Skip to comments.Today In History:Judicial Power (Meredith tries to enroll at Ole Miss-1962)
Posted on 09/25/2007 5:20:11 AM PDT by Nextrush
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was freed to order enrollment of James Meredith at the University of Mississippi after the Supreme Court's September 10th decision.
They ordered enrollment of Meredith by registrar Robert Ellis at 10AM on Tuesday September 25th at the Federal Building in Jackson, Mississippi.
A federal plane (Border Patrol) flew Meredith, Justice Department official John Doar and Chief U.S. Marshal James McShane from New Orleans to Jackson.
They expected to meet the university registrar Robert Ellis there, but he was at the Woolfolk State Office Building when he was ordered to testify before a legislative committee.
Fifth Circuit Judge Tuttle mad certain by phone that his deadline was extended when Ellis tried to evade by saying the deadline has expired.
Meanwhile Attorney General Robert Kennedy decided to allow Meredith to go to Ellis for registration at the state office building.
Meredith, Doar and McShane made their way to the building with police on hand and a crowd of two thousand protestors outside, many jeering.
Television cameras were on hand to capture their entry into the building and their arrival on the tenth floor. At the door of the office where they were to meet Ellis stood Governor Ross Barnett.
Barnett said he was interposing state soverignty in face of the court order. He read an order of interposition to Meredith's face. It was a great political moment for Barnett as he proved himself on the side of white public opinion in favor of segregation.
Soon Robert Kennedy was on the phone to Barnett and said Meredith would be at the Ole Miss campus in Oxford the next day to attend classes.
Barnett protested that Meredith was not enrolled yet.
After some back and forth Barnett was told Meredith would enroll at 10AM the next morning in Oxford.
Later Tuesday evening September 25th three judges of the Fifth Circuit of Appeals signed an order for Governor Barnett to appear Friday at 10AM for a contempt hearing.
We get into the political nitty gritty between the Kennedys and Governor Ross Barnett.
State-sponsored evil takes a fall. The wages of sin are federalism.