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The Declaration of Constitutional Principles (known informally as the Southern Manifesto) was a document written in February and March 1956, in the United States Congress, in opposition to racial integration of public places. The manifesto was signed by 101 politicians (99 Democrats) from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The Congressmen drafted the document to counter the landmark Supreme Court 1954 ruling Brown v. Board of Education, which determined that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional. School segregation laws were some of the most enduring and best-known of the Jim Crow laws that characterized the American South and several northern states at the time.
Senators led the opposition, with Strom Thurmond writing the initial draft and Richard Russell the final version. The manifesto was signed by 19 Senators and 82 Representatives, including the entire congressional delegations of the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia. All of the signatories were Southern Democrats except two Republicans, Joel Broyhill and Richard Poff of Virginia. However, three Southern Democrats refused to sign: Albert Gore, Sr.; Estes Kefauver; and Lyndon B. Johnson. Their opposition earned them the enmity of their colleagues for a time.
The Southern Manifesto accused the Supreme Court of "clear abuse of judicial power." It promised to use "all lawful means to bring about a reversal of this decision which is contrary to the Constitution and to prevent the use of force in its implementation."  The Manifesto suggested that the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution should limit the reach of the Supreme Court on such issues.
In many southern States, signing was much more common than not signing. Those from southern States who refused to sign are noted below. Refusal to sign occurred most prominently among the Texas and Tennessee delegations, where the majority of members of the United States House of Representatives refused to sign.
United States Senate (in state order)
United States House of Representatives (in state order)
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