Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute Archives logo
| HOME | HISTORY | PUBLICATIONS | DOCKETS | FINDING AIDS |

CIVIL LIBERTIES DOCKET
Vol. IX, Nos. 1 and 2
December, 1963

Search in this volume

Case Number: 

Enter a specific case number or use * as wildcard, e.g., 303.15, 303.*

Case Title: 

Enter keywords from the title of a case, e.g., carpenters union

Case Description: 

Enter keywords from the description of a case, e.g., segregation school
   

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS ISSUE


A Time for Eloquence

If there were time, one could write with magic fingers about the 150 new cases described in this issue, and about many of the decisions in pending cases.

The group of decisions by the Court of Appeals in Washington on the orders requiring organizations to register as "Communist fronts" after hearings before the Subversive Activities Control Board deserve careful reading and deep thought by all constitutional lawyers. 211.1a-211.14.

This is particularly essential because Louisiana has just brought charges against two members of the bar active in integration work, and the charges are based on the state's little McCarran and Smith Acts. See cases at 245.16.

This issue also reports that there has been no desegregation of the schools in Clarendon County, and, in Prince Edward County, there have been no schools at all since 1959—no public schools, that is. Yet both of these school districts were ordered by the Supreme Court in 1954 to desegregate "with all deliberate speed." Briggs, 522.S.C.1; Griffin, 522.Va.1. Circuit Judge Bell was moved to dissent in the latest decision in Griffin, saying: "It is tragic that since 1959 the children of Prince Edward County have gone without formal education. Here is a truly shocking example of the law's delays. In the scales of justice the doctrine of abstention should not weigh heavily against the rights of these children."

But There Is Not Enough Time

Where does a lawyer belong? In his office, consulting with clients? In the library, conceiving new legal theories? In his home, relaxing and broadening his interests, educating his children and sharing himself with his wife?

Or should he be at a PTA meeting working for merger of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers (representing northern and western parents and southern white parents) and the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (representing Negro parents and teachers in states with de jure segregated schools)?

Should he attend a meeting of the Board of Education to present his views on the Board's proposed integration plan?

Or broadcast an analysis of the new state Fair Housing Law (or, in California, on the initiative to repeal the law just passed)?

Should he be preparing an amicus brief for an organization to file in a case which has captured his conscience, though he has never met the client and the court is far outside his jurisdiction?

Or should he be attending his local bar association and there asking questions about the quality of justice in his own bailiwick and in the cities he has read about in the morning paper? Should he be volunteering for service on the bar committee to try out release on own recognizance (as was done in the Manhattan bail project last year)? Or for the lawyers' panel to aid indigent defendants, to carry Gideon v. Wainwright into reality?

The editor has no answers to these questions, and the lateness of this issue attests to the editor's inability to exclude any of these activities.

It is clear that a person cannot do all of these things and simultaneously edit a Docket for lawyers on all of the cases related to these issues.

And it is even clearer that more lawyers are needed to help—to represent clients on constitutional questions, to write briefs (amicus and otherwise), to research, to write, to speak.

This Is a Time To Begin!

CIVIL LIBERTIES DOCKET
1715 Francisco St., Berkeley 3, Calif.
Date:___________________
Enclosed please find my check for $10. for Volume IX of the DOCKET.
Name_____________________________
Address__________________________