The Honorable Robert R. Merhige, Jr.: A Series on His Life and Career

Stephen N. Scaife, The Honorable Robert R. Merhige, Jr.: A Series on His Life and Career, 52 U. Rich. L. Rev. Online 15 (2017).

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The Honorable Robert R. Merhige, Jr., was a man and judge whose career, personality, and impact deserve to be celebrated and remembered. As this year is the fiftieth anniversary of his judicial appointment to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, it provides a perfect opportunity to honor and remember his illustrious career. In this endeavor, the Online Edition of the University of Richmond Law Review is publishing a series of articles that highlight Judge Merhige’s impact on people and the law. As Judge Merhige was an alumnus of the University of Richmond School of Law (L’42), it is with a sense of pride that the University of Richmond Law Review presents this series. In the articles that follow, you, dear reader, will learn of—or fondly be reminded of—Judge Merhige’s memorable personality, towering intellect, and admirable courage and fortitude in ensuring that justice was achieved.

Those familiar with Judge Merhige often emphasize his devotion, namely his devotion to his court, to the city where his courtroom sat, and to the people who walked into his courtroom. In the following pages, one can perceive this devotion. But for now, it can best be summarized by the judge’s own words:

I didn’t go looking for social causes to advocate from the bench. I opened my courtroom one day and asked, “Is anybody here?” A lot of people answered back, “We’re here judge, and we want our constitutional rights.” So I did the only thing I could. I listened and tried to do the fair thing, the right thing.[1]

 

Stephen N. Scaife

Online Editor


        [1].    Ronald J. Bacigal, May It Please the Court: A Biography of Judge Robert R. Merhige, Jr. xi (1992) (internal citation omitted).