CONTACT PERSON: VALERIE WILLARD
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
| APRIL 26, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The judges of the Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit sat en banc today to honor and celebrate the judicial
career of former Fourth Circuit Judge Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial. Morial was elected to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal in 1974 and served until 1978. He was the first African American to sit on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal bench. Members of the Morial family were in attendance for the ceremony which was highlighted by the unveiling of a portrait of the former judge which will henceforth hang in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal courtroom.
“This court gratefully accepts this portrait of our colleague. It is a most generous gift from his devoted family,” said Chief Judge Joan Bernard Armstrong on behalf of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal.
On behalf of the Morial family, remarks were provided by son Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. He noted that prior to joining the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal bench, his father had a distinguished career as an attorney in private practice and that his father was the first African American in a number of positions throughout his inspirational life. “In addition to breaking new ground at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, “Dutch” was the first African American to graduate from Louisiana State University (LSU) Law School, to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney, to serve as a Juvenile Court Judge in Louisiana, and to serve as the Mayor of New Orleans.”
Morial received a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Xavier University in 1951 and he received his J.D. degree from Louisiana State University Law School in 1954. During his early years of practicing law in New Orleans, Morial was a cooperating attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc. and as President of the New Orleans Chapter of the NAACP. Locally, he fought for equal rights by handling many suits which resulted in the elimination of segregation policies at various institutions including: Delgado Trade School, the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium, Louisiana State University in New Orleans, Southwestern (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette), and Southeastern Louisiana University at Hammond.
Morial was extensively involved in civic and community service programs locally and on a national scale. He was appointed by President John F. Kennedy as a charter member of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and was a member of the Steering Committee of the Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities of the American Bar Association. He was a founder and former president of the New Orleans Legal Assistance Corporation. Morial also served as General President of Alhpa Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the oldest African American social service fraternity of college men, which initiated civil rights programs as early as 1913.
Additionally, Morial taught at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Tulane University Law School, Xavier University, the Loyola University Institute of Politics and Southern University in New Orleans.
As Mayor of New Orleans, Morial distinguished himself as one of the nation’s foremost urban leaders and was the recipient of numerous honors and awards.
Born in New Orleans in 1929, Morial died in 1989 at the age of 60. He was married to Sybil H. Morial and they had five children.