Skip to comments.This Year In History:Judicial Power (James Meredith)
Posted on 08/27/2007 3:44:57 AM PDT by Nextrush
When one is trying to advance a case in court, you have to have a plantiff with a good image.
Lawyers at the NAACP achieved a major victory when the Warren Supreme Court came down with the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling.
Now there were opportunities to use federal judicial power to overrule state segregation laws through lawsuits.
In 1955 a number of people defied bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama.
But until seamstress and local member Rosa Parks came along, the NAACP stayed out of court.
Earlier cases involved people who had bad reputations or who might break under the pressure of a court case.
But with Rosa Parks the NAACP legal team took a lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court for another legal victory.
Integrating southern colleges was a slow and difficult task. There were legal victories in federal courts. But, when the first black students showed up at some campuses, violence broke out forcing the students off the campus.
In early 1961 James Meredith made application to the University of Mississippi and the NAACP legal team at the same time.
Meredith had served nine years in the Air Force and was a student at an all-black college in Mississippi.
Meredith wrote a letter to NAACP lawyer (and future Supreme Court Justice) Thurgood Marshall noting that he expected trouble and asking for help.
The NAACP took up his case and sued in federal court on May 31, 1961 after Meredith was refused admission.
A district judge ruled against Merdith but the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 that he was racially discriminated against.
The decision was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1962 but its response would come as no surprise.....
This series will continue this week and through early October.