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Friday, September 9th, 2011 by

A Judge in the Senate by John Hayman with Clara Ruth HaymanFormer Alabama Supreme Court chief justice and US Senator Howell Thomas Heflin will be inducted into the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday, September 20, 2011, and a plaque will be inscribed with his name in the Samford University library. Heflin died in 2005. In 2001, NewSouth Books published his authorized biography, A Judge in the Senate, by John Hayman with Clara Ruth Hayman. Senator Edward Kennedy called A Judge in the Senate “required reading for all citizens who believe that one person can make a difference.”

Heflin was the son of a Methodist minister and was a highly decorated combat Marine in World War II, before serving as chief justice and later, as a US senator for eighteen years. Historian Wayne Flynt noted that Heflin’s “exaggerated drawl, his gargantuan size, his bombastic oratorical style easily misled those who were forever labeling Southerners as escapees from a Lil’ Abner cartoon. Informed Alabamians knew better as did his colleagues in the U.S. Senate. As Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, architect of the 1973 judicial reform article that modernized the state’s court system, and thoughtful champion of expanded rights for African Americans, Heflin was one of the most successful Democrats in post-George Wallace Southern politics.”

In an article in the Times Daily, Heflin’s former chief of staff Steve Raby described the hall of fame induction as a “great honor for the family.” He continued, “I’m glad they are going to see this recognition … They deserve this moment and the honor is very much deserved.”

The Hall of Fame will induct Heflin alongside post-Civil War era governor Thomas Goode Jones. The Hall of Fame notes that “this year’s honorees, attorneys in different centuries, both left legacies of judicial and ethics report.”

The full article on Heflin’s induction is available at the Times Daily website. Learn more about the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame at the Samford University website.

A Judge in the Senate: Howell Heflin’s Career of Politics and Principle is available direct from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or your favorite book retailer.

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