Interview with Paul Wilson
QUESTION 5
INTERVIEWER:

YOU SAID TO ME ON THE TELEPHONE THAT YOU DIDN'T FEEL THAT THE CHANCES OF WINNING THESE FIVE CASES WAS VERY GOOD, BUT THAT IN FACT, THE OTHER LAWYERS WERE MORE OPTIMISTIC, BECAUSE OF THEIR READING OF THE VARIOUS JUSTICES. YOU GAVE ME A LIST OF THE JUSTICES. I WONDER IF YOU COULD GO THROUGH THAT AGAIN FOR US AFTER THIS FIRST ARGUMENT.

Paul Wilson:

I have been a student of history most of my life. And I was able to observe the trends in the history of this country, and I felt that the time had come when this uh doctrine, which is the vestige of slavery, had to be abandoned. Nevertheless, I felt that, before the court could make a decision, and it was a very important decision, it must be fully informed. And I looked upon my job, as informing the court, insofar as I could, as to the validity of uh, of the separation of blacks and whites in public education. Other attorneys, and these were the attorneys representing the southern states, did not read history the way that I did. They read history as supporting segregation, and they read several of the justices as being committed to that history, as being unwilling to make an abrupt uh, departure from what had been the policy of this country since the beginning. They looked upon uh, well the first arguments were heard by Chief Justice Fred Vinson of Ken—of—[overlap] you're running out of tape?