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April 6, 2010

Judge William Wayne Justice cenotaph dedication at the Texas State Cemetery, April 16, 2010

The public is invited to attend a ceremony dedicating a cenotaph in honor of the late U.S. District Court Judge William Wayne Justice on Thursday, April 16, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

The cenotaph recognizes Justice’s significant contributions to Texas history. Justice, born in Athens, Texas, in 1920, received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas, and served in the U.S. Army before returning to East Texas to practice law with his father and serve as city attorney in Athens. President John F. Kennedy selected him as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, and President Lyndon B. Johnson then appointed him to the federal bench in 1968 in Tyler. Justice served in that capacity until his death last October.

During his forty-one years on the federal bench, Justice worked courageously to protect civil rights, uphold constitutional freedoms, and ensure equal justice for all. His landmark rulings safeguarded the rights of minorities, the poor, and the politically powerless in many areas. Justice’s decisions addressed race discrimination in schools and housing, inhumane treatment in prisons and other facilities, the dilution of voting rights, inadequate education for immigrant and non-English speaking children, and the unnecessary institutionalization of the developmentally disabled. These rulings profoundly changed Texas and had ramifications throughout the nation.

UT Law School Dean Larry Sager and the Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law will host a reception at the State Cemetery immediately after the ceremony. All ceremony attendees are welcome to attend.

The public is also invited to attend an event honoring Judge Justice at the Law School the day before the cenotaph dedication. The event, a panel discussion entitled “The Arc of Justice – The Legacy of Judge William Wayne Justice and the Role of Lawyers in Social Reform,” will be held Thursday, April 15, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Law School’s Eidman Courtroom.

Further information about these events can be found on the Judge Justice Celebration website.


Mary Crouter, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, University of Texas School of Law, 512-232-7855,