made with serious intent. Those state ments don’t look good in court later on. “There is a double standard applied to political and religious dissenters the same as blacks have endured. That’s a fact of life. You will not be allowed to be as hard, as mean, as unfair, as crooked, as rule-twisting as a member of the establishment is permitted to be. Be smart, be Quakerly.” I asked Maverick if he thought he was “monitored” by the FBI or Army CID because of his defense of conscientious objector applicants during Vietnam. The reply was a quick “I know so.” Maverick wrote the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act to inquire as to whether they had a file on him. The FBI wrote a friendly letter in reply informing Maverick that they have a 275-page file on him and his father, called “Father and Son.” He is waiting to receive the file. It undoubtedly takes time to go through a person’s file and scratch out the names of informers and any information which might enable one to identify an informer. MAVERICK defended more active military conscientious lawyer in Texas. There are 45 CO cases in his files. The most important of these was the Private Michael Leonard Helwick v. Melvin Laird as Secretary of Defense, et al. In the view of the ACLU this case ranks as one of the most important religious freedom cases in the history of the United States. In the Helwick case, Judge Minor Wisdom, an Eisenhower appointee, ruled that sincerity of conviction opposing war was more important than “depth and maturity” of religious conviction, that is, orthodox adherence to formal religion. Maverick, thus, played a major role in moving this country from accepting conscientious-objector applications only from members of traditionally pacifist denominations, such as the Quakers, Mennonites, and Church of the Brethren, to the acceptance of applicants from all religious faiths and of young men with an ethical value system not founded on religion. The test was now “sincerity of conviction in opposing war.” Maverick got involved in conscientious-objector defense work initially not because he necessarily agreed with the objectors but because no other lawyer in San Antonio was willing to represent them. Later on, when two young lawyers, Leonard Schwartz and Gerald Goldstein came to town, they began helping with the CO applicants. But for a while, Maverick was on his own. One of the early lessons Maverick learned in defending CO applicants was described to me as follows: I would be standing there with a pimplyfaced boy who didn’t want to kill or be killed. Folks in the courtroom would be staring at us and there was a deep tension in the air. Then this criminal lawyer would walk in with a heroin pusher, and they’d be laughing and joking like good ol’ boys. In a courtroom it was almost as if that pimplyfaced boy was the criminal while the heroin pusher wasn’t. This suggests to me that a person involved in a political “crime”, even a nonviolent one of conscience, can be more unpoular than a criminal involved in dope or violence. I never figured that out, but I used to deeply resent it, and still do! Maverick also developed a cynical view of military chaplains from his defense of CO applicants. According to Maverick, the chaplains would usually try to trick the young CO’s by getting them to say ‘yes’ to a question that would technically allow them to perform a job in the military. One of the questions often asked was: “Now son, wouldn’t you, with your deep religious beliefs, be willing to be my helper, my assistant here in God’s house?” Or there was the question: “Let’s say, for Letter from Maverick To the Editor: I see by the letters to the editor that you are now an incipient antiSemite. Those incipient kind are the worst ones of all. Four months ago you were antilabor. About a month ago you were anti-Maverick when you saw fit to put me on the spot \(in the minds of some portion of the testimony in the antiNAACP trial to the effect that I represented a Negro boxer \(free of resulted in the Texas prohibition against mixed fights being declared unconstitutional. Week before last you were just plain anti-liberal when you suggested that we liberals might keep our powder dry and give Price Daniel a chance to be a good Governor. Why is it that your paper is liberal when it jumps on an obvious target like Governor Shivers and anti-liberal when it criticises some person or group within the liberal movement? You don’t know the answer to that do you? Well, it’s because we liberals are infallible, and damn you for not knowing that. There have been times when you and I have not agreed on the time of the day, and there will be times like that again, but remember this, brother, the day you quit having guts enough to write what you honestly believe about anybody, liberal or conservative, is the day when I become anti-Dugger. Maury Maverick, Jr. 709 Maverick Bldg., San Antonio December 5, 1956 Walden 1958 Any day now I expect to be escorted to Leavenworth for failure to file a 1957 income tax return .. . In the course of these reflections this morning arrived a renewal to the Observer from Maury Maverick, Jr. , with the explanation, however: “I have made my check out to Dugger personally so as to trap him, this darling of the DOT, the Eddie Ball of the Fourth Estate.” When Maverick comes to visit me in the calaboose and asks me what I’m doing in there, without apologies to Thoreau I shall reply, “What, dear Maury, are you doing out there?” I admit the prospect of incarceration is appealing. No ringing telephones, no Young Democrats, no Austin Americans, no bills. Plenty of time to peruse my vicuna-cloth set of Dostoevski and the Peanuts and Playboy annuals. Silence to imagine the unimaginable. But even so, I shall not include Maury’s check with my remittance to the Department of Eternal Revenue. I could do so with safety, since they could never trace it. In the same envelope he corrects his mailing address to 807 Maverick Bldg. , writes it out as 804 Maverick Bldg., and signs the check from 709 Maverick Bldg. But the DOT, which has already suffered enough because it doesn’t control the Observer as the dailies allege, could hardly bear the burden of having one of its men bailed out of Leavenworth by Maverick. Integration will go away, Eddie Ball practiced law before he became a CIO organizer, wealthy liberals can be discounted as lunatic leftists of the country-club set, but Maury Maverick, Jr., could neither be explained nor explained away. R. D. August 8, 1958 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 27
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