Skip to main content

US Supreme Court Refuses To Revive Tulsa Race Riot Lawsuit



DATELINE (AP) _ The US Supreme Court is refusing to revive a lawsuit over the 1921 Tulsa race riot.

The court Monday refused without comment to hear the case.

The lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma and City of Tulsa was filed by survivors and descendants of victims of the deadly riot. It was dismissed by a federal judge and a federal appeals court which said the statute of limitations had expired.

Attorneys for the group argued that the two-year statute of limitations should be extended because the government's full role in the riot wasn't known until a special commission issued a report on 2001.

The riot began May 31st, 1921, when blacks and whites fought outside a courthouse where a black man accused of assaulting a white female elevator operator was being held.

Police deputized a group of whites who burned homes and businesses owned by blacks in the Greenwood business district.

The confirmed death toll is 37, but some estimates are as high as 300.

© MBM

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

And out of that case, what? Some 150 LIVING SURVIVORS...

Perhaps someone could inform me better about what Japanese Internment consisted of. I'm trying to understand why the Tulsa situation is treated differently in terms of the comparative injury or loss sustained. i.e. there were significant loss/injury in both to where Tulsa definitely rises to the level of (perhaps well over and above) Japanese internment.

Loss of Freedom and/or Control over property. Segregation, in and of itself, being a type of imprisonment...
Last edited {1}
This has become an 'argument of legal issues.' The argument is no longer on the merits (factual occurrence) of the case.

I thought this would be an uphill fight when the petition was based on new information revealed after the statute of limitations has expired.

I think it is significant the timing of the release of that information was controlled by one, or both, of the defendants in the case.

Valiant effort, but destined to failure.

PEACE

Jim Chester
With 150 people still living and they can't address the huge wrongness done to that black community? It's the same argument that is used against reparations that those who were in slavery are not living today, hence there is no one living deserving reparations. How inconsistent it is that the Supreme Court will not take this case. If anything taking such a case would show that our court system have some fiber of fairness, which we all know our justice system in general is a messed up. Local, State and Federal court systems failed these people and to see the rightness of the case and rightfully reconcile those who were done wrong. This really speaks of the sorry condition that our justice system is in.
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
I'm trying to understand how exactly a Statute Of Limitations argument can pass muster as if the court would have heard the case at a time within the statute.

I don't see how that presumption can be held considering the history...


I think the winning argument was something to the effect, and as simple as, 'time has expired.'

There is no argument of merit the is therefore bouond to consider.

It's what's called a technicality.

But valid nonetheless.

It's cold.

But real.


PEACE

Jim Chester
JWC, I tend to take Momentum's take on this. I would rather take the Ethical stand, if I were the U.S. gov't, by taking the attitude of Having No Appearance of Impropriety or favoritism. At the very least they could hear the case. There's no obligation to render a judgement favorable to the Tulsa Reparations camp. Clearly there are exceptions to the rules and surely not every case is dismissed summarily because of Statute Of Limitations... But I could be wrong.

With that said my question is:
Who's To Blame For TULSA?
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
I'm trying to understand how exactly a Statute Of Limitations argument can pass muster as if the court would have heard the case at a time within the statute.

I don't see how that presumption can be held considering the history...


I found the CASE on Findlaw.com. The difference between this case and the Japanese internment reparations payment is simply that in the Japanese case, the US government was willing to issue payment on its own, whereas in the Tulsa case, the city government of Tulsa and the state government of Oklahoma weren't.

A court probably wouldn't have forced the US gov't to pay the Japanese victims. The Tulsa riots are not alleged to be the responsibilty of the US government. Before this case was initiated, there was a US government "investigation" of the Tulsa riots. A report came out of that, and evidently the people were fighting for the state and local governments to pay restitution for their role in allowing this disaster. Evidently, these people refused to do so, and that's the only reason the lawsuit was filed in the first place.

If the US government had been involved, I wonder if the result would have been different; that is, would payments have issued, or would the plaintiffs have had to try to turn to the courts?
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:

If the US government had been involved, I wonder if the result would have been different; that is, would payments have issued, or would the plaintiffs have had to try to turn to the courts?
Would that explain the difference between Tulsa and Rosewood?

Of course, I understand the difference WILLINGNESS makes.
If I remember correctly, Florida decided to pay the Rosewood survivors, right? I don't remember a court getting involved.

Now, the difference in states' willingness point indirectly leads me to another question. The 10th circuit case puts a lot of emphasis on the freedom granted by the civil rights measures of the 1960s, and how these measures should've enabled the plaintiffs to bring suit back then. But the way I see it, it's the 14th amendment that grants those freedoms; the civil rights act simply provided additional protections. How can legislation be expected (especially by these plaintiffs, given all they'd been through) to create stronger access to ones rights of redress (especially against the state govt) than a constitutional amendment could?

What I'm getting at is whether the plaintiffs could have argued that if the same courts, the same electorate, and the same people in power were there the day after passage of the civil rights act as before, how could the plaintiffs have expected to win a case for reparations in the 1960s? If the 14th Amd couldn't stop racism pre-CRA, then why are we expecting the Plaintiffs to believe that the CRA would stop it? I don't recall ever hearing of a provision in the civil rights act guaranteeing that reparations for past wrongs must be granted if sought...

One of the things these 60s measures did was effectuate a change in the political landscape over time. It would take many years for the political gains to take hold, before the courts would have the makeup necessary to not try to circumvent the plaintiff's rights. The standard in this case was "abuse of discretion," which is extremely hard for an appellant to meet, and extremely easy for an unscrupulous judgment to hold up. And since we don't know when that moment of "true" freedom arrived (the moment when the courts had sufficiently changed its makeup in the wake of the civil rights act), I wonder why the plaintiff's lawyers didn't try to get a little novel in their assertions of why the statute of limitations hadn't expired.
If the 14th And couldn't stop racism pre-CRA, then why are we expecting the Plaintiffs to believe that the CRA would stop it? I don't recall ever hearing of a provision in the civil rights act guaranteeing that reparations for past wrongs must be granted if sought...---Vox

I don't know the answer to expiration. I seem to remember a reference in the original post to 'two years'; from some point.

Regarding the CRA:

The value of the 'laws of the 60s' is that they provide a mechanism for the enforcement of the 14rh and 15th Amendments.

Both of those amendments, as well as the 13rh, authorized Congress to enact law if needed to obtain compliance with the content and intent of the amendments.

Clearly, the framers knew the States were going to continue to fight which made the 14th and 15th Amendments necessary in the first place.

The amendments carry no penalty for violations.

Nor do any other provisions of the Constitution for that matter.

Sadly, with the statute of limitations in effect all arguments of merit are gone.

Willingness becomes the only viable option for success.


PEACE

Jim Chester
Great points, JWC, and I think it goes to the whole point I was making, as well as to Nmaginate's last question.

Technically, the SOL is 2 years from date of "accrual" of the cause of action. When that cause of action accrued was a big issue in the case. 1921? the mid 1960s? 2001?

On the one hand, just because a wrongdoer kept their role hidden doesn't mean you shouldn't sue. That's why sometimes you'll see pleadings that say "Vox, plaintiff, vs. Nmaginate and John Doe #1 - 25, defendants." You know there are other people who had to have been involved, but you don't know who they are. You still file a complaint, because you want to meet the SOL. The John Doe defendants would be identified through the discovery process, after the complaint is filed.

But the other side of the coin is, once a matter is adjudicated, that's it. So had these people sued in the 1920s, the courts would have screwed them permanently. Like I wondered about before, the same courts might have done so for years after the CRA, because they'd've found every loophole in the book to keep justice from being served. I think the court here is wrong for saying that the CRA tolled the statute of limitations for that reason... but maybe the plaintiffs' more seasoned lawyers might have an easy answer for why they didn't build an argument from that.
Last edited {1}
'...but maybe the plaintiffs' more seasoned lawyers might have an easy answer for why they didn't build an argument from that.---Vox

I find myself becoming ever more cynical about the integrity of some of these lawyers supposedly 'representing' us in cases involving CRA and/or VRA issues.

The latest example being the petition rationale developed for rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

That's simply incompetent.

Nobody's that dumb.


PEACE

Jim Chester

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×