Just a scant 4 days before the Obama Ballot challenge was heard in Atlanta last Thursday, the web page for an organization called the Southern Legal Resource Center listed its board of directors (preceding link to January 22 cached version) and on that board was a Knoxville attorney named Van R. Irion, the same attorney that represents David P. Welden in Welden v. Obama in Georgia. Today that organization lists no board of directors, and the former Director URL returns 404 Not Found. The Board of Advisors page is similarly unavailable.
So what is this SLRC organization whose emblem is shown above?
To a large extent, it’s about defending the Southern (Confederate) Heritage and the rights of people, including students in school, to display Confederate symbols. While the SLRC has scrubbed some pages with Van Irion’s name, they didn’t get all of them. A Google search like:
will return some pages not yet scrubbed. (For the uninitiated, CSA stands for Confederate States of America.)
One of the pages not scrubbed is a press release excerpted here that is characteristic of what’s on the site:
The suit charges that the students’ constitutional rights were violated between May of 2005 and January of 2006, when they were subjected to disciplinary action for wearing items of clothing bearing the Confederate flag. The action taken against the students, as well as the ban on Confederate symbols itself, violates their First Amendment rights of free speech. The disciplinary action taken against them also violates Fourteenth Amendment principles of equal protection and due process, the suit alleges.
Knoxville Attorney Va[n] Irion is acting as counsel for the students and their families, supported by the Southern Legal Resource Center of Black Mountain, North Carolina . The SLRC, as it is known, is a legal organization that specializes in civil rights cases involving Southern heritage and culture issues.
In addition to pages with content like the above, it also contains an page critical of Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The one link that struck a familiar cord was an article called: “Racist!” as an Epithet of Repression.
It would seem to me based on the short time frame (4 days or less) between the pages disappearance and the Georgia hearing, that it is likely that pages were removed from the SLRC web site to prevent anyone from linking the SLRC and it’s goals with the ballot challenge in Georgia through Mr. Irion’s participation in the two.
The discerning reader should detect a decidedly neutral characterization of the SLRC in this article. It is what it is, and no one needs me to tell them what to think.
Thanks to a commenter here for the tip.