History ~ May

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May 17
1792 – Two dozen merchants and brokers established the New York Stock Exchange. In good weather they operated under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street. In bad weather they moved inside to a coffeehouse to conduct business.
May 17, 1875 – The first Kentucky Derby horse race took place at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
May 17, 1954 – In Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that segregation of public schools “solely on the basis of race” denies black children “equal educational opportunity” even though “physical facilities and other ‘tangible’ factors may have been equal. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Thurgood Marshall had argued the case before the Court. He went to become the first African American appointed to the Supreme Court.
May 18
1980 – Mount St. Helens volcano erupted in southwestern Washington State spewing steam and ash over 11 miles into the sky. This was the first major eruption since 1857.
1998 – In one of the biggest antitrust lawsuits of the 20th century, American software giant Microsoft Corporation was sued by the U.S. Federal government and 20 state governments charging the company with using unfair tactics to crush competition and restrict choices for consumers. The lawsuits alleged Microsoft used illegal practices to deny personal computer owners the benefits of a free and competitive market and also alleged Microsoft extended its monopoly on operating systems to “develop a chokehold” on the Internet browser software market.
Birthday – Hollywood director Frank Capra (1897-1991) was born in Palermo, Sicily. His quintessential American films were affectionate portrayals of the common man and examined the strengths and foibles of American democracy. Best known for It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), It Happened One Night (1934) and You Can’t Take It with You (1938).
Birthday – Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) was born (as Karol Wojtyla) in Wadowice, Poland. In 1978, he became 264th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, the first non-Italian elected in 456 years and the first Polish Pope.
May 19
1943 – During World War II in Europe, Royal Air Force bombers successfully attacked dams in the German Ruhr Valley using innovative ball-shaped bouncing bombs that skipped along the water and exploded against the dams. The dams had provided drinking water for 4 million persons and supplied 75% of the electrical power for industry in the area.

Birthday – Black nationalist and civil rights activist Malcolm X (1925-1965) was born in Omaha, Nebraska (as Malcolm Little). While in prison he adopted the Islamic religion and after his release in 1952, changed his name to Malcolm X and worked for the Nation of Islam. He later made a pilgrimage to Mecca and became an orthodox Muslim. He was assassinated while addressing a meeting in the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem on February 21, 1965.
Birthday – African American playwright Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) was born in Chicago, Illinois. She is best known for A Raisin in the Sun (1959) a play dealing with prejudice and black pride. The play was the first stage production written by a black woman to appear on Broadway. She died of cancer at the age of 34. A book of her writings entitled To Be Young, Gifted, and Black was published posthumously.
May 20 
May 20, 325 A.D. – The Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council of Catholic Church was called by Constantine I, first Christian Emperor of the Roman Empire. With nearly 300 bishops in attendance at Nicaea in Asia Minor, the council condemned Arianism which denied Christ’s divinity, formulated the Nicene Creed and fixed the date of Easter.
May 20, 1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act opening millions of acres of government owned land in the West to “homesteaders” who could acquire up to 160 acres by living on the land and cultivating it for five years, paying just $1.25 per acre.
May 20, 1927 – Charles Lindbergh, a 25-year-old aviator, took off at 7:52 a.m. from Roosevelt Field, Long Island, in the Spirit of St. Louis attempting to win a $25,000 prize for the first solo nonstop flight between New York City and Paris. Thirty-three hours later, after a 3,600 mile journey, he landed at Le Bourget, Paris, earning the nickname “Lucky Lindy” and becoming an instant worldwide hero.
May 20, 1932 – Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. She departed Newfoundland, Canada, at 7 p.m. and landed near Londonderry, Ireland, completing a 2,026-mile flight in about 13 hours. Five years later, along with her navigator Fred Noonan, she disappeared while trying to fly her twin-engine plane around the equator.

May 21
May 21, 1881 – The American Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton. The organization today provides volunteer disaster relief in the U.S. and abroad. Community services include collecting and distributing donated blood, and teaching health and safety classes.
May 21, 1991 – Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in the midst of a re-election campaign, killed by a bomb hidden in a bouquet of flowers. He had served as prime minister from 1984 to 1989, succeeding his mother, Indira Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1984.

May 22
May 22, 1972 – President Richard Nixon became the first American president to visit Moscow. Four days later, Nixon and Soviet Russia’s leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a pact pledging to freeze nuclear arsenals at current levels.
May 22, 1947 – Congress approved the Truman Doctrine, assuring U.S. support for Greece and Turkey to prevent the spread of Communism.

Birthday – Laurence Olivier (1907-1989) was born in Dorking, England. Considered one of the most influential actors of the 20th Century, he was honored with nine Academy Award nominations, three Oscars, five Emmy awards, and a host of other awards. His repertoire included most of the major Shakespearean roles, and films such as The Entertainer, Rebecca, Pride and Prejudice, The Boys from Brazil, Marathon Man and Wuthering Heights. He was knighted in 1947 and made a peer of the throne in 1970.
May 23

Birthday – The first American female attorney Arabella Mansfield (1846-1911) was born near Burlington, Iowa (as Belle Aurelia Babb). She was certified in 1869 as an attorney and admitted to the Iowa bar, but never practiced law. Instead she chose a career as a college educator and administrator. She was also instrumental in the founding of the Iowa Suffrage Society in 1870.
May 24
1844 – Telegraph inventor Samuel Morse sent the first official telegraph message, “What hath God wrought?” from the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., to Baltimore.
May 24, 1881 – A boating disaster occurred in Canada when Victoria, a small, double-decked stern-wheeler carrying over 600 passengers on the Thames River keeled over then sank, killing 182 persons.
May 25 
1787 – The Constitutional Convention began in Philadelphia with delegates from seven states forming a quorum.

May 25, 1994 – After 20 years in exile, Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to his homeland. He had been expelled from Soviet Russia in 1974 after his three-volume work exposing the Soviet prison camp system, The Gulag Archipelago, was published in the West.

Birthday – American author and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His works include: Nature (1836), Essays, First Series (1841), Essays, Second Series (1844), Poems (1847, 1865), Representative Men (1850), English Traits (1856), The Conduct of Life (1860), and Society and Solitude (1870).
May 26
1940 – The Dunkirk evacuation began in order to save the British Expeditionary Force trapped by advancing German armies on the northern coast of France. Boats and vessels of all shapes and sizes ferried 200,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian soldiers across the English Channel by June 2nd.

*Birthday – Interpretive dancer Isadora Duncan (1878-1927) was born in San Francisco. She revolutionized the entire concept of dance by developing a free-form style and rebelled against tradition, performing barefoot in a loose fitting tunic. She experienced worldwide acclaim as well as personal tragedy. Her two children drowned, her marriage failed, and she met a bizarre death in 1927 when a scarf she was wearing caught in the wheel of the open car in which she was riding, strangling her.

May 27
1937 – In San Francisco, 200,000 people celebrated the grand opening of the Golden Gate Bridge by strolling across it.

Birthday – Legendary Wild West figure Wild Bill Hickok (1837-1876) was born in Troy Grove, Illinois. He was a frontiersman, lawman, legendary marksman, army scout and gambler. On August 2, 1876, he was shot dead during a poker game by a drunk in the Number Ten saloon in Deadwood, in the Dakota Territory. In his hand he held a pair of eights and a pair of aces which became known as the ‘dead man’s hand.’

May 28
1961 – Amnesty International was founded by London lawyer Peter Berenson. He read about the arrest of a group of students in Portugal then launched a one-year campaign to free them called Appeal for Amnesty. Today Amnesty International has over a million members in 150 countries working to free prisoners of conscience, stop torture and the death penalty, and guarantee human rights for women.

Birthday – All-around athlete Jim Thorpe (1888-1953) was born near Prague, Oklahoma. He won the pentathlon and decathlon events at the 1912 Olympic Games and also played professional baseball and football.
May 29
1453 – The city of Constantinople was captured by the Turks, who renamed it Istanbul. This marked the end of the Byzantine Empire as Istanbul became the capital of the Ottoman Empire.
May 29, 1660 – The English monarchy was restored with Charles II on the throne after several years of a Commonwealth under Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell.
May 29, 1787 – At the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia the Virginia Plan was proposed calling for a new government consisting of a legislature with two houses, an executive chosen by the legislature and a judicial branch.
May 29, 1865 – Following the American Civil War, President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation granting general amnesty to Confederates. The amnesty excluded high ranking Confederates and large property owners, who had to apply individually to the President for a pardon. Following an oath of allegiance, all former property rights, except slaves, were returned to the former owners.

Birthday – American revolutionary leader Patrick Henry (1736-1799) was born in Studley, Virginia. He is best remembered for his speech in 1775 declaring: “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

Birthday – John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963) the 35th U.S. President was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was the youngest man ever elected to the presidency and the first Roman Catholic. He was assassinated in Dallas, November 22, 1963, the fourth President to killed by an assassin.
May 30
May 30, 1922 – The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., was dedicated. The Memorial was designed by architect Henry Bacon and features a compelling statue of “Seated Lincoln” by sculptor Daniel Chester French.
May 30, 1943 – During World War II in the Pacific, the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska were retaken by the U.S. 7th Infantry Division. The battle began on May 12 when an American force of 11,000 landed on Attu. In three weeks of fighting U.S. casualties numbered 552 killed and 1,140 wounded. Japanese killed numbered 2,352, with only 28 taken prisoner, as 500 chose suicide rather than be captured.

May 31

1862 – During the American Civil War, the Battle of Seven Pines occurred as Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army attacked Union General George McClellan’s troops in front of Richmond Virginia and nearly defeated them. Johnston was badly wounded. Confederate General Robert E. Lee then assumed command, replacing the wounded Johnston. Lee renamed his force the Army of Northern Virginia.
May 31, 1889 – Over 2,300 persons were killed in the Johnstown flood in Pennsylvania. Heavy rains throughout May caused the Connemaugh River Dam to burst sending a wall of water 75 feet high pouring down upon the city.
Birthday – American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was born in Long Island, New York. His poem Leaves of Grass is considered an American classic. His poetry celebrated modern life and took on subjects considered taboo at the time.

(Photo and picture credits: Library of Congress and U.S. National Archives)

Coronavirus on Fabric: What You Should Know

April 1, 2020 — Many emergency room workers remove their clothes as soon as they get home — some before they even enter. Does that mean you should worry about COVID-19 transmission from your own clothing, towels, and other textiles?

While researchers found that the virus can remain on some surfaces for up to 72 hours, the study didn’t include fabric. “So far, evidence suggests that it’s harder to catch the virus from a soft surface (such as fabric) than it is from frequently touched hard surfaces like elevator buttons or door handles,” wrote Lisa Maragakis, MD, senior director of infection prevention at the Johns Hopkins Health System.

for the complete article:  webmd.com/lung/news/20200401

It is an incredible eye-opening article

Sign up for the latest coronavirus news.

5/25 ENFORCEMENT OF ETHICAL STANDARDS IN CONGRESS … or what used to be settled practice under US constitution

“The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust . . . .”
James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 57.

Members of Congress, like other citizens in the United States, are subject to investigation and prosecution for criminal misconduct and other statutory violations through the criminal justice system, initiated by Federal, State, or local public prosecutors, and conducted through the courts. Violations of “ethical norms” and principles of ethical behavior by a Member, however, are enforced, principally, at the ballot box by the Member’s constituents who choose their representatives in Congress, but are also enforced internally in each House of Congress by other Members of the House or the Senate.

The enforcement of Federal statutory laws, including criminal statutes, is vested in the President of the United States by the United States Constitution at Article I, Section 1. Criminal prosecutions for Federal crimes are under the authority of the Attorney General, appointed by the President as head of the Justice Department in the executive branch.1 Members of Congress have no general immunity from criminal prosecutions,2 and are subject to prosecution for violations of Federal criminal laws by the United States Attorneys of the Department of Justice.3

Unlike criminal laws or other Federal statutory provisions, however, there exist broad ethical standards, codes of conduct or behavior, and general principles of morality, written or unwritten, by which a Member of Congress may also be judged. This chapter explores these ethical standards and their enforcement in the Congress.

Each House of Congress has been given in the United States Constitution express authority and responsibility for decisions about the qualifications, elections, and the conduct of its own Members. The Constitution expressly instructs that each House of Congress “shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns, and Qualifications of its own Members;”4 and further provides that each House of Congress may determine its own rules of proceedings, may “punish its Members for disorderly Behavior,” and may, “with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.”5

The direction to discipline or “punish” its own Members, and the authority to expel, relate directly to and inform the right “recognized by common parliamentary law” of self-preservation of the institutional integrity of the legislature and its proceedings.6 Even if not granted expressly within a constitution or similar document, authorities have contended that the right to expel and to discipline members of a legislative body is an inherent right of that institution. This disciplinary authority has been described as one “naturally and even necessarily incidental to . . . legislative bodies; which, without such power, could not exist honorably, and fulfill the object of their creation.”7

The power and practice of congressional self-discipline for legislative misconduct is one which is, to some extent, compelled by the structure of our Federal government. In formulating the new Federal government, the Framers of the Constitution were determined, for reasons of the balance of powers and of “checks and balances” within the governmental system, to have three independent and co-equal branches of government.8 As part of the assurance of an independent legislature, one not fettered nor intimidated by a powerful law-enforcing executive, the Constitution expressly granted a limited immunity to Members of Congress from prosecution when the conduct involved official legislative activities.9 The so-called “speech or debate” clause immunity provides that a Member “shall not be questioned in any other place” concerning official legislative conduct.10 Since a Member may not be questioned “in any other place” regarding certain conduct in the legislative process, this speech or debate immunity provides a cogent and practical reason for the countervailing authority and responsibility within the Constitution for congressional self-discipline and the necessity for internal enforcement of legislative standards of conduct.

The practice of internal discipline within our national legislature reflected British parliamentary experience, as did the recognition by the Framers of the need to protect the independence and privileges of the legislature from undue influence or intimidation from the executive. In parliamentary practice, the House of Commons has had the right to discipline or “punish its own Members for disorderly conduct” and for other contempts or breaches of the privileges of the House.11 This authority was concurrent with that of punishing contempt by those who are not Members, and sought to protect the integrity of the legislative institution, and its privileges and functions.12

The constitutional authority for the legislative bodies in Congress to discipline their own Members did not appear to be accompanied by any significant debate in the Constitutional Convention, save for the amendment by James Madison to require a two-thirds majority to expel a Member so that such “an important right” could not be exercised “by a bare majority” and thus could be a power which majority factions might dangerously abuse.13 Madison and Hamilton had earlier expressed concern, with respect to the issue of “qualifications” of Members, that if the institution of Congress itself could limit membership to those that it deemed to be “fit” to serve in the legislature, the institution might usurp from the people the power to choose whom they wished to represent them in Congress.14 The authority to expel stated in the Constitution was not, however, couched with any additional limitations other than the requirement for a super-majority of two-thirds.

In punishing Members by means other than expulsion, the constitutional provision originally drafted in the Committee on Detail provided simply the authority for each House to “punish,” but as finally reported added the modifier phrase that each House may punish for “disorderly behavior.” There had in the past been questions raised about whether the power to punish for “disorderly behavior” was restricted only to conduct in Congress, that is, behavior which directly disrupted the proceedings and functions of the institution itself. But early precedents and discussions indicated clearly that of Congress the power to discipline was not narrowly focused on merely internal conduct within the institution, nor was congressional authority limited merely to addressing misconduct or disorderly behavior which was not otherwise considered as a criminal or civil offense.15 In his historic work on the Constitution, Justice Joseph Story noted in 1833 that congressional disciplinary authority under this clause of the Constitution is apparently unqualified as to “the time, place or nature of the offense” for which one is to be punished, similar to the British parliamentary practice.16

Later cases and precedents within the House and Senate have affirmed the broad application of each House’s authority to “punish” misconduct by means other than expulsion. In the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, the Select Committee to Study the Censure Charges in the 83d Congress reported to the Senate: “It seems clear that if a Senator should be guilty of reprehensible conduct unconnected with his official duties and position, but which conduct brings the Senate into disrepute, the Senate has the power to censure.”17 The House of Representatives has held a similar view. In the report on Representative Adam Clayton Powell from the House Judiciary Committee, the Committee noted that: “Nor is the conduct for which punishment may be imposed limited to acts relating to the Member’s official duties.”18

Unlike the enforcement of criminal laws, or even civil litigation to resolve competing legal claims, ethics procedures and the enforcement of general standards of ethical conduct or professional responsibilities are, by their nature, generally collegial exercises, where peers must judge the conduct of those within their own group, profession, or own organization. Professional boards of review and panels for professional responsibility, discipline, and review are somewhat common for many occupations and professions in the private sector.

In the public sector, ethics enforcement is, to a large extent, similarly an internal, in-house procedure. The executive agencies of the Federal Government, for example, are instructed to appoint an official of the agency as the Designated Agency Ethics Officer to provide the front-line interpretations and instructions to officers and employees of the agency concerning standards of ethical conduct. Although there is now a centralized agency which provides coordination of ethics interpretations and standards, that agency, the Office of Government Ethics, does not generally involve itself in day-to-day enforcement of ethics of individual employees within an agency. Rather, the regulations on standards of conduct, promulgated by each executive agency in line with presidential executive orders and regulations of the Office of Government Ethics, are enforced internally by the respective agency.19 The courts have recognized that enforcement of ethical standards of conduct in the Federal Government is an exercise of discretion, applying often subjective terms and general ethical principles and concepts, and is an area where the organization or institution itself has the experience, expertise, and familiarity with the acceptable standards of conduct, mores, and nature of the responsibilities of the official.20

In the judicial branch of the Federal Government, a judicial review panel or committee, made up of sitting Federal judges, reviews conduct and disciplinary complaints concerning members of the Federal judiciary.21 The review committee may forward a report on a particular matter to the judicial council in that circuit for appropriate action, including censure, reprimand, temporary suspension of assigning cases to that judge, request to the judge to retire, and/or referral of a matter to the House of Representatives for possible impeachment proceedings.22

Somewhat similar to officials and officers in the executive and judicial branches of government, Members of Congress are subject to an ethics review and possible disciplinary proceedings by their peers in their respective House of Congress. As noted, the authority for internal discipline of misconduct in Congress derives directly from the Constitution, in Article I, Section 5, which gives each House of Congress the authority to “punish its Members” for misconduct and to expel a Member by a two-thirds vote.

Prior to the 1960s there was no full-time or standing ethics committee in either the House or the Senate. Complaints of misconduct or behavior abusive to or disruptive of the proceedings and privileges of either House of Congress were generally referred to an ad hoc special or select committee in the House or Senate for investigations, determinations, and recommendations. A matter concerning misconduct could also have been referred to a standing committee which normally had jurisdiction in other areas, such as the committees on the judiciary, or the rules or administration committees. There was no specific set of rules for proceedings in disciplinary matters, nor was there a written code of conduct or a written set of ethics rules.

The Senate in 1964, and the House in 1967, established for the first time standing committees on ethics to which complaints of misconduct and resolutions for disciplinary action would be referred, and where Members and employees might also seek advice and opinions on matters of ethical standards. The permanent Senate ethics committee, then known as the Select Committee on Standards and Conduct, was created by S. Res. 338, in the 88th Congress, by the adoption of a substitute proposal of Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky, on July 24, 1964. Events arising out of the Bobby Baker investigation in the Senate by the Senate Rules Committee had propelled the matter of a standing committee for ethics in the Senate to full Senate consideration. In 1977 the Senate Select Committee on Ethics was established to replace the former Standards and Conduct Committee.

The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct was created when the House adopted H. Res. 418, 90th Congress, on April 13, 1967. During hearings before the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress in 1965, and in its final report, a recommendation was made to establish a permanent House committee for standards and conduct, similar to the one established in the Senate in 1964.23 Shortly after the Joint Committee’s report, and following highly publicized allegations of official misconduct by Representative Adam Clayton Powell, a House Select Committee on Standards and Conduct was established during the final days of the 89th Congress.24 In the 90th Congress, H. Res. 418 established a new Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. That Committee recommended changes in the House rules dealing with standards of ethical conduct and recommended its continuance as a permanent standing committee.25 Based on that report, H. Res. 1099 was reported from the House Rules Committee containing much of the substance of the Standards Committee report, including making permanent the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, and was adopted by the House on April 3, 1968.

In 1968 a written code of ethical conduct was for the first time adopted in the House and in the Senate. Prior to that time Members were judged almost exclusively on unwritten ethical norms and standards of conduct and behavior.26 The ethics codes in the House and Senate have been amended, updated, and tightened on several occasions since 1968, most notably in 1977, and again in the Ethics Reform Act of 1989.

The standing committees on ethics in the House and the Senate were intended to be permanent committees to develop expertise and precedents in the area of legislative ethics, conduct, and disciplinary actions. Unlike other legislative committees in the House and Senate, the membership of the House Standards and Senate Ethics committees are equally divided between majority and minority party members to require and assure at least some bipartisanship in the consideration of issues relating to ethics and standards of conduct.

Disciplinary proceedings in the committees now follow detailed procedural rules, and if warranted, evidence is eventually taken in formal hearings presided over by a panel of Members of the Committee who are sitting Members of the House or the Senate, respectively. Any formal disciplinary action by the institution, such as a censure or expulsion and, in the House of Representatives, a reprimand, is recommended by the House or Senate ethics committee to the respective body, and there voted upon by the full House or Senate. Both the House and Senate Committees have also issued letters of reproval or reprimand on their own accord to Members, but this is not considered a formal disciplinary action by the entire institution such as a censure.
In the House the disciplinary procedure since 1990 has been “bifurcated,” wherein a subcommittee of Members of the standing committee will review the initial charges and will conduct the preliminary investigations. If more formal ethics charges are to be heard (upon the issuance of a “Statement of Alleged Violations’), then another subcommittee made of the remaining Members of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct hears the evidence and determines whether the charges are proven. The full Committee then may make disciplinary recommendations to the membership of the House.

Actual disciplinary actions by the full Senate or House have, in fact, been relatively rare. The Senate has adopted censure motions only eight times, censuring nine Senators, in its history, and has not expelled a Member of the Senate since the Civil War. (Fourteen Senators were expelled during the Civil War for disloyalty to the Union, and one other Senator expelled in 1797, also for disloyal conduct). The House has censured 22 Members (21 Representatives and one Delegate), and “reprimanded” seven others, while expelling only four of its Members in its history, three during the Civil War for disloyalty to the Union, and the most recent expulsion in 1980 after conviction for bribery in congressional office.

The low number of actual disciplinary actions may be attributable to some degree to the fact that many Members, facing such disciplinary action, prefer to resign from Congress rather than to pursue the matter. In other instances, the voters have either not renominated the Member in a primary, or voted the individual out of office in the general election before disciplinary action is completed.

The regular electoral review of a Member of Congress is a significant factor in the theory and practice of congressional discipline. It also distinguishes disciplinary procedures in the House and Senate from disciplinary procedures of government officials who are appointed with indefinite tenure, such as those in the judicial and executive branches who never have to face the judgment of the public by standing for regular election or reelection to office. In framing the Constitution, as was discussed above, great deference was paid to the sanctity of the choice of the electorate as to whom the people wished to send to Washington to represent them in Congress,27 and great weight was given to keeping the Members of the legislature “virtuous” by short terms of office and the “restraint of frequent elections.”28

On the other hand, however, it is recognized that discipline cannot be left entirely to the public through the electoral process, since the institution of Congress itself, like all legislatures, has a vital interest in self-preservation and in the integrity of the institution and its proceedings.29 Thus, each House of Congress was given the express authority in the Constitution for such self-discipline.

The balance between controlling the conduct of individual Members through the electoral process and honoring the sanctity of the expression of the will of the people, on the one hand, and the institutional needs of the House or the Senate itself to preserve the integrity of the institution and its proceedings, on the other, is one which must be carefully maintained in internal ethics enforcement.30

Many observers argue, however, that it is not the reverence for and the sanctity of the electoral process that has principally restrained Congress in self-enforcement of conduct standards and ethical principles. It has been noted on many occasions that the enforcement of ethical standards against one’s peers, and disciplining individuals that one must work with, is a difficult and uncomfortable task. Some critics of congressional ethics procedures have argued that the inherent and structural “conflicts” in congressional self-discipline are the causes of what is seen to be an apparent reticence of Congress to enforce ethical standards against its own Members. Members must cooperate to a large extent with one another in the legislative process, and thus there is a natural reticence for Members to do something detrimental to one another. Many Members are now reluctant to serve on an ethics committee, where the proceedings may take a great amount of one’s time, and where the Member may be subject to criticisms from the public if perceived as being too lenient, or from congressional colleagues if perceived as being too harsh.

Several reforms have thus been suggested to mitigate the inherent conflict in ethics enforcement. The proposals include a citizen advisory committee to advise the committees of Congress on citizen reaction to ethical complaints, as well as an “independent” ethics panel, made up of non-Members, which would actually be empowered to receive and subpoena evidence, take testimony under oath, and make disciplinary recommendations concerning complaints of ethical conduct of Members of the House or the Senate.

The Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress held two hearings on the ethics process on February 23 and 25, 1993. The committee received testimony from the former leadership of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, a former Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, four other Members of Congress, and four academic experts.

Most witnesses who testified believed that ethics reform should be a priority for the committee, but there were differing opinions of what constituted reform. The most discussed reform was including non-Members as a part of the process. Other changes proposed ranged from updating the Senate ethics manual, mandating ethics training for Members and staff, utilizing the same set of ethical standards in both Chambers, and streamlining the steps of an ethics investigation.

The House of Representatives has a bifurcated ethics process, in which the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct divides into two subcommittees to handle the preliminary inquiry and adjudicative functions, and the whole committee reassembles to recommend punishment.   (1)The first step in this process is determining whether the complaint merits further inquiry.   (2)The following step is a preliminary inquiry to see if there is reason to believe a violation has occurred. If this violation was determined to have occurred,    (3)then the next step is proving these charges, and (Final) the final step is recommending punishment. This system is supposed to promote fairness to the accused by not having the same group act as grand jury, jury, and judge. A case has not yet been brought under the new House system.

The Senate follows a similar process, but the significant difference is that its system is not bifurcated.  (1)The first step is a preliminary inquiry to see whether there is enough evidence to merit an investigation. If there is sufficient evidence, (2) the second step is an initial inquiry — investigating the charges.  (3)The third step is the investigation, which includes hearings. The final two steps are proving the charges and recommending punishment, if necessary. Some witnesses wanted the Senate to move to a bifurcated process. Former Senator Warren Rudman stated, “. . . It is probably unfair to Members of the committee as well as to Members who are accused to have the matters investigated and then heard by the same Senators.”31

The Constitution gives Members of Congress the responsibility for disciplining their colleagues. While no witnesses advocated giving the entire responsibility to a group of outsiders, some wanted non-Members to be able to investigate charges and recommend punishment. Representative Robert Andrews, when testifying in favor of an external ethics commission, said, “Our system purports to conduct review of ethics by our peers, but I think we misdefine what it means to be a peer. Ultimately, our peers are not fellow Representatives or Senators, ultimately our peers are ordinary citizens.”32 Conversely, other witnesses wanted ethics proceedings to be conducted only by Members. As former Senator Warren Rudman testified, “I believe that the Constitution, when it says that we ought to be the judge of our own Members, means precisely what it says.”33 A former Chairman of the Standards of Official Conduct Committee, Representative Louis Stokes was “troubled by calls for further procedural reforms, which are based on the notion that the Ethics Committee has not done its job or has not done it properly.”34

The main reason for bringing in non-Members to the ethics process was summarized by Rutgers University professor Alan Rosenthal when he stated, “. . . . Members are reluctant to serve on such bodies, and have little incentive to pursue any type of ethics agenda. Second, Members who are pressed into service naturally are reluctant to punish colleagues with whom they have empathy and whose support they undoubtedly will need on one matter or another.”35 Numerous witnesses said that using outsiders would solve the problem of Members not having sufficient time to serve on the Ethics Committee.

One of the concerns of bringing in outsiders was typified when Representative Louis Stokes said, “Why would an outside group not accountable to other Members or to the voters do a better job of deciding hard cases or of convincing the public of the wisdom of their decisions?”36 Another concern is that outsiders may not understand the norms of Congress; there are “competing and often conflicting duties and obligations and roles that [m]Members play,”37 as former Counsel to the Senate Ethics Committee, John Saxon, noted. While some proposals for outside commissions call for using former Members who would understand the role of a Member, witnesses pointed out that they might be perceived as unable to objectively judge a former colleague.

Many of the witnesses wanted ethical standards to be detailed in an ethics manual. Senator Howell Heflin, former chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, suggested having “. . . . a continuing updating of the code of ethical conduct and that each one of the codes be annotated to the interpretative rulings that have been issued by the Ethics Committee”38 and Senator Trent Lott wanted “. . . . guidelines as to, ‘if you do this, or you don’t do this,’ then you may reach this standard of discredit or reflecting on the Senate.”39 While the House has the Office of Education and Advisory, which answers Members’ ethical questions, “one of the best things that we have come up with on the committee,”40 according to Representative James Hansen, former ranking Member of the House Standards Committee, there is not an equivalent body in the Senate. Although the staff of the Ethics Committee does answer questions of Senators and staff, it is not a formalized responsibility as it is in the House. Senator Heflin wanted “uniformity of rules and interpretation of those rules between the House and Senate.”41 There was agreement that there should be mandatory ethics training for both House and Senate Members and staff. Senator Trent Lott echoed many other witnesses’ concerns when he asked, “Shouldn’t we at least make sure that we know what the rules are and that our staff knows what the rules are?”42

Finally, there was a discussion of the length of the ethics process. While witnesses said that the rights of the accused must be protected by having a complete investigation, there was concern that the investigations take so long, and the accused has their “trial” in the media. Senator Richard Lugar said that in Senate proceedings, “. . . . the preliminary steps are so arduous and time consuming and expensive in terms of legal costs, as well as the press coverage of each of these” that the proceedings take the trappings of a trial.43There was discussion of streamlining steps in the Senate; in former Senator Warren Rudman’s view, it takes “two to three times as long as it should.”44 Representatives Stokes and Hansen argued that the procedures followed in the House were sound and the best possible for the accused; they did not think the process could be shortened.

1 See now 28 U.S. Code 501 et seq.
2 Note limited immunity for “Speech or Debate,” Article I, Section 6, discussed below, and footnote 9, infra.
3 Under the “independent counsel” provisions of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, 28 U.S. Code 591 et seq., which were allowed to expire on December 15, 1992, the Attorney General was authorized to request from a special three-judge panel the appointment of an “independent counsel” to investigate and prosecute allegations of criminal misconduct against specified government personnel, and against “any person,” including a Member of Congress, if there presented in the Attorney General’s opinion a “personal, financial or political conflict of interest” for Department of Justice personnel to prosecute the matter. 28 U.S. Code 592(c). In private disputes, Members may also be subject to private civil actions, litigated in Federal or State courts, for such private and personal conduct as breaches of contracts, torts, or the like.
4 Article I, Section 5, clause 1.
5 Article I, Section 5, clause 2.
6 Cushing, The Law and Practice of Legislative Assemblies, Section 684, at 269 (Boston 1874).
7 Cushing, supra at Section 625, pp. 250-251. See Hiss v. Bartlett, 68 Mass. 468 (1855).
8 Note James Madison, The Federalist, at Nos. 47, 48, 51. See discussion in United States v. Brewster, 408 U.S. 501, 508 (1971).
9 United States v. Johnson, 383 U.S. 169, 178 (1966): “Behind these simple phrases lies a history of conflict between the Commons and the Tudor and Stuart monarchs during which successive monarchs utilized the criminal and civil law to suppress and intimidate critical legislators. Since the Glorious Revolution in Britain, and throughout United States history, the privilege has been recognized as an important protection of the independence and integrity of the legislature.” United States v. Brewster, 408 U.S. 501, 507: “The immunities of the Speech or Debate clause were not written into the Constitution simply for the personal or private benefit of Members of Congress, but to protect the integrity of the legislative process by insuring the independence of individual legislators.”
10 United States Constitution Article I, Section 6.
11 T. Erskine May, The Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament, 89, 102-108 (17th Edition 1964).
12 May, supra at 109-149; note May, supra at 103: “Where the offense is not so grave as to warrant the committal of the offender he is generally directed to be reprimanded or admonished by . . . . the Speaker.”
13 M. Ferrand, Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, Volume 2, at 254.
14 Ibid. at 249-250; note Hamilton, The Federalist No. 60; see discussion in Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486, 535 (1969).
15 Note In re Chapman, 166 U.S. 661, 669-670 (1987), which supported the constitutional authority of either House of Congress to punish a Member for conduct which in the judgment of the body “is inconsistent with the trust and duty of a member” even if such conduct was “not a statutable offense nor was it committed in his official character, nor was it committed during the session of Congress, nor at the seat of government.”
16 “It may be thought difficult to draw a clear line of distinction between the right to inflict the punishment of expulsion, and any other punishment upon a Member, founded on the time, place, or nature of the offense. The power to expel a Member is not in the British House of Commons confined to offenses committed by a party as a member, or during the session of parliament; but it extends to all cases, where the offense is such, in the judgment of the house, unfits him for parliamentary duties.” Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, Volume II, 836, Boston 1833 (De Capo Press Reprint Edition, 1970). Emphasis added.
17 S. Rpt. 2508, 83d Cong., 2d Sess. 20-21, 22 (1954), “Report of the Select Committee to Study Censure Charges”, pursuant to S. Res. 301 and amendments, a resolution to censure the Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. McCarthy.
18 H.R. Rpt. No. 27, 90th Congress, 1st Sess. 24 (1969). The Committee explained further: “Censure of a Member has been deemed appropriate in cases of the a breach of the privileges of the House. There are two classes of privilege, the one, affecting the rights of the House collectively, its safety, dignity, and the integrity of its proceedings; and the other, affecting the rights, reputation, and conduct of Members individually, in their representative capacity . . . . .” H.R. Rpt. 27, supra at 25.
19 See Executive order No. 12674, Part III, April 12, 1989; 5 CFR 2638.201 et seq. Note 5 U.S. Code 7513 for requirements of “adverse action” proceedings against covered civil service employees, including right to hearing and appeal.
20 Note Wathen v. United States, 527 F.2d 1191 (Ct. Claims 1975), rehearing den., January 30, 1976; Wild v. HUD, 692 F.2d 1129 (7th Cir. 1982), rehearing and rehearing en banc denied, January 26, 1983; see also discussions in Center for Auto Safety v. F.T.C., 586 F. Supp. 1254 (D.D.C. 1984); Grassetti v. Weinberger, 408 F. Supp. 142 (N.D.Cal. 1976); and CACI Inc.-Federal v. United States, 719 F.2d 1567 (Fed. Cir. 1983).
21 U.S. Code 372 (c).
22 Federal judges, like other “civil officers” of the United States Government are subject to removal by “impeachment” by the House and conviction by the Senate for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” United States Constitution, Article II, Section 4.
23 S. Rpt. No. 89-1414, 89th Cong. 2d Sess. 48 (1966), Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress. Organization of Congress. Final report pursuant to S. Con. Res. 2.
24 H. Res. 1013, 89th Congress, October 19, 1966.
25 H.R. Rpt. No. 90-1176, 90th Cong., 2d Sess (1968).
26 Note Baker, Richard. The History of Congressional Ethics, in Representation and Responsibility, Exploring Legislative Ethics, at 4 (New York 1985): “For nearly two centuries, a simple and informal code of behavior existed. Prevailing norms of general decency served as the chief determinants of proper legislative conduct.”
27 See Powell v. McCormack, supra at 508, 509; note Judiciary Committee Report, H.R. Rpt. No. 77, 42d Congress, 3d Session; II Hinds Precedents 1283 and 1285. As expressed by Alexander Hamilton, a fundamental principle of our representative democracy is “that the people should choose whom they please to govern them.” 2 Eliot’s Debates 257; Powell v. McCormack supra at 531.
28 Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 57, supra at p. 350-351, 352: “The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who posses most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust . . . . The means relied on in this form of government for preventing their degeneracy are numerous and various. The most effectual one is such a limitation on the term of appointments as will maintain a proper responsibility to the people . . . . All these securities, however, would be found very insufficient without the restraint of frequent elections. Hence, in the fourth place, the House of Representatives is so constituted as to support in the members an habitual recollection of their dependence on the people.”
29 Cushing, The Law and Practice of Legislative Assemblies, supra at p. 269; Section 625, pp. 250-251. In a report to the Senate in 1807, reproduced at II Hinds’ Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States, 1264, p. 814 (1907), Senator John Quincy Adams unsuccessfully pressed for the expulsion of Senator John Smith, who was accused of complicity in the Aaron Burr conspiracy. Adams argued that since the Framers of the Constitution did not opt to include a “recall” provision in the Constitution, that the Senate itself must be ready to exercise its constitutional authority to cleanse itself, for its own institutional protection and for the protection of the nation. Adams argued that: “[D]efective indeed would be the institution which would be impotent to discard” an individual who, after election “on the pledge of a spotless reputation, has degraded himself by commission of infamous crimes, which become suddenly and unexpectedly revealed to the world.”
30 Bowman and Bowman, “article I, Section 5: Congress’ Power to Expel — An Exercise in Self Restraint,” 29 Syracuse Law Review 1071, 1101 (1978). The authors note that “Congress has demonstrated a clear reluctance to expel when to do so would impinge . . . . upon the electoral process.”
31 Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress. Operations of the Congress Hearing. Jan. 28, 1993. p. 5.
32 Joint Committee. Ethics Process Hearing. Feb. 23, 1993. p. 33.
33 Joint Committee. Operations of the Congress Hearing. Jan. 28, 1993. p. 6.
34 Joint Committee. Ethics Process Hearing. Feb. 25, 1993. pp. 3-4.
35 Ibid. Feb. 25, 1993. p. 26.
36 Ibid. Feb. 25, 1993. p. 4.
37 Ibid. Feb. 25, 1993. p. 36.
38 Ibid. Feb. 23, 1993. p. 6.
39 Ibid. Feb. 23, 1993. p. 17.
40 Ibid. Feb. 25, 1993. p. 6.
41 Ibid. Feb. 23, 1993. p. 4.
42 Ibid. Feb. 25, 1993. p. 19.
43 Ibid. Feb. 25, 1993. p. 13.
44 Joint Committee. Operations of the Congress Hearing. Jan. 28, 1993. pp. 4-5.

Table of Contents

17th Amendment – United States Constitution – 1913 – The 17th Amendment went into effect. It provided for popular election of U.S. senators.

Written By: Brian Duignan

Seventeenth Amendment, amendment (1913) to the Constitution of the United States that provided for the direct electiThe Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.on of U.S. senators by the voters of the states.

It altered the electoral mechanism established in Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, which had provided for the appointment of senators by the state legislatures.

Adopted in the Progressive era of democratic political reform, the amendment reflected popular dissatisfaction with the corruption and inefficiency that had come to characterize the legislative election of U.S. senators in many states.

The amendment changed the wording of Article I, Section 3, Paragraph 1 to state that “two Senators from each State” should be “elected by the people thereof” rather than “chosen by the Legislature thereof.” It also revised Paragraph 2 of Section 3 to allow the state executive to fill vacancies in the Senate by making temporary appointments to serve until new elections could be held.

The full text of the amendment is

  • The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
  • When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
  • This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

By the time of the amendment’s adoption, many states had already established mechanisms that effectively allowed voters to choose the senators of their state (e.g., by having the legislature appoint the winners of party primaries). Nevertheless, the amendment was widely seen as necessary to reduce the influence of big business and other special interests on the selection of senators and to prevent vacancies or frequent turnover in the Senate caused by party wrangling or changes of party leadership at the state level. In the late 20th century some conservative political scholars called for the repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment on the grounds that it undermined the proper balance of power between the federal government and the states (see also states’ rights).

A look at Black Wallstreet …




Greenwood, Tulsa: Black Wall Street before the Tulsa Race Massacre

Black Wall Street, former byname of the Greenwood neighbourhood in TulsaOklahoma, where in the early 20th century African Americans had created a self-sufficient prosperous business district. The term Black Wall Street was used until the Tulsa race riot of 1921. The name has also been applied more generally to districts of African American high economic activity.

Historically, African Americans worked mainly as servants in Tulsa, where they developed their own insular society with its own economy. Black businesses clustered on the strip of land that would become Greenwood in 1905, when African Americans acquired the land. Businesses included a grocery store and a barbershop. Doctors and real estate agents opened their own businesses. The neighbourhood also had its own newspaper and schools.

Black Wall Street was thriving at the time of the Tulsa race riot of 1921. The riot, however, took a heavy financial toll on African Americans. Many homes and businesses were destroyed. Moreover, following the riot, residents of Greenwood met resistance to rebuild. Nonetheless, African American professionals and entrepreneurs slowly began to rebuild. Lawyers offered legal assistance to African Americans jailed in the riots and helped them sue the city for compensation. A massive reconstruction of the district was completed in 1922, only one year after the riot and without the help of the greater Tulsa community. Eighty businesses were opened by the end of 1922.

The community thrived throughout the first half of the century, even during the Great Depression. In addition to the usual businesses, the area formerly known as Black Wall Street contained a business college and the reopened offices of the African American newspaper. Many middle- and upper-class African Americans lived there. In addition, it provided the backbone for greater civic and political participation by Tulsa’s African American residents.

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By the end of the 1950s, however, more than half of the businesses had closed. Desegregation allowed the entry of businesses owned by whites, while increasing numbers of African Americans in the community invested in entities outside Greenwood.

By 1961, 90 percent of African American income in Tulsa was spent outside of the Greenwood district.

The creation of the Greenwood Cultural Center, formed in the late 1970s, attracted tourism to the area. In addition to addressing African American culture and working on creating more harmonious race relations in the city, the cultural centre was charged with preserving Black Wall Street. It was also responsible for building the 1921 Black Wall Street Memorial in the name of the people who had died in the riot.

This article was most recently revised and updated by André Munro, Assistant Editor.

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    Tulsa, city, Osage and Tulsa counties, seat (1907) of Tulsa county, northeastern Oklahoma, U.S., situated on the Arkansas River. It originated in 1836 as a settlement of Creek Indians who named it for their former town in Alabama. White settlement began after the arrival in 1882 of the St. Louis-San…
  • Tulsa race riot of 1921
    Tulsa race riot of 1921, race riot that began on May 31, 1921, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was one of the most severe incidents of racial violence in U.S. history. Lasting for two days, the riot left somewhere between 30 and 300 people…

5/31 1955 – The U.S. Supreme Court ordered that all states must end racial segregation “with all deliberate speed.”

The opinion of the Supreme Court, May 31, 1955

In the Supreme Court of the United States

CITE AS 75 S.CT. 753 OLIVER BROWN, ET AL., appellants,

HARRY BRIGGS, JR., ET AL., appellants,

DOROTHY E. DAVIS, ET AL., appellants,


FRANCIS B. GEBHART, ET AL., petitioners,

NOS. 1–5.

Argued April 11, 12, 13, and 14, 1955.
Decided May 31. 1955.

349 U.S. 294

Class actions by which minor plaintiffs sought to obtain admission to public schools on a nonsegregated basis. On direct appeals by plaintiffs from adverse decisions in United States District Courts, District of Kansas, 98 F.Supp. 797, Eastern District of South Carolina, 103 F.Supp. 920, and Eastern District of Virginia, 103 F.Supp. 337, on certiorari before judgment on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia from adverse decision in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and on certiorari from decision favorable to plaintiffs in the Supreme Court of Delaware, 91 A.2d 137, the Supreme Court, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S.Ct. 686, 98 L.Ed. 873, and 347 U.S. 497, 74 S.Ct. 693, 98 L.Ed. 884, held that racial discrimination in public education was unconstitutional and restored cases to docket for further argument regarding formulation of decrees. On further argument, the Supreme Court, Mr. Chief Justice Warren, held that in proceedings to implement Supreme Court’s determination, inferior courts might consider problems related to administration, arising from physical condition of school plant, school transportation system, personnel, revision of school districts and attendance areas into compact units to achieve system of determining admission to public schools on a nonracial basis, and revision of local laws and regulations, and might consider adequacy of any plan school authorities might propose to meet these problems and to effectuate a transition to racially nondiscriminatory school systems.

Judgments, except that in case No. 5, reversed and cases remanded with directions; judgment in case No. 5 affirmed and case remanded with directions.

All provisions of federal, state, or local law requiring or permitting racial discrimination in public education must yield to principle that such discrimination is unconstitutional. U.S.C.A. Const. Amend.

School authorities have primary responsibility for elucidating, assessing, and solving problems arising from fact that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional.

Question whether school authorities’ actions constitute good faith implementation of principle that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional could best be appraised by courts which originally heard cases raising questions of constitutionality of such discrimination, and it was appropriate to remand cases to such courts. 28 U.S.C.A.§§ 2281, 2284.

Traditionally, equity has been characterized by a practical flexibility in shaping its remedies and by a facility for adjusting and reconciling public and private needs.

Courts of equity, in implementing Supreme Court’s determination that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, may properly take into account the public interest in elimination, in a systematic and effective manner, of obstacles to transition to school systems operated in accordance with constitutional principles, but constitutional principles cannot be allowed to yield because of disagreement with them.On remand from Supreme Court after determination in several cases that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional. inferior courts should, while giving weight to public considerations and private interest of litigants, require that school authorities make prompt and reasonable start toward full compliance with ruling.

In proceedings to implement Supreme Court’s decision that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, public school authorities have burden of establishing that grant of additional time for transition is necessary in public interest and is consistent with good faith compliance at earliest practicable date.

Inferior courts, in implementing Supreme Court’s determination that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, may consider problems related to administration, arising from physical condition of school plant, school transportation system, personnel, revision of school districts and attendance areas into compact units to achieve system of determining admission to public schools on a nonracial basis, and revision of local laws and regulations, and many consider adequacy of any plans school authorities may propose to meet these problems and to effectuate a transition to racially nondiscriminatory school system.

Inferior courts, on remand from Supreme Court’s determination that discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, were directed to retain jurisdiction of cases during period of transition to nondiscriminatory school systems.

Mr. Robert L. Carter, New York City, for appellants in No. 1.

Mr. Harold R. Fatzer, Topeka, Kan., for appellees in No. 1.

Messrs. Thurgood Marshall, New York City, and Spottswood W. Robinson, III, Richmond, VA., for appellants in Nos. 2 and 3.

Messrs. S. E. Rogers, Summerton, S. C., and Robert McC. Figg, Jr., Charleston, S.C., for appellees in No. 2.

Messrs. Archibald G. Robertson, Richmond, Va., and J. Lindsay Almond, Jr., Atty. Gen., for appellees in No. 3.

Messrs. George E. C. Hayes and James M. Nabrit, Jr., Washington, D.C., for petitioners in No. 4.

Mr. Milton D. Korman, Washington, D.C., for respondents in No. 4.

Mr. Joseph Donald Craven, Wilmington, Del., for petitioners in No. 5.

Mr. Louis L. Redding, Wilmington. Del., for respondents in No. 5.

Messrs. Richard W. Ervin and Ralph E. Odum, Tallahassee, Fla., for State of Florida, I. Beverly Lake, Raleigh, N.C., for State of North Carolina, Thomas J. Gentry, Little Rock, Ark., for State of Arkansas, Mac Q. Williamson Oklahoma, City, Okla., for State of Oklahoma, C. Ferdinand Sybert, Ellicott City, Md., for State of Maryland, John Ben Shepperd and Burnell Waldrep, Austin, Tex., for State of Texas, Sol. Gen. Simon E. Sobeloff, Washington, D.C., for United States, amici curiae.

Mr. Chief Justice Warren delivered the opinion of the Court.

[1] These cases were decided on May 17, 1954. The opinions of that date,1 declaring the fundamental principle that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, are incorporated herein by reference. All provisions of federal, state, or local law requiring or permitting such discrimination must yield to this principle. There remains for consideration the manner in which relief is to be accorded.

1 347 U.S. 43, 74 S.Ct. 686, 98 L.Ed. 873, 347 U.S. 497, 74 S.Ct. 693, 98 L.Ed. 884.

2 Further argument was requested on the following questions, 347 U.S. 483, 495–496, note 13, 74 S.Ct. 686, 692, 98 L.Ed. 873, previously propounded by the Court:

“4. Assuming it is decided that segregation in public schools violates the Fourteenth Amendment

“(awould a decree necessarily follow providing that, within the limits set by normal geographic school districting, Negro children should forthwith be admitted to schools of their choice, or

“(bmay this Court, in the exercise of its equity powers, permit an effective gradual adjustment to be brought about from existing segregated systems to a system not based color distinctions?

“5. On the assumption on which questions 4 (aand (bare based, and assuming further that this Court will exercise its equity powers to the end described in question 4 (b),

“(ashould this Court formulate detailed decrees in these cases;

“(b) if so, what specific issues should the decrees;

“(cshould this Court appoint a special master to hear evidence with a view to recommending specific terms for such decrees;

“(dshould this Court remand to the courts of first instance with directions to frame decrees in these cases, and if so what general directions should the decrees of this Court include and what procedures should the courts of first instance follow in arriving at the specific terms of more detailed decrees?”

Because these cases arose under different local conditions and their disposition will involve a variety of local problems, we requested further argument on the question of relief.2 In view of the nationwide importance of the decision. we invited the Attorney General of the United States and the Attorneys General of all states requiring or permitting racial discrimination in public education to present their views on that question. The parties, the United States, and the States of Florida, North Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Maryland, and Texas filed briefs and participated in the oral argument.

These presentations were informative and helpful to the Court in its consideration of the complexities arising from the transition to a system of public education freed of racial discrimination. The presentations also demonstrated that substantial steps to eliminate racial discrimination in public schools have already been taken, not only in some of the communities in which these cases arose, but in some of the states appearing as amici curiaeand in other states as well. Substantial progress has been made in the District of Columbia and in the communities in Kansas and Delaware involved in this litigation. The defendants in the cases coming to us from South Carolina and Virginia are awaiting the decisions of this Court concerning relief.

[2,3] Full implementation of these constitutional principles may require solution of varied local school problems. School authorities have the primary responsibility of elucidating, assessing, and solving these problems; courts will have to consider whether the action of school authorities constitutes good faith implementation of the governing constitutional principles. Because of their proximity to local conditions and the possible need for further hearings, the courts which originally heard these cases can best perform this judicial appraisal. Accordingly, we believe it appropriate to remand the cases to those courts.3

[4,5] In fashioning and effectuating the decrees, the courts will be guided by equitable principles. Traditionally, equity has been characterized by a practical flexibility in shaping its remedies4 and by a facility for adjusting and reconciling public and private needs.5 These cases call for the exercise of these traditional attributes of equity power. At stake is the personal interest of the plaintiffs in admission to public schools as soon as practicable on a nondiscriminatory basis. To effectuate this interest may call for elimination of a variety of obstacles in marking the transition to school systems operated in accordance with the constitutional principles set forth in our May 17, 1954, decision. Courts of equity may properly take into account the public interest in the elimination of such obstacles in a systematic and effective manner. But it should go without saying that the vitality of these constitutional principles cannot be allowed to yield simply because of disagreement with them.

[6–9] While giving weight to these public and private considerations, the courts will require that the defendants make a prompt and reasonable start toward full compliance with our May 17, 1954, ruling. Once such a start has been made, the courts may find that additional time is necessary to carry out the ruling in an effective manner. The burden rests upon the defendants to establish that such time is necessary in the public interest and is consistent with good faith compliance at the earliest practicable date. To that end, the courts may consider problems related to administration, arising from the physical condition of the school plant, the school transportation system, personnel, revision of school districts and attendance areas into compact units to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis, and revision of local laws and regulations which may be necessary in solving the foregoing problems. They will also consider the adequacy of any plans the defendants may propose to meet these problems and to effectuate a transition to a racially nondiscriminatory school system. During this period of transition, the courts will retain jurisdiction of these cases.

3 The cases coming to us from Kansas, South Carolina, and Virginia were originally heard by three-judge District Courts convened under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2281 and 2284, 28 U.S.C.A. §§ 2281, 2284. These cases will accordingly be remanded to those three-judge courts. See Briggs v. Elliott342 U.S. 350, 72 S.Ct. 327, 96 L.Ed. 392.

4 See Alexander v. Hillman296 U.S. 222, 239, 56 S.Ct. 204, 209, 80 L.Ed. 192.

5 See Hecht Co, v, Bowles321 U.S. 321, 329–330, 64 S.Ct. 587, 591, 592, 88 L.Ed. 754.

The judgments below, except that in the Delaware case, are accordingly reversed and the cases are remanded to the District Courts to take such proceedings and enter such orders and decrees consistent with this opinion as are necessary and proper to admit to public schools on a racially nondiscriminatory basis with all deliberate speed the parties to these cases. The judgment in the Delaware case—ordering the immediate admission of the plaintiffs to schools previously attended only by white children—is affirmed on the basis of the principles stated in our May 17, 1954, opinion, but the case is remanded to the Supreme Court of Delaware for such further proceedings as that Court may deem necessary in light of this opinion.

It is so ordered.

Judgments, except that in case No. 5, reversed and cases remanded with directions; judgment in case No. 5 affirmed and case remanded with directions.


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