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February 20, 1976
The Honorable David N. Henderson
In Re: H.R. 11738
since I enjoyed the pleasant and warm association in the House of Representatives.
United States District Court
Eastern & Western Districts of Arkansas
3. O. Box 1733
El Dorado, Arkansas 71730
January 15, 1976.
The Honorable Gerald R. Ford
The White House
Washington, D. C. 20500
My Dear Mr. President:
This is to advise that I will assume the status of Senior United States District Judge, by retirement from regular active service, on February 3, 1976. At that time, I will have had ten years of continuous service as Judge of the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. I have already attained the age of seventy-two years.
I am taking this particular method of retirement from regular active service pursuant to 28 U.S.c. § 371(b). expect to retain my office and personnel, as it is my intention to continue my service with the Federal Judiciary as a Senior Judge. It is obvious that, in due time, I will be unable to perform fully the heavy responsibilities of an active Judge.
Respectfully, I would like to urge, Mr. President, that immediate action be taken for the appointment of my successor after February 3, 1975. We have very heavy dockets in our State and, particularly, in the Eastern District, where most of my time is required.
Please accept my personal best wishes and high esteem.
On January 21, 1976, I directed a letter to your Mr. Thomas A. Tinsley, Director, Bureau of Retirement, Insurance and Occupational Health, advising that, effective February 3, 1976, I was to assume the status of Senior United States District Judge and retire from regular active service pursuant to 28 U.S.c. § 371(b). Having retired from my service of more than 25 years in the United States House of Representatives, and pursuant to the Commission policy at that time, my annuity was deferred.
I requested my annuity retirement to be activated and that annuity be paid me from my congressional service commencing February 3, 1976. I have received no response from Mr. Tinsley. I had assumed it would have been a matter of merely reviewing the record and recomputing my retirement at this time.
Your records will reflect that upon application, I was certified as eligible for retirement effective February 3, 1966. I was provided a certification card, as above identified, to the effect that I had been retired from the Civil Service of the United States and granted an annuity. It was certified by Mr. Andrew E.
February 14, 1976
The Honorable Robert E. Hampton
Rudock, Director, Bureau of Retirement and Insurance, February 18, 1966. At the same time, a letter was directed to me by your Mr. George Babel, Chief of the Section, with reference to my annuity due to being separated from the House of Representatives on February 2, 1966. He advised that I had been awarded an annuity in the amount of $1,169.00 per month commencing February 3, 1966. My wife, Ruth, would have been, at that time, entitled to $700. per month if she survived me. He further advised that since I was then serving in an appointed position, United States District Judge, the law required payment of the annuity be discontinued. The Honorable Homer Thornberry, Circuit Judge, the Fifth Circuit, has just advised me of his telephone conversation with you on February 6, 1976. He advised of a pending Bill sponsored by the Commission, H.R. 11299, scheduled for hearing on February 24, 1976. I, too, am concerned about the proposed legislation if it has for its purpose denying my right to the annuity even though all the requirements of the law have been met. I am also concerned about the effect it would have on my survivor. I do not understand what is meant by "accrue".
In the meantime, Judge Oliver Gasch of the United States District Court in Washington has advised with reference to a change in policy of the Commission resulting from opinions from the Attorney General of the United States and Chief Counsel of the General Accounting Office that would entitle an annuitant to receive the payments from the date retirement was granted after all of the requirements had been met. This would indicate that, should such policy be effectuated, I would be entitled to annuity payments which have been withheld by the Commission from February 3, 1966. I am concerned about the entire problem. In fact, I simply do not know from this unexpected development just where I stand in reference to my congressional service. I am a member of the Budget Committee of the Judiciary; we are having a meeting of the Budget Committee in Washington the first week in March and I would like to have an opportunity to visit with you regarding my situation at a time convenient to you on either March 3 or 4. Please advise.
Dear Mr. Tinsley:
Please refer to letter
to me dated February 18, 1966, from your Mr. George A. Babel, Chief of Section, with reference to my claim for annuity due to my separation as a member of the House of Representatives effective February 2, 1966.
This is to advise that, effective February 3, 1976, I will assume the status of Senior United States District Judge and retire from regular active service pursuant to 28 U.S.Č. § 371(b). I enclose herewith a copy of my letter to The President, dated January 15, advising that I will assume the status of Senior Judge on that date.
In accordance with Mr. Babel's letter of February 18, 1966, I am now writing you with reference to benefits payable to me. Annuity payments have been deferred from the time I assumed the position of United States District Judge February 3, 1966. I have now served 10 years, as required by the statute, and reached the age of 72 as of December 20, 1975, and, therefore, eligible for retirement from regular active service.
Pursuant to established policy, I will, at that time, be eligible to receive annuity payments on the basis of my congressional service of 25 years and 1 month.
I presume that I will receive annuity in accordance with my entitlement of February 3, 1966, with additional payment in accordance with