Other: Southern College Teaching Program, 1965, Texas
I went South to New Orleans in the summer of 1964 as a CORE volunteer under the late Richard Haley, with my former wife Benita Kaimowitz. I became attached to the Lawyers' Constitutional Defense Committee and did research on bail opportunities in Mississippi at the law firm of Collins, Douglas, and Elie. I traveled to Jackson and McComb; in the former, at LCDC meeting, I was asked by a black junior high student, to connect him with the lawyers, because he and his friends were hiding white students who were prepared to desegregate Jackson public schools in the fall. I was referred to Marian Wright (later Edelman), then of the NAACP. She contacted the National which vetoed the proposal, because it was too dangerous. Since then, I have tried to find out if white students ever volunteered for integration.
In the following summer, I and Benita taught at then Bishop College in Dallas, TX, as a part of a Southern College Teaching Program. What I and my colleagues learned about how white trustees used the place to deter blacks from applying for or attending SMU or Baylor, and what black college administrators did to deter the students from meaningful education prompted us to lead a demonstration on campus which attracted nationwide publicity about the abuses. Later in the summer, after we were driven from the campus, I was among CORE volunteers who picketed a ladies' ready-to-wear store in Bogalusa, LA. I and others who attended Free Southern Theatre performances there were protected by the black Deacons for Defense.
My participation in Dallas in the demonstrations almost prevented my admission to the Bar in New York. I was among three law student graduates who objected to character & fitness questions; the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, LSCRCC v. Waldmond. I have practiced in federal and on occasion in state courts for 31 years, primarily if not exclusively in civil rights and poverty law litigation. I was general lead counsel in 1977-79 for black children who forced the Ann Arbor School District to take into account their black English dialect during their education at an Ann Arbor elementary school. In 1981, while at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund, I was among the attorneys who went to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect a decision postponing the New York City mayoral election, until the U.S. Justice Department approved a legislative reapportionment plan.
Mostly recently, I have been a founder of Attorneys Against American Apartheid, an organization which has pursued False Claims Act litigation to show that federal funds have been misused in Orlando and other cities to reinforce segregration in downtown ghettos.