Interview with William Coleman


William Coleman:

I thought that uh… well I guess I'm by nature an optimist. I felt that we probably would win. At that time I didn't think that the case would he unanimous. Uh, uh, for example I had grave doubts uh, as to whether Mr. Justice Reed would go along. I know, I knew from my experience with the court that he had been involved in uh, some cases where he, if pressed, would have reaffirmed Plessy which was a case that upheld segregation. Uh, I uh… had some reservations about maybe one or two other people but… on the other hand, I, I felt that the court is particularly attuned to history. And that therefore that may be the thing that would sweep it through. I think that if and when we ever get an opportunity to examine the actual history of what went on within the court, that history will reveal that uh… uh, Mr. Justice, uh, I mean Chief Justice Earl Warren had a lot to do with it. But also that Mr. Justice Frankfurter had a lot to do with getting the court to decide the case forthrightly and also getting the court to be unanimous, uh…