Favorite

Stalking liberals the old way 

"Publish or perish" is the cry in higher education today. For professors in Arkansas in the late 1950s, it was "Sign or perish." Even David Horowitz might have been shocked.

During the Little Rock school integration crisis, segregationists decided that tolerance of integration might be the result of a liberal education. Attorney General Bruce Bennett proposed, the legislature approved, and Gov. Orval Faubus signed Act 10 of 1958. The law required state employees, including college faculty, to file as a condition of employment an annual affidavit listing every organization they belonged to. The idea was to identify members of the NAACP, the ACLU, the American Association of University Professors and other groups segregationists considered subversive.

Most state employees signed the affidavit in the summer of 1959, but a handful refused, including Max Carr, a professor at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and B.T. Shelton and J.O. Powell, schoolteachers in Little Rock. They became the plaintiffs in a suit challenging Act 10. In 1960, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the law, on a 5 to 4 vote. Justice Potter Stewart wrote for the majority, "Act 10 deprives teachers in Arkansas of their rights to personal, associational, and academic liberty, protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment from invasion by state action."

That didn't quite end the matter, though. A number of faculty had been dismissed before the decision, and the UA Board of Trustees refused to rehire them. The AAUP placed UA on its list of censured administrations in 1964. The university compromised with the dismissed faculty in 1968, and the censure was withdrawn. Guerdon D. Nichols, dean of the college of arts and sciences, received the Meiklejohn Award for Academic Freedom from the AAUP for his opposition to Act 10.

Favorite

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Latest in Cover Stories

  • Judge restores right to medication abortion

    For more than two weeks, all women in Arkansas, and Arkansas alone, were denied access to a two-pill regimen to end an early pregnancy in the privacy of their homes. But Monday, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the law, Act 577 of 2015, and Arkansas women once again had access to a method of abortion available nationwide.
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • First, get a job

    Arkansas's Medicaid work requirements begin.
    • Jun 14, 2018
  • See yourself in the 'Delta'

    Where art is about what we share.
    • Jun 7, 2018
  • More »

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation