Front Page Titles (by Subject) Ideology and Justice - Literature of Liberty, April/June 1978, vol. 1, No. 2
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Ideology and Justice - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, April/June 1978, vol. 1, No. 2 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Ideology and Justice
“Cold War Justice: The Supreme Court and the Rosenbergs.” American Historical Review 82 (1977): 805–842.
In the hot summer of 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for conspiring to steal American atomic bomb secrets and to commit espionage for the Soviet Union. Regardless of their guilt or innocence, whether they were “archtraitors” or “martyred saints,” did they receive the full measure of American justice? How did the American legal institutions, especially the Supreme Court, respond to “the most politically sensitive litigation of the Cold War era”?
Felix Frankfurter observed, in a 1956 letter to Justice John M. Harlan: “The merits aside, the manner in which the Court disposed of that [the Rosenberg case], is one of the least edifying episodes of its modern history.” The evidence for and against the Rosenbergs may be variously interpreted, but a key concern should be to analyze how the Court dealt with the case, and how the events of the Cold War and “McCarthyism” might have influenced the Court's decisions. Seven times the case was brought before the Supreme Court, and seven times it failed to get a thorough hearing.
The Rosenberg case raises the issue: to what extent might Cold War partisanship have affected the case's outcome or strained due process and civil liberties? The intertwining of domestic and international events around the case and the actual execution of the Rosenbergs make for somber and fascinating human drama and legal questions.
Many of the questions raised about the Rosenberg case are based on the new information coming from the papers of Circuit Judge Jerome Frank, Justices Frankfurter and Burton, and the material the FBI released under the Freedom of Information Act. An ironical conjecture might guess that had the Rosenbergs received a stay of execution, the Court of Earl Warren—the court famed for its Brown decision and civil liberties cases—might have overturned the death sentences. By the time of the Warren Court, the Cold War had toned down somewhat, and resolutions censuring McCarthy had begun circulating in the Senate. A matter deserving further exploration is that the proponent of civil liberties, William O. Douglas, seemed hard-shelled about the case, except on one occasion when his bluff was called.
What is clear is that to the disinterested observer of the 1970s, the Rosenberg case was not a cut and dried vindication of American equal justice.
In scope and subject matter political economy conceives of its discipline far more ambitiously than does the narrow and fragmented field of modern economics. Conceived of as a broad science of human action, political economy comprises the narrower economic issues, but it also investigates and integrates the ethical, social, and political dimensions of economic activity. It is fitting, therefore, that this group of summaries opens with three reflections on the founder of political economy, Adam Smith.
The coincidence of the recent Bicentennial commemorating both the Declaration of Independence and the publication of Smith's Wealth of Nations suggestively links liberty and its defense in political economy. Smith's concern was to demonstrate how a system of natural liberty was harmonious with justice, moral order, and social harmony. His Wealth of Nations parallels a Newtonian physics of human liberty and unveils how free and voluntary human action as well as self-interest might create a spontaneous economic order.
This theme keynotes the following seven summaries. These summaries, in a vital sense, are the progeny of Smith's concern for finding order in the natural workings of the market. These summaries report how the laws of economic freedom are displayed in the efficient allocation mechanisms of the market, international trade, competitive supply and demand, information, banking, and income distribution.