Call for Impeachment of President Nixon

Adopted at 1974 Midwinter Meeting

WHEREAS the American Library Association is committed to the principles of intellectual freedom of information, and has stated its opposition to government intimidation and to the invasion of privacy of individuals, and

WHEREAS these principles are incorporated into the basic legal structure of the United Stated, and

WHEREAS Richard M. Nixon, as President of the United Stated, has affronted these principles and is seriously charged with having violated both the Constitution and the laws he had sworn to uphold by: 1) establishing within the White House a personal secret police (the “plumbers”), operating outside the restraints of the law, which engaged in criminal acts, including burglaries, wiretap without legal warrant, espionage, and perjury; 2) authorizing a program of wiretap which were illegal and which were directed against political opponents, news reporters, and government employees; and 3) obstructing the administration of justice by such actions as his efforts to limit the FBI investigation of the Watergate break-in and to suborn the Ellsberg trial judge; and

WHEREAS these infringements of the liberties of the people of the United States constitute a grave erosion of the Constitutional Bill of Rights and a more through destruction of the Library Bill of Rights adopted as a basic policy of the American Library Association, and

WHEREAS Richard M. Nixon has, by suspect means, further endangered the safety and welfare of the American people, particularly in these areas of concern to the American Library Association:
1) In impounding funds voted by Congress, thereby halting library programs needed by the American people;
2) In using blatant political patronage to bestow favors upon corporate campaign contributors, thus worsening the already serious economic situation of the disadvantaged and other major portions of the population; and
3) In usurping the war-making powers of Congress, as in the bombing of the neutral sovereign state of Cambodia, deliberately concealing the combing from Congress and the American people, even threatening to do so again under similar circumstances; and

WHEREAS the United States Constitution provides procedures for redress of these offenses by the President in Article II, Section 4, Article I, Section 2, Article I, Section 3, Article II, Section 2, and Article III, Section 2;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the American Library Association joins with civic and libertarian organizations such as the NAACP, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Bar Association Law Students Division in calling for the speedy impeachment of the President, and directs that this resolution be transmitted to the House Committee on the Judiciary, now considering such impeachment, and to the library press and principal American newspapers.

SRRT Newsletter Issue 29, pp. 2-3