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William Wayne Justice

William Wayne Justice
A Judicial Biography

Now in paperback—the acclaimed biography of one of Texas’s most influential and controversial judges, with a new epilogue that traces William Wayne Justice’s impact and legacy.

Series: Jack and Doris Smothers Endowment in Texas History, Life, and Culture, Number Twenty-two

November 2008
This is a print-on-demand title. Expedited shipping is not available.
527 pages | 6.125 x 9.25 |

In his forty years on the federal bench in Texas, William Wayne Justice has been a formidable force for change. His rulings have prompted significant institutional reforms in education, prisons, and racial relations, to name only a few areas of society in Texas and beyond that have been affected by Justice's work. For his labors, Judge Justice has received numerous awards, including the Outstanding Federal Trial Judge Award, the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities of the American Bar Association, and the Morris Dees Justice Award from the University of Alabama School of Law.

This paperback reprint of William Wayne Justice chronicles his judicial career and the decisions he reached. It includes a new epilogue that describes Justice's move to Austin as a judge on senior status yet with a full caseload, tracks the long-running institutional reform cases to their conclusion, and examines the legacy of this remarkable and controversial jurist.


T. R. Fehrenbach Book Award
Texas Historical Society

Scribes Book Award Finalist
American Society of Legal Writers

  • Preface
  • Part One. The Judge and His Court
    • 1. The Early Years
    • 2. Political Activity: Outside the Mainstream
    • 3. U.S. Attorney: The Road to the Bench
    • 4. Life as a Judge
  • Part Two. The Decisions
    • 5. Statewide School Desegregation
    • 6. Juvenile Rights in Texas Reform Schools
    • 7. The First Amendment
    • 8. Voter Discrimination
    • 9. The Education of Undocumented Alien Children
    • 10. Bilingual Education
    • 11. Rights of the Accused
    • 12. Employment
    • 13. Care of Mentally Retarded Persons
    • 14. Desegregating Public Housing
    • 15. Prison Reform
    • 16. A Measure of Human Dignity
  • Epilogue
  • Appendix: List of Law Clerks
  • Notes
  • Case Index
  • Index of Names and Topics

Frank Kemerer is Regents Professor-Emeritus of Education Law and Administration at the University of North Texas and founder of the Texas School Administrators’ Legal Digest. He lives in San Diego, California.


“This exhaustive, compelling account assesses the life of one of the most important judges ever to sit on a federal court bench.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“A valuable contribution to understanding the social and political history of Texas.”
Barbara Jordan, former U.S. Representative

“A scholarly, yet eminently readable account that explicates Judge Justice’s personal life and outlook in the unique way they are expressed in his jurisprudence.”
Dallas Morning News


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This book may also be available on the following library platforms; check with your local library:
3M Cloud Library/bibliotheca