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The Conscience of a Lawyer: Clifford J. Durr and American Civil Liberties, 1899–1975
by John A. Salmond
University of Alabama Press, 1990
Cloth: 978-0-8173-0453-9 | eISBN: 978-0-8173-9354-0 | Paper: 978-0-8173-6011-5
Library of Congress Classification KF373.D87S25 1990
Dewey Decimal Classification 349.730924

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Clifford Judkins Durr was an Alabama lawyer who played an important role in defending activists and other accused of disloyalty during the New Deal and McCarthy eras. His uncompromising commitment to civil liberties and civic decency caused him to often take unpopular positions.

In 1933, Durr moved to Washington to work as a lawyer for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a creation of Roosevelt’s new Democratic administration, becoming a dedicated New Dealer in the process. He was then appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a politically sensitive position as FDR sought to counter the increasing power and concentration of broadcasters, many of whom were opponents of the New Deal. Durr resigned from the FCC in 1948 and after brief employment with the National Farmers Union in Colorado, the Durrs eventually returned to Montgomery, Alabama in the hope of returning to a more prosperous, less controversial life.

Durr continued to practice in Montgomery as counsel for black citizens whose rights had been violated and ultimately, in December, 1955, when police arrested Rosa Parks for refusing to give her bus seat to a white man he stepped in and lent his extensive legal prowess to her case and the continuing quest for civil rights. Closing his firm in 1964 Durr began to lecture in the United States and abroad. He died at his grandfather's farm in 1975
 

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