John Milton Bryan Simpson
Simpson was in private practice in Jacksonville from 1926 to 1946, serving as assistant state's attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida from 1933 to 1939. He was judge of the Criminal Court of Record in Duval County from 1939 to 1943 and again from 1945 to 1946, serving in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant from 1943 to 1945. Simpson served as a judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit from 1946 to 1950.
President Harry S. Truman nominated Simpson to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on September 14, 1950, to the seat vacated by Louie W. Strum. Confirmed by the Senate on September 23, 1950, he received commission on September 26, 1950. Simpson served as chief judge from 1961 to 1962. Simpson was reassigned to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida on October 29, 1962, serving as chief judge from 1962 to 1966. He was noted for his legal decisions during the civil rights demonstrations in St. Augustine, Florida that led directly to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.
President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Simpson to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on October 11, 1966, to a new seat created by 80 Stat. 75. Confirmed by the Senate on October 20, 1966, he received his commission on November 3, 1966.
Simpson assumed senior status on June 30, 1975. He was reassigned to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on October 1, 1981. He remained on the court until his death in 1987.
The John Milton Bryan Simpson United States Courthouse in Jacksonville in named in his honor.
- John Milton Bryan Simpson at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- David Colburn, Racial Change and Community Crisis, Columbia University Press.
- William Kunstler, Deep in My Heart
- Taylor Branch, Pillar of Fire
- Andrew Young, An Easy Burden
- Dan R. Warren, If It Takes All Summer, University of Alabama Press, 2008.
- A Guide to the Judge John Milton Bryan Simpson Papers, 1933-1983 - University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries Special and Area Studies Collections