Vulcan Center Museum will then host Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces that Changed a Nation exhibit from February 15 to May 9. This exhibit will tell the stories of eight Alabama-based, landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases and profile three U.S. Supreme Court Justices from the state.
The cases highlighted in the exhibit will cover issues including civil rights, equal protection, city zoning and prayer in public schools. They include well-known cases such as the Scottsboro Boys and Ollie’s Barbecue, as well as the lesser-known cases concerning Mobile County Public Schools, Maxwell Air Force Base and Tuskegee. These cases all had national implications in the interpretation of federal law which endure today.
The Alabama Supreme Court Justices discussed in Alabama Justice is comprised of John McKinley of Huntsville, John Archibald Campbell of Mobile and Hugo Black of Ashland. Some of their insights and changes still effect the Supreme Court today. John McKinley helped lead Congress to removing circuit riding duties for the Supreme Court Justices. John Archibald Campbell’s arguments for the Constitution protecting unenumerated rights still guides the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence today. Hugo Black would be part of the unanimous ruling in Brown v. Board of Education which ruled that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.
Dr. Steven Brown, Professor of Political Science at Auburn University, collaborated with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, and Backstory Educational Media to create this interactive, multi-media exhibit as a companion to his forthcoming book. Visitors will encounter both arguments of the cases, hear audio from the rulings and see original photographs concerning the cases. The exhibit will continue to tour across the state after its display inside the Linn-Henley Gallery.