Bill Moyers & Michael Winship @ Common Dreams - On October 13, we lost a resolute champion of the law, a man who left his impact on the lives of untold numbers of Americans.
His very name made his life's work almost inevitable, a matter of destiny. William Wayne Justice was a Federal judge for the Eastern District of Texas. That's right, he was "Justice Justice." And he spent a distinguished legal career making sure that everyone -- no matter their color or income or class -- got a fair shake. As a former Texas lieutenant governor put it last week, "Judge Justice dragged Texas into the 20th century, God bless him."
Dragged it kicking and screaming, for it was Justice who ordered Texas to integrate its public schools in 1971 -- 17 years after the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision made separate schools for blacks and whites unconstitutional. Texas resisted doing the right thing for as long as it could. Many of its segregated schools for African-American children were so poor they still had outhouses instead of indoor plumbing. Read more.