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Federal Bureau of Investigation Nomination of Frank M. Johnson, It., To Be Director.

August 17, 1977

The President today announced his intention to nominate Frank M. Johnson, Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, to be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Judge Johnson was appointed United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama in 1953, serving in that post until he was appointed to the Federal bench by President Eisenhower in 1955.

Judge Johnson became nationally known because of a series of decisions in civil rights cases, beginning with the famous Montgomery bus boycott case. He sat as a member of the three-judge court that abolished the Alabama poll tax; that handed down the first order requiring a State to reapportion its voting districts; that produced the first reapportionment plan designed by judges; that in 1967, ordered the desegregation of over 100 Alabama school districts--the first such statewide ruling in the Nation and one of the most important school orders since the Supreme Court decision of 1954.

In the field of women's rights, he was a member of the panel that gave women the right to serve on juries in the State courts of Alabama, and he was the first United States District Judge in the South to put women on Federal juries after the 1957 Civil Rights Act made it possible. He has ruled that an employer in considering employees for promotion may not discriminate against women on account of their sex, and that female salesclerks in department stores must be paid the same as male salesclerks. He was a member of the three-judge court called upon to decide a female Air Force officer's suit seeking benefits for dependents of female military personnel equal to those enjoyed by male personnel.

During the 22 years that Judge Johnson has been a Federal judge, in the trial of both criminal and civil cases, he has had the opportunity to appraise the performance of the FBI investigative techniques and procedures. He is familiar with the scope of the FBI's jurisdiction and the manner in which the members of that organization discharge their .functions and responsibilities.

Judge Johnson has served as a member of the United States Judicial Conference Committee on the Federal Probation System and the Advisory Committee on Federal Criminal Rules. At present, he is a member of the committee which receives and reviews reports from other Federal judges on their extra-judicial income and activities. He is a member of the Joint Committee of Federal Judges that, in 1973, presented to the United States Judicial Conference a Code of Conduct and Ethics for Federal Judges. The Judicial Conference adopted that code in April 1973. He also serves as a member of the Emergency Court of Appeals, which reviews decisions of the various district courts in Economic Stabilization Act cases.

Judge Johnson was born October 30, 1918, in the northern part of Alabama, Winston County.

He attended grade schools in Winston County. He was graduated from Mississippi's Gulf Coast Military Academy, worked as a surveyor, spent a year in business college, and in 1938, married Ruth Jenkins, who is also from Winston County. Both worked their way through the University of Alabama.

When World War II separated them, Mrs. Johnson served as a WAVE lieutenant in Washington. Johnson, while a combat infantry officer in General Patton's Third Army, was awarded a commendation medal for outstanding action against the enemy during the Normandy invasion, was wounded, and in 1945 was sent back to England as a legal officer. He was discharged as a captain.

Note: Attorney General Griffin B. Bell announced the President's intention to nominate Judge Johnson at a news conference at the White House on August 17.

Jimmy Carter, Federal Bureau of Investigation Nomination of Frank M. Johnson, It., To Be Director. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243947

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