Judge J. Waties Waring (1880-1968) | Road Trip

In 1947 Judge J. Waties Waring's monumental ruling in the George Elmore suit (Elmore v. Rice) eliminated the all-white Democratic primary system in South Carolina. For the first time since 1876, the political process allowed African Americans to vote in significant numbers.

Perhaps his greatest impact as a judge was to advise Thurgood Marshall how the Briggs v. Elliott lawsuit might be filed as a constitutional lawsuit rather than one to alter busing inequities. The court ruled that Clarendon County had violated the rights of black students by not providing an equal education. The decision prompted the state to improve black schools statewide.

In February 1952, after the decision on the case of Briggs v. Elliott, Waring and his wife, moved to New York and remained there until their deaths.

More in this Series