopla in the country were in the Warren years. And the Burger people, well, in some respects, were just sort of whittling away at what the Warren people had done. But not all, of course, but in one sense they—they didn't—you know, when a more conservative court got in and people were saying, "Oh, look what's going to happen. The Warren Court years are going to wiped out." Well, that didn't happen at all. But little things got sort of whittled down just without reversing—like they've never reversed Roe against Wade have they?

Kasper: Not yet.

Moulton: So, you know, you can do things by small actions, gradually. You don't have to reverse a whole opinion.

Kasper: Right.

Moulton: Do you want to—?

Kasper: You wanted to talk a little bit about writing for the Christian Science Monitor.

Moulton: Yes. The Christian Science Monitor. As I said, when I got through my duties after a session when the Court handed down opinions and orders and so forth, the time when I'd normally go home, I might go out to dinner and I'd spend an hour or so, or however long it took, to write a piece for the Christian Science Monitor, and drive by there and leave it in the doorway, or somewhere, on my way home. The way this worked, as far as United Press was concerned, they didn't mind if you did work for other people, as long as you didn't do it on the basis of your employment in United Press. The Christian Science Monitor never gave me a byline, it just said "Special to the Monitor" when it ran a story.

Kasper: So it never talked about your affiliation with UPI.

Moulton: So it never talked about me or anything like that. If you didn't talk about your UPI affiliation, you could do anything you wanted to. You could have a different name. My middle name is Glidden, so I recall using Charlotte Glidden sometimes when I would write. And some people just made up a name and put it on the thing. Some of them would say at the end of the story, "Miss Johnson is employed by a wire service," or "covers the Court for a wire service," or "covers the Court in another connection," or something like that. So the United Press was never mentioned. If you wanted to pick up a little extra money like that, the office didn't care.

Kasper: How often would you write for the Christian Science Monitor?

Moulton: Well, when I was doing it, I'd write quite often—well, every week certainly. I guess perhaps oftener if—by that time—you see, first the Court handed down opinions at noon on Monday, so that gave me time to grab the opinions in the Court of Appeals and then run up there and be ready for the Supreme Court's opinions. Well, then they changed that and the Court day began at ten o'clock in the morning and—now, I've lost my train of thought. What was I going to say about that?

Kasper: About the Christian Science Monitor, about how often you would write for them.

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Moulton: Oh, yes. And they handed down opinions more days than just Monday, I think. You see how fuzzy I am about these things. But what I'm trying to get at was that if the Court did something on Wednesday, I might do something for the Monitor both Monday and Wednesday, so it would be twice that week.

Kasper: Did they pay you by the piece?

Moulton: Isn't this awful? I don't remember anything more about that than I do about the Roe against Wade argument and decision. I guess they probably paid me by the piece, but not for every piece. It would probably be at the end of a pay period, like a month or something.

Then at the end of the term—at least two terms, I think—I don't know how this ever came about, but the London Economist got in touch with me and they would use a re-hash of the term—what did this term mean as far as cases decided and what effect it had on various people and things. And actually I don't think I ever saw any of those in print because the London Economist was not something you could just pick up. But they didn't complain. Then there was a magazine called Juris Doctor, which lists itself as "a magazine for the new lawyer," whatever that is. Probably younger lawyers just starting. I did some stuff about the Court for that. There was a Catholic weekly called Ave Maria, and goodness knows how I ever got in touch with them or they with me, but I—

Kasper: Maybe through Zions Herald.

Moulton: [Laughter.] Yes. More jokes. But anyway I did a couple of pieces for them. Then there was another Catholic paper called A.D.—does that sound like anno Domini?—and I did some summary type things, not very many. I mean, none of these things lasted any length of time, they were just perhaps one or two pieces. Then for USIA [United States Information Agency] I did something—a big summary of the Court. They used a lot of pictures of the justices and everything. I have them, but of course I can't read them, because one of them is in Russian and the other one is in some other language, which I don't recognize. Those are the only ones I thought of offhand that I did while I—

Kasper: And again, with the USIA, was it only one or two pieces or intermittent?

Moulton: No, I think there it was just the one piece. And I don't know how that ever happened either.

Kasper: When you got ready to retire, was it that you were in fact ready to retire, or were you required to retire? Because you were about sixty-five, weren't you?

Moulton: I was sixty-five. And I was ready to retire.

Kasper: Why were you ready?

Moulton: Because I got darn sick of working. And I mean, right there in that spot. And so—

Kasper: Why were you darn sick of working?

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Moulton: Well, you'll know when you're sixty-five, let's put it that way. [Laughter.]

Kasper: You're not going to tell me, huh?

Moulton: No. No, I'm not. I'm going to wait and let you find out for yourself. [Laughter.] No, I was really ready to do something else. After all, I'd been there for thirty years.

Kasper: Um hum. Just about.

Moulton: That was long enough. But there wasn't any UPI reason—no cutoff time or anything like that—but I just decided I wanted out.

Kasper: By the time you left, were there more women at UPI than there had been in your earlier days with them?

Moulton: Oh, yes, I think so. Yes, there were. Well, you know, Helen Thomas is a good example of where women could go eventually. And, you know, there were more. Let's put it this way, they were accepted as members of the staff and I don't think there was any—

Kasper: Were there any women in management at the UPI? Either at the UP or the UPI later on? Do you remember?

Moulton: I can't think of anybody in management, but maybe somebody else can. No. Of course, UPI is here now in Washington, but for my time there, the offices were in New York. I suppose there could have been somebody in management that I don't know about.*

Kasper: During this latter part of your time at the UP, you became active in the Women's National Press Club, isn't that correct?

Moulton: Oh, yes. The Women's National Press Club.

Kasper: Do you want to talk about that a little bit?

Moulton: Well, I was a member of the Press Club for many years. I think I was chairman of the Membership Committee for a while.

Kasper: For the National Press Club.

Moulton: The Women's Press Club. Not the National Press Club. Although I notice a lot of women are really getting into that now, these days, being president and everything. Oh, my goodness, just think of the hoopla that would have caused years ago!

* Ms. Moulton later recalled: There were women bureau managers, if that can be called management. I met Betty Pryor in Madison, Wisconsin, when I was there on vacation. Later she was transferred to Washington. We vacationed together in Spain and Portugal one year.

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You would actually have had to feed them at lunches. When there were speaker lunches, those women would have had to sit there and eat with the men, instead of sitting in the balcony and not having anything to eat and just listening. Well, anyway, those days are gone. Now, let's see, I think I was on the board a time or two. It seems to me I was something like third vice president or something like that—that's to run around to a function if the president can't go, you know. And I went to things—the annual dinners and things like that. I remember taking Justice Douglas and his wife to one of those and Justice Black and his wife. Oh, and I was inducted into the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, in 1977.

Kasper: Oh, let's see. This is the Washington Professional Chapter Annual Awards Banquet I'm reading from, June 10, 1977, held at the National Press Club. And you received from them a certificate inducting you into Sigma Delta Chi, as you said. And the Washington D.C. Chapter—you were enrolled May 19, 1972, it says. So this program that I'm looking at, you were already—

Moulton: That was the one at which I was enrolled, I think. Isn't it?

Kasper: Well, because it says you were enrolled in 1972 and this program is from 1977.

Moulton: Oh, well, then I'm wrong about it.

Kasper: This must have been you just put these two together because they're the same issue, the same topic.

Moulton: The same topic. Yes. Well, that's funny. This is a piece out of the Post, June 1977, and it says, "Washington journalists who have been voted into Sigma Delta Chi will be honored at a dinner—" But they wouldn't have had a dinner two or three years afterwards, would they? "Recipients were—blah, blah, blah—Charlotte Moulton."

Kasper: Oh, maybe what they mean on this certificate is the chapter was enrolled in 1972.

Moulton: Oh! Oh, yes.

Kasper: You see how it's written? I think that's confusing looking, you know.

Moulton: Yes. Yes. That's what it means, definitely.

Kasper: This Washington, D.C. chapter of Sigma Delta Chi dates from 1972. But you were awarded your certificate and enrolled in June of 1977.

Moulton: Yes. That goes along with that clip.

Kasper: And this is a clip from the Washington Post in 1977. And it says on here—

Moulton: Yes, just saying the people who were enrolled along with me.

Kasper: "Washington journalists who have been voted into the Sigma Delta Chi Hall of Fame will be honored at a dinner at the Washington Press Club Friday. Recipients of the

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award given by the Washington Chapter of the Journalism Honor Society include Herblock, Washington Post editorial cartoonist, Carroll Kilpatrick, retired White House correspondent for the Post, Robert Roth, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Charlotte Moulton, Supreme Court reporter for UPI, Howard Flieger, retiring editor of U.S. News & World Report, and Martin Agronsky of the Public Broadcasting System." That's nice. This was a Saturday, June 1977 clip from the Washington Post.

Moulton: Yes, well, I just happened to see here—when Hazel Markell was president of the Women's Press Club, they had an annual dinner, and apparently I was going to sit at the head table. That must have been when I was third vice-president or something [Laughter] because these are instructions: "Please read carefully—" It seems that "the Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein, who are heads of state, will also be at the head table," and just letting us know that "all guests, except President and Mrs. Eisenhower, will be presented to the Prince and Princess. They are addressed as Your Serene Highness and are introduced as His or Her Serene Highness. And at the signal at 7:50, please be present and assist in getting guests to their chairs, etcetera, etcetera." So that's the kind of thing you were involved in when you were some sort of official in the Women's Press Club. I don't think we had people like the Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein too often, but—

Kasper: At the time was the Women's National Press Club more of a social organization rather than a so-called professional organization?

Moulton: Oh, no. I think it was a professional organization. I'm sure it must have been started by women who were annoyed as hell at the National Press Club for the way they acted and that they were hand-in-glove with the State Department, you know. And when the people would come from foreign countries and the Press Club would want to ask them to luncheons to make a speech and have lunch so that all the reporters, the men, could go, the State Department would—I suppose the women had lunches too, and they'd try to get some of those speakers—but the State Department wasn't interested because that's the way it was and the men got the speakers. So, gradually, the women of the press, as there got to be more women of the press, they wanted to do their own thing the best they could. And it gradually evolved to the point where it was really stupid. And men began to see it was stupid, I guess. And the men joined the Women's Press Club and women were finally admitted to the Men's Press Club. Then it was thought that one club was enough.

Kasper: Let's stop here for a moment. [Tape interruption.]

Kasper: When was that?

Moulton: In 1974, I was given a Simmons Alumnae Achievement Award, which was quite an honor, which I appreciated.

Kasper: Was there a ceremony and all?

Moulton: Well, that particular year they had a lunch to present it. I gave them a little run down, as I've been giving you, of what I did in the Supreme Court. I thought that was very nice of a classmate, Margaret Edna Kelly, to nominate me for this, and to receive it.

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I notice one of the opinions that came at the very last of my being there was the reverse discrimination case, where the white fellow said he should have had a job, but a black man got it. You know, that was a very complicated. The Bakke—

Kasper: Yes, the medical school decision.

Moulton: Yes, that was very complicated and hard to handle. That was just about at the end. And I was noticing here that in 1974, just about the time that I was notified that I had received this award, the United Press workers were on strike. The guild called a strike for that year. And the ones who struck were, of course, out on the picket line and—

Kasper: Did you strike?

Moulton: Oh, you bet!

Kasper: What were you striking for?

Moulton: Oh, I'm sure we were striking for more money. [Laughter.] And I'm sure there were other things, too. I don't remember precisely all the issues, but money was always an issue at United Press and UPI.

Kasper: Why was that?

Moulton: Well, it was because they were so chintzy. [Laughter.]

Kasper: Were you paid less than newspaper reporters—I mean substantially less?

Moulton: That I can't tell you. I know, in the early years, wire service reporters received higher pay, I think, than newspaper reporters. But I think gradually that changed and I'm sure that by the time—well, 1974—you know, I shouldn't be talking like this because I really don't know how the balance was between print, just ordinary papers, and the wire services. But the United Press was never known to be ultragenerous with its pay. And that was probably the reason we were striking. But we struck for—it went on for about three weeks, as I recall it, and then we had another vote, and the vote was to continue on strike. But the vote to go back to work was big enough so that they thought we might as well go back. If that many people were against prolonging the strike, that the best common sense was to end it. So they did. But that was an experience in itself.

Kasper: Why is that?

Moulton: Well, who wants to go on strike? You know, you lose your pay. I remember I got some kind of a little story from—it was about using television in court proceedings. I've forgotten just where I sold that story, but I got some magazine or some publication to say they could use a story about whether television should be allowed into a court trial, you know? I just picked up a little extra money writing it, because I—well, we got something from the Newspaper Guild, I'm sure, but nothing like a week's pay. But, you know, there were successful strikes. That didn't happen to be one, but some companies would pay you more for the sake of getting you back to work. We were walking up and down 14th Street there with signs.

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Kasper: So you were on the picket lines?

Moulton: Oh, definitely, I was. I got somebody to come and take my picture. [Laughter.]

Kasper: A true journalist. [Laughter.]

Moulton: Well, both of us. By that time the United Press had sent a second person up to help me at the Court all of the time.*

Kasper: Who was that?

Moulton: Well, his name was James Kidney, and his wife, also with UP for a long time, and she's now with the—

Kasper: That's Sara Fritz?

Moulton: Sara Fritz, yes. You know her?

Kasper: Yes.

Moulton: Well, she's Jim Kidney's wife. So Jim struck too, of course, and so there was nobody at the Court.

Kasper: Did much happen during the strike that needed to be reported and didn't get reported?

Moulton: I don't think at the Court very much did happen.

Kasper: How long did the strike last?

Moulton: Three weeks.

Kasper: Two weeks.

Moulton: Three. And that was just before I went to Boston to collect this award, so it was a lift. Some good things happen. [Tape interruption.]

Kasper: You have to say it quickly.

* Later Ms. Moulton added: For some time UPI had the U.S. divided into "regions," with a reporter in Washington assigned to each region. . . perhaps five. Their job was to pick up stories with a local angle in which the rest of the country would not be interested. I would set aside some Supreme Court cases for them to prepare. Their enthusiasm for this routine was not great and it was not a total success.

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Moulton: Oh, you're running out of tape. Yes. My retirement party was just lovely at the Court and Justice—[Tape interruption.]

Kasper: Well, we'll turn it over anyway.

[End Tape 3, Side A; Begin Tape 3, Side B]

Moulton: Maybe I never will remember it. Oh, I know how I'll remember it. There he is. Lewis Powell.

Kasper: Oh. It's a picture of Justice Powell, and it says down at the bottom, "For Charlotte Moulton who has served well the Court and the public. With best wishes, Lewis F. Powell, Jr." Well, that's nice. And this was at your retirement party that he gave this to you?

Moulton: Yes. Are we on now?

Kasper: Yes.

Moulton: Oh, we're on. Okay. Well, he came to the retirement party and made some nice remarks. And then Lyle Denniston, whom you know, he made some remarks, so I not only had to respond to Justice Powell, I had to respond to Lyle Denniston, and that sort of—

Kasper: Was this the guest book from your retirement party?

Moulton: Yes. There was one from the retirement party where all the people at the Court came. There were a lot of people whom I had known there from way back—people from the clerk's office and the marshall's office, and just in general around. And, of course, a lot of the reporters—those that you were talking about to whom I had been a mentor, whoever they might have been. [Laughter.]

Kasper: You still don't believe me, do you? [Laughter.]

Moulton: I remember somebody who had covered for the AP. We went on some of these trips to the American Bar Association. He'd be there and I'd be there. And so people like that in the press whom I had known who were no longer at the Court, they came. And I had some personal friends that I invited. In the meantime, Jim Kidney had been replaced by Cindy Mills. She was the one who really arranged the party—she and Tom Stewart, together. It was really a very nice thing which I shall always remember.

Kasper: That's very nice. And also very deserving. You were there a long time and you did a lot of work.

Moulton: I sure did a lot of work.

Kasper: Well, and you were much appreciated for the work that you did, too.

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Moulton: And then, after I retired I went on this around-the-world trip which lasted six months. I tried to do some work when I was traveling because it was a rather leisurely thing, six months, you know, I wasn't—

Kasper: Were you by yourself?

Moulton: All by myself. Um hum.

Kasper: Oh, my goodness.

Moulton: And I did try to do a story about—what did I do that story about? It was requested by this publication and I finally sent a cable. And then when I got home I discovered the publication had gone bankrupt and probably never got the cable, so that didn't work out too well. But I also visited around with some World Peace Through Law people in the countries I visited.

Kasper: What countries did you visit?

Moulton: Well, I visited India and Kashmir. Well, I say, I was all alone, but I left with a friend who was going to India anyway. She did a similar trip when she retired. And I thought, well, if she can do it, I can do it. I think that was one of those things that gave me courage to do it. She was going to India at that point. She had retired earlier and taken her around-the-world trip. But when I retired, she was going to India. Her name was Urcel Daniel. She worked for the Bureau of National Affairs, when she was working. So we went to India together and to Kashmir. Then she left and went somewhere else and I continued on my own. I stayed quite awhile in Kashmir. Went to—where's Katmandu?

Kasper: Nepal.

Moulton: Nepal. I went to Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Hong Kong, China. I think I've left something out. And then back to Hong Kong, and then Australia and New Zealand. Then home through the Pacific. I think I stopped on one of those islands on the way home. And when I got to the West Coast, the Uniform State Law Commissioners man out there, he lived out there, they asked me to do some work. Well, I still do a little bit. The Uniform Law Commissioners' Legislative Director, John McCabe, comes to Washington every spring to tell the press what the work of the Commission has been and is going to be. We have a lunch and I contact reporters who are interested in what he might have to say and we have a lunch at the Chinese place up on Capitol Hill. He comes to talk, and they come to eat, and listen. That's the sum and substance of what I do for them now. But I did do more in the way of trying to write press releases. And I attended one or two of their meetings prior to an American Bar Association meeting.

And I must tell you—oh, I must tell you the time—for the World Peace Through Law I went to the Ivory Coast, if you can imagine this. And I had to pay part of the cost myself. That wasn't a tremendous story that the United Press could afford to pay my way to the Ivory Coast and so forth. But they said that if I wanted to pay part of it, they'd pay part of it. Maybe it was kind of a reward for something or other. But, anyway, it was a tremendous experience because, you know, the Ivory Coast would be something quite different from the kind of life you were accustomed to. So I covered their activities there

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and stayed at the Ivoire Hotel. Then, when the thing was over, I took a little tour around the Ivory Coast in a very rickety bus. That was all very nice, very educational. When I got there, when I started to try to write something, the first thing I discovered was that the typewriters were made in France because the Ivory Coast was a former French colony.

Kasper: Yes. And so the keyboard was completely different.

Moulton: Well, it was, you know, just impossible. I couldn't use the typewriter. Well, fortunately, a woman who was working there, I guess she was a federal employee, probably, and she let me use a typewriter or arranged so I could have an "American-born" typewriter. [Laughter.] I wrote a nice piece to introduce this thing, which I think got play in the papers, but I'm not sure that the piece I wrote to end it ever appeared anywhere. I never saw it. Maybe it never got out—I don't think I ever discussed it very much with the office. And whether it ever got printed anywhere, I don't know, but I had a nice time. [Laughter.] That was about—

Kasper: Do you remember what year that was?

Moulton: Yes, I think it was 1973. I believe it was 1973. And that trip to Hawaii where the office sent me—

Kasper: The ABA?

Moulton: The ABA. Those were about the only two trips that really amounted to anything exciting.

Kasper: After you retired and after you did this six-month around-the-world trip, you did some other traveling too, didn't you?

Moulton: Oh, I've done a lot of Elderhostel traveling. And I had some odd jobs for people. Well, I covered for the National Underwriter, an insurance paper, a weekly. I did a lot of Supreme Court coverage for them for quite a while after I retired. Then it was taking too darn long to write that stuff when I wanted to be out in my garden or doing something else, so I just gave that up. But I did that for them. I'm still going up to the Court now once a month to do some work for newsletters that a Pennsylvania man gets out on the subject of failed banks and oil spills, where the cases might be coming to the Court. I just look and see the cases that would be interesting to him and just duplicate the material. I don't write about it, I just duplicate it and send it to him. So it's no great brain drain. And I see the people. There are still people there that I knew when I was there—not very many, but there are some.

Kasper: Who's still there?

Moulton: Well some people in the clerk's office that I know. And of course, the fellow that covers for the AP was there when I was there.

Kasper: Who's that?

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Moulton: His name is Richard Carelli. It's nice to see him and sometimes I have lunch with him and the reporter who now covers for the United Press International.

Kasper: Who is it that followed you when you left?

Moulton: Let's see. Who was it that followed me? Betsy Olson followed me.

Kasper: How long was she there, do you know?

Moulton: Not too terribly long. I think Betsy Olson followed me. No, no. She didn't follow me. Cindy Mills followed me.

Kasper: Oh, right. Cynthia Mills.

Moulton: Who worked with me for a while. She succeeded Jim Kidney. Then she got the beat for a while but she preferred doing other work and so they brought her down to the office.

Kasper: I spoke to her. She was one of the names you gave to me, and she said it was just so hard being at the Court. It was just really incredibly hard work. It was an endurance test. She said that. She still marvels at the fact that you managed to stay there for thirty years. She's not quite sure how. [Laughter.]

Moulton: Well, sometimes I'm not. Then I guess it was Betsy Olson after Cindy. And then, there might have been somebody in between there. Henry Reske has been there up until a few months ago. He stayed quite a while. I always enjoy talking to them, even though I'd not known them before. When they find out who I am, they don't mind chit chatting a little bit. And the fellow there now is Greg Henderson. Last time I was there, he wasn't in. Of course, that didn't mean anything. You know, every time you see the office empty, you think, well, has the company died this time? It's kind of fun to go up there once a month and talk to them, maybe have lunch and copy a few briefs and mail them to this man in Pennsylvania, and collect a small amount of money.

Kasper: And just poke around and see what's happening.

Moulton: Yes. Um hum.

Kasper: Well, if you were to look back on all those years at the Court, what would you say were the best parts about being a wire service reporter for the Court all those years.

Moulton: Was there any best part of it at all? Well, I suppose the best part was feeling that you were involved in some kind of a worthwhile service, a worthwhile activity. You know, the Supreme Court is the third branch of government, and I suppose it's a branch that the general public knows least about, and it certainly doesn't get as much publicity as the president or politicians in the House and Senate. And I suppose it's gratifying to think that you might have informed people of things they wouldn't have known if you hadn't been writing about them. And some of the stories were fun to do, and some were exciting to do, and some were boring. For a while we covered every case, every opinion the

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Supreme Court handed down. We would write a story about it, no matter how dull and boring it was. And I tried, at one point, to say, "We don't need these. Nobody cares about this." And, well, it was our policy to, and why didn't we do it in a small space. Well, the more complicated and boring a story is, the harder it is to put in a small space. So, I don't know whether they still do that or not, whether they still cover everything.

Kasper: What was the hardest part, the most difficult part, about all those years at the Court for you?

Moulton: Well, the most difficult part was sitting there day after day reading that stuff when you would prefer to be doing something else.

Kasper: The boredom part.

Moulton: Yes. Really, that was it. And, you know, a lot of it gets to be pretty routine. You write two possible leads and then a little bit of stuff about the case, and then you hold that in your file until the Supreme Court decides whether it's going to hear it or not going to hear it. Well, you get awfully tired of that routine. When you're going through all those briefs, that mountain that comes in every week, and you look at it and you think, what am I going to prepare? What am I going to write about—that they might take or not take? And, you know, there are many of them that you don't write about at all because you think they probably won't take it, or you take a chance that they won't take it because it's not something you really want to write about, and then it turns out they take it.

Kasper: Then what do you do?

Moulton: So then you have to get busy right at that moment, or as early a moment as possible, and write something. "The Supreme Court today agreed to decide blah, blah, blah." And nine times out of ten, there might be something that you haven't prepared.

Kasper: How did you feel about that? That must have been rather nerve wracking because you really appreciated your meticulous preparation. It was important to you.

Moulton: Yes. My meticulous attitudes about everything, and so, well, not really, because a lot of times the legal issue was so fine spun that you figured, who cares about this anyway, but they've done it, so I better tell the world—but just to be on the record, more or less, really. So you don't get too excited about that.

Kasper: Over the years that you were in journalism, what were some of the changes you saw in the role of women in journalism?

Moulton: Well, of course, let's see—the changes that are obvious to everybody, you know, how many women come on the television to give the news of the day and so forth. And all the women that got into the wire services and on the newspapers and so forth. It's just something that, I guess, you didn't notice it much more than the general public notices it, maybe. Oh, I guess you did, but—at the beginning, there was certainly an awful lot of discrimination.

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Kasper: What kind of discrimination do you remember seeing?

Moulton: Well, they weren't hired, period! They just didn't get the jobs. I like that—who was that woman that did the—no, I don't have it here, but the women that tried to get the job with the UP in Europe and went from place to place, from month to month, for I don't know how long. She finally wrote a story about it, how she kept going into this office and that office, and asking them if they didn't have a job. And they said, "Well, not now, not this time, but come around again." Then my efforts to try to go to London or get in the foreign department here in Washington. They didn't want me because I was a woman. And, you know, all women were having that same difficulty. And the war was very instrumental in giving women a break—it really was.

Kasper: And do you think that things changed after that?

Moulton: Oh, I think so.

Kasper: Do you think that was the trigger?

Moulton: Yes. I think so. And then, of course, the Congress in the—what was it the Civil Rights Act representative? Wasn't it Smith of Virginia threw in that thing about discrimination against women?

Kasper: He thought it would kill the Civil Rights Act of 1964, right?

Moulton: Yes, he thought it would kill the law. And instead of that it was a great boon to women.

Kasper: Exactly. It wound up being passed, with the law, intact.

Moulton: Yes. Yes.

Kasper: It was the biggest—it must have been the biggest mistake of his life and one of the biggest boons to women.

Moulton: I'll bet he thought it was the biggest mistake in his life. And a lot of other people did too when they realized what could be done under it. But that was, don't you think, a big consideration as far as sexism was concerned?

Kasper: Do you think that the changes with the entry of more women into journalism, that we've seen changes in journalism? How the news is reported? Or do you think there's been no difference?

Moulton: I don't see any particular changes. Maybe I'm not observant enough, but if you have a story and you—well, I'll have to think that one over, but certainly there isn't any change in the Supreme Court. If you have a Supreme Court opinion, it doesn't make any difference whether or a man or a woman writes the decision. I think that it would probably be the same way covering the House or the Senate or the State Department. From the standpoint of news itself, and the way it's presented to the public, I don't see any difference.

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Kasper: You don't think that women bring a different perspective to a story than a man does?

Moulton: Well, in what way would it be?

Kasper: Well, I'm not supposed to answer the question. [Laughter.] I'm just supposed to ask it.

Moulton: Now I've heard that one before too. [Laughter.] I can't—I'm trying to think of a female perspective on a—

Kasper: Well, I'll fall for the trap. [Laughter.] Women often take what is called a more human touch perspective. They're interested in the consequences of something for, oh, something as straightforward as children and family, or home life and educating people to be responsible adults. That kind of thing. They are more concerned about what we call the human interest aspect of stories and men may be more concerned with, say, about the financial aspects or the foreign policy aspects of an issue. And, you know, that's just a for-instance that might be reflected then in a story that's written about, let's say, a Supreme Court decision. Have you ever noticed anything like that or been aware of something like that?

Moulton: I really haven't. It seems to me that, well, it always bothers me a little bit to think that women, as such, have a different perspective than men, as such, about any particular—some women would and some wouldn't. And some men would and some wouldn't. But just to sort of divide the sexes in two and say women do this and men do that, from the standpoint of writing a story, I never saw any great difference. Now, you might ask Molly Yard about it and she might have a different story. [Laughter.]

Kasper: Indeed, she probably would. In general, just kind of to bring this to some sort of closure, are you pleased with your career as a journalist? I mean, do you feel that it was important, it was enjoyable—what other adjectives might you add to it?

Moulton: Rewarding.

Kasper: Rewarding?

Moulton: Yes. Well, let's put it this way. I don't think it was wasted. But, on the other hand, it would have been nice if I could have done something else for awhile instead of spending forty years at the Supreme Court.

Kasper: What would you have done differently?

Moulton: Oh, I would have liked to get into, as I said, the State Department or something that would be in world issues rather than just national issues. I think the State Department probably has its problems too. I would fill in there from time to time, you know, in the summertime or whatever.

Well, of course, I like to travel. You started in to ask me about post-retirement travel. It would have been fun to write about how people in other countries live and what

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they do and things like that. I had an Elderhostel, as I said, last year in the Soviet Union, and the year before that in France and Holland, one where the two countries were combined. Then I had them in Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries and Canada and Spain. And did I tell you? I'm signed up for China next September, but who knows what's going to happen then. And then a bunch of them in the United States. Olympic Peninsula, that was a place I always wanted to see. You know, if you want to see somewhere, then you look in the Elderhostel catalog and see if there isn't a program there. So I went to one in Toronto and then went all the way across Canada on the train and wound up in an Elderhostel on the Olympic Peninsula. That was a nice part of a summer. And to write about people in different parts of the world and what they're doing, I think that would have been very nice. But, it didn't happen.

Kasper: On the other hand, the trade off is that you happened to have been real fortunate to have been at the Court during the Warren years when, as you said earlier on the tape, some of the most dramatic events of legal consequence and eventually of social consequence were occurring in this country.

Moulton: Yes, that's right.

Kasper: You really had a seat in the front row there of history being made.

Moulton: Um hum. That's right. I was very fortunate to be at the Court at that time, and I was also very fortunate to be at the United Press at that time, because I certainly wouldn't want to be working for the United Press now. It's not what it used to be. It was really a lot of fun in the first years there. As I say, the people there were enjoyable people, they did a lot of joking and carrying on, and along with all the excitement and the hot bulletins, it was a very nice experience, a learning experience.

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