John Robert Brown (judge)

John Robert Brown (December 10, 1909 - January 23, 1993) was a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 1950s and 1960s, one of the "Fifth Circuit Four". The court became known for a series of decisions crucial in advancing the civil rights of African-Americans.

Brown was born 1909 in Funk, Nebraska. Educated at the University of Nebraska and the University of Michigan law school, Brown was in private practice as an admiralty lawyer in the Houston area from 1932 to 1955, except for a four-year stint in the army during World War II.

He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1955 and became known as one of the "Fifth Circuit Four" - Brown, Elbert Tuttle, Richard Rives, and John Minor Wisdom - so called because of a series of decisions crucial in advancing the civil rights of African-Americans. At that time, the Fifth Circuit included not only Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas (its jurisdiction as of 2005), but also Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and the Panama Canal Zone.

Judge Brown went on "senior" status as a judge in 1984, but never completely retired until his death in 1993 in Houston, Texas.

The Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition was established shortly before Judge Brown's death and is now held annually, sponsored by the University of Texas at Austin Law School.

External links

* [http://air.fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=285 Brown's listing at the Federal Judicial Center website]
* [http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/advocacy/admiralty Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition]
* [http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/text/main.php#history History of the Court of Appeals, on the 11th Circuit Court website]


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