As the obit says, Judge Clark was widely respected; the Jackson, MS Inns of Court chapter was named after him. Clark was also counsel for the State of Mississippi in many civil-rights cases: "one of his state's leading strategists to hold down desegregation," Jack Bass wrote in Unlikely Heroes, his book about the 5th Circuit in the 1960s. His appointment by Nixon in 1969 heralded the beginning of the end of the 5th Circuit's days as a force for desegregation. None of this in the remarkably sanitized AP obit.
... Judge Clark was interviewed about the James Meredith case, in which he was an attorney for the State, for the Eyes on the Prize documentary, in 1986:
Alright. I think given the conditions, the social conditions that existed in Mississippi in 1961, if when James Meredith brought this lawsuit against the university, the university system had simply said well if you sue us, we'll, we'll admit you[,] had capitulated without testing his right to be admitted ... [i]n the regular processes of litigation[,] there would have been a great deal more unrest and ferment, turmoil uh as a result. I think that it was important to the state of Mississippi to conduct a test in accordance with the usual procedures of law, to determine whether or not Meredith was entitled to admission. And from that standpoint I think that it was the right decision by the, I thought it was the right decision by Mississippi at the time, I continue in retrospect to think that it was the correct decision to raise all proper legal defenses.Interesting .... (The transcript is unedited or seems to be, and I've modified punctuation etc. in brackets to convey the apparent thought better.)
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DO YOU HAVE ANY SENSE OF WHAT WAS, IF ANYTHING WAS WON WHEN JAMES MEREDITH WAS REGISTERED OR WHAT WAS LOST? ANY, ANY SENSE OF…
Judge Charles Clark:
I've got a sense that the university suffered immeasurably. It has never been since then the same institution that it was before that time in my eyes, I think that it, it has achieved some uh successes since then but I think that it was irreparably damaged, uh, well irreparable is too big a word, I think that it was measurably damaged by the Meredith incident for many years afterwards.
BECAUSE OF THE PUBLICITY?
Judge Charles Clark:
Because of the publicity, because it was the focus of a racial integration incident uh, and the university got a bad name for even defending itself in the courts. Historically, and as I tell you that as far as I'm concerned then and now it had a complete legal right to make a defense in the courts to the charges against it.
... In almost, but not quite, completely unrelated news, the mom and dad on Wizards of Waverly Place (yes, I have a 6-year-old) are dressed up for their Civil War reenactment. I guess I missed the episode where they're away at the Tea Party rally.