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The Walter White Project

Randy Stakeman, Jackson Stakeman, Authors

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NAACP lobbies against Judge John J. Parker's nomination to the Supreme Court

 After the failure of the Dyer Bill and other federal anti-lynching legislature in the 1920's the Association had decided that the Congress was not going to be a place where they could pursue African American civil rights and protections.  The exclusion of blacks from the electoral process meant that too many southerners were being elected on the basis of excluding African Americans from the voting process and indeed campaigning based on their antipathy to them. The Association therefore thought to rely on the federal judiciary particularly the Supreme Court who they hoped would see that local judicial decisions and actions were contrary to federal laws and the Constitution. They therefore were quite concerned about the composition of the Supreme Court.

On March 21, 1930 President Herbert Hoover nominated North Carolina Judge John J. Parker to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. Parker was a federal judge from North Carolina and in their investigation of him found that he had supported the disenfranchisement of African Americans in his 1920 campaign for governor. The Association decided to oppose his nomination and Walter White testified against him before the Senate Judiciary Committee. His testimony did little to stop the nomination which was also opposed by the American Federation of Labor because of Parker's support of so called "yellow dog" contracts which forbid worker participation in unions. Rather than lobbying senators, their usual practice, White urged the branches and members to telegraph their senators and threaten to oppose them in the elections that were to take place later that year. When the Senate narrowly defeated Parker's nomination 41-39 White said the NAACP's opposition had been the deciding factor and lavished praise on the branches that had threatened their senators with their opposition to any who supported Parker.
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