San Diego Law Review


Jan Goldsmith

Library of Congress Authority File


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In the summer of 1973 Cairo, Illinois was boiling with racial conflict. Since the early 1960s, black citizens of Cairo, together with a small number of white persons on their behalf, had been actively seeking equality of opportunity and treatment. Apparent failure resulted in an economic boycott of city merchants who allegedly engaged in racial discrimination. Tension and antagonism among the white citizens and officials of Cairo rose, eventually arrests were made, and the criminal justice system became the center of controversy. On October 17, 1973 certain black and white residents of Cairo, having brought a class action, argued in front of the United States Supreme Court that the defendants, in the administration of criminal justice in the county, selectively discriminated against the plaintiffs and members of their class.

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