Alabama judicial reformer and statesman Howell Thomas Heflin and post-Civil War era governor and judicial ethicist Thomas Goode Jones are the 2011 inductees into the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame. The two will be honored during an induction luncheon Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 11:30 a.m. at The Club in Birmingham.
Founded by the Alabama legislature in 1987 and housed in Samford University’s Harwell G. Davis Library, the Hall of Fame recognizes men “whose lives have impacted the state, the nation and the world.” Honorees must have been deceased for at least two years. The Birmingham Women’s Committee of 100 and the Men’s Hall of Fame co-sponsor the annual induction luncheon.
This year’s honorees, attorneys in different centuries, both left legacies of judicial and ethics reform.
Heflin (1921-2005) served as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from 1971 until 1977. His leadership led to the passage of the Judicial Article of 1973, the first and only major revision of the Alabama Constitution of 1901. As a U.S. senator from 1979 to 1997, he was four-time chair of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics and a longtime member of the judiciary committee. Much of his senate work focused on introducing improvements and reforms into the Federal court system. He was a chairman of the Alabama Ethics Commission.
Heflin, who grew up in Colbert County, was a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College and the University of Alabama School of Law. He was a U.S. Marine lieutenant in World War II. He will be presented at the luncheon by Steve Raby, president of Direct Communications and late senator’s former chief of staff.
Jones (1844-1914) was governor for two terms prior to serving as U.S. District Judge for Alabama’s northern and middle districts. He was appointed to the judgeship by President Theodore Roosevelt at the recommendation of Booker T. Washington. During his career as an attorney and speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives, he wrote the Alabama Code of Ethics, which served as the model for the nation’s first code of ethics for lawyers.
As a legislator, he was a promoter of laws to ensure order and due process for all citizens and a staunch supporter of the 14th Amendment to the U.S Constitution. He was a delegate to the 1901 Alabama 1901 Constitutional Convention. Jones’ son, Montgomery County circuit judge Walter B. Jones, founded Jones School of Law and named it after his father. Jones will be presented at the luncheon by Paul M. Pruitt, Jr., special collections librarian at the University of Alabama’s Bounds Law Library.
Induction ceremony luncheon tickets are $28. For information or reservations, call (205) 968-0967. Reservation deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 13.