The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Pemberton, John de J.

b. 1919 - d. 1990

John de Jarnette (Jack) Pemberton Jr. served as executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 1962 to 1970, when the ACLU doubled its membership and shifted its focus to the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War resisters. Previously, the ACLU had taken only higher court cases that would establish constitutional principles. Pemberton, recognizing that lower courts were not following U.S. Supreme Court precedents, decided the ACLU needed to represent individual defendants in the lower courts in order to protect their civil liberties. In 1964, he established a legal unit to partner with civil rights groups to provide better legal counsel in the South. Pemberton walked out of a Congressional House Un-American Activities Committee hearing in 1966 when another attorney who was representing subpoenaed witnesses was ejected. In 1970, Pemberton left the ACLU to serve as the general counsel for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Associated Archive Content : 3 results

Lawyer Ejected By House Inquiry; Seven Walk Out

New York lawyer Arthur Kinoy was ejected from the hearing room of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in Washington following a heated legal argument. Seven other lawyers withdrew from the proceedings following Mr. Kinoy's ejection.

Letter from Roy Wilkins to MLK

Roy Wilkins, Chairman of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, invites Dr. King to serve as a member of the conference's executive committee.

New York Times: US Judge Forbids A House Inquiry; Panel is Defiant

This article discusses the decision of a federal judge, ordering the House Committes of Un-American Activities to not hold a hearing on a bill that would make it illegal for Americans to aid the Vietcong.