[Book] The Rule of Law

THe Rule of Law

第95頁描述 Brown v Board of Education 一案的背後秘辛,沒想到受人愛戴的 Eisenhower 總統竟會這樣……

…the watershed judgement of the United States Supreme Court in perhaps its most admired civil rights decision: Brown v. Board of Education, when the court held racial segregation in public (meaning not-private) schools to be unconstitutional. It was 1954 and Eisenhower was the President. According to his biographer, while the case was current,

He [Eisenhower] invited Warren [the Chief Justice] to the White House for a stag dinner, along with Brownell [the Attorney General of the United States], John W. Davis, who was counsel for the segregationists, and a number of other lawyers. Eisenhower had Davis sit near Warren, who in turn was on the President’s right hand. During dinner, Eisenhower – according to Warren – ‘went to considerable lengths to tell me what a great man Davis was’. And as the guests were filing out of dinner room, Eisenhower took Warren by the arm and said of the southerners, ‘These are not bad people. All they are concerned about is to see that their sweet little girls are not required to sit in school alongside some big overgrown Negroes.’

It appears that counsel for Brown, whether invited or not, was absent. Happily, Warren was impervious to the pressure put on him by the President, and gave the judgement in favour of Brown. But even fifty years later one must be shock that Eisenhower acted as he apparently did. He did not resist implementation of the judgement, and indeed took firm action to enforce it, although in Warren’s view it was the end of cordial relations between the two men. It was disapproval of the Warren’s court criminal decisions which led Eisenhower to say, much later, that his biggest mistakes was ‘the appointment of that dumb son of a bitch Earl Warren’.

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