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Texas Matters: Homer Thornberry, Equal Rights Advocate

When it comes to the list of Texans who were warriors for civil rights, the name Homer Thornberry may not likely be a name that many will conjure up.  But without his name that list would be lacking.

Homer Thornberry was a longtime congressman from Austin and a United States Court of Appeals judge. He was nominated in 1968 to the U.S. Supreme Court by his long-time friend and political ally President Lyndon Johnson. But Thornberry was never confirmed to the high court due to partisan political fighting. That fight is echoed today in the current Washington D.C. squabble over filling the now empty seat on the Supreme Court. But Thornberry was much more than that. He lived his life as a public servant in a number of roles. Each of which sought to find progress for equal rights, although incrementally. But when it came time to end the poll tax in Texas and segregate schools in the south Thornberry used the law and the Constitution to help the disenfranchised.

That’s the story of the new book “Homer Thornberry: Congressman, Judge and Advocate for Equal Rights.” It’s written by Homer Ross Tomlin – Thornberry’s grandson.

It’s published by Texas A&M University Press. 

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi