The Negro and Southern Politics: A Chapter of Florida History

By H. D. Price | Go to book overview
Save to active project

2. Negro registration

JUDICIAL AND LEGISLATIVE POLICY

On March 16, 1944, Florida's Attorney-General J. Tom Watson--no close relative of the Georgia Populist despite certain similarities- replied to a question submitted to him: the question whether members of the colored race should be allowed to register as Democrats. His answer, which ought to have caused the old Tom Watson to rest a little more securely in his grave, was:

Political parties in Florida do not perform a governmental function, neither do they, or either of them, constitute a governmental agency. Such parties came into existence, not as the children of statute, but as a result of the exercise of the free will and choice of those citizens who compose them. . . .

The Democratic Party in Florida, speaking through its State Democratic Executive Committee, has provided that only white persons may become members of such Party. See Resolution Number 2, adopted January 17, A.D. 1944. This determination of qualification for party membership is a valid exercise of the inherent power of the Party. . . .1

At this time the Supreme Court decision on the Texas white primary was still pending.

Just eighteen days after Mr. Watson delivered his opinion on the private nature of political parties the Supreme Court held, in the case of Smith v. Allwright, exactly the opposite. Eight of the nine Justices agreed that when the privilege of membership in a party "is also the essential qualification for voting in a primary to select nominees for a general election, the state makes the action of the party the action of the state." The wording of the decision left little hope for any form of white primary:

-26-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Negro and Southern Politics: A Chapter of Florida History
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 136

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?