Frank Minis Johnson

Frank Minis Johnson

Infobox Judge
honorific-prefix =
name = Frank Minis Johnson
honorific-suffix =

imagesize = 200 px
caption =
office = United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
term_start = 1981
term_end = 1999
nominator =
appointer =
predecessor =
successor = Edward Earl Carnes
office2 = United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
term_start2 = 1979
term_end2 = 1981
nominator2 = President Carter
appointer2 =
predecessor2 =
successor2 =
office3 = U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
term_start3 = 1955
term_end3 = 1979
nominator3 =
appointer3 = President Eisenhower
predecessor3 = Charles B. Kennamer
successor3 =
birth_date = October 30, 1918
birth_place = Haleyville, Alabama, USA
death_date = July 23, 1999
death_place = Montgomery, Alabama, USA
restingplace =
restingplacecoordinates =
birthname = Frank Minis Johnson, Jr.
nationality = American
party =
spouse = Ruth
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater = University of Alabama
occupation = Judge
profession =
net worth =
cabinet =
committees =
portfolio =
religion =

website =
footnotes =
nickname =
allegiance = United States of America
branch = Army
serviceyears = 1939-1945
rank =
unit =
commands =
battles = World War Two
awards = Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995)

Frank Minis Johnson, Jr. (born October 30, 1918 in Haleyville, Alabama - July 23, 1999 in Montgomery, Alabama) United States Federal judge, made a number of landmark civil rights rulings that helped end segregation in the South. In the words of Bill Moyers, he "altered forever the face of the South."


An alumnus of The University of Alabama and the University of Alabama School of Law (one of Johnson's classmates was future Governor George C. Wallace, who would be Johnson's "bête noire" in the civil rights litigation of the 1960s), Johnson served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II, while his wife, Ruth (also a classmate from The University of Alabama) served in the WAVES as an advisor to Hollywood filmmakers. After military service, Johnson entered private law practice in Jasper, Alabama, 1946-1953. Delegate to Republican National Convention from Alabama, 1948; U.S. District Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, 1953-55.

Federal Judicial Service

* Judge of U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, 1955-1979; :Received a recess appointment from President Eisenhower on October 22, 1955, to a seat vacated by Charles B. Kennamer; nominated on January 12, 1956; Confirmed by the Senate on January 31, 1956, and received commission on February 1, 1956. Served as chief judge, 1966-1979. Service terminated on July 12, 1979, due to appointment to another judicial position.

* Judge of United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1979-1981;:Nominated by President Carter on April 2, 1979, to a new seat; Confirmed by the Senate on June 19, 1979, and received commission on June 21, 1979. Service terminated on October 1, 1981, due to assignment to another court.

* Judge of United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit 1981-1999;:Reassigned October 1, 1981; Assumed senior status on October 30, 1991. He was succeeded on the bench by Edward Earl Carnes. Service terminated on July 23, 1999, upon his death.

FBI Nomination

In 1977 President Carter and Attorney General Griffin Bell asked him to become FBI Director when Director Kelley stepped down. However the day after President Carter nominated him, Judge Johnson was discovered to have an aneurysm, or abnormal swelling, of his abdominal aorta, and later had to withdraw his name from the nomination.

Medal of Freedom

Johnson also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995.

Notable Decisions

*Browder v. Gayle (1956)Orders the racial integration of the public transportation system of the city of Montgomery.

*"Gomillion v. Lightfoot" (1961)Invalidated the city of Tuskeegee's plan to dilute black voting strength by redrawing city boundaries so as to move concentrations of black voters out of the city limits.

*"United States v. Alabama" (1961)Ordered that black persons be registered to vote if their application papers were equal to the performance of the least qualified white applicant accepted on the voting rolls.

*"Lewis v. Greyhound" (1961)Required desegregation of the bus depots of the city of Montgomery.

*"United States v. City of Montgomery" (1961)Ordered the city of Montgomery to surrender its voting registration records to the US Department of Justice.

*"Sims v. Frink" (1962)Required the state of Alabama to reapportion state legislative districts to adhere to the 'one man, one vote' principle.

*"Lee v. Macon County Board of Ed." (1963)Mandated, in Alabama, the first statewide desegregation of public schools.

*"Williams v. Wallace" (1965)Ordered Gov. George Wallace to permit Dr. King's civil rights protest march from Selma to Mongomery.

*"White v. Crook" (1966)Ruled that the state of Alabama must permit Blacks to serve on juries.

*"United States v. Alabama" (1966)Declared the Alabama poll tax unconstitutional.

*"Smith v. YMCA of Montgomery" (1970)Ordered the desegregation of the Montgomery chapter of the YMCA.

*"NAACP v. Dothard"Required the state of Alabama to hire one Black state trooper for every white state trooper until racial parity was achieved.


*cite book |author=Sikora, Frank |title=The Judge: The Life and Opinions of Alabama's Frank M. Johnson, Jr. |publisher=NewSouth Books |year=2007 |id=ISBN 1-58838-158-7
*cite book |author=Bass, Jack |title=Taming the Storm: The Life and Times of Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., and the South's Fight over Civil Rights |publisher=Doubleday |year=1992 |id=ISBN 0-385-41348-3
*cite book |author=Yarbrough, Tinsley E. |title=Judge Frank Johnson and Human Rights in Alabama |publisher=University of Alabama Press |year=1981 |id=ISBN 0-8173-0056-2
*cite book |author=Jr. Kennedy, Robert F. |title=Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr: A biography |publisher=Putnam |year=1978 |id=ISBN 0-399-12123-4
*cite journal |author=Garrow, David J. |title=Visionaries of the Law: John Minor Wisdom and Frank M. Johnson, Jr. |journal=Yale Law Journal |month=April | year=2000 |volume=109 |pages=1219–36
*cite journal |author=Krotoszynski, Ronald J., Jr. |title=Equal Justice Under Law: The Jurisprudential Legacy of Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. |journal=Yale Law Journal |month=April | year=2000 |volume=109 |pages=1237–51
*cite journal |author=Lewis, John |title=Reflections on Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. |journal=Yale Law Journal |month=April | year=2000 |volume=109 |pages=1253–6
*cite journal |author=Marshall, Burke |title=In Remembrance of Judges Frank M. Johnson, Jr. and John Minor Wisdom |journal=Yale Law Journal |month=April | year=2000 |volume=109 |pages=1207–18
*cite journal |author=Thompson, Myron H. |title=Measuring a Life: Frank Minis Johnson, Jr. |journal=Yale Law Journal |month=April | year=2000 |volume=109 |pages=1257–9
*cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Judge Johnson Buried in the Alabama Hills |url= |work=The New York Times |publisher= |date=July 28, 1999 |accessdate=2008-06-24

External links

* [ 1979 biographical sketch upon induction into the Alabama Academy of Honor]
* [ ABA's 1993 Thurgood Marshall Award]

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  • Johnson, Frank Minis, Jr. — ▪ 2000       American federal judge (b. Oct. 30, 1918, Haleyville, Ala. d. July 23, 1999, Montgomery, Ala.), made a number of landmark civil rights rulings that helped end segregation in the South. After graduating at the top of his law school… …   Universalium

  • Johnson, Frank (Minis), Jr. — born Oct. 30, 1918, Halyeville, Ala. died July 23, 1999, Montgomery, Ala. U.S. judge. After graduating at the top of his law school class at the University of Alabama in 1943, he joined the army, becoming an infantry lieutenant. After the war he… …   Universalium

  • Johnson, Frank (Minis), Jr. — (30 oct. 1918, Halyeville, Ala., EE.UU.–23 jul. 1999, Montgomery, Ala.). Juez estadounidense. Al titularse luego de ocupar el primer lugar de su clase en la escuela de derecho de la Universidad de Alabama en 1943, ingresó al ejército con el grado …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Frank Johnson — may refer to:*Frank Johnson (American football), American football player *Frank Johnson (Australian politician), Australian Mayor of Adelaide 1907 1909 *Frank Johnson (aviator), British WWI ace pilot *Frank Johnson (basketball) (b.1958), former… …   Wikipedia

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  • Frank — Frank, Karl Hermann Frank, Leonhard Frank, ll´ja Michailovič * * * (as used in expressions) Baum, L(yman) Frank Buckley, William F(rank), Jr. Burnet, Sir (Frank) Macfarlane Capra, Frank Chapman, Frank Michler Frank James Cooper …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Johnson — /jon seuhn/; for 3 also Sw. /yoon sawn/, n. 1. Andrew, 1808 75, seventeenth president of the U.S. 1865 69. 2. Charles Spurgeon /sperr jeuhn/, 1893 1956, U.S. educator and sociologist. 3. Eyvind /ay vin/, 1900 76, Swedish writer: Nobel prize 1974 …   Universalium

  • frank — frank1 frankable, adj. franker, n. /frangk/, adj., franker, frankest, n., v. adj. 1. direct and unreserved in speech; straightforward; sincere: Her criticism of my work was frank but absolutely fair. 2. without inhibition or subterfuge; direct;… …   Universalium

  • Frank — /frangk/, n. 1. a member of a group of ancient Germanic peoples dwelling in the regions of the Rhine, one division of whom, the Salians, conquered Gaul about A.D. 500, founded an extensive kingdom, and gave origin to the name France. 2. (in the… …   Universalium

  • Edward Earl Carnes — Infobox Judge name = The Honorable Ed E. Carnes imagesize = caption = office = Judge on United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit termstart = 1992 termend = nominator = George H. W. Bush appointer = predecessor = Frank Minis Johnson …   Wikipedia

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