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Oral History Interview with Howell Heflin, July 9, 1974. Interview A-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Howell Heflin, who sat on the Alabama State Supreme Court in the 1970s before a two-decade tenure in the Unites States Senate, discusses the post-segregation Alabama judiciary. The story is a familiar one: the persistent influence of race in a slowly changing environment. In the first half of the interview, Heflin describes some recent judicial reforms and his discomfort with the fact that judges must campaign for their seats. He worries that judges might be tempted to rule in favor of contributors. In the second half, Heflin turns to racial politics and comments on George Wallace and Barry Goldwater, as well as observing the arrival of a new generation of so-called activist judges taking the bench across the country.
  • Worries that campaign contributions affect judicial rulings
  • Race as a powerful electoral issue in the South
  • Race as a powerful electoral issue in the South
  • Alabama voters are conservative and educated, despite the influence of television
  • Wallace's popularity based on sympathy
  • Race as a powerful electoral issue in the South
  • Surprise at civil rights' slow progress
  • New generation of Alabama judges more willing to rule progressively
  • Noting southern judges who upheld Brown v. Board
  • Controversial court decisions eventually absorbed into mainstream
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Alabama--Politics and government
  • Wallace, George C. (George Corley), 1919-
  • Alabama--Race relations
  • Courts--Alabama
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.