The Law: Word to the Wise

For five years the Supreme Court has thrown out Southern convictions for nearly every kind of civil rights demonstration. So last week the court's reversal seemed inevitable in the case of Henry Brown and other CORE demonstrators, whose "standup" in a Clinton, La., public library resulted in their conviction for disturbing the peace.

Win the demonstrators did—but in a remarkably close 5 to 4 decision that apparently signaled the Supreme Court's growing disenchantment with ever bolder civil rights demonstrations. Though the Negroes were protesting an unconstitutionally segregated library system, the angriest of four...

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