Saturday, December 9, 2017

A00848 - Ernest Finney,,Lawyer in the

Judge Ernest A. Finney Jr. in February 2012 at an induction ceremony at the South Carolina Hall of Fame in Myrtle Beach. CreditSteve Jessmore/The Sun News, via Associated Press
On Jan. 31, 1961, 10 black college students in Rock Hill, S.C., rejecting the warning of the state’s chief law enforcement officer, seated themselves at a whites-only lunch counter at the local McCrory’s five-and-dime store and asked to be served.
Dragged by police from their stools, the protesters, most of them from Friendship Junior College in Rock Hill, were charged with breach of the peace and trespassing. They were then hauled before Judge Billy D. Hays, who gave them a choice: Either pay a $100 fine or spend 30 days shoveling sand on a York County chain gang.
For nine out of the 10 protesters, the choice was clear. They had no intention of paying fines and thus help subsidize a segregationist local government. They took the jail time (knowing it would cost the county money for room and board), and in so doing helped galvanize the fledgling civil rights movement.
By then, sit-ins at lunch counters and elsewhere had begun to spread. But the Friendship Nine, as the Rock Hill protesters came to be called, were among the first defendants to embrace an emerging strategy of resistance to legal segregation: jail, not bail.
Their strategy of embarrassing segregated Southern communities by compounding their arrest with the spectacle of being imprisoned merely for ordering lunch or sitting in the wrong section of a bus or a theater, or worshiping at an all-white church, would be validated as the movement matured.
Continue reading the main story
And their lawyer, Ernest A. Finney Jr., who had begun practicing full time only in 1960 after doubling as a teacher and working part time in a restaurant to make ends meet, would eventually be vindicated, too.
Ernest A. Finney, right, with the civil rights activist James Farmer in an undated photo.CreditAfro American Newspapers/Gado, via Getty Images
As a newly minted lawyer in the mid-1950s, Mr. Finney had not been invited to the state bar association convention because he was black. He managed to eavesdrop on the proceedings all the same — but only because he was working as a waiter at the time for the Ocean Forest Hotel in Myrtle Beach, where the convention was being held.
He and his partner would later represent thousands of other civil rights defendants. Most lost their cases in South Carolina’s local trial courts. All but two, he would later recall, were absolved on appeal.
Mr. Finney went on to become South Carolina’s first black chief justice.
Fifty-four years after his clients were arrested in the McCrory’s sit-in, Justice Finney returned to Rock Hill, a former textile mill town, to reargue their case. One of the original defendants had died, but most of the others joined him. One arrived in a wheelchair. Another walked with a cane.
By now retired at 83, Justice Finney hobbled into the courtroom on the arm of one of his sons. He rose slowly to address Circuit Court Judge John C. Hayes III.
Wearing a tie emblazoned with the state’s palmetto and crescent moon logo, Justice Finney appealed to the court to exonerate the men, who had been sentenced in 1961 by Judge Hayes’s uncle.
“Justice and equity demand that this motion be granted,” Justice Finney declared.
It was. In a bittersweet rebuke to the past, the convictions were overturned. The sentences were vacated. The prosecutor apologized.
“We cannot rewrite history,” Judge Hayes said, “but we can right history.”
Justice Finney died on Sunday in Columbia, S.C. He was 86. His daughter, Lynn C. Finney, known as Nikky, said the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He lived in Sumter, S.C.
Reared by a widowed father who took correspondence courses in law but became an educator instead, Justice Finney graduated from law school in 1954, the same year the United States Supreme Court delivered its landmark school desegregation decision, Brown v. Board of Education.
At the time, only a handful of black lawyers were practicing in South Carolina, and blacks were excluded from juries.
In 1976, he was elected the state’s first black Circuit Court judge. In 1985, he was named by the Legislature to the State Supreme Court — the first black to sit on that court since 1877, when federal troops were finally withdrawn from the former Confederacy.
When he was sworn in, Justice Finney expressed hope that his tenure on the state’s highest court would have “a ripple effect, so that not only black children, but all children from difficult circumstances, can grow up believing they can be what they want to be.”
In 1994, he hurdled another racial barrier when the General Assembly elected him chief justice.
“I would like to be thought of as the man who did the best he could with what he had for as long as I could,” Justice Finney told The Augusta Chronicle in Georgia when he retired in 2000. “All people have a responsibility to be the very best that we can be in whatever we do, and by and large, if you do that, the color of your skin becomes less and less important.”
Ernest Adolphus Finney Jr. was born on March 23, 1931, in Smithfield, a town famous for its ham, in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. His mother, the former Colleen Godwin, died when he was 10 days old.
“I feel a necessity to try to do a little more with my life than I might have otherwise,” he was once quoted as saying, “to justify my existence.”
Ernest A. Finney Jr., left, the lawyer in the 1961 “Friendship Nine” case, with three of them, Willie Edward McCleod, second from left, Mack C. Workman and David Williamson Jr. in Rock Hill, N.C., in 2015.CreditMegan Gielow for The New York Times
An only child, he moved around Virginia and Maryland as his father changed teaching jobs. They finally settled in Orangeburg, S.C., in 1946, when the elder Mr. Finney was named dean at Claflin College (now Claflin University). One constant in their moves was the boxes of law books his father took with them.
“For some reason,” Justice Finney told The Associated Press, “I have always felt that if America was to live up to its promises to all people, I thought the law would be the basis for change.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree from Claflin in 1952, he received his law degree from the South Carolina State University School of Law, the all-black counterpart of the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Besides his daughter, a poet and English professor, Justice Finney is survived by his wife, the former Frances Davenport; his sons, Ernest III, a former judge and now a prosecutor in South Carolina, and Jerry, a lawyer; and five grandchildren.
Persuaded by several civil rights workers to practice law full time, Justice Finney teamed up with one of them, Matthew Perry, who later became a federal judge. By his count, Justice Finney represented some 6,000 clients, including two black college students charged with disorderly conduct for attempting to worship in an all-white Presbyterian church.
Before becoming a judge, he served in the State Legislature, where he drafted a bill to improve voter representation. As chief justice, he ruled in 1999 that all the state’s children were entitled to a “minimally adequate education” in “adequate and safe facilities.”
“We knew the law at the time was against us, but we never lost faith that what we perceived to be justice would prevail,” he said in 2000. “When I look at how far we have come today, I have to say, If there’s a man who ought to be impressed with the fact that the law works, I’m that man.”

A00847 - Perry Wallace, Vanderbilt's First Black Basketball Player

Perry Wallace, the first black varsity basketball player in Southeastern Conference history, in action against the University of Kentucky.CreditVanderbilt University
Perry Wallace, who became the first black varsity basketball player in Southeastern Conference history in the 1960s as a strong-rebounding forward for his hometown Vanderbilt University in Nashville, died on Dec. 1 at a hospice in Rockville, Md. He was 69.
His wife, Karen, said the cause was cancer.
Wallace, who later became a lawyer, was a high school star in Nashville and one of the country’s top schoolboy players. When he accepted a scholarship to play at Vanderbilt in May 1966, he was, at 18, agreeing to become a racial pioneer.
The conference was resistant to integration even as the civil rights movement was at its peak. One symbol of that intransigence was the powerful Kentucky coach, Adolph Rupp, whose all-white teams had won four national championships. But his Wildcats lost the 1966 N.C.A.A. men’s tournament final in an upset to Texas Western, whose starting five was all African-American.
“In the final analysis,” Wallace said, “I thought a long time about being the first Negro boy in the S.E.C.”
Continue reading the main story
Nearly 20 years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, Wallace stepped onto the Vanderbilt campus and was jolted by what he encountered. He had one black teammate, Godfrey Dillard, on Vanderbilt’s freshman team, but he spent the next three years on the varsity team without one.
His white teammates and coaches did not understand how isolated he was, and he felt betrayed by those who had recruited him.
“The entrance of your first black athlete involved deception,” he told the school’s human relations council in remarks in 1968 that were first published in “Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South” (2014), by Andrew Maraniss. During his recruitment, he said, he was lied to about the extent of racism on the campus and the sort of social life he would have as one of the few blacks enrolled there.
Perry Wallace, right, in 2016 with Godfrey Dillard, who played alongside him on Vanderbilt’s freshman squad.CreditAssociated Press
One teammate, he said, suggested that Wallace would have “enjoyed the old slave-breeding camps” and asked him about picking cotton. “My first year here involved a battle with my teammates to defeat their knowing and unknowing attempts to categorize me as the ‘team nigger,’ ” he added.
Wallace dreaded the thought of playing in Mississippi, with its poor civil rights record. But in early 1967, the Commodores flew to Starkville to play Mississippi State. Wallace and Dillard, his freshman teammate, were inundated with racial epithets and threats of lynching, mainly by Mississippi State football players.
“Not that high-class bigotry is worthy of praise,” Wallace said in “Strong Inside,” “but these guys at Mississippi State were just low-class, crude, ignorant rednecks. And they were screaming and hollering and insulting us, calling us names, saying they were going to kill us, and, as the game started, it got worse.”
As time ran out in the first half, Wallace heaved the ball downcourt. And many in the crowd shouted, “Shooooot,” using the racial epithet.
Vanderbilt lost the game, 84-70, but Wallace scored 13 points and led both teams with 19 rebounds. His and Dillard’s ordeal was not over, though. They were abused as they sat in the bleachers to watch Vanderbilt’s varsity play.
More than a year later, the team traveled to Oxford to play the University of Mississippi. Wallace was a sophomore and the only black on the varsity; Dillard was injured all season and would transfer to Eastern Michigan University in his junior year.
The verbal attacks that fans directed at Wallace were as bad as they had been in Starkville; they applauded and laughed at each of his mistakes. Then an Ole Miss player hit him in the eye, bloodying and staggering him and blurring his eyesight. He was treated at halftime but returned to the court alone, without the support of a teammate or a coach beside him.
Still, he helped start a 20-4 run that secured the Commodores’ 90-72 victory.
“Things were so bad, it was so oppressive,” he told Mr. Maraniss, “and so much bad stuff had happened, that sure, it pushed me to another level. But I don’t think that’s the way you ought to have to play ball, to have that kind of challenge.”
Perry Eugene Wallace Jr. was born in Nashville on Feb. 19, 1948. His father had a construction business, and his mother, the former Hattie Haynes, was a domestic worker.
At the all-black Pearl High School, where he was the class valedictorian, he led the basketball team to an undefeated season and a state championship in 1966 — the first time black, white and integrated schools played in the same Tennessee state tournament. The Tennessean called him the school’s “high-jumping Goliath of the backboards,” and Parade magazine named him one of the country’s top 10 high school basketball players.
He was courted by dozens of colleges and visited seven campuses beside Vanderbilt’s, including Michigan, Cincinnati, Iowa and Louisville. He chose Vanderbilt, he said, because of Coach Roy Skinner’s sincerityand the comfort he felt with the players — but also because it was his mother’s choice.
Dillard, who also went on to become a lawyer, told The Michigan Chronicle earlier this year that “the pressures from the black community in Nashville for him to go Vanderbilt” — and break the color barrier — were “tremendous.”
Mr. Maraniss said in a telephone interview that Wallace considered leaving Vanderbilt after his freshman year. “But he felt that he had started something that was too big to quit,” he said. “He didn’t want to satisfy the people who felt he would fail.”
Wallace improved in each of his three seasons on the varsity, culminating in a senior year in which he averaged 17.7 points and 13.5 rebounds a game. After graduating in 1970 with an engineering degree, he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers but cut during the preseason. He played sparingly for the Delaware Blue Bombers of the minor-league Eastern Basketball Association and was a student teacher at a high school in Philadelphia before graduating from Columbia Law School.
Over the years, he worked as a trial lawyer for the Justice Department, specializing in environmental law, and as a law professor at the University of Baltimore Law School and the Washington College of Law at American University. He also worked internationally on various projects, including serving as a representative of the Federated States of Micronesia at a United Nations global warming hearing in Kenya.
Anthony Varona, a law professor at American University, wrote in an email that Wallace’s legal scholarship focused on “the need for corporate accountability, transparency, and the protection of the less advantaged against corporate malfeasance.”
In addition to his wife, the former Karen Smyley, Wallace is survived by his daughter, Gabrielle, and his sisters, Bessie Garrett, Jessie Jackson and Annie Sweet. He lived in Silver Spring, Md.
Ms. Wallace said that when he described the racism he endured, it wasn’t with anger. “He felt the pain and suffering, but he was soft-spoken and didn’t talk about it with rage,” she said in a telephone interview. “He was not a belligerent man.”
Wallace’s college career ended emphatically in 1970 during a loss at home to Mississippi State. He grabbed 27 rebounds and scored 29 points, the last two on a slam dunk — a shot the N.C.A.A. had banned in 1967, ostensibly to prevent injuries, although many believed it was to curb the scoring advantage of big men.
To Wallace, the prohibition against slam dunks was like segregation laws: made to be shattered. “They were the law, but they weren’t just,” he told NPR in 2014. “And so that is what I think of all those unjust and illegal rules. There it is — slam dunk.”

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A00846 - John Anderson, Ran as Independent Against Reagan and Carter

John Anderson, Who Ran Against Reagan and Carter in 1980, Is Dead at 95

Mr. Anderson in July 1980 during a news conference in Washington.CreditIra Schwarz/Associated Press
John B. Anderson, a former Republican congressman from Illinois who bolted his party to run as a plain-spoken independent candidate for president in 1980, drawing an enthusiastic if transient following among liberals and college students, died on Sunday night in Washington. He was 95.
His death was confirmed by his daughter Diane Anderson.
The United States was struggling with a recession, a severe energy crisis and the protracted Iranian hostage crisis when Mr. Anderson gave up a safe seat in the House of Representatives to seek the Republican presidential nomination. When that try fizzled, he reintroduced himself as an independent, honest-dealing alternative to the rancorous business-as-usual politics of the major parties.
For a while he had the national spotlight, a 58-year-old maverick whose white hair, horn-rimmed glasses and clearheaded presentation gave him the air of a genial professor who was not so much above the fray as he was unwilling to play by its rules.
Mr. Anderson refused to pander, telling voters in Iowa that he favored President Jimmy Carter’s embargo on grain sales to the Soviet Union after it had invaded Afghanistan. He called for a gasoline tax of 50 cents per gallon — when a gallon cost $1.15 — to save energy.
Early on, when all six of his rivals for the Republican nomination assured the Gun Owners of New Hampshire that they firmly opposed gun control legislation, Mr. Anderson said, “I don’t understand why.”
“When in this country we license people to drive automobiles,” he added, “what is so wrong about proposing that we license guns to make sure that felons and mental incompetents don’t get ahold of them?”
This is your last free article.
Subscribe to The Times
He was roundly booed.
His backers promoted his campaign style as “the Anderson difference,” but despite it — or perhaps because of it — he never finished better than second in a Republican primary. That came in Illinois, his home state, which he had expected to win. When he did not, losing to Ronald Reagan by fewer than 12 points (Mr. Reagan was born in Illinois), he decided to run as an independent.
Drawing support from moderate to liberal Republicans and liberal Democrats and finding a receptive audience on college campuses, Mr. Anderson did well in the polls at the start. At one point, upward of one-fifth of voters said they preferred him to the major party nominees, Mr. Reagan and Mr. Carter, the Democrat, who was seeking re-election. Mr. Anderson peaked in June, when he was the choice of 24 percent of respondents in a Gallup poll, 25 percent in a Harris/ABC poll and 18 percent in a New York Times/CBS News poll.
His hopes were sustained by the volatility of the 1980 campaign, with its sudden swings of popularity. Mr. Carter’s Democratic challenger, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, led by large margins in early polls, only to see the president recover and defeat him soundly in the primaries.
Mr. Reagan, the early Republican favorite, spent money lavishly, but lost to George Bush in the Iowa caucuses and trailed in national polls before a solid win in New Hampshire put him back on the road to the nomination. Mr. Anderson said he believed that the tide might turn in his favor in “the climactic phase of the campaign.”
So he pushed on, calling Mr. Carter a “mean and evasive” campaigner who used a recession and high unemployment to fight inflation, and criticizing Mr. Reagan’s campaign “one-liners,” calling them “slick and simplistic.”
Representative John Anderson opened his California campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on April 7, 1980, with a news conference at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. He later ran for the White House as an independent.CreditAssociated Press
But in a pattern familiar to independent candidates, Mr. Anderson’s support drifted as voters turned to candidates who they believed could actually win the White House. On Election Day, when Mr. Reagan won in a landslide, Mr. Anderson ended up with 6.6 percent of the popular vote.

Evolving to Moderate

Mr. Anderson was perceived as the most liberal of the three contenders. That label probably fit on social issues like abortion, but his economic views were traditionally conservative. He preferred to think of himself as the moderate in the race — a self-description that reflected a marked political evolution.
In his first three years in the House, starting in 1961, Mr. Anderson, a former prosecutor and a decorated World War II veteran, received a zero rating from the liberal group Americans for Democratic Action. Not long after entering the Capitol, he proposed a constitutional amendment declaring that “this nation devoutly recognizes the authority and law of Jesus Christ, Savior and Ruler of nations.”
The measure never came to a vote, and he later apologized for it.
Though his views began to moderate, he was still conservative enough in 1969 for the Republicans to elect him chairman of the House Republican Conference, the third-ranking leadership position. He held the post through 1979, though not without fighting off challenges from the right. By then, the A.D.A. had put his voting record in the mid-40s, and he had harshly criticized President Richard M. Nixon, a fellow Republican, over his handling of the Watergate scandal. His own critics called Mr. Anderson self-righteous and preachy.
Mr. Anderson was an effective orator in the days when speeches on the House floor could still change votes. He was a leader in the passage of open housing legislation in 1968 and in setting campaign contribution limits in 1974, and he worked with his Democratic friend, Morris K. Udall of Arizona, to create 10 national parks in Alaska, protecting 100 million acres.
But he grew increasingly impatient not only with the House but also with the growing strength of the right wing of his own party.
“Extremist fringe elements,” he complained in 1977, “seek to expel the rest of us from the G.O.P.” He warned, “If the purists stage their ideological coup d’├ętat, our party will be consigned to the historical junk heap.”
The right returned the compliment with a strong Republican primary campaign against him in his 1978 House race. With the help of Democratic crossover votes, Mr. Anderson won with 58 percent over the insurgent, Don Lyon, a conservative minister. But he resented the challenge, and his thoughts turned to the White House.
It was always a long-shot campaign. Few elected officials endorsed him. His Republican campaign, announced in June 1979, drew little support as Mr. Bush emerged as the only viable alternative to Mr. Reagan (who wound up choosing Mr. Bush as his running mate).
For his independent run, announced in April 1980, Mr. Anderson had to spend millions to get on the ballot in all 50 states as the National Unity Party candidate, leaving little cash for television advertising. (His running mate was Patrick J. Lucey, a former Democratic governor of Wisconsin.) And when Mr. Carter refused to join him in a September debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters — the president, it was said, did not want to be perceived as taking Mr. Anderson’s candidacy seriously — Mr. Anderson’s last and best chance of making an impact was snuffed out.
The debate went ahead without the president, but Mr. Reagan gained more from it than Mr. Anderson did. When Mr. Anderson’s poll standing slipped below 15 percent, the league did not invite him back for an October debate, the only one between Mr. Carter and Mr. Reagan, for whom it was a turning point.
John Anderson & Ronald Reagan Debate from September 21, 1980CreditVideo by Samuel Wilson
But Mr. Anderson never considered dropping out.
“We had operated from the very beginning with the assumption that it was a given that Jimmy Carter could not be re-elected,” Mr. Anderson told a conference at the Institute of Politics at Harvard weeks after the election. His hope, he added, was that with the collapse of the Carter campaign, he could emerge “as a rational and reasonable alternative to Ronald Reagan.”
Mr. Anderson, left, during a panel discussion in 1995 on third-party candidates in presidential races. He ran an independent presidential campaign in 1980.CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times
To the frequent accusation that he had been a spoiler in the race, he replied: “What’s to spoil? Spoil the chances of two men at least half the country doesn’t want?”

Immigrants’ Son

John Bayard Anderson was born on Feb. 15, 1922, in Rockford, Ill., a son of Swedish immigrants, E. Albin Anderson and the former Mabel Edna Ring. As a boy he worked in the family’s grocery store and was the valedictorian of his class at Rockford Central High School.
He earned bachelor’s and law degrees at the University of Illinois and a master of laws at Harvard. In World War II he earned four battle stars as a staff sergeant in the field artillery in Europe and later worked in the Foreign Service in Berlin and Washington, where he met Keke Machakos, a passport photographer. They married in 1953. Returning to Illinois, he was elected state’s attorney for Winnebago County in 1956.
In addition to his daughter Diane, he is survived by his wife; three other daughters, Eleanora van der Wal, Karen Moree and Susan Anderson; a son, John Jr.; and 11 grandchildren.
He left Congress so he could seek the presidency in 1980, then considered another presidential run in 1984 but ended up supporting Mr. Reagan’s Democratic challenger, Walter F. Mondale, the former vice president. He backed Ralph Nader’s third-party run in 2000 and disapproved of the Tea Party movement, telling The New Yorker in 2010, “I break out in a cold sweat at the thought that any of those people might prevail.”
Mr. Anderson had homes in Rockford as well as in Washington, where he practiced intellectual property law, and in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he taught law for many years at Nova Southeastern University. He served as president of the World Federalist Association, which promotes international cooperation, and chairman of FairVote, a nonprofit group that favors ranked-choice voting.
Mr. Anderson was the author of “Between Two Worlds: A Congressman’s Choice” (1970); “The American Economy We Need” (1984) and “A Proper Institution: Guaranteeing Televised Presidential Debates” (1988).
The most enduring impact of his 1980 independent campaign came in the courts, where his victories enabled later third-party candidates like H. Ross Perot and Mr. Nader to get on the ballot. Most important was a ruling by the United States Supreme Court in 1983 that threw out Ohio’s filing deadline of March 20 for independent candidates. (Mr. Anderson had not decided to run as an independent that early in 1980, but got on the ballot when a Federal District Court ordered Ohio to let him run.)
Ohio defended its deadline as a way to maintain “political stability.” But the Supreme Court accepted Mr. Anderson’s argument that states could not impose substantially more onerous burdens on independent candidates than on major party nominees.
Though Mr. Anderson’s candidacy had little impact on the outcome of the 1980 election, his campaign was memorable for its candor. Appearing in Des Moines with six rivals for the Republican nomination, Mr. Anderson was alone among them in saying something specific when asked if there was anything in his career he would take back if he could.
“It would have been the vote that I cast in favor of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution,” he said, referring to the 1964 congressional measure that gave President Lyndon B. Johnson license to widen the war against North Vietnam.
He was equally forthright in defending his call for an emergency excise tax on gasoline, unpopular though it might have been.
“I did it as a security measure, to be sure,” he told the September 1980 debate audience, “because I would rather see us reduce the consumption of imported oil than have to send American boys to fight in the Persian Gulf.”