University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
 
Name Robinson, Spottswood William III
City Washington
State DC
Role(s) Judge : Federal, Article III
Race African-American
Gender M
Biographical
Spottswood William Robinson, III graduated from Howard University School of Law, first in his class. in 1939. Like Thurgood Marshall, he "credited the law school with instilling the notion of social responsibility. 'One of the things that was drilled into my head was ... "This legal education that ... read more
Spottswood William Robinson, III graduated from Howard University School of Law, first in his class. in 1939. Like Thurgood Marshall, he "credited the law school with instilling the notion of social responsibility. 'One of the things that was drilled into my head was ... "This legal education that you're getting is not just for you, it was for everybody. So when you leave here, you want to put it to good use." ' " "Spottswood Robinson, U.S. appeals judge, dies in Virginia at 82," Jet, Nov. 2, 1998.

Robinson was a faculty member of the Howard University School of Law from his graduation in 1939 until 1947. Judge Robinson was one of the core attorneys of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1948 to 1960. Through the NAACP LDF Robinson worked on important civil rights cases including Brown v. Board of Education and Chance v. Lambeth (4th Cir., 1951) (establishing the invalidity of carrier-enforced racial segregation in interstate transportation).

From 1960-64, Robinson became Dean of the Howard University School of Law. He also served as a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights from 1961 to 1963.

In 1964, Robinson became the first African-American to be appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. In 1966, when President Johnson appointed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Judge Robinson became the first African-American to serve on that prestigious court. Judge Robinson took senior status in 1989 and later retired. He died in 1998.



This additional biographical data was taken from the Federal Judicial Center [link] on Aug 15, 2016:

Robinson, Spottswood William III
Born July 26, 1916, in Richmond, VA
Died October 11, 1998, in Richmond, VA

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Received a recess appointment from Lyndon B. Johnson on January 6, 1964, to a seat vacated by James W. Morris; nominated to the same position by Lyndon B. Johnson on February 3, 1964. Confirmed by the Senate on July 1, 1964, and received commission on July 2, 1964. Service terminated on November 8, 1966, due to appointment to another judicial position.

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Nominated by Lyndon B. Johnson on October 6, 1966, to a seat vacated by George T. Washington. Confirmed by the Senate on October 20, 1966, and received commission on November 3, 1966. Served as chief judge, 1981-1986. Assumed senior status on September 1, 1989. Service terminated on October 11, 1998, due to death.

Education:
Howard University School of Law, LL.B., 1939

Professional Career:
Faculty, Howard University School of Law, 1939-1948, 1960-1963; dean, 1960-1963
Private practice, Richmond, Virginia, 1943-1960
Counsel and representative, Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Virginia NAACP, 1948-1950
Southeast regional counsel, NAACP, 1951-1960
Member, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1961-1963

Nominated to U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, October 1, 1963; no Senate vote
Research Collections

compress summary

Case(s) IM-DC-0014 : Narenji v. Civiletti; Confederation of Iranian Students v. Civiletti
PC-DC-0003 : Inmates of Occoquan v. Barry
PC-DC-0008 : Twelve John Does v. District of Columbia
SD-KS-0001 : Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka


Additional Resources
 
Web Resources Spottswood W. Robinson, III
http://www.brownat50.org
By: BrownAt50.org
[ External Link ]


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