Co-Founder Joseph J. Levin, Jr.

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SPLC cofounder Joseph J. Levin has been a fairly colorless counterpart to Dees, but his experience in Washington with the federal government and in private practice has brought SPLC much practical legal expertise. He has served as SPLC’s legal director (1971-6), as president and board chairman, and, since 2003, as the Center’s president emeritus

While in private practice, Levin represented the University of North Carolina in a desegregation suit brought against it by the U.S. Health, Education and Welfare Department. Levin subsequently represented universities in Alabama and Louisiana in similar efforts to mitigate desegregation and affirmative action decrees from Washington, efforts ostensibly contrary to SPLC’s blanket support for forced integration.



Indeed, a writer for the Center recently characterized a black academic’s opposition to affirmative action akin to that defended by Levin as “Appeasing the Beast.” One can only speculate which Kleagle or Obersturmbannfuehrer SPLC might have linked and tied Levin to if he weren’t already intimately connected to the SPLC.