Daisy Bates... v. City of Little Rock

UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION   |   U. S. SUPREME COURT   |      |   Daisy BATES

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Daisy Bates... v. City of Little Rock

"THE RIGHT OF PEACEABLE ASSEMBLY WAS CONSIDERED BY THE FRAMERS OF OUR CONSTITUTION TO LIE AT THE FOUNDATION OF A GOVERNMENT… DEDICATED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE PRESERVATION OF LIBERTY": OFFICIAL SEPARATE PRINTING OF THE U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION IN DAISY BATES… V. CITY OF LITTLE ROCK, FEBRUARY 23, 1960

(UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION) (BATES, Daisy) Supreme Court of the United States. No. 41.—October Term, 1959. Daisy Bates, et al., Petitioners, v. City of Little Rock, et al. On Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Arkansas. [February 23, 1960.]. (Washington, D.C.: 1960). Slim octavo, original cream self-wrappers, staple-bound as issued; pp. (1), 2-12 (1).

Official separate printing of Justice Potter Stewart’s February 23, 1960 opinion, with the concurrence of Justice Black and Justice Douglass, in the unanimous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in “Daisy Bates et al., Petitioners v. City of Little Rock, et al,” noting the court’s decision rests on "the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment," in original wrappers.

Daisy Bates is most famous for her leadership in the 1957 desegregation of Little Rock's Central High School, in which "rocks were thrown through her window, a burning cross was placed on her roof and the newspaper published by her and her husband, L.C. Bates, was ultimately destroyed financially" (New York Times). Bates, president of the NAACP Arkansas branch, was also at the center of the struggle by refusing to comply with a Little Rock ordinance that required nonprofit organizations, such as the NAACP, to disclose the names of their members and sources of their dues. They were tried and convicted despite evidence that violence and harassment directed at NAACP members had seriously hindered its work. After the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld the conviction, they appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case was argued on November 18, 1959 with the Court issuing its unanimous opinion on February 23, 1960.

In Justice Potter Stewart's opinion for the Court, cited herein, he noted "the question for decision is whether these convictions can stand under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment… Like freedom of speech and a free press, the right of peaceable assembly was considered by the Framers of our Constitution to lie at the foundation of a government based upon the consent of an informed citizenry." With the concurrence of Justice Black and Justice Stewart, also herein, Stewart held "that what the city was doing was harassment and was intended to infringe upon the right of free association. In the end, Stewart declared, Bates and her fellow officials 'cannot be punished for refusing to produce information which the municipalities could not constitutionally require'" (Encyclopedia of Arkansas). In 1960 Bates left Arkansas to author her memoir, Long Shadow of Little Rock (1962) and in 1963 was one of only three women to speak at the March on Washington. She continued her work in civil rights until her death in 1999. Printed title: "Supreme Court of the United States No. 41.—October Term, 1959."

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