Published on: Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Joseph W. Hatchett who died in April at the age of 88 finally has his Tallahassee courthouse (article available here).

The honor was delayed by more than six months of partisan wrangling, but before leaving Washington for the 4th of July holiday, President Joe Biden signed a Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that included officially naming the federal courthouse the “Joseph Woodrow Hatchett U.S. Courthouse Federal Building.” 

Hatchett made history in 1975 when he became the first African-American to serve on Florida’s highest court.

Hatchett left the Florida Supreme Court in 1979 when then-President Jimmy Carter named him to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, becoming the first African American to serve in a federal circuit that covered the deep south at the time (in 1981 the Fifth Circuit was divided into two circuits (link is external), with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals created to oversee the judicial districts in Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Hatchett moved to serve in the Eleventh Circuit Court). Previous coverage available here.