Florida vs. the Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown vs. the Board of Education decision was the proverbial shot heard 'round the South. With Johns’s return as the Senate President, he was able to grant his most ardent wish: To form an investigative committee to break up the active NAACP and keep Florida firmly in the grip of segregation. The Florida Legislative Investigation Committee (FLIC), or the Johns Committee, scrutinized the NAACP in the late 1950s, seeking and failing to find communist agents or influence in its voter registration drive. Florida A&M University was bullied for its supposed involvement in the Tallahassee Bus Boycott in 1956-57.
Racist political literature gleaned from the LeRoy Collins, Sumter Lowry, and Terrell Sessums papers provide insight into the mind-set of many Floridians at the time. The South has repeatedly used the idea of interposition or nullification as a way for states to selectively adopt Federal statutes, tariffs, and court decisions. Interposition, which had been virtually buried by the Civil War, was revived by the South in 1954. It has most recently been impotently invoked as a way to avoid granting homosexuals the right to marry. For a decidedly Southern view of interposition, click on the link below.
Another pamphlet expounded on the “Rights of Man” in a way that any segregationist would have approved of. It is not unusual for people to justify their political beliefs by quoting Scripture. Segregationists commonly distributed pamphlets quoting the Bible to justify white supremacy.