Kelly, Alfred H. (1907–1976)

Author:Richard B. Bernstein

Page 1528

Alfred Hinsey Kelly taught constitutional history for many years at Wayne State University. With his colleague Winfred A. Harbison he wrote The American Constitution: Its Origins and Development (1948; 6th ed., with Herman Belz, 1982), now widely regarded as the best single-volume constitutional history ever written. In 1953 Kelly researched the background of the FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT for the NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND'S brief in BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION (1954), concentrating on establishing the views of the framers of the amendment. He and Fund attorneys THURGOOD MARSHALL and William R. Ming prepared the final version of the historical sections of the brief submitted to the Court; in this brief and in later articles on the Amendment, Kelly distinguished "between the narrow scope of the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1866 and the much broader purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment itself" and emphasized the "broad equalitarian objectives" advocated by Representatives JOHN A. BINGHAM, THADDEUS STEVENS, and other members of...

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