Skip to comments.This Year In History;Judicial Power (Little Rock August 1957)
Posted on 08/29/2007 6:39:25 AM PDT by Nextrush
Various actions dealing with integration plans for Little Rock Central High School were filed in state courts during the summer of 1957.
Some parents sought the right to send their children to segregated schools that would remain in Little Rock and others sought to nullify the Central High School integration plan.
The plan was supported by federal district and appeals court rulings, but many state laws had been passed calling for imposition of any federal order.
Public meetings were also held in opposition to the integration plan.
One lawsuit reached the Cancery Court in Pulaski County on August 27th, 1957. Chanellor Murray Reed issued an injunction against the integration of Central High, saying it would cause violence.
In Washington meanwhile, President Eisenhower took action to replace local federal judges with an outside federal judge to hear legal cases involving integration.
North Dakota Federal District Judge Ronald Davies was appointed by Eisenhower on August 22nd and arrived in Little Rock on August 26th to take up his temporary appointment to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
The U.S. Attorney General, William Rogers, sent an emissary to Little Rock. Arthur Caldwell met with Governor Orval Faubus on August 28, 1957 where Faubus warned him of the danger of violence if integration occurred at Central High.
Accounts of this meeting say that Faubus gave no specific evidence of impending violence, but in the days before the meeting a rock had been thrown through the front window of a black newspaper editor and publisher. In addition, a cross had been burned on his front lawn.
The fact that a federal judge from North Dakota was brought into Little Rock also seemed to indicate the threat of violence existed against any local federal judge who would rule regarding the integration of Little Rock Central High School.
Davies would soon act to make the first of his rulings in the Little Rock conflict.
Also looking at events in Oxford, Mississippi 45 years ago.
Both involving federal judicial power overriding state law.
Democrats did their utmost to keep blacks from achieving equal rights.