Skip to comments.Longtime federal judge Bryant dies at 94 (LBJ appointee 1965)
Posted on 11/14/2005 8:32:46 PM PST by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON - Longtime federal judge William B. Bryant the first black person to serve as chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has died. He was 94.
Bryant, who continued hearing cases as a senior judge until recently, died Sunday night, court spokesman Sheldon Snook said.
President Johnson nominated Bryant to the federal bench in 1965, after Bryant distinguished himself in private practice and as a federal prosecutor in Washington. He was first hired as an assistant U.S. attorney in 1951.
On Friday, President Bush signed legislation that will name a new $110 million, nine-courtroom addition to the federal courthouse in Bryant's honor.
Bryant was known for his dedication to constitutional law and believed that lawyers could stop injustice.
"Without lawyers, this is just a piece of paper," he said of the Constitution in an interview with The Washington Post last year. "If it weren't for lawyers, I'd still be three-fifths of a man. If it weren't for lawyers, we'd still have signs directing people this way and that, based on the color of their skin."
Bryant was a graduate of Howard University and its law school, where he taught for more than 20 years.
His wife of 60 years, Astaire, died in 1997.
He was a wonderful man and a great judge.
Why wouldn't he HEAR the cases? My friend's mother is 96 years old and sharper than a tack.
It probably was lawyers who came up with the three-fifths compromise. (That formula was adopted at the Constitutional Convention, but had been devised a little earlier by the Congress which met under the Articles of Confederation.)
Wasn't Rush Limbaugh's grandfather still an active lawyer or judge when even older than 96?
"Wasn't Rush Limbaugh's grandfather still an active lawyer or judge when even older than 96?"
Yes, and he was a lawyer, not a judge, from what I remember.
A Judge I believe. A mind doesn't have to be dull atg that age especially if that person has been active all their lives.