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Attorney for the Southern District of New York and a federal district judge in the Southern District of New York) relegated Giles to an unimportant supporting role (literally as a footnote) in his attack on the 1903 report of the committee on political reform of the Union League Club of New York (which had been enormously critical of the disfranchising conventions).
119) In his texts on constitutional law, Willoughby simply referred his readers to Giles and Teasley "If]or other attempts to obtain judicial pronouncements upon the constitutionality of these disfranchising clauses in the State Constitutions.
25, 1908, at 1 (quoting Congressman Hardwick explaining approvingly how proposed constitutional provisions in Georgia would have the effect of disfranchising all African Americans).
Long after Mills, Southern disfranchising conventions worried expressely about whether their work would survive challenge under the Reconstruction Amendments; suffrage provisions were self-consciously crafted to minimize the risk, perceived as real, that the federal courts would invalidate them.
In The Canon, I sought to document how recent and fragile the white electoral majorities were that approved disfranchisement in a border state like North Carolina, and how even in the deepest South, the disfranchising constitution of Alabama was adopted by a thin, nominal majority itself made possible only by overwhelming fraud.
But while the convention was debating ratification, the popular vote in Alabama took place; as described in The Canon, the Alabama disfranchising constitution was rejected in the white counties and adopted only because it won overwhelming--and obviously fraudulently--majorities in the black counties.
76) The disfranchising constitution was approved with only 57% of the vote (a margin of 26,879 votes), and the total vote was against it in 54 of the state's 66 counties.
In the odd context of an appeal from a murder conviction, the disfranchising provisions of the 1890 Mississippi Constitution had been brought to the Court in Williams v.
This is from the Alabama Constitutional Convention, but similar statements were widespread across Southern disfranchising states.
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