WASHINGTON, May 13, 1963 (UPI)-President Kennedy drafted a reply today to Alabama Gov. George Wallace's challenge of his authority to send troops into Alabama to cope with any new racial violence in Birmingham. The White House said Kennedy planned to send his answer to Wallace today.
Wallace last night sent Kennedy a telegram disputing the chief executive's legal authority to dispatch troops trained in riot control to military bases near Birmingham and had taken standby steps to federalize the Alabama National Guard.
Kennedy invoked a U. S. law dating back to Reconstruction Days as the basis for his action. It is section 333 of title 10 of the U. S. Code, giving the president power to use armed forces to suppress domestic violence that violates constitutional rights.
The same section also was cited-among others-by Kennedy last year when he intervened in the Oxford, Miss., rioting, and by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957 when he sent troops to Little Rock, Ark.
The governor argued there were sufficient state and local forces to handle the Birmingham developments. He cited the U. S. Constitution.
Wallace last night sent Kennedy a telegram disputing the president's power to send troops to Alabama. The governor cited the U. S. Constitution.