The Feds dedicated their new courthouse on Friday. [Motto: If we build it- you can all look at it, but no one can use it because it's too complicated to explain here.]
The Courthouse has been named in Honor of the Late Judge Wilkie Ferguson.
Judge Ferguson served on many courts, the last two being the Third DCA and the the U.S. District Court. Judge Ferguson was born and raised in Miami, and his life is proof that talent and dedication can overcome obstacles and help change society.
Judge Ferguson helped change our community and our law, all for the better. But it was one quote attributed to him at the opening ceremonies that caught our eye.
The Herald reported this, including a quote from Attorney H. T Smith attributed to Judge Ferguson.
In a famous 1980 decision -- one that was echoed years later by the U.S. Supreme Court -- Ferguson ruled against local courtroom practices that had systematically allowed blacks to be excluded from jury duty.
It was a risky decision, one likely to be at odds with how other judges saw the issue, H.T. Smith, an attorney and close Ferguson friend, reminisced during a video tribute played on monitors inside the new courthouse.
Ferguson back then offered Smith this explanation for his ruling:
``In the moral universe, one is a majority if you're right. And on this one, H.T., I'm right.''
It doesn't get any better than that.
In this day and age of supervisors, and supervisors for supervisors ('too many chiefs, not enough Indians' Judge Moreno likes to say) when prosecutors have to check every decision they make through the maze and matrix of supervisors, it's nice to remember a time when one man saw the right thing to do, and did it, consequences be dammed.
"In The Moral Universe, One Is A Majority If You're Right."
A fitting epitaph for a great man.
See You In Court.