The Honorable Julius Waties Waring became a federal judge in Charleston in 1942. Though he was an eighth generation Charlestonian whose father had in fact served in the Confederate army, once a judge he began issuing rulings in race-related cases that confounded many of his contemporaries.
In his short time on the bench, he had a significant and positive influence on the struggle for equality for all South Carolinians. While he oversaw several important civil rights cases during his judicial tenure, his most important ruling was initially on the losing end of a 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel which upheld the “separate but equal” standard for South Carolina’s state education system.
Judge Waring’s dissenting opinion in that case – Briggs v. Elliott – helped pave the way for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education which outlawed the “separate but equal” system of segregation throughout the country.
Though his rulings in support of equality led to his estrangement from family and friends, he has since been recognized as an important leader in the civil rights struggle.