Judges: Deactivating an Activist

The word "activist," applied to a judge, usually refers to his judicial philosophy. It suggests a man who is always ready to extend the reach of the judiciary. In the case of Elbert Parr Tuttle, the description applies dramatically. For six years, Tuttle was chief judge of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which deals with such "Heart of Dixie" states as Mississippi and Alabama; under him that court has been a vital prod to civil rights.

When a lower-court judge ruled that 1,081 Negro children should be expelled from Birmingham schools...

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