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Interview with Marion Pope, January 29, 2016

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:44 - Early life and education

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Partial Transcript: Hopefully, you will share with us some of your recollections of the more than forty years that you have been in public life. But before we begin discussing you career, I would like to ask you to tell us about you and your early life.

Segment Synopsis: Pope talks about being born in Upson County, Georgia and moving to Cherokee County at a young age. He talks about attending North Georgia College where he was a cadet, joining the Navy, and afterwards, attending the South Georgia College and the University of Georgia Business School and Law School. He retells meeting a FBI agent named Andy Roach and together opening the Roach and Pope law practice in Cherokee County.

Keywords: China; Dahlonega, Georgia; Johnny Griffith; Mercer; San Diego, California; Yale University

00:12:14 - Election to the Georgia House

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Partial Transcript: Then you were elected to the House of Representatives I believe in 1963. When did you first get interested in politics?

Segment Synopsis: Pope discusses being elected to the Georgia House of Representatives for the first time in 1963. He recalls serving as chairman of the highway committee, through which he passed a bill to build Interstate 575 (I-575). Pope also talks about the friends that he made in the House, such as Denmark Groover.

Keywords: Arthur Bolton; Bill Stuckey; George Bagby; George Busbee; Jack Etheridge; Jake Cullen; John Wood; Mercer; Monticello; Thomas Jefferson; University of Virginia; clock; superior court judge

00:22:26 - Reapportionment of Georgia

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk a minute about the difficulty of reapportionment.

Segment Synopsis: Pope talks about the reapportionment process that occurs in Georgia every ten years after the census. He says that it is necessary to have equal representation. Pope also discusses the Three Governor's Controversy in 1946 between Ellis Arnall, Melvin Thompson, and Herman Talmadge that resulted after Eugene Talmadge (the governor-elect) died before he could take office. Pope describes the executive powers that the governor used to have, including appointing the Speaker of the House and the committee chairmen.

Keywords: Leroy Johnson; Lester Maddox; county unit system

00:35:52 - Superior Court Judge / Court of Appeals

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Partial Transcript: Well you were appointed to the Superior court, I believe in 1967.

Segment Synopsis: Pope discusses being appointed as Superior Court Judge by Gov. Lester Maddox. Pope also talks about the gubernatorial election between Lester Maddox and Bo Callaway in 1966. He says that Callaway won the popular vote but did not get a majority, and the legislature ended up picking Maddox to be the governor. Pope then discusses being appointed to the Court of Appeals by Gov. George Busbee in 1981.

Keywords: Albert Henderson; Andy Roach; Carl Sanders; Peter Zack Geer; majority leader

00:48:02 - Stories about the legislature

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Partial Transcript: Tell us some stories about your service in the legislature.

Segment Synopsis: Pope talks about several of the people that he met in the General Assembly during his time in the Georgia House of Representatives. Pope talks about his friend, Grady Coker, who was a Representative and also a doctor. Pope also says that he is still practicing law and recently worked on a mesothelioma case.

Keywords: Eisenhower; Kennedy; Rob Buck; firecracker bill

00:57:02 - The death penalty

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Partial Transcript: As an Appellate Court judge, you presided over a lot of death cases.

Segment Synopsis: Pope discusses presiding over death cases and explains his opinion about the death penalty, saying that he believes that it is necessary but there is racial inequality its its application. Pope also talks about the Dixie Mafia, which is a gang that operates in the Southern United States.

Keywords: Forsyth County Court House; Missouri System; Roy Atwell; electric chair; lethal injection

01:07:07 - Rise of the Republican Party / Opinion of government today

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Partial Transcript: Georgians are very independent voters.

Segment Synopsis: Pope discusses the rise of the Republican Party in Georgia after the 1964 election between Barry Goldwater and Bo Callaway. Pope also explains why he thinks that there is constituent dissatisfaction with the government today, saying that the problem is that the government is not in close contact with the people.

Keywords: Carl Sanders; Cheney Griffin; Denmark Groover; George Busbee; Joe Frank Harris; Johnny Isakson; Maddox Hale; Marvin Griffin; Peter Zack Geer

01:18:16 - Reflections on Career

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Partial Transcript: Well, you've had a certainly admirable career.

Segment Synopsis: Pope reflects on his career as a whole and says that he is thankful that the G.I Bill allowed him to get an education. He says that he doesn't have much left on his bucket list because he has already traveled around the world, but that he would like to settle down and relax.

Keywords: Eisenhower; FDR; George H. W. Bush; Moscow; The Y