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57 Miss. L.J. 591 (1987)
A Century of Struggle for Black Enfranchisement in Mississippi: From the Civil War to the Congressional Challenge of 1965 - And Beyond

handle is hein.journals/mislj57 and id is 599 raw text is: A CENTURY OF STRUGGLE FOR BLACK
ENFRANCHISEMENT IN MISSISSIPPI:
FROM THE CIVIL WAR TO THE
CONGRESSIONAL CHALLENGE OF 1965
- AND BEYOND
Morton Stavis*
The year 1965 witnessed an unusual legal and political con-
test in Mississippi and Washington, D.C. The congressional
challenge of that year, through which Mississippi blacks sought
the unseating of the entire Mississippi congressional delegation,
was a bold step by blacks determined to establish their right to
* B.S., CCNY 1933; LL.B., Columbia University 1936; President, Center for Consti-
tutional Rights, New York, New York.
The author, then a practicing attorney in Newark, New Jersey, was one of the attor-
neys for the congressional challenge. Others were Arthur Kinoy and William M.
Kunstler, both of New York, Benjamin E. Smith of New Orleans, and William Higgs of
Washington, D.C., previously of Mississippi. The legal team was augmented by Bruce W.
Waltzer of New Orleans and Daniel Crystal of New Jersey who participated in preparing
the brief which was presented to the House of Representatives. Portions of this article
are based on that brief.
The author wishes to express his appreciation to Meredith Gowan, a student at the
University of Mississippi Law School, who has rendered invaluable assistance in the
preparation of this article; to Professor George Cochran of that Law School for his many
helpful suggestions throughout the research and writing of this article; to Professors
Douglas L. Colbert of Hofstra Law School; Eric Foner of Columbia University; Randall
Kennedy of Harvard Law School; J. Morgan Kousser of the California Institute of Tech-
nology; W. Charles Sallis of Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi; Anthony Scott of
Rutgers University; C. Vann Woodward of Yale University and Victoria Gray Adams,
one of the contestants in the challenge, for their close reading of earlier drafts of this
article and their many helpful comments and to Professor Kousser for his graciousness
in making available some of his research notes which were of great assistance in develop-
ing the historical background of the suffrage issue in Mississippi; and to Frank Parker of
the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Armand Derfner, formerly of the
Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee, C. Victor McTeer and Margaret Carey, both
associated with the Center for Constitutional Rights, all of whom were particularly help-
ful in counseling the author with respect to the extensive litigation in Mississippi relat-
ing to the enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

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