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As a response to the discriminatory hiring practices of a large number of white-owned businesses in the 1940s, Hughes and others established a group called "Progressive Citizens of America" ("Progressive") in Richmond, California. The Hughes case detailed the events surrounding unemployed black workers picketing certain "Lucky Stores;' a grocery chain with a store located near the Canal Housing Project in Richmond, in order to compel the store to hire more black clerks. In response to the picketing, lawyers for Lucky Stores requested a preliminary injunction against the picketing. The request for injunctive relief was granted by the Superior Court of Contra Costa County. The injunction, challenged by Hughes' attorneys as a Due Process Clause violation, was annulled by the intermediate appellate court, but reinstated on review by the Supreme Court of California.u Nevertheless, despite the reinstatement of the preliminary injunction, the picketing continued. Thereafter, Lucky Stores protested these actions and the picketers were adjudged in contempt of court. They appealed via certiorari to the California Supreme Court, seeking annulment of the judgment of contempt. In a 4-2 decision, the court affirmed the judgment of contempt. Justice Jesse W. Carter, Golden Gate Law class of 1913, wrote one of the two dissents. Hughes' application for a rehearing was denied. Hughes applied for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, but the judgment of the California Supreme Court was affirmed.


Chapter 5 in The Great Dissents of the 'Lone Dissenter': Justice Jesse W. Carter's Twenty Tumultuous Years on the California Supreme Court, Oppenheimer, David & Allan Brotsky, eds. (Carolina Academic Press, 2010). Posted with permission from Carolina Academic Press. All rights reserved.

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