AJS Recognizes Outstanding Leadership

By Tunheim, John R. | Judicature, November/December 2007 | Go to article overview

AJS Recognizes Outstanding Leadership


Tunheim, John R., Judicature


This fall AJS once again had the opportunity to recognize outstanding judicial leadership in America, presenting awards to three judges whose careers and accomplishments are truly exceptional.

Carolyn Dineen King, Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, received the Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award in Houston in September. Judge King, who has served on the Fifth Circuit for 28 years, was honored for her leadership as Chair of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference and for her stewardship as Chief Judge of her circuit, helping resolve serious crises involving the border courts and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A large gathering witnessed as Judge King received this very prestigious award from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Devitt Award is very special to me since it is named after my former colleague in Minnesota, Judge Edward Devitt, with generous funding provided by the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation in Minneapolis.

Several years ago, to recognize distinguished state court judges and to honor the many important contributions to justice by Dwight Opperman, AJS established an award in his name. This year's very deserving recipient was Chief Justice Pascal F. Calogero, Jr., of the Louisiana Supreme Court, honored for his long and distinguished career at the forefront of judicial reform in his home state. The award was presented in September at the Tulane Law School in front of many of Justice Calogero's friends, family, and colleagues.

AJS chose former Texas Chief Justice Tom Phillips as the recipient of the 2007 Justice Award. The Justice Award is given annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to improving the administration of justice nationally. Justice Phillips, who retired in 2004 after 17 years of service on the court, has been one of the nation's leading advocates for merit-based selection systems for judges. Chief Justice Phillips received his award at a wonderful dinner in November in Houston at which the keynote address was given by former U. …

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