In a bipartisan effort, the United States Senate unanimously passed Rep. Mo Brooks’ (AL-05) bill, H.R. 6513, to designate a United States Postal Service Office located in Athens, Alabama, as “Judge James E. Horton, Jr. Post Office Building.”
Judge Horton bravely issued an order setting aside the jury’s guilty verdict and ordered a new trial for one of the “Scottsboro Boys” in 1933.
“I’m pleased the United States Senate unanimously passed my bill naming the Athens Post Office for Tennessee Valley luminary, Judge James E. Horton Jr.,” Brooks said, per a statement. “Now, the only remaining hurdle for the bill to become law is presidential signature, and I encourage President Trump to sign the bill.”
Brooks added, “Judge Horton took a stand against extreme racial prejudice that risked and ended his judicial career. For championing blind justice and for his bravery in the face of intense pressure, Judge Horton deserves the posthumous honor of having the Athens, Alabama Post Office named for him. It is appropriate that his legacy be held up as a guide for future Tennessee Valley generations.”
In concluding his speech, Brooks thanked those responsible for ensuring the passing of the bill.
“While this bill wouldn’t have passed the House and Senate if it weren’t for the support of key Congressional colleagues, Judge Horton’s descendants and Limestone County community leaders were the driving force behind this bill,” Brooks said. “Their efforts meant the difference, and I’m grateful for their assistance and insight without which this bill would not be heading to President Trump’s desk.”
In 2017, a statue of Judge Horton was erected in October 2017 on the Limestone County Courthouse square.
Differing from many of his counterparts, Judge Horton believed that everyone should receive due process, regardless of race or ethnicity.
In dealing with the case at the time, Horton said, “[T]he man who engages in anything that would cause the death of any of the prisoners is a murderer; he is not only a murderer but a cowardly murderer.”
After setting aside the guilty verdict, Judge Horton was removed from the case by the Alabama Supreme Court.
Horton was voted off the bench and had to flee town with his family due to threats from white supremacists. He eventually left politics and chose to work on his farm while operating a small private practice.
In 2010, Horton was posthumously elected into the Alabama Lawyers Hall of Fame by the Alabama State Bar.
Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.