Document 12D: Pauli Murray to Alma Lutz, 16 January 1966, Pauli Murray Papers: Series II, 1935-1984, Box 97, Folder 1730, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.


   As their correspondence unfolded, Murray began sharing details of her ongoing legal work with Lutz. In this letter, she told Lutz about the friend of the court brief from the Department of Justice that supported her position in White v. Crook. She also invited Lutz to attend the upcoming Harvard Law School Forum where she and co-participant Betty Friedan would speak on the topic "Women: Dare We Not Discriminate?"

January 16, 1966

Dear Miss Lutz:

   Just to tell you two items of immediate interest. The Department of Justice has entered the White V. Crock (Alabama Jury case) as a friend of the court asking for the invalidation of the Alabama jury statute which totally excludes women. Their brief in support of their proposed conclusion of law that the statute is null and void insofar as it excludes woman is not as sharp as I would like, but the fact that the Government asked for the same relief as we did is a tremendous step forward. There should be no difficulty in getting the jury statute declared unconstitutional, if not by the federal district court, then certainly by the United States Supreme Court.

   The second item is that the Harvard Law School Forum is sponsoring a public forum on February 18 and the topic is: WOMEN: DARE WE NOT DISCRIMINATE? Mrs. Betty Friedan, President Mary Bunting of Radcliffe and I have been asked to participate. I'm sure you will want to attend and needle me about the Equal Rights for women Amendment. Perhaps we will get an opportunity to talk for a while. There is to be a short informal reception after the forum.

   Although this information will not satisfy your dream of having the Equal Rights Amendment a part of the Constitution, you should know that there are several younger women as passionate about equal rights as I am and who are strategically placed in governmental positions. They perform the important task of educating male colleagues and trying to prevent the pro-labor-protective - legislation-for-women proponents from putting too strong a brake upon progress toward the ultimate goal. A subtle internal struggle over this issue with respect to Title VII and the sex discrimination clause has been going on since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Some of us see our task as holding the line but not allowing ourselves to get isolated from the women who are still confused about how much equality they want. This is a difficult but necessary role.

   Looking forward to seeing you on February 18th, I am



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