Lumbard, Chief Judge, and Medina and Kaufman, Circuit Judges.
IRVING R. KAUFMAN, Circuit Judge:
The eight appellants claim the right to have the criminal cases pending against them in the state court removed to the federal court on the ground that they will be denied or cannot enforce in the state court their rights arising under a law providing for such equal civil rights.
Appellants have been charged in informations filed in the Criminal Court of the City of New York with criminal contempt under § 600(6) of the New York Penal Law, McKinney's Consol.Laws c. 40, for refusing to answer questions propounded by a Grand Jury for New York County investigating the Harlem riots of 1964. Their cases were removed to the federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1443(1) which provides for removal of an action:
Against any person who is denied or cannot enforce in the courts of such State a right under any law providing for the equal civil rights of citizens of the United States, or of all persons within the jurisdiction thereof.
Appellants specifically challenge § 596 of the New York Judiciary Law, McKinney's Consol.Laws, c. 30 which requires a grand juror to be "intelligent; of sound mind and good character; well informed," and "the owner * * * of real or personal property of the value of two hundred and fifty dollars"; and § 609 (1), which requires the county clerk to make a "special investigation" of persons qualified to serve as grand jurors. Appellants allege that the method of selection results "in the exclusion of the great majority of qualified Negro and Puerto Rican citizens and members of low income groups";*fn1 therefore, they argue that the Second August 1964 Grand Jury before which they were called to testify was an illegally constituted tribunal and without authority since it was selected in violation of the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment, 18 U.S.C. § 243,*fn2 and 42 U.S.C. § 1981.*fn3
After the cases had been removed to the district court, appellee moved pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c)*fn4 to remand the action to the Criminal Court for the City of New York, County of New York. Judge Croake, in a memorandum decision, concluded that the cases had been improvidently removed, and ordered them remanded. This Court denied appellants' motion for a stay pending appeal,*fn5 but Mr. Justice Harlan as the Circuit Justice granted a stay so that the appeal might be considered by us in light of the Rachel and Peacock cases, infra, then pending in the Supreme Court but not yet decided, 86 S. Ct. 940, 15 L. Ed. 2d 842 (1966).
We turn our attention initially to the conditions which must be met in order to remove a case under § 1443(1). It is essential for removal that the prosecution be "against any person who is denied or cannot enforce [one of his civil rights] in the courts of such State", and that the right must be one arising "under any law providing for the equal civil rights of citizens of the United States".
In light of the developments in this area of the law, it seems clear to us that the appellants' contention that the property qualification of § 596 of the Judiciary Law and the alleged vagueness of the section violate the equal protection clause of the constitution, does not meet the second requirement for removal. "The phrase 'any law providing for * * * equal civil rights' must be construed to mean any law providing for specific civil rights stated in terms of racial equality. Thus * * broad contentions under the * * * Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment cannot support a valid claim for removal under § 1443, because the guarantees of those clauses are phrased in terms of general application available to all persons or citizens, rather than in the specific language of racial equality that § 1443 demands." Georgia v. Rachel, 384 U.S. 780, 792, 86 S. Ct. 1783, 1790, 16 L. Ed. 2d 925 (1966). Although the Court does not seem to have decided whether a denial of rights protected by the equal protection clause of the constitution meets the second requirement for removal under § 1443(1), its language in Rachel would seem to support the view expressed in Peacock v. City of Greenwood, Miss., 347 F.2d 679 (5th Cir. 1965), rev'd on other grounds, 384 U.S. 808, 86 S. Ct. 1800, 16 L. Ed. 2d 944 (1966), that "not every violation of the equal protection clause will justify removal, but only those violations involving discrimination based on race." 347 F.2d at 682.*fn6 This is in harmony with the purpose of the removal section, as revealed by its history -- to protect those rights defined in terms of racial equality. Georgia v. Rachel, supra, 384 U.S. at 788-792, 86 S. Ct. 1783. Since § 596 does not on its face discriminate in terms of race, appellants' claim of violation of the equal protection clause does not qualify their case for removal. But see Peacock v. City of Greenwood, supra at 684.
Appellants contend, however, that the New York law violates 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and 18 U.S.C. § 243. Both sections, it appears, provide for "specific civil rights stated in terms of racial equality,"*fn7 and thus meet the second requirement of § 1443(1).*fn8 It is necessary, therefore, for us to determine whether appellants' claims comply with the language of the section which makes it a condition for removal that the petitioners be "denied or cannot enforce" their rights in the state courts.
The allegations in appellants' petition for removal resemble closely those of the petitioners in Gibson v. State of Mississippi, 162 U.S. 565, 16 S. Ct. 904, 40 L. Ed. 1075 (1896). There it was claimed that 7000 Negro citizens in Washington County, Mississippi, were qualified for jury service, while only 1500 qualified whites resided there; yet, no Negroes had served on grand juries for several years due to deliberate racial discrimination by the officials in charge of selecting jurors. The Supreme Court, in disposing of this charge, stated:
These facts, even if they have been proved and accepted, do not show that the rights of the accused were denied by the constitution and laws of the state, and therefore did not authorize the removal of the prosecution from the state court. * * * such evidence would be for consideration of the trial court upon a motion by the accused to quash the indictment, such motion being based on the ground that the indictment against him had been returned by a grand jury from which were purposely excluded, because of their color, all citizens of the race to which he belonged. * * * [A] removal * * * could not be ordered upon the ground, simply that citizens of African descent had been improperly excluded, because of their race, and without sanction of the constitution and laws ...