Fordham Collection – Civil Rights

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  • Lakeland Memorial Park: In 1972, Fordham represented a group of litigants in a civil rights case against the Lakeland Memorial Park cemetary, who were restricting burials to whites-only in North Carolina. He won the case, in which the District Court in it’s notice held that Lakeland Memorial be “restricted from issuing deeds or instruments conveying burial rights, containing racially restrictive covenants, conditions or restrictions, or in anywise maintaining any policy of discrimination in sales to or interment of racial group~ other than caucasian race.”
  • The Anti-Riot Bill: In August 1967, a bill was presented to the Senate which would make it a federal crime to cross state lines to incite a riot. Fordham opposed the bill, which was essentially a response to the 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles, Fordham saw the bill as discrimintory stating that the bill was “”simply a big stick reaction to violence and lawlessness not directed to the meeting of our responsibilities as a people to nurture wholesome conditions of life and equality of opportunity for all without regard to group characteristics”
  • Congressional Ethics: In 1967, Fordham proposed setting up an “independent committee or commission to study the subject of ethical problems in the legislative branch and make recommendations as to legislative action”. He concluded his initial letter on the idea sent to his friend Mrs. Catherine Drinker Bowen – a famous biographer at the time – by saying “nepostism is thoroughly bad business and should be outlawed”
  • Consitutional Amendments: In 1963, Fordham was part of the Consitutional Amendment Subcommittee for S.J. Resolution 148, which he was vehemently opposed to.
  • Individual Rights and responisibilities in the ABA: In the summer of 1966, Fordham was coming into the home stretch of establishing a special section in the bylaws of the ABA to establish rights of individual lawyers in the ABA.