©Dallas Morning News, 1948. Reprinted with permission of The Dallas Morning News
UT Closed to Sweatt In New Court Ruling
By William M. Thornton, Chief of The News Austin Bureau.
Austin, Texas, Feb. 25. - The State of Texas has met every federal and state requirement in providing a law school for Negroes, the Third Court of Civil Appeals held Wednesday.
This decision sustained the Travis county District Court's judgment refusing to order the enrollment of a Negro, Heman Marion Sweatt, in the University of Texas law department for whites. The opinion was by Chief Justice James W. McClendon.
Judge McClendon's views come at a time when racial segregation is at its bitterest stage since Carpetbag days. It is a political rock on which the Democratic ship may be wrecked through alienation of Southern States.
"NO LONGER OPEN QUESTION"
Segregation in state-supported schools is no longer an open question, Judge McClendon said. It has been upheld by a federal courts in an "unbroken line of decisions," he contended. Among the several cases cited was the latest declaration of the United Sates Supreme Court in the Oklahoma controversy. A Negro girl was denied permission to attend white law classes at the University of Oklahoma.
Sweatt will undoubtedly appeal to the Supreme Court of Texas. If the high court's decision is against him, he will go to the Supreme Court of the United Sates for a final test of Texas segregation laws.
Argument by Sweatt's counsel that segregation in professional schools denies equal educational opportunity and is a policy contrary to the Federal Constitution was rejected by the appeals court.
"The people of Texas. through their constitutional and legislative enactments, have determined that policy," Judge McClendon said.
APPENDIX LISTS FACILITIES.
An appendix to his opinion lists the facilities, opportunities and advantages of teh Negro law school to prove that Texas has fully met the test of the Federal Constitution. Sweatt has refused to atttend this law school, but persists in h is demands that he be allowed to enter the white law school
Judge McClendon said Texas established "The Texas State University for Negroes" at Houston with a governing board of nine members consisting of both white and Negro citizens; that is appropriated two million dollars for this school and $500,000 per annum for maintenance and that $100,000 was provided for the negro law school in Austin. It is staffed by white law professors from the University of Texas Law School and has the use of the Supreme Court law library, but Sweatt still refuses to enter it. Prairie View A&M College also is operated by the state for negroes.
"The evidence shows, on the part of the State of Texas, an enormous outlay both in funds and in carefully and conscientiously planned and executed endeavor, in a sincere and earnest bona fide effort to afford every reasonable and adequate facility and opportunity guaranteed to relator (Sweatt) under the Fourteenth (Federal) Amendment, within the state's settled policy (constitutional) and of race segregation in its public schools. We hold that the state has effectually accomplished that objective," the ruling concluded.