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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Montgomery in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Judge Frank M. Johnson: Judicial Fairness in the Age of Segregation

Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail

 

—Molton and Montgomery Streets —

 
Judge Frank M. Johnson: Judicial Fairness in the Age of Segregation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, December 5, 2015
1. Judge Frank M. Johnson: Judicial Fairness in the Age of Segregation Marker
Inscription. Following two attempted marches from Selma in 1965 civil rights leaders turned to the federal courts for legal protection prior to the Selma To Montgomery March. Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., appointed by President Eisenhower in 1955, oversaw the case. Judge Johnson had previously ruled with the majority opinion in the case that made it illegal to segregate city busses after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to white passengers. Looking at 1954's Brown v. Board of Education case as a precedent, Johnson found it unconstitutional to segregate facilities based on race.

In the 1965 case, Judge Johnson weighed the right of mobility against the right to march, ruling in favor of the demonstrators. He declared that the march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from Selma to Montgomery for voting equity was "basic to our constitutional principles." Judge Johnson received support from President Lyndon B. Johnson, who authorized the Alabama National Guard to serve as protection This landmark decision paved the way forward for the march and ultimately the civil rights movement.

"THE LAW IS CLEAR THAT THE RIGHT TO PETITION ONE'S GOVERNMENT FOR THE REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES MAY BE EXERCISED IN LARGE GROUPS AND THESE RIGHTS MAY BE EXERCISED BY MARCHING, EVEN ALONG PUBLIC HIGHWAYS."

Judge Frank M. Johnson image. Click for full size.
courtesy of the Office of Frank M. Johnson, Jr, U.S. Court of Appeals
2. Judge Frank M. Johnson
– JUDGE FRANK M. JOHNSON, JR
 
Erected 2015 by the City of Montgomery. (Marker Number 9.)
 
Location. 32° 22.523′ N, 86° 18.779′ W. Marker is in Montgomery, Alabama, in Montgomery County. Marker is at the intersection of Montgomery Street and Catoma Street, on the right when traveling south on Montgomery Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Montgomery Street, Montgomery AL 36104, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Kahl Montgomery/Catoma Street Church of Christ (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tribute to Montgomery's "Foot Soldiers" (about 600 feet away); Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott (about 600 feet away); The Five Points Area: A Unique Blend of Communities in 1965 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ladies Memorial Association (approx. 0.2 miles away); The First White House of the Confederacy (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Federal Building and US Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Montgomery County World War II Monument (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montgomery.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia article on Judge Frank Minis Johnson. (Submitted on December 7, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
View towards Catoma Street. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, December 5, 2015
3. View towards Catoma Street.

 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsPolitics
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 7, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 184 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 7, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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