Alabama's Governor Patterson insisted that the activities of the Freedom Riders and the presence of armed U.S. marshals in Montgomery were shocking violations of "our law and customs." In fact, last week's federal-state conflict involved three major questions of law—and in each case the answers lay clearly on the side of the Freedom Riders and their U.S. Government guardians.

Do the Freedom Riders have the right of unhindered passage across state lines?

The right of a U.S. citizen to move freely from one state to another has been repeatedly upheld by the Supreme Court. In 1868 the court voided a $1 tax imposed...

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