Meredith v. Fair

Decision Date12 February 1962
Docket NumberNo. 19475.,19475.
PartiesJames H. MEREDITH, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, Appellant, v. Charles Dickson FAIR, President of the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning, et al., Appellees.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit

C. B. Motley, New York City, R. Jess Brown, Vicksburg, Miss. (Jack Greenberg and Derrick A. Bell, Jr., New York City, on the brief), for appellant.

Chas. Clark, Dugas Shands, Asst. Atty. Gen. of Mississippi, Joe T. Patterson, Atty. Gen. of Mississippi, and Edward L. Cates, Asst. Atty. Gen. of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, for appellees.

Before TUTTLE, Chief Judge, and RIVES and WISDOM, Circuit Judges.


Pursuant to the provisions of Title 28 U.S.Code § 16511 and Rule 62(g), F.R. Civ.P., 28 U.S.C.A.,2 the appellant moves the Court for an injunction during the pendency of this appeal, enjoining the appellees from refusing to admit appellant to the Liberal Arts College of the University of Mississippi for the semester which commenced February 6, 1962, and as to which admissions can be received no later than February 15, 1962, on the ground that such injunction is necessary in aid of this Court's jurisdiction of this appeal which, according to appellant, would otherwise be defeated through mootness of this appeal.

The district court's judgment was entered on February 5, 1962, and the testimony taken before the district court is not yet available to this Court. Hearing on the motion for injunction pending appeal was had before this Court on Saturday, February 10, 1962.

The ground upon which appellant claims that this appeal will become moot before it can be heard and decided in normal course is that, prior to such time, the appellant will graduate from Jackson State College, and will then lose any right to be admitted to the Liberal Arts College of the University of Mississippi. The appellees point out that it is within the appellant's power to avoid that result by his non-attendance on Jackson State College for one quarter of a school year.3 The appellees insist, and assure this Court, that such non-attendance would not prejudice the appellant's claim to a right to be admitted to the Liberal Arts College of the University of Mississippi.

While we appreciate the hardship which such non-attendance may impose on the appellant, when that hardship is balanced against other possible irreparable damages which might be suffered by the appellant himself and by the appellees from the issuance of the mandatory injunction prayed in the event that the judgment of the district court should ultimately be affirmed, such hardship is not sufficient to permit us to issue the mandatory injunction prayed without an opportunity to study the full record and testimony on the hearing before the district court. At this time we express no views on the merits of this appeal.

By expediting the hearing of this appeal, it can be decided on its merits before the beginning of the next college term. The Clerk of this Court and the parties are therefore directed to take all necessary and proper steps to expedite the hearing of this appeal on its merits, and the motion for injunction pending appeal is denied. The Clerk is directed to issue the mandate forthwith.

TUTTLE, Chief Judge.

I respectfully dissent.

I think the record already submitted, without the benefit of the record in the trial on the merits, calls for our granting the injunction pending appeal.

Undisputed facts, of which we have already taken cognizance when this case was here on appeal from denial of an interlocutory injunction show that the appellant was denied admission on the stated grounds: (1) that he had failed to furnish recommendations from six alumni of the University; (2) that the University policy (adopted after Meredith originally applied for transfer) prevented a transfer from an unaccredited institution (Jackson State...

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8 cases
  • Ayers v. Allain, 88-4103
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • February 6, 1990 known as: (1) Jackson State University; (2) Alcorn State University; and, (3) Mississippi Valley State University. At the time of the Meredith decision, the Board had implemented segregative policies encompassing: (1) student enrollment; (2) the maintenance of branch centers by the hist......
  • Armstrong v. Board of Education of City of Birmingham, Ala.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • September 6, 1963
    ...1962, 5 Cir., 304 F.2d 583. Voter registration. Circuit Judges Rives, Cameron and Brown. Opinion by Judge Brown. 9. Meredith v. Fair, Feb. 12, 1962, 5 Cir., 305 F.2d 341. School desegregation. Chief Judge Tuttle, Circuit Judges Rives and Wisdom. Per 10. Meredith v. Fair, June 25, 1962, 5 Ci......
  • United States v. Barnett, 20240.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • April 9, 1963
    ...injunction by the District Court and issued the Court's mandate forthwith to permit an early trial on the merits. On February 12, 1962, at 305 F.2d 341, the Court denied Meredith's application for a preliminary injunction pending appeal from the denial of injunctive relief by the District C......
  • Ayers v. Allain, GC75-9-NB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Northern District of Mississippi
    • December 10, 1987
    ......2 . 674 F. Supp. 1529          At the time of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Meredith v. Fair, 298 F.2d 696 (5th Cir.1962), the Board of Trustees, contrary to the mandate of Brown v. Board of Education, supra , continued to operate ......
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