decide that an act is unconstitutional
and declare it null ancl void within
that state. But, if three-fourths of the
other states amend the Constitution to
give the federal government the specific power which the interposing
stete held it did not have, that state
Would have te) yield. Without such
Intendment, according to Mr. Randolph, the act would remain void
Wthin its borders. "Some may say that
this would lead to chaos, but what
could be more chaotic than rule by a
court which has reversed itself thirty-
sw times in eighteen years?"10
AUTHORITY OF COURT DEFENDED
Dr. Wells' rejoinder to this view is
'hut the power of the Supreme Court
'° make- an authoritative determina-
h°n of the meaning of the Constitutor! has long been accepted by the
Overwhelming majority of Americans.
Fortunately or unfortunately, how-
v.'r' Judicial review is a weapon
Which cuts several ways. Need we
'etnind ourselves of the last occa-
fl0« upon which the Supreme Court
*oame the center of national contro-
verSy? At that time it was the 'liberals'
Ijho wanted 'a Supreme Court under
."' ((institution and not over it,' and
, xviis the 'conservatives' who flocked
0 the defense of the 'nine old men.' It
*'" neit do to lose sight of historical
respective. Nor will it do to urge
rj*yely that the old court was absol-
tely wrong. A substantial number of
.■[■erica,is could be lined up on both
*** of that issue-.
Basic issues of a different order are
stake in the interposition theory,"
retinues Dr. Wells. "The viability of
t|l'r Political system i.s challenged and
! e very rules of the political society
a ^hich we live are involved. We
| °"'el not require the writings of
arned men to see that, in the long
» n; the Supreme Court is a safer ex-
Fj'tor of the- Constitution than are
xV-eight separate- state legislatures.
j' • How do we know that while we
t debating here another company of
, '' and vet another and another will
"net and decide to 'interpose' in
'jus ways? And would not the re-
|,"' "e utter confusion? Would it not
Vj " disagreeing with this point of
ill w- Mr. Randolph says there i.s a
tv,.. 1,lc'tion between judicial interpre-
I,,!"" and judicial supremacy. The
bet ?n "' a eourt is indeed to inter-
\ i 'aw- ""u^ judicial supremacy
iif ."' create a nationwide oligarchy
li(.| ',""' men. The people would be
i(| ss- for their amendments seeking
Jirrect the situation could be mis-
lolph. '-I.c-u.il Basis for Interposition," . .!■
' '-, The Dallas Morning News, March 2,
*fc, -j, • An Answer to Interposition," editorial
'e Drill,i, Morning Netoe, March -1. 1956.
K I'eim-xi News, June, 1956
interpreted by the Supreme Court in
order to perpetuate its power.
"In xvhose hands are our liberties
safer, those of nine judges or those of
the people of the separate states? Over
a long period of time, how is the
power of the federal government to be
restrained in opposition to the inherent tendency of government to increase its own power at the expense
of the governed, if it may decide,
through its judiciary, the extent of its
He points out also that interposition
must be the true will of the sovereign
people of a steite. To this end, the
process of interposing must resemble
that of ratification itself, i.e., the people must speak through a convention
called for the purpose. The state government has no more authority in this
respect than does the federal.
References have been made to interposing or challenging the Supreme
Court by constitutional processes.
How do the objecting states plan to
do this? History has made use of several different methods of objecting to
or nullifying acts of the federal government, but the plan in the present
case is to present an amendment
under Article V of the Constitution,
the adoption or rejection of which
we 111 lei determine whether or not the
Supreme Court acted within its constitutional rights in ruling against seg-
regation in public schools.
Such an amendment could be pre-
se'iiteel by Congress on its own initiative, followed by ratification or rejec-
"Randolph. "Legal Basis lor Interposition, editorial page, The Dallas Morning News, April 2.
tion by three-fourths of the states. Or,
if Congress refused to submit an
amendment, an alternative method
provided for in Article V is for two-
thirds of the states to petition Congress for such an amendment. Congress would then have to comply, with
the subsequent requirement also of
ratification by three-fourths of the
What would happen if such an
amendment, toward which several of
the Southern states are already committed to work, fails to be adopted?
Are there still ways by which some
states could retain segregation, other
than by open defiance? Several plans
have been projected, and even measures taken for their implementation.
Georgia voters have already ratified
a "private school" amendment, and the
General Assembly heis taken the necessary steps to put it into force if and
when such a process is deemed necessary. This would provide for the closing of all public schools when "the
public interest shall so require" and
provide for the payment of yearly educational grants to be used as tuition by
children attending private schools.
School buildings ancl properties would
be leased to private groups which are
"bona fide engaged in the operation eif
;i private school in a manner which
they (boards of education) think will
best serve the interest of children of
school age within their respective
In Alabama, xvhere strife and feeling has perhaps been the most bitter.
"Attorney General Eugene Cook, "The Southern
View of Segregation," Vital Speeches, January 15.
Iflifi, p. 212.
Three Northern senators who have spoken out against a segregation manifesto signed by 101 members of Congress are Heft to righti; Paul Douglas ID-Ill.), Herbert Lehman ID-N. Y.I, and Hubert
Humphrey (D-Minn.l. Rep. Douglas told the Senate he fears the Southerners' statement "will encourage those who will not be so meticulous about law and order."