Julian Bond

The Election of Julian Bond: 1966-1967

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"Court Hears Two Georgia Election Suits, Gives Bond Seat." Congressional Quarterly 24, no. 49 (December 9, 1966): 2997.

On December 5, 1966, the United States Supreme Court handed down their unanimous decision (9-0) in favor of Julian Bond, in the Julian Bond v. James "Sloppy" Floyd case. This article briefly announces that decision.


Georgia House. Julian Bond v. James "Sloppy" Floyd; reversed by a 9-0 vote Dec. 5, 1966.

Julian Bond, 26 years old, was an Atlanta, Ga., Negro who was elected to the Georgia House on June 15, 1965. On Jan. 6, 1966, he endorsed a statement of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a militant civil rights organization, which denounced the Viet Nam war. He added that he was "eager and anxious to encourage people not to participate in it for any reason that they choose.... I'm against all war.... Because I'm against war, I'm against the draft...." For those similar statements, he was excluded, and won the regular election Nov. 8.

Chief Justice Earl Warren, writing for the Court, said that Bond's statements were protected by the 1st Amendment, that he could not constitutionally be prosecuted for making them and that the Georgia House violated Bond's freedom of speech in disqualifying him. "The manifest function of the 1st Amendment in a representative government requires that legislators be given the widest latitude to express their views on issues of policy," the Chief Justice said. The Court reversed a three-judge federal district court which had upheld the House.

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