PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement from Chief Judge Evans on the passing of Judge Leighton

Released On 06/06/2018

Please see the below statement issued by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans:

“I join the legal community in mourning the passing of our friend and my former law professor, George N. Leighton. He served the public in many ways as a Circuit Judge, an Illinois Appellate Justice and a U.S. District Court Judge.

“Judge Leighton came to Chicago in 1946 at a time when an African-American man could neither rent an office downtown nor hail a taxi in the Loop. He made a name for himself as an attorney who fought for voting rights, integrated schools, fair housing and equal access to jury service.

“His fierce advocacy even led to a grand jury indictment against him, in which he was accused of conspiring to incite a riot after an African-American family tried to move into a white neighborhood. Thurgood Marshall represented Mr. Leighton, and the charges were dismissed.

“This is the courage we celebrated when we renamed our criminal courthouse as the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building in 2012. That day, he said, ‘I practiced law. That’s all I did.’ Well, we all know it was so much more. And we will always remember the man who made it his mission to make sure that the law was equally applied to all.”

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