Alabama’s First Black Federal Judge Stepping Down

Judge U.W. Clemon
Judge U.W. Clemon
In his resignation letter to President Obama, he wrote: “On a personal note, I am ecstatic over  your election. My exceeding joy springs from my background as a laborer in the vineyards of civil and human rights. It has been my lifelong dream that at some point in the indefinite future, a black American would be elected president of the United States.”

The Birmingham News
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama’s first black federal judge, U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon, will retire from the bench Jan. 31 and return to practicing civil law.
Clemon cited stagnant judges’ pay and changes in the federal courts’ direction that don’t sit well with him as reasons for his decision to leave the bench rather than take senior status, a form of semi-retirement that allows federal judges to hear fewer cases but still earn a full salary.
“It’s time,” said Clemon, who as a lawyer handled landmark civil rights lawsuits before his appointment by President Carter to the bench in 1980. “I have now served 28½ years as a federal judge and I’m 65. There are some other things I’d like to do in life.”
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Read Letter of Resignation


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