Interview with Paul Wilson
QUESTION 6
INTERVIEWER:

SO WE ARE GOING TO GO, GO BACK TO THIS, THIS QUESTION OF YOUR FEELINGS AFTER.

Paul Wilson:

I was not particularly optimistic about winning the case. It seemed to me that the law had failed to keep up with the social conscience of this country, and that uh, the time had come when this policy of segregation, which was a vestige of human slavery, ought to be abandoned. However, in the process of abandonment, the court had to be fully informed about the uh, the merits. And there was some merit on the side of the uh — in the Kansas case, of the appellee. The case was not frivolous. But, as I indicated, I thought the time had come for a change in policy. Other attorneys, representing the southern states, particularly, were optimistic that the court might decide in their favor. And they looked at history, or what they thought was history, to reach that conclusion. They were at first concerned about the long standing policy of segregation in public education, that had existed from the beginning of public education in their states, and secondly, they looked at the court, and they were almost uh, able to count the votes that would be in their favor. Uh, the first arguments were before Chief Justice Vinson who was, I think, from Kentucky. They thought his vote was with them. Uh, Justice Clark was from Texas. They looked upon him as being a vote in their favor. Justice Minton was from southern Indiana, and they thought that he might be sympathetic. Justice Frankfurter was um, much influenced, in most cases, by history, and the trends of history, and they felt that he would not be willing to depart so abruptly from what history had taught. And others, they looked at Justice Jackson, uh, from New York, as a possible vote on their side. In any case, they were much more optimistic about winning, than I was.