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James Meredith Quotes

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On September 13, 1962, the District Court entered an injunction directing the members of the Board of Trustees and the officials of the University to register Meredith. The Democratic Governor of Mississippi, Ross Barnett, declared "no school will be integrated in Mississippi while I am your governor". The state legislature quickly created a plan. They passed a law that denied admission to any person "who has a crime of moral turpitude against him" or who had been convicted of any felony offense or not pardoned. The same day it became law, Meredith was accused and convicted of "false voter registration," in absentia, in Jackson County. The conviction against Meredith was trumped up: Meredith both owned land in northern Mississippi and was registered to vote in Jackson, where he lived. "Later the clerk testified that Meredith was qualified to register and vote in Jackson [where he was registered]. " On September 20, the federal government gained an enjoinment against enforcement of this Act and of the two state court decrees that had barred Meredith's registration. That day Meredith was rebuffed again by Governor Barnett in his efforts to gain admission, though university officials were prepared to admit him. On September 28, the Court of Appeals, en banc and after a hearing, found the Governor in civil contempt and ordered that he be arrested and pay a fine of $10,000 for each day that he kept up the refusal, unless he complied by October 2. On September 29, Lieutenant Governor Johnson was found in contempt by a panel of the court, and a similar order was entered against him, with a fine of $5,000 a day.

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