Dear Congressman Abbitt

“Dear Congressman Abbitt”

Virginians and National Politics, 1948-1973

[Letter] 1957 May 2, Washington, D.C. [to] Honorable Emanuel Celler, Washington, D.C.

Title

[Letter] 1957 May 2, Washington, D.C. [to] Honorable Emanuel Celler, Washington, D.C.

Description

A letter from Abbitt to Emanuel Celler, Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, protesting what he deemed a delay in committee hearings on his proposed bill, H.R. 3006, which aimed to guarantee a trial by jury in contempt cases.. Abbitt had introduced his bill during House debate of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Opponents of the bill, including Abbitt, wanted to guarantee that any person charged with contempt for disobeying a judge’s order could demand trial by jury. Since juries were all white throughout the South, these bills were aimed to prevent conviction of those who opposed judicial injunctions for desegregation. Abbitt told Celler it was “imperative that your committee proceed to hold hearing on my bill…and any other similar bills.” Failure to pass his bill or similar ones would, he wrote, “deprive our citizens of the sacred constituational right of a trial by jury."

Creator

Abbitt, Watkins Moorman, 1908-1998

Date

1957-05-02

Contributor

Celler, Emmanuel

Relation

Congressman Watkins Moorman Abbitt Papers.

Type

Text.

Spatial Coverage

Washington, D.C.

Files

Collection

Citation

Abbitt, Watkins Moorman, 1908-1998, “[Letter] 1957 May 2, Washington, D.C. [to] Honorable Emanuel Celler, Washington, D.C. ,” Dear Congressman Abbitt, accessed November 23, 2017, http://abbitt.richmond.edu/items/show/311.

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