Former chief judge behind desegregation of schools dies

The former chief judge behind the desegregation of Wilmington and New Castle County suburban schools has died.

U.S. District Court Judge Murray Schwartz presided over the landmark case in the 1970s through the 1990s.

"I think his legacy is going to be someone who stood up for what is right, someone who stood up for his guns, and someone who said that no matter how controversial it is, the rule of law has to take precedence over popularity when it comes to the rights of all citizens here in Delaware," says longtime local political observer John Flaherty



Though he only stood at 5'4," Flaherty says Schwartz was an unassuming quiet person, who left an indelible mark on the state's education system.

"I think his legacy is going to be someone who stood up for what is right, someone who stood up for his guns, and someone who said that no matter how controversial it is, the rule of law has to take precedence over popularity when it comes to the rights of all citizens here in Delaware," says Flaherty



The federal judge also played a role in creating statewide Family Court in Delaware.

"I think he's going to go down as one of the most courageous jurists we've ever had here in the State of Delaware," Flaherty says.



Schwartz died on January 11, 2013. He was 81.






Copyright © Oct 31, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
Advanced permission from Delmarva Broadcasting Company required for publication or rebroadcast.