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Johnson v. Virginia
United States Supreme Court
373 U.S. 61 (1963)
Ford T. Johnson, Jr. (plaintiff), a Black man, sat in a Richmond traffic-court section reserved for Whites. The bailiff asked Johnson to move, and he refused. The judge then summoned Johnson and told him to move to the Black section on the other side of the aisle. Johnson then stood in front of the counsel table with his arms folded, stating that he preferred to stand and would not comply with the order. The judge again directed Johnson to be seated in the Black section. Johnson caused no disturbance and was arrested for contempt. Johnson was convicted of contempt of the Traffic Court of the City of Richmond, Virginia. Johnson appealed, and the conviction was upheld. The Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia declined to review the case, refusing to grant a writ of error because it found the judgment appealed from to be plainly right. Johnson petitioned the United States Supreme Court for certiorari, which the court granted.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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