Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 033378
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File Number: 033378 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1353-03 Control: County Commission
File Name: URGE CONGRESS TO RENAME US COURTHOUSE WILKIE D FERGUSON Introduced: 12/3/2003
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 12/4/2003
Agenda Date: 12/4/2003 Agenda Item Number: 10A11
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS TO DESIGNATE THE UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE LOCATED AT 400 NORTH MIAMI AVENUE, MIAMI, FLORIDA, AS THE ‘’WILKIE D. FERGUSON, JR. UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE’’
Indexes: RENAMING OF ROADS, BUILDINGS & FACILITIES
Sponsors: Dorrin D. Rolle, Prime Sponsor
  Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler, Co-Sponsor
  Jimmy L. Morales, Co-Sponsor
  Bruno A. Barreiro, Co-Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Betty T. Ferguson, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Joe A. Martinez, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
  Natacha Seijas, Co-Sponsor
  Katy Sorenson, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
  Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 12/4/2003 10A11 Adopted P
REPORT: Commissioner Rolle described the resolution and reviewed the late Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson’s achievement. Mr. H.T. Smith, attorney, stated that following the death of Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson on June 9, 2002, the Florida House passed legislation to designate the U.S. Courthouse at 400 N. Miami Avenue in his name. He expressed appreciation for the proposed resolution. Mr. Smith noted the late Judge Ferguson’s historic achievements as an African-American and his philosophy of justice regardless of classification. Mr. George F. Knox, attorney, noted the late Judge Ferguson’s service and positions he held. He stated that the late Judge Ferguson focused on equality as a birthright. Mr. Knox thanked Commission members for the proposed resolution. Chairperson Carey-Shuler acknowledged the late Judge Ferguson’s wife, Commissioner Betty Ferguson, who was present.

County Attorney 12/3/2003 Assigned Gerald K. Sanchez

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS TO DESIGNATE THE UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE LOCATED AT 400 NORTH MIAMI AVENUE, MIAMI, FLORIDA, AS THE “WILKIE D. FERGUSON, JR. UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE”

BODY

WHEREAS, the late U.S. District Court Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. was an exceptional public servant, jurist and role model; and
WHEREAS, Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. was born on May 11, 1938, to Bahamian immigrants; and
WHEREAS, despite humble beginnings, Judge Ferguson received his B.S. in Business Administration and Accounting from Florida A & M University, became certified in Fundamentals of Computer Programming at Philco Technological Institute in Philadelphia and earned his Masters Degree in Financial Administration from Drexel University, also in Philadelphia; and
WHEREAS, Judge Ferguson continued on to Howard University in Washington, D.C. where he obtained his J.D. degree; and
WHEREAS, in the Civil Rights Division of the old U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and as a staff attorney for Legal Services of Greater Miami, Judge Ferguson learned firsthand about the problems that ordinary people face in their everyday lives and how the legal system and our courts are often their only recourse for justice; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ferguson was the first black jurist appointed to the MiamiDade Circuit Court and Third District Court of Appeal; and
WHEREAS, Judge Ferguson’s wisdom, competence and reputation for fairness as a state court judge for three decades resulted in his elevation to the federal bench in 1993; and
WHEREAS, Judge Ferguson was a scholar who produced several articles, including “Federal Drug Laws Harsh on Poor and Minorities,” “Expert Witnesses in Patent Cases,” “Confidential Informants and Jailhouse Testimony: Are Jurors Turned Off?” and “Privacy In The Computer Age”; and
WHEREAS, over the years Judge Ferguson received numerous honors and accolades including the William H. Hastie Award, the “Courage and Scholarship in Legal Writing” National Bar Association Award, the Champions of Higher Independent Education in Florida Award, the United Way of Dade County Distinguished Service Award and the South Florida Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration Award; and
WHEREAS, Judge Ferguson was a trailblazer who presided over a number of extremely significant cases, and leaves a substantial judicial legacy including, among others, a 1980 Circuit Court ruling that blacks cannot be systematically excluded from a jury; and
WHEREAS, Judge Ferguson’s rulings have also been credited with improving the lives of thousands of disabled persons; and
WHEREAS, Judge Ferguson was an outstanding individual and exemplary jurist who was experienced, fair, humble, compassionate, knowledgeable and firmly committed to equal justice for all; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ferguson’s death is a huge loss to the Federal judiciary, to our community and to the nation; and
WHEREAS, the Commission believes that the new U.S. Courthouse in Miami-Dade County, Florida, should be named after the late U.S. District Court Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr.,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that:
Section 1. The Board urges Congress to designate the United States Courthouse located at 400 North Miami Avenue in Miami, Florida, as the “Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Courthouse.”
Section 2. The Clerk of the Board is directed to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the members of Florida’s Congressional delegation.



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