By Amaris Elliott-Engel
Of the Legal Staff
Philadelphia City Council voted Thursday to rename the city’s criminal courthouse after former state Supreme Court Justice Juanita Kidd Stout, who was the first African-American woman to sit on a state Supreme Court in the country.
The Criminal Justice Center will now be called the Justice Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice. Support for the ordinance was unanimous.
Stout died in 1998 at the age of 79.
Stout, who was born in Oklahoma, studied law at Indiana University and moved to Philadelphia in the 1950s. She became a judge on the Philadelphia Municipal Court in 1959, followed by election to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and her appointment to the state Supreme Court.
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper, president of the National Bar Association Judicial Council’s Clifford Scott Green Chapter, said in a news release that Stout remains a role model for justice and that the NBA has been advocating for renaming the building after Stout for more than a decade. “We look forward to the day that Justice Juanita Kidd Stout’s name will be prominently displayed permanently for everyone to see,” Woods-Skipper said.
The Philadelphia Bar Association also had passed shortly after her death a resolution in favor of renaming the courthouse after Stout.