USDC, Western District of Virginia, Lynchburg Division, Civil Action Case #66-C-10-L-Sweet Briar Institute vs. Button et al 

USDC, Western District of Virginia, Lynchburg Division, Civil Action Case #66-C-10-L-Sweet Briar Institute vs. Button et al 

Creator USDC, Western District of Virginia, Lynchburg Division
Description In 1966, Sweet Briar Institute, a women’s college founded in 1901 in Amherst, Virginia, matriculated its first African-American student. The Attorney General of the State of Virginia and the Commonwealth Attorney for Amherst County Virginia filed an injunction against Sweet Briar Institute, claiming that the Institute was in violation of the Will of Indiana Fletcher Williams. The Will, probated in 1901, bequeathed the land for the establishment of Sweet Briar Institute on the condition that only white females be admitted as students. In April 1966, Sweet Briar Institute filed suit in the Amherst County Court and in the U.S. District Court in Lynchburg asking that a restraining order against the state injunction be issued. Sweet Briar argued that the State and County’s enforcement of the racially restrictive provisions of the Will was harmful to Sweet Briar’s ability to attract top-quality faculty and students to the college and to receive federal education grants. The District Court promptly issued the restraining order. The defendants appealed the restraining order and asked that the case be heard before a three-judge panel. In July 1966 the case was argued before the three-judge panel in Charlottesville. The plaintiffs asked the panel to uphold the district court’s restraining order. The defendants requested that as long as the case was still pending in the Amherst County Court that the Federal court abstain from ruling on the restraining order until the county case was concluded. In December 1966, the three-judge panel ruled against Sweet Briar Institute by deciding to abstain from intervening against the injunction filed by the State of Virginia and Amherst County against Sweet Briar Institute. Sweet Briar Institute appealed this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which, in May 1967 overturned the decision of the three-judge panel and ordered that the District Court’s restraining order against the State of Virginia and Amherst County be enforced; which was done by the District Court in July 1967.
Call number Civil Action Case #66-C-10-L
Date from 1966
Date to 1967
Geographic school Amherst, VA
Size unknown
Access restrictions yes/no no
Access restrictions
Part Of larger collection yes/no no
Larger collection title
Repository NARA Mid-Atlantic Region
Repository address 14700 Townsend Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154-1096
Repository contact name David Weber
Repository contact title Director, Records Management Program
Repository contact email
Repository contact phone (215) 305-2000
DoveRegion (outside of Virginia)
Subjects o    African American students

o    Private schools

o    School integration

o    Segregation in higher education

o    United States. Supreme Court

o    Virginia. Supreme Court of Appeals

o    Sweet Briar College

o    Wills–Virginia–Amherst County

o    District courts–Virginia

Types Legal documents

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