The University of Texas School of Law today is unveiling a statue honoring former U.S. District Judge James DeAnda, a pioneer in the Hispanic civil rights movement.
DeAnda, a Houston native, was the son of Mexican immigrants. He graduated from the U.T. law school in 1950 when very few Hispanic students attended.
As a young lawyer, DeAnda had trouble finding work with Anglo law firms, but eventually joined a team of four lawyers who successfully argued the U.S. Supreme Court case Hernandez v. State of Texas in 1954, overturning an all-white jury’s conviction of a Mexican-American. The case established that Mexican-Americans deserved the same legal rights as all citizens.
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