|©1947, Austin America, March 22, 1947. Reprinted with permission of
the Austin American Statesman
Daniel Seeks Sweatt Case Re-Hearing
Attorney General , Moves To Send Case Back to Trial Court
by The Austin American Capitol Staff
Attorney General Price Daniel announced Friday be had launched a move to send the Herman Marion Sweatt case back to the Travis County Trial Court. The third Court of Civil Appeals will hear oral arguments next Wednesday, March 26.
At the same time he personally charged that Sweatt, Houston Negro, and the National Association for Advancement of Colored People were "attempting to break down the segregation laws of Texas rather than assure equal education opportunities for Negro citizens."
His blast was based on Sweatt's failure to register at the temporary Negro school of law provided by the 50th Legislature and staffed by University of Texas law professors, and on the opposition of the NAACP to the enrollment of other interested Negroes.
The attorney-general has filed a motion in the Appellate Court to remand the Sweatt case to the trial court without prejudice. Daniel said the motion was based on changes in the law and the facts since Sweatt was denied a mandamus order that would have admitted him to the University of Texas School of Law.
These developments include:
1. The Legislature has created the Texas State University for Negroes at Houston.
2. The University of Texas Board of Regents, on legislative instructions, has set up a temporary law school for Negroes here.
3. This law school provides courses identical with those taught at the University of Texas School of Law, by the same professors.
4. Sweatt was officially informed that the school would be open March 10.
Supporting Records Filed
Affidavits from University of Texas officials and other supporting records were filed with the new brief.
No Negroes have registered at the temporary school. Daniel said the school is now closed but a note has been left on the door referring interested callers to the University of Texas registrar's office.
Daniel said he did not know whether the appellant Sweatt would oppose his motion to backtrack in the case, for purpose of getting new facts into the record. If Sweatt had registered at the UT temporary school, the attorney general would have moved that the case was moot.
The personal statement which Daniel issued Friday read as follows:
'Texas now has in Austin the best Negro law school facilities in the nation. It has the identical courses by- the identical professors as the Law School of the University of Texas. Heman Marion Sweatt was notified of this by the Registrar on March 3, and he has failed to register. At least seven other applicants showed an interest in registering: until it became known that the National Association for Advancement of Colored People opposed the separate school because it would block their efforts' to gain admission to schools for white citizens.
"This action definitely proves that the primary purpose of Sweatt and NAACP is to break down the segregation laws of Texas rather than assure equal education opportunities for Negro citizens. If Sweatt has any desire for a law course, it is only secondary.
Texans Favor Separation
"A recent Belden Poll shows the majority of Texas Negroes favor separate schools. What the majority of Texas Negroes need above all else today is sincere leadership within their own ranks dedicated to obtaining equal educational opportunities in the best separate schools that can be built
"If they put education first and ditch the New York advisers whose primary aim is destruction of our segregation laws, Texas will soon have the best Negro university in the land. This is evident from the present attitude of the Legislature and the Governor in recently providing over $3,000,000.00 for the new Negro university in Houston.
"The cold reaction of the NAACP minority leadership will prove a serious political blunder for the whole race if local leaders do not organize soon and cooperate fully with efforts now being made by public officials of Texas to provide the schools to which such citizens are fully entitled under the laws of our State."