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AFTERWORD Franklin Spears and Hugo Black BY MAURY MAVERICK “Ith my pleasure to inscribe this authentic story of the birth of the Constitution of the United States to Maury Maverick Jr, the son of my beloved friend the late Maury Maverick Sr…Maury believed with me that “Under our constitutional system, courts stand against any winds that blow as havens of refuge for those who might otherwise suffer because they are helples, weak, outnumbere4 or noncon forming victims of prejudice and public excitement ” Hugo Black, Supreme Court Justice, September 18, 1962 valid, lawyers like Gus Garcia, Cadena and Thurgood Marshall never would have won. And so I found it ironic that a MexicanAmerican group which had suffered discrimination would deny right of assembly and free speech to another minority. There is a hero in all this by the name of Louis Linden, a young lawyer who, partly at my request and without a fee, represented the Iranian students. It took enormous courage for Linden to do that, something you don’t see young lawyers in big Texas law firms doing. There, money is first, freedom second. The lone wolf lawyers are more often the brave ones. Cheers for Spears over his stiff spine in the Iranian student case. I hope by now he has had a cup of coffee with Justice Black. In the meantime, why don’t you big law firms establish a pro bono section and help the poor and unpopular? Maury Maverick, Jr. is longtime supporter of the Observer and a lifetime defender of civil liberties. Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Franklin Scott Spears died on April 10, 1996. This article first appeared in the May 5, 1996 edition of the San Antonio Express-News. This column is dedicated to the memory of the recently departed Texas Supreme Court Justice Franklin Spears, but first a word about Black. Black used to recommend folks read the book To Secure These Blessings, by Saul Padover. It concerns the great debates of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. I asked Black, as you see above, to inscribe the book with words from one of his own opinions. When a person dies, the usual thing is to talk of pleasant events. Instead I want to tell you of a highly unpopular but equally courageous 5-4 majority decision Spears wrote as a Texas Supreme Court Justice in the May 18, 1981 case of the Iranian Muslim Organization v. City of San Antonio. The Shah of Iran, Rezi Pahlavi, was en route to San Antonio after being .deposed by a revolution. A group of Iranian students studying in San Antonio sought a parade permit to protest the presence of the Shah. The city denied the permit. The students filed a lawsuit; the district court held with the city; the intermediate appellate court affirmed; and then the Texas Supreme Court reversed, on Spear’s majority opinion. The four-judge, popular dissent stated that the city was correct in denying the parade permit since the safety of American hostages in Iran was a factor and because there might be violence if the parade started. The dissenting opinion included this interesting comment: “The city manager was advised by a representative of a large Mexican-American organization… that granting a parade permit… would present a serious threat to the safety of the [Iranian] students. He said that ‘Chicanos Judge Franklin Spears Thomas D. Bleich were included among the hostages’ and that the people in the ‘barrio’ were upset over this fact and would probably respond to the demonstration by the Iranian students with violence.” Spears in his majority opinion wrote: “The potential danger by the city officials was the public disorder created by the hostile audience. Such fears are not a constitutionally permissible factor to be considered in regulating demonstrations….” \(In street language, this means mobs don’t determine An important part of my education in constitutional law came to me from Mexican Americans in general and Carlos Cadena in particular. When Cadena and I tried the Sporty Harvey case, which resulted in blacks having the right to box professionally against whites, the argument was made by the state that there might be violence if a white audience saw a Negro hit a white. In denying constitutional rights of minorities, including Mexican Americans, that argument of the possible violence is almost always made. If it had been ANDERSON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES TWO JEFFERSON SQUARE AUSTIN, TEXAS 78731 512-453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23 JULY 12, 1996