Thursday, May 4, 2006

ACS Hosts Documentary

The Puget Sound chapter of the American Constitution Society is hosting Soul of Justice: Thelton Henderson's American Journey, Thursday, May 11, 5:30-8:00, at Seattle Public Library.

Judge Betty Fletcher (9th Cir.) will introduce the film, a documentary about Judge Thelton Henderson (N.D. Cal.). Filmmaker Abby Ginzberg, Judge Beverly Grant (Pierce County Superior Court), and Judge Michael Spearman (King County Superior Court) will also speak.

The film's website says:

SOUL OF JUSTICE: Thelton Henderson’s American Journey is a timely and unforgettable story about one person’s commitment to integrity and human rights and his profound influence on the American judicial system * * *.

As the first black attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Kennedy Justice Department in the 1960’s, Henderson, fresh out of law school, confronted the intricate challenges of being a black man in authority within the largely all-white world of the American legal system. With rare and powerful archival footage SOUL OF JUSTICE offers viewers an intimate window into the world of the young lawyer as he grapples with tough choices, including the decision to loan a car to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a crucial act which which ultimately cost him his job.

Beginning with his 1980 judicial appointment * * *, Henderson’s tenacity in seeing that his decisions are implemented has made him a uniquely effective and brave jurist * * *. From the inhumane conditions at Pelican Bay State Prison to the slaughter of dolphins by tuna-fishing fleets, to the elimination of affirmative action, SOUL OF JUSTICE reverberates with the heart-wrenching and dynamic issues that have placed Judge Henderson on the front lines throughout the last 25 years.

* * * At a time of increasing polarization over the actions of judges in America, this compelling cinematic journey reveals the true power of Thelton Henderson’s fearless efforts to see that justice retains its soul.
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