Judge and civil rights icon Damon J. Keith dies

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Federal Judge 50 Years_1556477457578

In this Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 photo, Judge Damon J. Keith is interviewed in his office in Detroit. Keith remembers many tumultuous and significant times as he thinks back on his 50-year career on the federal bench, including being sued by President Richard Nixon after ruling that wiretapping shouldn’t be done without a court order. […]

  DETROIT (AP) — Damon J. Keith, a federal judge famous for being sued President Richard Nixon and an iconic national figure in the civil rights movement has died at the age of 96.

   Swanson Funeral Home in Detroit confirmed that the judge died Sunday morning but did not have any other details.

   Keith was appointed to the U.S. District Court in 1967. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, he was the only African American among six current federal judges to have served more than 50 years.

   The case that raised Nixon’s ire came in 1971, when Keith ruled wiretapping couldn’t be done without a court order. Thirty years later, he ruled President George W. Bush couldn’t conduct secret deportation hearings of terrorism suspects.

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