Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. So it was in 1960 when Elbert Tuttle became the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over most of the Deep South. Part of the genius of the Republic lies in the carefully calibrated structure of the federal courts of appeal. One assumption underlying the structure is that judges from a particular state might bear an allegiance to the interests of that state, which would be reflected in their opinions. Forming panels of judges from each of several states is supposed to balance those interests, resulting in a less insular rule of law-one that reflects regional, not merely local, interests.
Anne S. Emanuel,
Turning the Tide in the Civil Rights Revolution: Elbert Tuttle and the Desegregation of the University of Georgia,
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol5/iss1/1