Last modified on November 4, 2021, at 11:24

Howard W. Smith

Howard Worth “Judge” Smith
Howard Worth Smith.jpg
Former U.S. Representative from Virginia's 8th Congressional District
From: March 4, 1931 – January 3, 1967
Predecessor R. Walton Moore
Successor William L. Scott
Party Democrat
Spouse(s) Lillian Proctor (died 1919)
Ann Corcoran

Howard Worth “Judge”[1] Smith (February 2, 1883 – October 3, 1976) was a representative from Virginia from 1921–1967. He was an important member of the Conservative Coalition since the mid to late 30s. However, like Richard Russell, Jr. and Carl Vinson of Georgia, Smith was a racist Southern Democrat who opposed civil rights bills supported by Republicans and used his position as chair of the House Rules Committee to halt the legislation.[2] He also notably supported the left-wing Equal Rights Amendment,[3] which was effectively opposed by Phyllis Schlafly.

Similar to Carter Glass,[4] Smith reportedly was kind towards individual blacks he knew, though looked down on them as a race.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Smith was initially in favor of the New Deal during the Great Depression,[6] including the Tennessee Valley Authority and the National Industrial Recovery Act,[7] the latter of which was struck down in a unanimous Supreme Court decision for being unconstitutional.[8] He later became an increasing opponent of many programs.[6][9]

Smith introduced the Southern Manifesto (which he developed along with Sens. Harry F. Byrd and Walter F. George) to the U.S. House in March 1956 to oppose the Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education which desegregated public schools.[2] In opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957, he said:[10]

The Southern people have never accepted the colored race as a race of people who had equal intelligence and education and social attainments as the whole people of the South.

See also


  1. ‘Judge’ Smith Moves With Deliberate Drag; The powerful chairman of the House Rules Committee is in no hurry to push civil rights.. The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Southern Manifesto of 1956. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  3. Blake, Aaron (June 15, 2020). How a segregationist paved the way for a big gay rights win in the Supreme Court. The Washington Post. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  4. Carter Glass: The Most Significant Legislator in American Banking History. Fascinating Politics. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  5. Civil Rights Act of 1964. Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Howard W. Smith: The Great Obstructionist. Fascinating Politics. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  7. Our History: Featured Alumni/ae: Smith, Howard W., 1903. University of Virginia. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  8. National Industrial Recovery Act. Britannica. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  9. TWO NEW DEALERS BEATEN FOR HOUSE IN VIRGINIA VOTE; Dodd Concedes Renomination of Smith and Hamilton His Defeat by Darden PENDERGAST IS LOSING Missouri Returns Indicate Defeat of Kansas City Boss--Winrod Trails in Kansas Dodd Loses in Virginia TWO NEW DEALERS BEATEN FOR HOUSE Stark's Forces Lead in Missouri St. Louis Count Is Late Whittles Into Billings Lead West Virginia New Dealers Win Reed Leading Winrod in Kansas. The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  10. Nobody Turn Me Around: A People's History of the 1963 March on Washington. Google Books. Retrieved April 22, 2021.

External links