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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 18, 1995
                    U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS

President Clinton announced today his intent to appoint A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

  1. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. of Massachusetts is of Counsel to Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in their New York and Washington offices and is Public Service Professor of Jurisprudence at Harvard University. Until he retired in 1993, he served as a Circuit Court Judge and as Chief Judge Emeritus of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was appointed a District Court Judge in 1964 and a Court of Appeals Judge in 1977. He served as Vice Chairman of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence under President Johnson and Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission under President Kennedy. He is a former President of the Philadelphia NAACP and is a former Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Judge Higginbotham, the recipient of more than 60 honorary degrees, earned a B.A. from Antioch College in 1949 and a LL.B. from Yale Law School in 1952.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights was established by Congress under the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Its primary responsibilities are: investigating allegations of discriminatory denial of the right to vote; collecting information about violations of equal protection and civil rights based on race, age, disability, religion, sex, or national origin; evaluating federal laws regarding discrimination; conducting hearings and briefings in civil rights; and submitting reports, findings, and recommendations to the President and Congress.