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Former Chief Judge Eugene N. Hamilton: A Man Of Integrity Dies At 78

Former Chief Judge Eugene Nolan Hamilton

No he was not a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, but he should have been. You never would have found Eugene Nolan Hamilton the focus of a sexual harassment hearing before being confirmed as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Nor would you have found him subject of an investigation for not reporting his wife’s income on his annual financial disclosure form.

Former D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Eugene Nolan Hamilton was the kind of man that the High Court mandates in a Supreme Court Justice. Eugene Nolan Hamilton was a man of integrity; a man beyond reproach.

Unfortunately for the people of the United States he was never considered. What a fine Justice we would have had in him.

The Memphis born son of a domestic worker and a postal employee rose to become chief judge of the D.C. Superior Court in 1993, making him the second Black American to hold that position. H. Carl Moultrie of whom the court building is named was the first.

During his seven years as chief judge along with his three decades on the bench, Judge Hamilton established a reputation as a strong advocate for children in the Washington Metropolitan area. Both Judge Hamilton and his wife, Virginia became heart loving foster parents for more than 50 foster children. They also adopted four of the children. Some of the foster children were severely handicapped.

After stepping down as chief judge, he remained active as a senior judge. In that capacity, the last major case he heard on November 18, 2011 involved a 10-year-old boy from Prince George’s County abandoned at a Children’s National Medical Center psychiatric ward. The child was ultimately moved to a long-term-care facility near Philadelphia thanks to Judge Hamilton who worked diligently to resolve the matter in the best interest of the child.

Known as someone who remembered his modest origins, Eugene Nolan Hamilton was born Aug. 24, 1933, in Memphis, Tennessee. Judge Hamilton received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1954 and a law degree in 1958, both from the University of Illinois. Before moving to the Washington area in 1961, he served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

Prior to receiving an appointment to the D.C. Superior Court in 1970, he worked in the Justice Department’s civil division. After taking the bench, he worked in all of the divisions of the D.C. Superior Court before becoming chief judge.

During his tenure as chief judge, the D.C. Superior Court began a pilot program for juvenile nonviolent offenders, called Urban Services Corps. The program combined a boot camp-like training program with months of supervision and job training.

In 2000, Judge Hamilton stepped down as chief judge a year before the end of his second term and after 30 years on the bench.

“I always set my mark for 30 years,” he said in an interview with The Post at the time.

In addition to his continuation on the bench in a senior status, Judge Hamilton taught as an adjunct law professor at Harvard and American University. At the time of his death, Judge Hamilton was teaching a Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School.

According to his secretary Karen Stephenson, Judge Hamilton died Nov. 19 at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney of a heart attack at the age of 78.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Virginia David Hamilton of Brookeville; nine children, Alexandra Evans of Ashton; Steven Hamilton of Santa Clara, Calif.; James Hamilton of Bowie; Eric Hamilton and David Hamilton, both of Tampa; Rachael Hamilton of Columbia; Jeremiah Hamilton of Silver Spring; Michael Hamilton of Brookeville; and Marcus Hamilton of Wheaton; 15 grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

No, he was not a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, but he should have been, because Eugene Nolan Hamilton was a man of integrity.

Febone1960.net offers condolences to the Eugene Hamilton family. Judge Hamilton was a special man in a troubled world. At no time did he waver. Judge Hamilton stood tall for justice for all. Shall he rest in peace.

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    Posted in Black Men and Febone1960.net and Foster Care and Justice and Obituary: Last Mile Of The Way and Uncategorized 2 years, 11 months ago at 10:52 am.

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