Skip to comments.Today In History:Judicial Power (Second attempt to enroll Meredith-September 26, 1962)
Posted on 09/26/2007 5:48:03 AM PDT by Nextrush
For the second day in a row an attempt was made to enroll James Meredith at the University of Mississippi.
After the rebuff in Jackson from Governor Barnett it was decided to make the attempt at the university campus in Oxford.
The federal plane flew to Oxford carrying Meredith, John Doar of the Justice Department and Chief U.S. Marshal James McShane.
This time they were confronted by the Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi, Paul Johnson. Johnson was flanked by state police and sheriff's deputies.
Marshal McShane made an attempt to push past Johnson to the registrar's office saying "I think its my duty to try to go through and get Mr. Meredith in there."
Johnson said: "You are not going in."
Johnson rebuffed McShane several times as he tried to push in.
Meredith, Doar and McShane left the Ole Miss campus.
Now Attorney General Kennedy had to consider the Kennedy Administration's next moves.
The executive branch was charged with enforcing judicial orders like this one of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordering Meredith's enrollment.
There was talk of force being used and a new confrontation as serious if not more so than the one in Little Rock just five years ago this week.
Robert Kennedy began almost continuous phone negotiations with Governor Ross Barnett to try to get his peaceful compliance with the court's order.
Barnett faced being held in contempt of court after Friday's hearing just two days away.
History has left us with recordings of those conversations and we will look at them in the days ahead........