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Friday, October 16, 2009

Profile in Judicial Courage Passes On

A true leader in upholding the Constitution and the law to ensure equal justice for all has passed away: Judge William Wayne Justice. As a federal district judge, he ruled on controversial, ground-breaking class action suits in the state of Texas. His crucial decisions resulted in the integration of Texas public schools, the reform of prisons in the state, and the provision of free public education for the children of undocumented immigrants.

Judge Justice was notably courageous. As a result of his contentious rulings, he was the frequent victim of hate mail, death threats, ostracism, and calls for his impeachment. Here’s what he had to say about all of that: “Sure you’re affected by it. But on the other hand you have to keep your self-respect. If you know to yourself that you deliberately decide against what the law was just to affect your own personal comfort, you’re not much of a judge.”

AFJ featured Judge Justice in our film Upholding the Promise: Profiles in Judicial Courage which you can view on our web site.
Read more about this fearless giant in the New York Times.

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