Walter Burgwyn Jones

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Walter Burgwyn Jones (October 16, 1888 – August 1, 1963) was an American judge, legislator, and writer from Alabama.[1]

Political career[edit]

Jones served in the Alabama House of Representatives, as a Democrat, from 1919 to 1920. He was then a circuit court judge until 1935. Jones was a presiding judge from 1935 to 1963.[2]

In 1956, Jones granted an injunction against the operation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People within the state of Alabama. The injunction had been prepared secretly by state Attorney General John Malcolm Patterson and was granted by Jones "in a stunning abuse of judicial power ... without so much as a public hearing." The injunction also demanded the NAACP hand over the names and addresses of every Alabama member of the organization.[3]

While presiding over New York Times Co. v. Sullivan in 1960, Jones ruled that the presence of an Alabama lawyer representing The New York Times contributed to the existence of a substantial business interest in the state of Alabama. This ruling ensured that the lawsuit would play out in his own courtroom. In so doing, he overruled his own book, Alabama Pleading and Practice.[4] Jones was an avowed white-supremacist. While presiding in Sullivan, Jones began by lecturing against "racial agitators" and in praise of "white man's justice."[5]

Personal life[edit]

Walter Burgwyn Jones was also a writer.[6] His father was Thomas G. Jones, the Governor of Alabama.[7] Jones was born in Montgomery, Alabama; he went to Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1906 and 1907. Jones then received his law degree in 1909 from the University of Alabama School of Law.[8]

United States presidential election of 1956[edit]

In the 1956 Presidential election, faithless elector W. F. Turner cast his vote for Jones, who was a circuit court judge in Turner's home town, for President of the United States and Herman E. Talmadge for Vice President, instead of voting for Adlai Stevenson and Estes Kefauver.[9]

Published works[edit]

  • Alabama practices and forms 1947
  • Jones' equity pleading and practices 1954
  • Confederate war poems 1959
  • Alabama pleading and practice at law 1960
  • Citizenship and voting in Alabama 1947
  • Alabama secedes from the Union 1900
  • Alabama jury instructions 1953
  • John Burgwin, Carolinian, John Jones, Virginian, Their Ancestors and Descedents 1913


  1. ^ Our Walter Burgwyn Jones
  2. ^ Database
  3. ^ Carter, Dan T. (1995). The politics of rage : George Wallace, the origins of the new conservatism, and the transformation of American politics. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 92–3. ISBN 0-684-80916-8. OCLC 32739924.
  4. ^ Lewis, Anthony (1991). Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment. Vintage Books, Random House. ISBN 0-679-73939-4.
  5. ^ Roberts, Gene (2006). The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation. Vintage Books, Random House.
  6. ^ Open Library-Walter Burgwyn Jones
  7. ^ Encyclopedia of Alabama-Thomas G. Jones
  8. ^ Alabama Authors-Walter Burgwyn Jones
  9. ^ Our Turner

External links[edit]