Interview with Judge John Minor Wisdom
QUESTION 15
INTERVIEWER:

THATS ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL, BUT …… I'D LIKE TO ASK YOU THIS TIME ABOUT THE DOCTRINE OF INTERPOSITION. THE BASIS FOR IT AND YOUR OPINION OF IT OF COURSE, LEGALLY AND PERHAPS YOU COULD RELATE IT TO THE WAY GOVERNOR BARNETT USED INTERPOSITION IN THIS CASE.

Judge John Minor Wisdom:

The doctrine of interposition is a completely false doctrine and never existed. It has its roots back in John C. Calhoun's days and probably before then. The doctrine is that a state may interpose itself between the national government and some action that is sought to be imposed upon the state by some of its subdivisions by the Federal government. The supremacy clause, which provides that in case of a conflict between the nation and the states, the nation, the law of the nation prevails. Makes hash of the doctrine of interposition and any lawyer worth his salt knows that. And Barnett was a lawyer who made a good living, still making a good living out of the law and he knew better than that.** So it was even worse for Barnett to get on the air and talk about interposing the state of Mississippi between the national government or the supreme court, and the state, and the University of Mississippi. Now that, so it was really, it really was, a, strictly phony argument that could appeal only to the uninformed.