Council renames courthouse for Justice Juanita Kidd Stout

In her honor, City Council yesterday renamed the Criminal Justice Center after the late Justice Juanita Kidd Stout.

Stout was the first African-American woman elected to a court of record in the U.S., the first to sit on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and the first appointed to the state Supreme Court.

The bill passed 16-0, Councilman Bill Green was absent. The renaming followed years of political haggling. The new name of the Criminal Justice Center on Filbert Street near 13th will be the “Justice Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice.”

The Philadelphia Bar Association passed a resolution to rename the building after Stout died in 1998 at 79. Hailing from Oklahoma, Stout received her law degree from Indiana University and arrived here in the early 1950s. She worked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge William H. Hastie and in the District Attorney’s Office before winning a seat on Municipal Court in 1959.

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