Morgan v. Commonwealth Of Virginia
- (328 U.S. 373 1946)In 1946, an African American woman, Irene Morgan, was arrested for refusing to give up her seat and move to the segregated area on a bus traveling from Virginia to Baltimore, Maryland. She was fined for failing to obey the segregation laws, which she denied, and for resisting arrest, to which she pleaded guilty. Backed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the association’s lawyer, Thurgood Marshall, Morgan appealed the issue of segregation on the grounds that her journey involved interstate travel. The Supreme Court ruled by 7-1 in her favor on the grounds that no state law “can reach beyond its border” and therefore that segregation in interstate transportation was unconstitutional. In 1947, 16 members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) rode into the South on buses on a “journey of reconciliation” to test the law. Twelve of them were arrested, although in most cases no charges were brought against them and little attention was given to the events. However, in 1961 CORE launched “Freedom Rides” into the South that received national and international coverage and challenged the persistence of segregation in interstate transportation.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.
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