there has been developed a compromise solution, based on the idea that
compulsory integration is as unconstitutional as compulsory segregation.
Governor Folsom has signed a legislative act which paves the way for a
general election this summer to approve a proposed state amendment
which would give students and their
parents a three-way choice of schools,
based on their individual conviction
eind preference. Before the start of
each school year, every prospective
student would apply for admission,
signifying his choice of segregated
(all Negro or all white) or integrated
classes. Local school boards would
then provide one or more schools for
mixed enrollment, according to the
According to the sponsor of the
measure. State Representative N. S.
Hare, "The Court didn't say there
must be forced integration; it simply
said there can be no compulsory segregation. Who can complain if he is
given what he has freely chosen?"
A decided stimulus to the cause of
interposition is the "Declaration of
Constitutional Principles," a manifesto
signed by nineteen senators and
eighty-one representatives, representing eleven states, and presented to
both houses of Congress on March 12.
This document, containing the statements and convictions of the Southern
states most gravely affected, closes
xvith this pledge:
We pledge ourselves to use all lawful
means to hring ahoeet a reversal of this
ilecision which is contrary to the Constitution, and to prevent the use of force in its
In this trying period, as we all seek to
right this wrong, we appeal to our people
not to he provoked hy the agitators and
troublemakers invading our states and to
scrupulously refrain from disorder and
Reactions to the presentation of this
document, of course, were widely divergent, but all congressmen seemed
to agree that it created a very grave,
historic situation. The plea from both
sides was that representatives from all
areas of the nation, leaders of all
points of view, sit down together and
try to solve the problem by reasoned
discussion, rather than to appeal to
aroused passions ancl emotions.
The issue over interposition and its
quest to restore states' rights has
aroused new interest in the report by
the Commission in Intergovernmental
Relations, which was presented to
President Eisenhower in 1955 for
transmission to Congress. There has
been little publicity given this survey
up to the present, but in the light of
recent events it is now receiving considerable attention, for its recommen-
""Declaration of Constitutional Prim ;
-tonal Record, March 12, 1956, pp. 3948
dations criticize centralized government, bureau controls, overlapping
taxes, and urge renewal of states'
rights under the Constitution. Significantly, this commission was composed
of members not only from the South
but also from Northern, Eastern, and
Western states, evidence that states'
rights has become more than a regional problem.
Whatever the outcome of the attempted use of interposition in the
fight for segregation anel for the recognition of claimed states' rights, the
attention of the nation will be increas
ingly focused on the pros ancl coiH
generalities ancl technicalities of th<
method in months to come, as the
election year gains momentum. N"
politic-ell aspirant can afford to dodg^
the issue. Platforms are being screen]
in minute detail to ascertain the
amount of aid to interposition a city
county, state, or the nation might reasonably expect from candidates '°
many offices. Not since the time of tW
Civil War, or War Between the' State*
has the spotlight been upon these
issues in such magnitude. The hour1*
indeed hisoric. E1"
Varied Views on Interposition
In Marbury v. Madison, decided in 1803,
there was established the authority and the
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to determine for all Americans, Irrespective of color,
race, and creed, equality of rights under
the Constitution. The supremacy of the
Supreme Court in passing on constitutional
questions was determined by that decision.
.... I say again today that the doctrine of
interposition means nothing but nullification,
and it means really a determination on the
part of certain forces in this country to put
themselves above the Supreme Court and
above the Constitution.
Senator Wayne Morse
Whether you happen to approve or disapprove of segregation as a personal matter
is of no concern.
Those whose honest beliefs may be against
segregation have lost just as much by the
Court's decision as those who favor it.
The preservation of liberty through an
honest and conscientious interpretation oi
the Constitution by the Court transcends all
other consideration of personal likes or dislikes.
If the Court interprets the Constitution
according to its own notion of what the law
ought to be, rather than what the law is. we
no longer have a government of laws, but
If the Court can disregard the ("(institution today to accomplish a result of which
you approve, it likewise can ignore it tomorrow to reach a result of which you
Constitutional government as we heretofore have known it and the philosophy upon
which tin's decision was based are incompatible, and so long as it stands, the liberties
and heritage of freedom which we so zealously cherish in both the North and South
are in great jeopardy.
Attorney General of Georgia
Since the situation involves racial relations, the South is faced with adverse public
opinion from other sections of the country
where the percentage of Negro population
is not an important factor. In this circumstance, the constitutional question of state
sovereignty is being adversely publicized,
What is now most urgently needed is a
challenge of federal usurpation on ground
where the matter of state sovereignty touches
all members of the compact of Union. There
are a multitude of these where opposition to
federal usurpations may be urged effectively.
L. E. Whitney, in "An Open Letter to
Certain Members oi Congress"
The issue of segregation and desegrei?'
tion is within the jurisdiction and the i',*Pl'j
sibiltty of the Supreme Court of the Unitjj
States and the judicial process. I am pleS^
that it has been handled by the courtsj
nu displeased that it has become the
of passion, emotion, bitterness, and antw
The principle of federalism leaves *j
room for nullification, and it leaves no rOJJ
lor interposition. Interposition fully
oped becomes nullification, as the courts
our country have stated again and nff'L
and as the great, historic leaders ™J|
nation have stated. Nullification is
tion of the Constitution. It cannot I
Senator Hubert II. IlrMr"1
Desperate men in positions of leadgj
arc openly advocating defiance to the ''*,%
and to the supreme law of the lain
the other extreme, men flushed with vU-'1^
in courts are seeking to substitute tot'fC^
for concord between the races in the S^
The great mass of moderates which conipu
pro!.ably more than 95 per cent of l>ot"J
races in the South arc strangely silt'
inactive, while the extremists in botl
are rapidly destroying the good wil I >
understanding of both races, which ^
been built up through men of bn>thyr'Vf"
and good will in positions of leadership ^
Ing tin decades which have followed
Civil War. j
Judge Fred H- '
Charlotte. N. G
To me this issue really is not primaWjB
of law and its interpretation, nor is it &™M
preserving traditions in the South th^j
nave been controlling over many g*J
tions. The real issue Involved is <1,ir. ,r?
ception of mankind in these modern f*S
our recognition that our goveniuii'j1' m
conceived and brought into being \°:,w
».£-*.. 1 ....„..:..„ ,.i' *!,,. IrtdlWS
compose our p(,P". ^i
thai Individual 'll, |
safety and protection ol
human beings who
and our conviction
beings arc not meant to be pawns l^|f,
state, oor are they meant to be expl°''t,/
the strong simply because they arc v*r<i I
cannot resist. . „ J
We arc presented with the <l'l,",1U(,i'
whether citizenship, which is guarau'* J'
all our people by the Fourteenth •*' I
ment. can be divided so as to result n
and second-class citizens. ... ft
\s a member of the Committee °£jM
eign Relations of the United States ■' ,.i;'
and one who has traveled widely ' ftp
especially in the Far East, where J
skinned people are in overwhelming ,-()ry '
ity, I feel the problem which is W
of'., ■ '<
"I r p,
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