Ashland has a reputation for attracting fascinating and accomplished people whose stories would span the globe and project listeners into some of the most fascinating places and situations of our time.  Giants in many fields literally walk among us in this community.

One such was retired attorney Ralph Temple, a much-admired activist in the Rogue Valley whose name and likeness appeared many times in the Ashland Daily Tidings and Mail Tribune, relating to a host of important community issues over the last fifteen years. His face and voice were frequently heard on local television news broadcasts. Ralph passed away last Saturday evening, leaving a massive legacy of legislation passed, regulations drafted, and enumerable fascinating papers and articles. Even his closest friends in Ashland could not have grasped the scope of his involvement in key national affairs during his long career in Washington D.C.  It would only scratch the surface of his story to say that he worked directly with Dr. Martin Luther King, Bela Abzug, and a who’s who roster of Supreme Court Justices and other luminaries.

The following article, printed in memory of Ralph, captures amazing period in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s.  Ralph offers insight into issues of peaceful demonstration and free speech that have only grown more important today.  Of equal interest, the story provides a glimpse into a mind that will be tremendously missed by those who love him.

THE QUAKERS

©Ralph Temple
2/11/03, rev. 2/19/08

In April of 1969, during the Vietnam War, I received a telephone call from Larry Scott, the leader of A Quaker Action Group, a segment of The American Society of Friends in Philadelphia.  The police had told Scott that protest  gatherings were not allowed at the Capitol, but the Quakers were prepared to engage in civil disobedience as part of their witnessing against the war.  Scott asked me whether the Washington, D.C. chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, of which I was legal director, would represent any who might be arrested.

The ACLU’s commitment to freedoms of speech and assembly had inspired it, sometimes at great cost in popularity and financial support, to assert those rights even on behalf of groups as loathsome as American Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.  Larry Scott’s request presented a core ACLU case, citizens assembling at the seat of government to petition for a redress of grievances, an exercise of First Amendment rights, as the Supreme Court once put it, “in their most pristine and classic form.”

The ACLU maintained a list of about two hundred attorneys in Washington, D.C., who stood ready to volunteer for ACLU cases without charge — lawyers in large law firms representing corporate and other business interests, sole or small firm practitioners, academics, and law students.  My job, as legal director, was to find a match for each case the ACLU undertook,  a lawyer whose schedule, abilities, and preferences in civil liberties issues aligned with the case.  I recruited a team of ten volunteer lawyers to deal with the Quaker cases.

The United States Capitol consists of a spacious center, 180 feet high, capped by a stately dome, and two wings, one extending north and housing the Senate, and the other extending south, for the House of Representatives.  The main entrance way to the building is up the long steps, at the center of the east side of the building, sixty-five feet wide at their base.  Security has turned the building into a virtual fortress today, but, back then, crowds of legislators, lobbyists, and tourists flowed over those steps every day.  It was at the middle of those steps, for one afternoon a week, from late May through the summer of l969, that the Philadelphia Friends clustered in groups of ten or fifteen, and, in loud, clear voices, read from the Congressional Record the list of Americans killed in Vietnam.  They were hard to miss.

The government was always on the alert in those years to stop anti-war demonstrations when it could, and promptly came up with an antiquated statute that prohibited “assemblages” on the Capitol grounds.  This law had for generations been disregarded for most “assemblages” visiting the Capitol — students, boy scouts,  Kiwanis clubs,  religious and civic groups, and the like.  However, when it came to protests against  government policy, the United States Capitol Police were ready to enforce it.

Each afternoon weekly, that spring and summer, as the Quakers stood calmly reading aloud on the steps, James Powell, the Chief of the Capitol  Police, recited a prepared statement over a megaphone.  Powell, a West Virginian who looked like a small town sheriff, announced that, as custodian of the Capitol grounds, he was declaring the assemblage  a violation of the statute, and ordering those gathered to disperse.  The Chief warned that if they failed to do so they would be arrested.  Each week, the Quakers quietly disregarded the Chief’s order, submitted cooperatively to arrest and booking, and were transported to the cellblock of the District of Columbia Court of General Sessions, the local court, where they would wait their turn to be  arraigned.

The courthouse at 5th and E Streets, Northwest, was a three-story, rundown building in a rundown neighborhood.  The lawyers who defended against the minor criminal charges over which the court had jurisdiction  were the “Fifth Streeters,” sole practitioners with humble offices in the 5th street area who were appointed by the court to represent indigents and who were dependent on the meager fees paid by the court for such services.  Although some were good, the Fifth Streeters usually provided scant representation in a court dispensing assembly line justice.

Courtroom 17 was where the usually sorry-looking lot arrested that day or the night before were paraded through arraignment — charged, appointed a lawyer, and  fined, jailed or released on bail pending trial.  The Quakers were different from most who came through Courtroom l7, different from most anti-war protesters, for that matter.  They were older people, nicely dressed and dignified.  Larry Scott himself was in his seventies, a tall, big-boned, big chested man, with a thick mane of white hair, a sort of beardless, gentile Moses.

Most of the Quakers arrested in the ensuing weeks were represented  by our team of  ACLU volunteer lawyers, but I handled the first three groups myself, to size matters up for a test case to challenge the constitutionality of the anti-assembly statute.

o

 

The first group came down from Philadelphia on a Friday afternoon, May 23, 1969.  Following the arrests, Larry Scott and I met outside Courtroom l7.  We were admitted to the cellblock behind the courtroom where the ten Quakers who had been arrested were being held, a barred area large enough to hold thirty or forty people.  With their middle class, clean-cut appearance and meditative demeanor, they lit up the usually dingy cell.  Scott introduced me, and  I proceeded to advise them of the charges and the likely penalty if they pleaded guilty, probably one to five days in jail or a $25 to $50 fine.  I advised them that the ACLU would file a motion to dismiss the charges on constitutional grounds, and that, in the meantime, they should plead “not guilty,” and we would ask the judge to release them on their “personal recognizance,” that is, without having to post bail.

Scott then said that the group had decided in their meeting house in Philadelphia that they would bear witness by engaging in civil disobedience, and, according to the principles of that practice, accept the punishment meted out by the court.  Therefore, he said, everyone in the group was planning to plead guilty.

“Oh, no,” I said to the group. “Please don’t do that.   You’re not guilty.  The law they arrested you under violates the First Amendment.  That’s not a legal technicality.  Freedom of speech goes to the heart of what human beings are about — our need and right to express ourselves.”

They were hearing my gospel.

“The First Amendment is an embodiment of the basic spiritual values of our society,” I continued.  “That’s why the Declaration of Independence states,  ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.'”  I paused.

“That’s what the Bill of Rights is all about — rights that come with being human — with which we are endowed, not by a benign sovereign  and not by social compact — but by our Creator.    Freedom of speech is G-d given,” I concluded. “We must bear witness to it, and not allow it to be desecrated.”

Everyone pleaded not guilty.

The judge we came before, Tim Murphy, was a conservative and hard-nosed former prosecutor, but he saw that the anti-assembly statute under which they were charged was questionable.  Murphy promptly released them on their own recognizance pending trial.

Afterwards, outside the courtroom, Larry Scott took me to one side.  “Ralph, we are grateful to you and the ACLU for helping us.  But with all due respect, you’re a lawyer and you’re talking to our people behind prison bars.  In that setting you are throwing  a lot of weight.”

Of course I am, isn’t that my job, to steer my clients in the right direction, I thought.

Scott continued, “We admire your commitment to your beliefs.  But we have a right, as Quakers, to meet in Philadelphia, and to reach our own decisions, based on our values, without getting down here only to have you turn everybody around.  So when our people come here ready to commit civil disobedience and to plead guilty, while I respect the values you represent, please let us do our thing.  Don’t take unfair advantage of us.  No more cellblock speeches, please.”

Fortunately, the people who that day pleaded not guilty gave us the test cases we needed to challenge the anti-assembly law.  More to the point, I thought Larry Scott was right.  I apologized and promised to sin no more.

o

 

It would be weeks before the ACLU’s papers challenging the anti-assembly law would be filed, heard and decided.  In the meantime, each Wednesday afternoon, the Philadelphia Quakers faithfully kept their date with Chief Powell on the Capitol steps.

The second group was arrested on Wednesday, May 28, l969, and I represented them before Judge Alfred Burka.  Burka was not a bad judge.  He was not  dim-witted like some of the judges, and not mean like others.  But he was a lightweight who had gotten his appointment to the bench through his father’s political connections — the old man owned a chain of liquor stores in D.C.

To appreciate Judge Burka’s reactions when I appeared before him for the Quakers, we must go back to an encounter I’d had with him thirteen months earlier, in April 1968, a week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

o

 

On the Thursday of the assassination, April 4, 1968, riots broke out in several major areas in Washington, D.C.  By 5 p.m. billows of smoke could be seen rising for miles along the corridors of 7th and l4th Streets, Northwest, and H Street, Northeast.  Angry black crowds streamed through the streets,  like a river overflowing its banks, looting and setting fire to shops, destroying everything in their paths. The Mayor declared a curfew, and the police began making sweep arrests throughout these ghetto areas, gathering up everyone in sight, regardless of what they were doing, and charging them with disorderly conduct or curfew violation.  In an effort to bring things under control, the government asked, and the local judges imposed, a bail of $1,000.00, unusually high for such minor charges, and applied it across the board, without regard to individual circumstances.  Naturally, no one could come up with that kind of money, and the thousands swept up in the next few days stayed in jail.

By late Friday afternoon, over 2,000 African-Americans were being held, and the ACLU realized that the judges were complicit in an informal, unannounced, and unlawful  suspension of the Constitution, a kind of make-shift martial law.  The national ACLU’s Washington lobbyist, Larry Speiser, with whom I shared offices, helped me recruit several volunteers that weekend, and we hastily put together a federal lawsuit.  By Tuesday morning, April 9th, the number unlawfully held in jail had grown to over 4,000, and we filed the suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  We sought a temporary restraining order to  stop the sweep arrests and unlawful bail-setting, and to compel the release of those being held.  The suit named as defendants Harold Greene, the Chief Judge of the D.C. Court of General Sessions, another dozen judges who had imposed the $l,000 bail, the Chief of Police, the U.S. Attorney, the U. S. Marshall, the city’s Corporation Counsel, and the director of the city’s Department of Corrections.

This challenge was received by the establishment with about as much good humor as one might imagine.  The reaction began with Margaret Hummer, the U.S. District Court’s motions clerk who arranged hearings before judges.  This gatekeeper to the gods was a cold and haughty troll, and all lawyers with emergency motions in federal court had learned to kiss Ms. Hummer’s ring if they needed to get before a judge quickly.  Checking the papers I was filing to ensure they were in correct form, Ms. Hummer snorted her indignation and said, “This is the most outrageous suit I’ve ever seen.”

It might be said in Ms. Hummer’s defense that, for those few days, many people in Washington were frightened by the riots.  But I was not in the mood for the customary bowing and scraping, and was apprehensive about being subverted by administrative shenanigans.  “If there is any delay in our getting before a judge, we will file a formal  complaint about it,” I snapped.

We quickly got before Edward Curran, the Chief Judge, who just as quickly threw us out of court.  A conservative and crusty old Irishman, Judge Curran listened calmly to the arguments presented by Larry Speiser and me. On the other side was Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Hannon, a bald and bullish man of about fifty, who bellowed in red-faced anger that he had not given up  a leg in air combat over Germany in World War II to defend a country where a lawsuit like ours would be tolerated.  Hannon sputtered that he was shocked that the “heretofore respected names of Larry Speiser and the ACLU would lend themselves to such a legal disgrace.”  I mentally noted with some satisfaction that he did not express shock that my name was associated with the suit.  The facts, when they finally emerged a year later, in the form of a gently worded report of a judicial conference committee, supported the charges set forth in the ACLU suit.  But Judge Curran felt no need to schedule a trial to determine the facts, or even to pause or reflect;  he simply denied our motion and dismissed the suit.

By that evening, the riots had petered out, the fires were under control, and  the authorities let everyone out of jail.  We decided not to appeal.  Maybe those jailed would have been freed just as fast without the ACLU lawsuit.  It was just as well that we filed the suit without waiting to find out.

The Washington Post, which, like Judge Curran, had no need of facts to help it render a decision, editorially lambasted the ACLU for filing so “irresponsible” a suit, and Harold Greene, the local court’s chief judge and the lead defendant in the case, denounced us in the press.

It was during the public furor over the ACLU’s suit that I received a call from Judge Alfred Burka, later to be the judge for the second group of Quakers arrested on the Capitol steps.  In April 1968, when he telephoned me, I had never appeared before Burka, but we knew each other from the courthouse corridors and an occasional cocktail party.

“Was I named as a defendant in that lawsuit I’ve been reading about in the newspapers?” he heatedly demanded.

“You were, but you were in no way singled out,” I said, trying to appease him.  “We named as defendants all the General Sessions judges who for those few days sat on the riot cases.  Our information was that all sitting judges participated in the setting of $l,000 bonds, which is what our suit is challenging.”

“If that suit accuses me of violating anyone’s rights, it’s a damn lie, and I won’t stand for it,” he shouted.

“Judge Burka, please don’t be angry,” I implored.  “We’re pretty sure that all the judges set $l,000 bonds in all these cases, but if we’re wrong, that will be cleared up.”

“You listen to me,” he said, still not denying that he had engaged in the plainly pre-planned and unlawful conspiracy to set uniform $l,000 bonds, “if you don’t immediately dismiss me from that suit, I’ll take you to the grievance committee.”

“I wish you would not take this personally,” I said, still trying to mollify him.  “We named as defendants all the judges sitting on these cases.  Our suit is a test case, that’s all.  It’s not meant to cast personal aspersions on anyone.  It’s a legal challenge to what was done.  You know, that’s what the ACLU exists for, to bring such legal challenges so the courts can decide what’s legal and what’s not.”

“Don’t give me that bull,” he continued to fume.  “You’re just a bunch of publicity-seeking hounds.”

That did it.

“Publicity-seeking hounds?” I said.  “Look who’s talking.”

A few weeks earlier, Judge Burka had been quoted in the Washington Post, criticizing the ACLU’s test lawsuits challenging laws treating alcoholism as a crime.  He had questioned whether the ACLU  really cared about the alcoholics it was representing in those suits, and contrasted our supposedly cold-hearted exploitation of them with the genuine human interest he showed by occasionally taking to lunch some of the chronic alcoholics who repeatedly were charged in his court.

“What are you talking about?” he asked with surprise.

“I’m talking about your posturing in the press,” I said, “and your hair-brained ‘take-an-alcoholic-to-lunch’ idea as a substitute for reforms in a legal system that abuses them.”

“I don’t see what’s wrong in suggesting a little human interest,” he said.

“Talk about publicity seeking,”  I retorted.  “But that’s beside the point.  You’ve shown bad judgment in making this phone call.  Now, in any case in which I appear that comes before you, I’ll have to move to disqualify you.”

“I wouldn’t want to sit in any case in which you appear,” he said.

“You won’t have a choice,” I parried.  “This call has disqualified you.  You are represented in this suit by the United  States Attorney.  If  you have anything further to say to me about it, say it through your attorney.”

On that note, we parted.

About six months later, in the fall of l968, I had an opportunity to make peace with Judge Burka.   Following  the arrests of several hundred anti-war demonstrators, they were brought for arraignment before several different judges.  During a recess in my cases before Judge Harold Greene, I strolled across the corridor to watch a colleague, Phil Hirschkopf, representing his allotment of demonstrators before Judge Burka.  There was a pause in the proceedings, and, as Hirschkopf conferred with the prosecutor, I gestured a request to approach the bench, and the Judge beckoned me forward with a smile.  I leaned up to him across the bench, shook his hand, and whispered, “As far as I’m concerned, the past is water under the bridge;  I’d be glad to appear before you if the occasion arises.”  He returned my warmth with his handshake, and said, “I’d be glad to have you appear.”

o

 

Having thus reconciled with Judge Burka, I had no reservations on that summer Wednesday in l969 about appearing before him to represent the gentle Quakers.  The marshals brought the Quakers into the courtroom from the cellblock and seated them in the jury box so that they would be at hand in a group as their cases were called, one at a time.  The courtroom was crowded with spectators, including journalists covering the Quaker arrests.  The first name was called, and a man from the Quaker group rose from the jury box, and, escorted by a marshal, walked forward to stand before the Judge.  As he did so,  I rose from my seat in the front of the courtroom and began to come forward through the short swinging doors into the well, the area in front of the judge’s bench.

Judge Burka stopped me.  “Just a moment, Mr. Temple,” he said.  “The court will determine who represents this gentleman.”

“I represent him, Your Honor,” I replied deferentially.

“The court will determine who represents him,” repeated the Judge.  “Just have a seat.”

Uh-oh, I thought.  What’s this?  Has the damned fool forgotten that we made up?

“You are charged with unlawful entry upon the Capitol grounds, a misdemeanor,” intoned the Judge to the man standing before him.  “You may plead guilty or not guilty, and you may be represented by an attorney.  If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you.”

“Mr. Temple represents me,” responded the good Philadelphia Friend, whom I had never met.

I again rose, walked forward, and stood beside the man.

“If you are going to have Mr. Temple represent you,” said Judge Burka, “the court will have to appoint co-counsel, because it is the experience of the court that Mr. Temple and the local ACLU are unprofessional and unethical and file false and irresponsible pleadings in court.”

Oh, for heaven’s sake, I thought.  He’s lost it.

A trial judge has great power over the lawyers who appear before him or her.  There are literally dozens of discretionary rulings on procedure, evidence, and numerous other aspects of a case that are virtually non-appealable, not to mention those cases, both civil and criminal, in which the ultimate decision will be made, not by a jury, but by the judge.  Even if a ruling can be appealed, most clients do not want or cannot afford an appeal.   Lawyers, as a rule, will bend over backwards to avoid antagonizing a judge, for it can damage the interests of the lawyer’s present and future clients any time the lawyer appears before that judge.  My friend, John Karr, had to start transferring to other lawyers cases that got assigned to Judge Joseph M. F. Ryan, a malevolent alcoholic who did not hesitate to vent his prejudices in his rulings.  In addition, judges have the power to hold a lawyer in contempt, indeed, to have the lawyer immediately locked up. As a result, judges are subjected for years to an unhealthy daily diet of lawyer kowtowing, with the toxic effect on some of evoking the arbitrary and peevish bully within.

As an ACLU staff lawyer, I was not dependent on my practice for my livelihood, and most of my appearances were in test cases in which we and the clients were ready to appeal.  This provided more room to maneuver.

“Your Honor,” I said, “I move that those remarks be stricken from the record.”

“Motion denied,” said Judge Burka. “You know very well what I’m referring to.”

“Your Honor, may I approach the bench?” I asked.  If he’d give me the chance, I wanted to remind him of our courtroom reconciliation six months earlier.  In any event, it was unseemly to wash laundry in open court.

“There’s no need for  you to come to the bench,” he said.  “You had no business naming me in that reckless lawsuit you filed during last year’s riots.  Those were lies and I told you those were lies!”

Great, I thought, great timing, you imbecile.

“Your Honor,” I said, “the ACLU filed a test suit that was well-founded.  You took personal offense, and telephoned to threaten me.  Under the circumstances,  I move that you recuse yourself in this case.”

“Denied,” replied the Judge.  “There’s no basis for recusal;  this isn’t a trial, it’s only an arraignment.”

“You’re disqualified even for arraignment,” I said.  “I  move that you be recused.”

“Denied,” he said.  “Let’s stop wasting time and get on with these arraignments.”

“Your Honor, I renew my motion that you strike from the record your unwarranted statements.”

“Denied,” said the Judge. “Now let’s get on with it.”

“Then I ask the Court to order that the court reporter provide an immediate transcript of this exchange.”

“You don’t need a court order to get a transcript, Mr. Temple,” Judge Burka said.  “You can order a transcript yourself.”

“That will take two weeks,” I responded.  “I move that the Court order an immediate transcript so that I can be in the Court of Appeals this afternoon.”

“All right,  all right,” said the Judge.  “Stop wasting time.  The remarks are stricken.  Now let’s get on with these arraignments.”

Judge Burka, a good man at heart, proceeded to release all the Quakers on their personal recognizance.

o

Having escaped a problem before the conservative Judge Murphy and the emotive Judge Burka, I was relieved the third week, as the marshals ushered the new group of thirteen Philadelphia Friends to the jury box, to see that we were before the wise, gentle, and moderately liberal chief judge, Harold Greene.

The first case was called, and Judge Greene and I ran through the litany of the arraignment process.

Then the Judge departed from script.

Harold Greene was an exceptionally good judge, but, like all of us, he bore particular imprints.  As a young Jew, he and his family were forced to flee Germany in the l930s, after watching the Nazis undermine the democratic Weimar Republic with brutish rabble-rousing and violence in the streets.  Judge Greene had a deep repugnance to disorder and lawbreaking, even in the form of non-violent civil disobedience.

The Judge asked the plainly unthreatening Quaker standing before him, “If the court releases you on your own recognizance pending trial, do you  promise that you will not return to the Capitol grounds and engage in the same violation of the law?”

I said, “Your Honor, we do not believe there has been a violation of the law.  The anti-assembly statute is unconstitutional, and we will be filing a motion to dismiss the charges.”

“Until your motion is filed, and until the court has ruled that the statute is unconstitutional,” said Judge Greene, “the law is on the books and must be obeyed.”

“Your Honor, may we approach the bench,” I asked.

“I see no need for that, Mr. Temple,” responded the Judge.  “It is  perfectly reasonable to ask for a promise not to violate the law.”

“Please, Your Honor,” I pressed,  “it will only take a moment.”

“Very well,” said Judge Greene, with a sigh of impatient resignation.

With the Assistant United States Attorney, the court reporter, and me huddled at the bench, Judge Greene repeated in a whisper, “I don’t understand what possible objection you could have to my asking them not to break the law as a condition of release.”

“Your Honor,” I whispered back, “these people are not likely to come back here.  The Philadelphia Quaker group sponsoring these demonstrations is sending different people each week.  But you are not going to get a factual answer from a Quaker to a question like that;  you’ll get a theological answer.”

“I’m sorry,” replied the Judge,  “I think it is reasonable to ask them to obey the law.”

We returned to our places, and the Judge once more asked whether the man standing before him would commit to not repeating the acts for which he had been arrested.

The Quaker responded, “If I am moved to bear witness against the war, I will do so wherever I am called upon to do it.”

The Judge  said, “In that case, you will have to post bail, which is hereby set at $300.00.”  The man indicated he would not be making bail, and the marshal escorted him back to the cellblock, from which he would be transported at the end of the day to the D.C. Jail and held until trial, which would be weeks later.

The next name was called, and a woman stepped before the Judge.  With me standing beside her, the customary arraignment ritual was repeated, until we reached the bail question, at which point Judge Greene asked whether the woman would promise, if released, not to commit the same acts at the Capitol.  I began again to ask the Judge not to put the question, but was abruptly waved to silence.  The woman replied that she could not make a commitment that might conflict with the call of Spirit.  The Judge again set bail at $300.00, and this woman, too, was locked up.  Judge Greene was visibly annoyed, annoyed at the Quakers, and, I was sure, annoyed at me.

“There is nothing wrong with asking the simple concession of obedience to law,” he said, shaking his head at the unreasonableness of what he clearly felt was being imposed upon him.

The third Quaker was summoned and stepped forward.  When the Judge reached the problematic question, the woman replied, “I will hold the government in the light any place and any time that the Spirit moves me.”

Judge Greene looked really upset.

“I am sorry,” he said, “but we are a nation of laws.  We all live under the same laws, and it is the rule of law that makes our freedoms possible.  If everyone chooses to do whatever he believes regardless of the law, we have chaos, destruction, tyranny.  We live in a democracy.  If we believe that the government’s laws or policies are wrong, we can vote the government out.  It must be done in an election at the polls, not by disobedience of the law in the streets.  We have an election, and then we must all abide by the results of the election.  The majority decides.  That’s democracy.”

The Quaker was a gray-haired woman of maybe sixty-five, tall, matronly, handsome — pure-bred Yankee.  She returned Judge Greene’s steady gaze, and, in a calm but passionate voice, said, “I have traveled in the South and seen the bellies of babies swollen with hunger.  And I have seen newspaper photographs of  Vietnamese babies burned by napalm dropped by American planes.  Napalm paid for with money that could be feeding all these babies.”

Judge Greene sat glumly shaking his head.

“If this is what the majority wants,” she concluded, “the majority is wrong.  And I will bear witness against it.”  She took a deep breath.  “With my body.”  Another breath.  “And with my soul.”

Judge Greene sat, still shaking his head, which now hung limply as he stared down at his bench-top.  Finally he said, almost muttering,  “Will you promise that if you are released without bail you will not engage in disruptive or violent behavior?”

“Yes,” she answered.

“All right,” said the Judge, “you are released on your own recognizance pending trial.”

The rest of the cases went smoothly.  The only promise Judge Greene asked of the remaining Quakers was to refrain from disruption and violence, and they all promised and were all released, and the Judge called back the first two and released them as well.  Before the year was over, Judge Greene conducted a hearing on the ACLU’s motion, after which he concluded that the anti-assembly statute was unconstitutional as applied to orderly protest gatherings.  That ruling opened up the Capitol steps to the tens of thousands of demonstrators that followed in the bright light cast by the Quakers that summer.