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Fri, 09.28.1962

Meredith v. Fair is Ruled

Motley, Meredith and Greenberg

*On this date in 1962. Meredith v. Fair was ruled.  This was a desegregation suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on May 31, 1961. This involved the desegregation of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Plaintiff, transfer student and activist James Meredith, claimed that he had been denied admission to Ole Miss solely because of his race. 

Argued by Constance Baker Motley and Jack Greenberg, Meredith v. Fair was a case which became a first step in integrating the University of Mississippi by allowing the enrollment of student James Meredith. Initially, Meredith filed for a temporary restraining order with his complaint. This motion was denied by the district court because it found that there was evidence to conclude that Meredith was not denied admission to Ole Miss solely because of his race; rather, he did not meet the Ole Miss entrance requirements. 199 F. Supp. 754 (S.D. Miss. 1961).

The Fifth Circuit upheld this decision. Even though the Fifth Circuit admitted that Ole Miss' entrance requirements denied black applicants their equal protection rights, a full trial was needed "to clarify the muddy record." 298 F.2d 696 (5th Cir. 1962). 

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