Julian Bond


The Election of Julian Bond: 1966-1967

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"Georgia House Dispute." Congressional Quarterly 24, no. 3 (January 21, 1966): 255.

This article covers many developments in the Julian Bond controversy. Among the items of interest is Georgia Governor Carl E. Sanders (D) calling for a special election to fill the vacant seat that Bond had just been elected to. Said Bond of the special election, "[The election] cannot legally be required of me. I will seek re-election. I must serve the people who elected me."

There is also a brief report on the demonstration at the Georgia State Capitol led by Dr. Martin Luther King (the planning for the demonstration is described in the previous document). The rally was attended by approximately 1,000 people. King stated, "Whether or not you agree with Mr. Bond's stand and with his statement, it would have to be said that Julian Bond is calling for peace. We would all agree that we need peace in the world."

Finally, the article describes two telegrams sent to Georgia Governor Sanders from 23 Democratic and 8 Republican members of the United States Congress deploring the situation. Names of all the members who wrote the telegram are given. The Republican telegram called the denial of Bond's seat "a dangerous attack on representative government. None of us agree with Mr. Bond's views on the Vietnam War; in fact we strongly repudiate these views. But unless otherwise determined by a court of law, which the Georgia Legislature is not, he is entitled to express them."




FULL TEXT


A three-judge federal panel Jan. 28 will hear arguments in a suit brought by Julian Bond (D), 26, a Negro who was refused his seat by the Georgia House of Representatives Jan. 10 for endorsing a statement issued by the militant Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) which condemned the war in Viet Nam. Bond, who was elected to the Georgia House along with seven other Negroes in a special election June 16, 1965, had also expressed his admiration for those who burned their draft cards in protest of the war. Bond is public relations director for SNCC. (Weekly Report p. 46).

The Georgia House acted under authority granted to it by the state constitution which reads: "Each House shall be the judge of the election, returns, and qualifications of its members and shall have power to punish them for disorderly behavior, or misconduct, by censure, fine, imprisonment, or expulsion..."

In his suit, Bond alleged the action punished him for exercising his right of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment and alleged violations of rights under six other Amendments. Gov. Carl E. Sanders (D) Jan. 17 set Feb. 23 as the date of a special election to fill Bond's seat -- five days after the General Assembly's current session concludes. Bond said he would be a candidate although he felt the special election "cannot legally be required of me. I will seek re-election. I must serve the people who elected me."

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a constituent of Bond's, Jan. 14 led a demonstration to the Georgia State Capitol protesting Bond's denial of his seat. King, who has also spoken against the war in Viet Nam, said, "Whether or not you agree with Mr. Bond's stand and with his statement, it would have to be said that Julian Bond is calling for peace. We would agree that we need peace in the world." One of King's aides, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy threatened to "fill the House Chamber" with demonstrators unless Bond was seated. Only about 1,000 participated in the demonstration.

RELATED DEVELOPMENTS Twenty-three Liberal Democratic Representatives Jan. 12 sent Gov. Sanders a telegram protesting "the denial to Julian Bond of his seat in the Georgia House on the basis of the unpopularity of his political views on one of the great issues confronting our nation." Many of the House Democrats were, like Bond, opposed to the U.S. effort in Viet Nam. Those signing the telegram were Reps. Burton (Calif.); Edwards (Calif.); Hawkins (Calif.); Brown (Calif.); Cameron (Calif.); Cohelan (Calif.); Leggett (Calif.); Van Deerlin (Calif.); Conyers (Mich.); Diggs (Mich.); Fraser (Minn.); Ryan (N.Y.); Scheuer (N.Y.); Rosenthal (N.Y.); Dow (N.Y.); Resnick (N.Y.); Vanik (Ohio); Nix (Pa.); Reuss (Wis.); and Krebs (N.J.).

Eight Republican Members of Congress Jan. 15 said the denial to Bond of his seat was "a dangerous attack on representative government. None of us agree with Mr. Bond's views on the Vietnam War; in fact we strongly repudiate these views. But unless otherwise determined by a court of law, which the Georgia Legislature is not, he is entitled to express them." Signing the statements were Sens. Case (N.J.); Scott (Pa.) and Javits (N.Y.); and Reps. Conte (Mass.); Horton (N.Y.); McDade (Pa.); Morse (Mass.); and Tupper (Maine).


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