Julius Chambers

PFAW Foundation Remembers Civil Rights Hero Julius Chambers

We here at People For the American Way Foundation are deeply saddened by the passing of Julius Chambers, a trailblazing civil rights lawyer and former People For the American Way Foundation board member.  In the 1960s, Chambers opened what became the first integrated law firm in North Carolina and later went on to lead the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund.  Throughout his life, he fought and won cases on school desegregation and discrimination, including a case on public school integration – Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education– that went all the way to the Supreme Court and paved the way for the use of busing to counter segregation. 

But as the New York Times noted yesterday:

Mr. Chambers’s victories came with a cost. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Swann, his offices were firebombed. After his successes in 1965, his car was firebombed and two bombs exploded in his home.

His response was defiant; he said he would “keep fighting.”

More than forty years later, during a 2008 PFAW Foundation panel on the future of the Supreme Court, Chambers made it clear that he was still fighting.  He underscored his commitment to “us[ing] the courts to correct the injustices that we see still perpetuated today,” including discrimination against low-income people.

It is not difficult to see why the North Carolina NAACP chapter described Chambers as “a man of tremendous courage.” 
 

PFAW Foundation

Beyond the Sigh of Relief: Justices in the Role of Marshall and Brennan

Transcript of an event at the National Press Club about nominating and confirming justices who will defend personal freedoms and fundamental rights.

Discussion on Obama and the Future of the Supreme Court

On December 9, People For the American Way Foundation will present a panel discussion entitled "Beyond the Sigh of Relief: Justices in the Mold of Marshall and Brennan" to examine what an ideal justice looks like in the twenty-first century. What: "Beyond the Sigh of Relief: Justices in the Mold of Marshall and Brennan"; When: December 9, 2008, 2:30 p.m.; Who: Kathryn Kolbert (moderator), Julius Chambers, Dahlia Lithwick, John Payton, and Jamin Raskin
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