United States v. Manning

Decision Date24 July 1962
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 8257.
Citation206 F. Supp. 623
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, v. Cecil MANNING, as Registrar of Voters of East Carroll Parish, Louisiana, and The State of Louisiana, Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Western District of Louisiana

St. John Barrett, Frank Dunbaugh, Gerald P. Choppin, Washington, D. C., Edward L. Shaheen, U. S. Atty., for Western District of Louisiana, for plaintiff.

Jack P. F. Gremillion, Atty. Gen., State of Louisiana, Carroll Buck, First Asst. Atty. Gen., Albin P. Lassiter, Dist. Atty., Fourth Judicial District, Thompson L. Clarke, Dist. Atty., Sixth Judicial District, Harry J. Kron, Jr., William P. Schuler, Asst. Attys. Gen., Thomas W. McFerrin, Special Counsel, Cecil Manning as Registrar of Voters of East Carroll Parish, Louisiana, and the State of Louisiana, for defendants.

Before WISDOM, Circuit Judge, and CHRISTENBERRY and HUNTER, District Judges.

WISDOM, Circuit Judge.

The United States instituted suit in April 1961 alleging that the Registrar of Voters for East Carroll Parish discriminated against Negro citizens who applied to register to vote in the parish. May 30, 1962, the Court entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff. The Court found that Negro citizens in East Carroll Parish had been deprived of rights secured by the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C.A. § 1971(a), in accordance with "a pattern and practice of racial discrimination" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C.A. § 1971(c). July 12, 1962, the Court entered an order declaring that certain Negroes were qualified under Louisiana law to vote and directing that the Clerk prepare a Certificate of Qualification for each such person no later than July 23, 1962. July 19, the State of Louisiana filed suit in the state courts against Judge Edwin F. Hunter, Jr., the district judge to whom the original proceeding was assigned, and obtained a temporary restraining order against Judge Hunter enjoining him from signing the certificates. The case was removed to the federal court and after a hearing on July 24th was dismissed on the ground that the state court lacked jurisdiction over the subject matter. July 23 the State of Louisiana filed a pleading entitled "Complaint and Motion" attacking the constitutionality of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 and asking that a preliminary injunction be issued against Judge Hunter, his successors and assigns, restraining him from executing or enforcing the provisions of 42 U.S.C.A. § 1971(e). The "Complaint and Motion" requested that a three judge court be convened. A three judge court was convened and on July 24, 1962, heard argument on the constitutional question.

The constitutional attack is leveled at the provision in Section 1971(e) that:

"The court, or at its direction the voting referee, shall issue to each applicant so declared qualified a certificate identifying the holder thereof as a person so qualified."

The Attorney General for Louisiana contends:

"(1) The provision is an improper delegation of executive power to the judiciary, in violation of the principle of separation of powers in that it makes the judge a registrar;
"(2) The Act invades the rights reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment;
"(3) Issuance of registration certificates is not `a case or controversy' within the meaning of Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution."

The short answer to these contentions is that they rest on a misunderstanding of what the Act says and what the district judge does.1 The Act does not require him to function as a Registrar, even as to the issuance of certificates. The Act does not authorize the issuance of what is known as a "registration certificate" in Louisiana; it authorizes an entirely different certificate identifying the holder as qualified to vote by judgment of the Court. The certificate under the Act is a judicial notice to election officials and commissioners that the holder has a judgment of court entitling him to vote.2 In short, the court functions as a judge, not as a registrar.

The controversy is between the United States of America as the guardian of the public interest (see United States v. Raines, 1960, 362 U.S. 17, 80 S.Ct. 519, 4 L.Ed.2d 524) and the State of Louisiana. The finding of a pattern of discrimination is decision-making. The determination of the...

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5 cases
  • United States v. Manning
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Louisiana
    • 23 Febrero 1963
    ...recess at the conclusion of the hearing, the court denied the relief sought by the State and dismissed the "complaint and motion." D.C., 206 F.Supp. 623 (1962). The Tenth Amendment as a Barrier to Federal Action under the Civil Rights Act A. Background. We approach the problem posed by the ......
  • McCain v. Davis, Civ. A. No. 12937
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Louisiana
    • 15 Mayo 1963
    ...findings, conclusions, and decree the findings, conclusions and decree of the majority of this three-judge court. In United States v. Manning, W.D.La.1962, 206 F.Supp. 623 and United States v. Lassiter, W.D.La.1962, 203 F.Supp. 20, three-judge courts used a similar solution to the same II. ......
  • Bynum v. Schiro
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Louisiana
    • 1 Julio 1963
    ...of expediting justice, however, we adopt the procedure used in McCain v. Davis, 1963, E.D.La., 217 F.Supp. 661; United States v. Manning, 1962, W.D.La., 206 F.Supp. 623; and United States v. Lassiter, 1962, W. D.La., 203 F.Supp. The defendants' motions are overruled. A preliminary injunctio......
  • United States v. Fox, Civ. A. No. 11625.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Louisiana
    • 2 Noviembre 1962
    ...the constitutionality of this section having been assailed by the State of Louisiana was declared constitutional in United States v. Manning, W.D.La., 1962, 206 F.Supp. 623. See also State of Alabama v. United States, supra. The plea of unconstitutionality is therefore DECREE Pursuant to th......
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