Statement by Assistant Attorney General Ralph E. Odum at U.S. Senate Hearing Concerning Constitutionality of Civil Rights Laws: The History of the Legislation that Proved this Statement Wrong

Authored by Aleah Parsons

This document is a statement made by Assistant Attorney General of Florida Ralph E. Odum at a Senate Hearing discussing the constitutionality of civil rights legislation. A large part of the discussed legislation were laws that would allow the federal government to force school integration.

On May 14, 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in the court case Brown v. Board of Education that segregation within schools was unconstitutional according to the 14th amendment (United States Courts, n.d.).

After much discussion with all the United States Attorney Generals, it was determined by the Supreme court that school desegregation was to be administered by federal state district courts and that it was to begin immediately following the court’s ruling in the Brown v. Board of Education Topeka court case (Tomberlin 1974 ; United States Courts, n.d., under “Brown v. Board of Education (1954-1955).

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