H.R. 2131, to designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 83 Meeting Street in Charleston, South Carolina, as the “J. Waties Waring Judicial Center”

H.R. 2131

to designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 83 Meeting Street in Charleston, South Carolina, as the “J. Waties Waring Judicial Center”

Sponsor
Rep. James E. Clyburn

Date
June 15, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
John Huston

Floor Situation

On Monday, June 15, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 2131, to designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 83 Meeting Street in Charleston, South Carolina, as the “J. Waties Waring Judicial Center,” under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 2131 was introduced on April 30, 2015, by Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) and was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which ordered the bill reported, by voice vote, on May 20, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2131 designates the Federal building and United States court-house located at 83 Meeting Street in Charleston, South Carolina, as the “J. Waties Waring Judicial Center.”

Background

United States District Judge J. Waties Waring was the son of a Confederate soldier, but later became “a hero of the civil rights movement.”[1] An eighth generation Charlestonian, Waring was born into a family of moderate means on July 27, 1880. His father worked for the Southern Railway Company after the Civil War and his mother, an orphan, was a county school superintendent. Waring lived most of his life and attended a small private school on the Charleston peninsula. His father could not afford to send him away to college so he went to the College of Charleston. He could not afford to go to law school so he read law himself, passed the bar examination, and became a lawyer. Mr. Waring served as an assistant U.S. attorney and as corporation counsel of the City of Charleston. In 1942, he was nominated and confirmed as a U.S. Federal Judge.[2]

Judge Waring ruled in favor of African American plaintiffs seeking equal pay with white teachers in 1944 and permission to participate in the South Carolina Democratic Party in 1947. This prompted threats to his personal safety, including cross burnings in his yard and rocks thrown through his windows. In 1951, Judge Waring wrote a forceful dissent in a landmark school segregation case, Briggs v. Elliott, where he denounced segregation as “an evil that must be eradicated,” helping to lay the groundwork for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.[3]

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[1] See article, NPR, April 10, 2014
[2] See article, Post and Courier, April 10, 2014
[3] See article, NPR, April 10, 2014

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is currently unavailable.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.