Judge Damon J. Keith is our Detroit 2020 Person of the Week

Posted at 8:41 PM, Oct 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-27 21:02:08-04

You could argue that some of his rulings have shaped the way many of us live now.

He is a true champion for equal justice and now one of Detroit’s most distinguished iconic jurists has reached a new milestone and with it will be a grand celebration.

Meet this week's Detroit 2020 Person of the Week – Judge Damon Keith.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

But when you're almost 100 and have defended the constitutional and civil rights of people for generations, the words are much better to hear.

"I feel blessed by God to let me be a Federal Judge for 50 years and allow me to continue to serve."

Fifty years and counting. That's how long Senior Judge Damon J. Keith has been on the Federal bench.

The 95-year-old has been a 40 year fixture at the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, a Chief Judge for the Easter District of Michigan, not to mention a Civil Rights Icon, and one of the Nation's most respected leaders.

"The Supreme Court gave an affair for me acknowledging my cases, it was the 1st time they had done this for anyone and the place was packed."

Now another celebration will mark his milestone.

Keith's law clerks and Iconic friends are throwing him a Gala called "Equal Justice Under Law-Celebrating Damon J. Keith 50-year Fight for Justice" that will include special remarks from Mitch Albom, Congressman John Conyers, and a keynote address by the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

 "A journey of a million miles begins with the 1st step and I am just happy sincerely that at this age and after 50 years I can still handle cases that help to change the course of our history."  

Judge Keith's law clerks have put together an entire weekend of celebration including a screening of a documentary about his life called "Walk with me" The Trials of Damon J. Keith" and a Sunday Church service at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church.

And when we told Judge he is our Person of the Week, he said this.

"It's really nice of your station to acknowledge my 50 years on the bench." 

If you would like to be part of the celebration honoring Judge Keith's 50 years on the federal bench, tickets are still available just contact or 202-481-7157.

All the proceeds go to benefit the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.