Spottswood William Robinson III Article

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Spottswood William Robinson III
Robinson spotswood.jpg
Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
In office
September 1, 1989 – October 11, 1998
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
In office
1981–1986
Preceded by Carl E. McGowan
Succeeded by Patricia Wald
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
In office
November 3, 1966 – September 1, 1989
Appointed by Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by George Thomas Washington
Succeeded by A. Raymond Randolph
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
In office
January 6, 1964 – November 8, 1966
Appointed by Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by James Ward Morris
Succeeded by Gerhard Gesell
Personal details
BornSpottswood William Robinson III
(1916-07-26)July 26, 1916
Richmond, Virginia
DiedOctober 11, 1998(1998-10-11) (aged 82)
Richmond, Virginia
Residence Richmond, Virginia
Education Howard University School of Law ( LL.B.)

Spottswood William Robinson III (July 26, 1916 – October 11, 1998) was an American educator, civil rights attorney, and a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after previously serving as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Education and career

Born in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Spottswood William Robinson II [1893-1954], a lawyer, and Inez Irene Clements [1893-1994], a homemaker, Robinson an undergraduate degree from Virginia Union University and a Bachelor of Laws from Howard University School of Law in 1939, graduating first in his class and achieving the highest scholastic average in the history of the law school. [1] He was a member of the faculty of Howard University School of Law from 1939 to 1948. He was in private practice of law in Richmond from 1943 to 1960. He was counsel and representative for the Virginia NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1948 to 1950. He was southeast regional counsel for the NAACP from 1951 to 1960. He was Professor and Dean of Howard University School of Law from 1960 to 1963. He was a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights from 1961 to 1963. [2]

NAACP LDF cases

Harold Boulware, Thurgood Marshall, and Spottswood Robinson III in 1953 conferring during Brown case

In the early 1950s, Robinson and his law-partner Oliver Hill, working through the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, litigated several civil rights lawsuits in Virginia. In 1951, Robinson and Hill took up the cause of the African-American students at the segregated R.R. Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia who had walked out of their dilapidated school. The subsequent lawsuit, Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, was consolidated with four other cases decided under Brown v. Board of Education by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1954. In his arguments before the Court, Robinson made the first argument on behalf of the plaintiffs. [3] Robinson also participated in Chance v. Lambeth, which invalidated carrier-enforced racial segregation in interstate transportation. [4]

Federal judicial service

Robinson received a recess appointment from President Lyndon B. Johnson on January 6, 1964, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated by Judge James Ward Morris. He was nominated to the same seat by President Johnson on February 3, 1964. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 1, 1964, and received his commission on July 2, 1964, becoming the first African-American to serve on this court. [5] His service was terminated on November 8, 1966, due to elevation to the D.C. Circuit. [2]

Robinson was nominated by President Johnson on October 6, 1966, to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated by Judge George Thomas Washington. He was confirmed by the Senate on October 20, 1966, and received his commission on November 3, 1966. [2] He served as Chief Judge from 1981 to 1986, becoming the first African-American to both serve on this court and serve as Chief Judge of the court. He assumed senior status on September 1, 1989. His service was terminated on October 11, 1998, due to his death in Richmond. [6]

Notable case

Robinson's opinion in Canterbury v. Spence is credited with requiring medical doctors to secure informed consent and as the beginning of a more litigious medical culture. [7]

References

  1. ^ "Fighter for Civil Rights. Spottswood William Robinson 3d". New York Times. 1961. Retrieved 25 June 2008. The highest scholastic average in the history of the Howard University Law School is held by Spottswood William Robinson 3d. 'Intellectual' is the word people use to describe him.
  2. ^ a b c "Robinson, Spottswood William III - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  3. ^ "Brown vs. Board of Education: "The Case of the Century."" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III". Brown University. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
  5. ^ "Brown@50: Fulfilling the Promise". Howard University School of Law. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  6. ^ Pace, Eric (13 October 1998). "Spottswood W. Robinson 3d, Civil Rights Lawyer, Dies at 82". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-01. Spottswood W. Robinson 3d, a Virginia civil rights lawyer who argued one of the five cases that led to the Supreme Court's 1954 desegregation ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, died on Sunday at his home in Richmond. He was 82.
  7. ^ Roberts, Sam (17 May 2017). "Jerry Canterbury, Whose Paralysis Led to Informed Consent Laws, Is Dead at 78". The New York Times. p. B5. Retrieved 17 May 2017.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
James Ward Morris
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
1964–1966
Succeeded by
Gerhard Gesell
Preceded by
George Thomas Washington
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
1966–1989
Succeeded by
A. Raymond Randolph
Preceded by
Carl E. McGowan
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
1981–1986
Succeeded by
Patricia Wald