This week features a second photo from the Judge Damon Keith Collection. Damon J. Keith was born in Detroit, Michigan, and has served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit since 1977. Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Keith served as Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Judge Keith is a graduate of West Virginia State College (B.A. 1943), Howard University Law School (J.D. 1949), where he was elected Chief Justice of the Court of Peers, and Wayne State University Law School (LL.M. 1956). Judge Keith has consistently stood up for civil rights and the Constitution. His most famous decision was in the United States v. Sinclair case in which he ruled to prohibit warrantless wiretapping that had been perpetrated by the Nixon Administration. More recently Judge Keith ruled it unlawful for the Bush administration to conduct deportation hearings in secret whenever the government asserted that the people involved might be linked to terrorism. Judge Keith has also vigorously enforced the nation’s civil rights laws, most notably in the areas of employment and education. In Stamps v. Detroit Edison Co., Judge Keith ruled the Detroit Edison Company had practiced systematic racial discrimination, resulting in fines against the company of $4 million and against the employee union of $250,000, and issued an order for the company to institute an aggressive affirmative action program. These are just a few of the many cases in which Judge Keith has ruled on, but he has earned a reputation as an independent federal judge who would stand up to Presidents when they went against the Constitution. Throughout his career he has received many awards and honorary degrees that honor his distinguished career. This information was provided by the Damon J. Keith Collection at the Wayne State University Law School. For more information visit http://keithcollection.wayne.edu/about/bio.html.
This photo, by Sonny Edwards Photography, was taken sometime between 1960 and 1968. Judge Keith is second from the left with his arm around the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is unknown who the other two men are in the photo.