President Harry Truman
Harry Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was president of the United States (1945 – 1953) during the Korean War. He exercised executive power frequently, seizing 28 industrial properties in labor disputes during the first year and a half of his presidency. His decision to involve the U.S. in the Korean War without consulting Congress led some Americans to call it “Harry’s War.”
Chief Justice Fred Vinson
Fred Vinson (January 22, 1890 – September 8, 1953) was appointed by President Truman as chief justice of the Supreme Court (1946 – 1953). Historians have reported that before Truman seized the steel mills, Vinson privately assured him that it was constitutional to do so. In his dissent in Youngstown, Vinson defended the President’s actions and argued that he should have increased authority in times of war.
Justice Robert Jackson
Robert Jackson (February 13, 1892 – October 9, 1954) was a Supreme Court justice (1941 – 1954) who wrote a concurring opinion in Youngstown. In it, he suggested three tiers of presidential power: with authority from Congress, when Congress is silent, and in defiance of Congress. He concluded that President Truman’s actions fell into the third category and were unconstitutional.