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Erwin N. Griswold, dean of the Law School, yesterday stood squarely behind the Civil Rights Commission which Tuesday urged President Kennedy to consider withholding Federal funds from Mississippi until the state ends its "subversion of the Constitution."
A member of the six-man Commission, Griswold predicted that the withholding of funds might act as a lever to force Mississippi to end discrimination. Acknowledging that such action might widen the breach between the Southern state and the Federal Government, he declared that Mississippi could no longer ignore its responsibilities to the rest of the nation.
In any case, he said, the President has the Constitutional duty to use whatever means are available to see that the laws of the nation are faithfully executed.
Cites FAA Grant
The Commission does not advise "cutting off every nickel cold, leaving widows and children," he said. However, it would prevent another grant like that of the Federal Aviation Agency, which provided $2,180,000 for a jet airport in Jackson, Miss., without questioning the plan for separate eating and restroom facilities.
Griswold denied that it was unusual for the Commission to make an interim report like this one, between its regular biennial reports. "We've done it several times before," he said.
In its report to President Kennedy, the Civil Rights Commission said: "The open and flagrant violation of Constitutional guarantees in Mississippi has precipitated serious conflict. Each week brings fresh evidence of the danger of a complete breakdown of law and order."
It suggested that the President and Congress consider legislation to see whether "Federal funds contributed by citizens of all states" should be given "to any state which continues to refuse to abide by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
"Massive assistance to the economy of Mississippi has continued past the time when the state placed itself in direct defiance of the Constitution and Federal Court orders," the report said.
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