School of Law News
In Memoriam: Judge Napoleon A. Jones, Jr. '71
SAN DIEGO (December 14, 2009) – San Diego federal judge Napoleon A. Jones, Jr., (“Nap”) '71, passed away on Saturday, December 12, 2009, at his North County home after a long illness. He was 69.
Jones was born in Hodge, La. on August 25, 1940, and moved to San Diego with his family in 1942. He served in the United States Army and graduated from SDSU in 1968 and USD School of Law in 1971. He was appointed San Diego County Municipal Court judge in 1977, San Diego County Superior Court judge in 1982, and then appointed to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, in 1994 by President Bill Clinton. He was the second African-American to serve on the federal bench in San Diego.
In one of his best known cases, Jones found in 2003 that the City of San Diego acted improperly in leasing land to the Boy Scouts, an organization that bars gay leaders and requires members to swear an oath to God. Jones found that the leases violated the separation of church and state. Judge Jones was well-respected by both his colleagues and the attorneys that argued cases before him.
"He was a smart, hardworking judge who was always in the courthouse before I was," said the Honorable Thomas J. Whelan of the U. S. District Court, Southern District of California. "He had an infectious smile, was a good listener, and always bent over backwards to be fair. I am proud to call him a colleague."
Jones is survived by his loving wife, Dr. Rosalyn Baxter-Jones; daughter, Lena Jones; brother, Alvin Jones; grandsons, Glenn and Torey; niece, Rosalind Warren; stepson, Craig Valentine; and grandnephew, Rashad Lansing.
|Contact||Ashley Vitale | email@example.com | (619) 260-4097|