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U.S. Judge Garza on a Demonstrator- `I’d Probably Kick Him–‘ Austin Federal District Judge Reynaldo Garza of Brownsville said to the Harlingen Rotary Club, “Suppose someone comes and lies down on the entrance to a store to block it, protesting against the owner not serving someone, not hiring the right persons or for any other reasonthat person blocking the door may not be using any violence, but he is inciting the store owner to violence. If I was the storeowner, I would probably kick him in the butt and get him out of there.” “At this point,” Garza has also advised the Observer, “I said that if any storeowner was violating the law, the courts were the place to bring the violator to justice, and people should not attempt to take the law into their own hands.” He confirmed that he told the Rotarians, “We are allowing our children to lose their respect for law. We can’t preserve our rights by disobeying laws passed by Congress or by violating the decisions of the courts. We have a government of laws, not of men.” The 1964 civil rights act prohibits refusals to serve persons at public accommodations on the basis of race. Garza said he did not say what the Valley Morning Star reported on August 21 that he had said, to wit: “What if a storeowner refuses to serve someone and that fellow comes and sits on his doorstep? He may not be violent, but he’s inviting the owner to violence. I would kick his butt and get him out of there.” The Star said the Rotarians “burst into applause” at this. “I did say,” Garza also told the Observer, “that civil rights leaders ‘tell us they are going to have civil disobedience without violence,’ and I also said, “There is no such animal.” The executive board of Hidalgo County’s Political Assn. of Spanish-speaking Organiquoted correctly in the Starwhich, be it again noted, he says he was not to the extent here set out”It seems incredible that a federal judge should be suggesting to the businessmen that they take the law in their own hands and resort to violence to remove a peaceful nonviolent demonstrator.” PASO’s county board charged that Garza is “a silver-spooned” person who fails to identify with the Latin-American poor. “Federal judges can be impeached and removed from office for misconduct, and Judge Garza is guilty of the worst sort of misconduct when he publicly suggests that store owners resort to violence instead of to the due process of law,” PASO said. Garza “proposes to use his boot” against civil rights demonstrators, the statement also said. Garza confirmed to the Observer that he told the Rotarians, as correctly reported in the Star, that on the subject of the pros and cons of civil disobedience, “I can’t find anything to say in favor of it. I don’t know of any pros. All I know is cons.” This remark also touched off a round of applause from the Rotarians, the Star reported. On the disorders in Los Angeles, Garza told the Rotarians, “This is not a riot. It is an insurrection.” He confirmed that he also said, “We have been coddling these punks too long.” The Star’s banner headline on Garza’s speech read, “U.S. Judge Garza Blisters Rioting ‘Punks’ Before Cheering Rotarians.” However, Garza said, he had made clear that he was discussing people who take the law into their own hands and who do not want to enforce laws equally because they don’t think certain laws are good or constitutional; he had said that a man who tries to take the law into his own hands is a punk, and then it was that he had said, “We have been coddling these punks too long,” the judge said. He had mentioned the civil rights act of 1964 and other laws and in this context said, “We have given them everything they want. They ought to give these laws a chance to work. I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that we should pacify people because they have been kept down too long.” All wrongs can be righted within the framework of our government, the judge says he remarked; then, he confirms, he said, “I don’t know what these people want. They have the same opportunities as anyone else.” Garza told the Rotarians his family once J. The Tuesday Election There has been a certain muted furor about the Sept. 7 vote on expanding the Texas Senate from 31 to 39 members, but the electorate has shown few signs of interest. Senators have been arguing in print for 39 members on the basis of giving senators smaller districts and therefore a closer working relationship with their constituents as well as fewer committee assignments; some of the senators frankly mention also their desire that rural senators who will lose under redistricting be saved. A statement from five East Texas senators, Aikin, Calhoun, Dies, Hall, and Strong, said under a 31-member Senate four cities could have 13 of the 31 members and “worse still, seven senators from rural areas would be forced out of the Senate.” Sens. Watson, Creighton, and Richter made hired a Mexican maid who had first come to his home as a wetback. “I mean she was dripping wet. I had to get her papers for her.” \(Wetbacks were Mexican nationals who crossed into the United States illegally by the hundreds of thousands as late as 1954. Many of them found work in the Rio Grande Valley. Garza, a native of Brownsville, has served on the Brownsville city commission and the school board and is past president of the Brownsville Rotary The wetback maid, Garza continued, eventually became a U.S. citizen and married, and she and her husband went to Los Angeles and took jobs in an apartment house and store. “Today,” Judge Garza said, “they own the apartments and the store and the wife has a chauffeur to drive her around in a brand new car. Keep in mind that this was a little wetback who came to my house in 1946. Isn’t that a success story? It’s happening all over the country. Where else in the world would you have such opportunity? And yet those people in Los Angeles are complaining.” The Star, one of the ‘papers in the Hoiles chain, editorialized that “The judge spoke straight from the shoulder and in a language the Rotarians understood and liked,” and the Star endorsed all he had said. The newspaper’s editorial said approvingly that “Not once did Judge Garza hint that maybe poverty, sub-standard housing, second rate schools and things like that might have been the root cause of the Los Angeles violence. Peace-lovin’ Martin Luther King, who has publicly announced he intends to violate laws he considers unjust, probably would have been ill at ease at the luncheon.” Judge Garza remarked to the Observer, as to this editorial, “I can assure you that if Martin Luther King would have been ill at ease, as the editor suggests, Governor Wallace would have been also.” T statements for 39; Sen. Reagan said be sure to vote, but didn’t say how. Sen. Parkhouse of Dallas is the only big-city senator for 39 openly; Sen. Spears of San Antonio is opposed to it, as is Sen. Schwartz of Galveston. The Dallas News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram endorse 39; the Houston Chronicle opposes it. The Dallas chamber of commerce favors it; the executive committee of the U. of Houston Young Democrats opposes. The AFL-CIO has put out a mass pamphlet opposing it, asking if 23 congressmen are enough, why aren’t 31 senators? A lobby group led by Tom Suggs of Missouri-Pacific and Jim Taylor of the truckers’ lobby is circulating a pamphlet entitled “Vote TexanVote for SJR 44,” urging preservation of rural representation. Speaker Ben Barnes says he’ll vote for 39 senators but against four-year House terms in November. September 3, 1965 5 Political Intelligen