Andy Grimm, NOLA.com | Times-Picayune By Andy Grimm, NOLA.com | Times-Picayune The Times-Picayune July 20, 2015 at 7:03 PM, updated July 21, 2015 at 7:13 AM
Connections to key Civil Rights rulings earned three Southern courthouses — including the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals building in downtown New Orleans — designation as National Historic Landmarks, the National Park Service announced Monday.
The neoclassical 5th Circuit Courthouse at 600 Camp Street was named for John Minor Wisdom. The New Orleans native was among a bloc of four judges on the court that delivered rulings that strengthened the Civil Rights movement in the contentious years after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling unraveled Jim Crow laws across the South.
The 5th U.S. Circuit building opened its doors 100 years ago this June.
During the Civil Rights Era, the 5th Circuit heard cases from much of the Deep South, with jurisdiction over Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and the Panama Canal Zone. The 11th District was created in 1981, splitting off Alabama, Florida and Georgia from the 5th District.
The 11th Circuit Courthouse in Atlanta, which also was named a Historic Landmark Monday, is named for Elbert Parr Tuttle, chief judge of the 5th Circuit from 1960 to 1967 and one of Wisdom’s fellow stalwarts on the so-called “5th Circuit Four.”
The third courthouse named a national landmark, the Robert M. Johnson Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Montgomery, Ala., is named for a former 5th Circuit judge who later moved to the 11th Circuit.
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