Brown, Rehnquist and Contemporary Politics

Earl Maltz emaltz at
Sun Sep 11 08:04:10 PDT 2005

The question is not whether it was an issue, but whether we could 
reasonably expect Roberts to have actively participated in the struggle.  I 
suppose that it might be relevant if Roberts had said "I think segregation 
was right," (or had sung Dixie in the Harvard Law School dining hall or 
marched around the Hillel Foundation in a storm trooper outfit as a joke) 
but I doubt very seriously that anyone will even allege that any such event 

At 10:37 AM 9/11/2005 -0400, Elizabeth Dale wrote:
>I'm not sure I agree with the timing point. As a near contemporary of
>Roberts (he is 4-5 years older) who also grew up in the midwest (in Chicago)
>I can assure you that my entire childhood and teen years were shaped by
>issues of integration and segregation. It was an issue that arose in
>virtually every context from education (did one go to an integrated public
>school or a not so integrated private school) to after school activities
>(did one belong to sports teams that were integrated or not) to church
>activities (I knew ministers who marched at Selma and congregations that
>struggled with racial integration or outreach to black churches and
>neighborhoods in the 70s). It was an issue when I applied to college, when
>schools were engaging in minority recruitment and outreach to neighborhoods
>with minority populations.  Investment in South Africa was becoming an issue
>when I was in college.
>I would have said that racial integration was the social issue of my
>generation,since Vietnam no longer mattered.  That certainly changed with
>the 80s, but I find it hard to imagine a person growing up in the 60s and
>70s who didn't have to think about what racial integration meant, let alone
>live with it.
>Elizabeth Dale
>Associate Professor, US Legal History, Department of History,
>Affiliate Professor of Legal History, Levin College of Law
>University of Florida
>PO Box 17320
>Gainesville, Florida 32611
>edale at
>352-393-0271 ex 262
>-----Original Message-----
>From: conlawprof-bounces at
>[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at] On Behalf Of Mark Graber
>Sent: Sunday, September 11, 2005 10:11 AM
>To: emaltz at
>Cc: conlawprof at
>Subject: Re: Brown, Rehnquist and Contemporary Politics
>Fair enough.  But Roberts was in Boston during the reign of characters such
>as Louise Day Hicks, who was, if I remember, fairly openly racist.
>It would be curious where he stood and, I think, to some degree relevant.
> >>> Earl Maltz <emaltz at> 09/11/05 10:04 AM >>>
>Here I think there is a serious timing issue.  Unless one considers support
>for widespread mandatory bussing the litmus test, Roberts is simply too
>young to have taken any active part in the battle over desegregation.
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