Justice will have a new name at CJC

Justice Juanita Kidd Stout, shown in 1988, may soon be memorialized in the renaming of the city’s Criminal Justice Center. The trailblazing jurist died in 1998.
Justice Juanita Kidd Stout, shown in 1988, may soon be memorialized in the renaming of the city’s Criminal Justice Center. The trailblazing jurist died in 1998.
Posted: May 24, 2012

THE LATE Justice Juanita Kidd Stout was the first African-American woman elected to a court of record in the U.S., the first to sit on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and the first appointed to the state Supreme Court.

Now City Council is on track to rename the Criminal Justice Center on Filbert Street near 13th as the “Justice Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice,” making it the first major building in Philadelphia to be named for a black woman.

Stout received her law degree from Indiana University and arrived here in the early 1950s. She worked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge William H. Hastie and in the District Attorney’s Office before winning a seat on Municipal Court in 1959.

Naming the CJC for a person has involved years of political haggling. Two years after it was built in 1995, council members proposed naming it after: former Mayor Frank Rizzo; former two-term Councilman Edgar Campbell Sr., the first black chairman of the city Democratic Party; former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and former state Supreme Court Justice James McDermott.

Former City Councilwoman Augusta Clark, who proposed naming the building after Marshall, said Council did not appreciate his relevance to the city. The late Councilwoman Carol Campbell wanted it named after her father. Former Councilwoman Joan Krajewski proposed naming it after Rizzo following stalled attempts to name the Municipal Services Building for him, but black Council members opposed it, Clark said.

The Philadelphia Bar Association passed a resolution to rename the building after Stout died in 1998 at 79. Council’s Committee of the Whole approved the bill Tuesday, and a final vote could come next Thursday. n

Contact Jan Ransom at 215-854-5218 or Ransomj@phillynews.com

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|