Jerry P. Shinley Archive:Subject: The SCEF's Complaint against Garrison et. al.
The SCEF's Complaint against Garrison et. al.
Date: Fri, 07 January 2000 09:49 AM EST
This is a suit by James A. Dombrowski, Executive Director of Plaintiff Southern Conference Educational Fund, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as the SCEF) and the SCEF seeking to have declared unconstitutional LSA-Revised Statutes, Title 14, Sections 358 through 388, referred to as the Subversive Activities and Communist Control [**2] Law, and LSA-Revised Statutes, Title 14, Sections 390 through 390.5, referred to as the Communist Propaganda Control Law.
The alleged purpose of the SCEF is to (1) promote the general welfare, and (2) to improve the economic, social and cultural standards of the Southern people in accordance with the highest American democratic institutions and ideals.
Defendants are James H. Pfister, a Louisiana State Representative and Chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Un-American Activities of the Louisiana Legislature, Russel R. Willie, a Major in the Louisiana State Police, Jimmie H. Davis, Governor of the State of Louisiana, Jack P. F. Gremillion, Attorney General of the State of Louisiana, Thomas D. Burbank, Commanding Officer of the Division of Louisiana State Police, and Jim Garrison, District Attorney for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana. All parties defendant are sued individually and in their official capacities.
After suit was filed a petition of intervention and complaint was filed by Benjamin E. Smith and Bruce C. Waltzer (hereinafter referred to as Intervenors). Mr. Smith is Treasurer of the SCEF and Mr. Waltzer is a 'friend and supporter' of the SCEF. The petition of intervention and complaint is fully set forth in Appendix B.
Plaintiffs basically set forth their cause of action [**3] in ten paragraphs set forth in Appendix A.
THE CAUSE OF ACTION AS ALLEGED IN THE COMPLAINT
11. The defendants herein, under color of certain statutes of the State of Louisiana, have allegedly entered into a plan or conspiracy with other persons to the plaintiffs unknown to subject or cause to be subjected the plaintiffs, citizens of the United States, to the deprivation of rights, privileges and immunities secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
12. [**24] Pursuant to this plan or conspiracy the defendants have attempted to and threaten to continue to attempt to prosecute the individual plaintiffs under the color and authority of certain state statutes, namely LSA-Revised Statutes 14:358 et seq. and 14:390 et seq.
13. Defendants Pfister and Willie, so say the plaintiffs, without proper legal authority, attempt to institute the prosecution [*565] of the individual plaintiffs by obtaining on October 2, 1963, certain warrants of arrest as well as search warrants based upon sworn affidavits alleging that the plaintiffs had conspired to violate the aforementioned statutes. These arrest and search warrants were served and acted upon by police officers under the control of the defendants herein. Despite the fact that the warrants of arrest were summarily vacated by a state Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans which gave the plaintiffs, without delay, the full relief sought upon a holding that there was no probable cause for the issuance of the warrants, defendant Pfister nevertheless threatened and continues to threaten to attempt to obtain new prosecutions of the plaintiffs and to hold legislative hearings under the [**25] same statutes.
14. It is averred that on Friday, November 8, 1963, the Joint Legislative Committee on Un-American Activities of the Louisiana Legislature held an 'open hearing' in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at which hearing defendant Pfister, as well as counsel for the said committee, Rogers, utilized photostats of certain documents seized on October 4, 1963, under the alleged authority of the aforesaid search warrants. The Committee thereupon adopted a resolution naming plaintiffs corporation as a 'communist front' and further calling upon defendant Garrison to prosecute officials of this corporation including plaintiff Dombrowski, under the provisions of the statutes herein cited. Pfister and Rogers have further publicly announced their intention of delivering to Garrison copies of documents illegally seized from the plaintiffs for the purpose of presenting the said copies to the Orleans Parish Grand Jury and for institution of criminal proceedings under the same statutes.
15. It is alleged that LSA-Revised Statutes 14:358 through 14:388 and LSA-Revised Statutes 14:390 through 14:390.5 are void and illegal on their face as applied to the plaintiffs herein, in that they violate [**26] the Constitution of the United States and in particular the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments thereto. These state statutes violate the fundamental guarantees of free speech, press, assembly and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. They violate the guarantee of due process of law in that they are vague and indefinite and fail to meet the requirements of certainty in criminal statutes. They violate the prohibitions against ex post facto legislation and bills of attainder and represent an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power, all in violation of the Constitution of the United States.
16. The aforesaid state statutes are likewise void and illegal and of no force or effect in that they invade areas preempted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States by statutes and laws enacted by the Congress of the United States.
17. Pursuant to the aforesaid conspiracy and plan the defendants have threatened and continue to threaten to enforce the said unconstitutional void and illegal state statutes against the plaintiffs herein for the sole purpose of subjecting and causing to be subjected the plaintiffs and the members, [**27] friends and supporters of the plaintiff corporation to the deprivation of rights, privileges and immunities secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
18. The plaintiffs and the members, friends and supporters of the plaintiff corporation have been attempting through peaceful and non-violent means to achieve the elimination of all forms of racial segregation in the states of the South and the State of Louisiana and to assist and encourage Negro citizens to exercise their rights to register and vote in federal and state elections. These objectives are specifically protected and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments thereto. In their constant efforts to achieve these constitutionally protected efforts, the plaintiffs and the members, friends and supporters of the plaintiff corporation have been attempting to exercise [*566] rights guaranteed under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to freedom of speech, press, assembly and association and the right to assemble, associate and petition for a redress of grievances.
19. Unless this Court restrain the operation and enforcement of these [**28] void, invalid and unconstitutional state statutes, the plaintiffs, and the members, friends and supporters of the plaintiff corporation will suffer immediate and irreparable injury.
The sole purpose, intention and effect of threatening to enforce said statute is to deter, intimidate, hinder and prevent the plaintiffs and the members, friends and supporters of plaintiff corporation from exercising their fundamental constitutional rights guaranteed under the First and Fourteenth Amendments in their efforts to enforce the equality under the law guaranteed by the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.
It is prayed that unless this court restrains the operation and enforcement of these void, invalid and unconstitutional state statutes, the plaintiffs and the members, friends and supporters of the plaintiff corporation will continue to suffer the most serious, immediate and irreparable injury in that they will continue to be deterred, intimidated, hindered and prevented from exercising elementary and fundamental Federal constitutional rights.
It should be noted that the only time these plaintiffs sought relief in a state tribunal the relief was forthwith granted by the state [**29] criminal district court.
Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.
Back to the top
Back to Jerry Shinley Archive menu
Back to Jim Garrison menu
Back to JFK menu
Dave Reitzes home page