WASHINGTON- U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry (R - Clarendon) released the following statement after the legislation sponsored by him, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’ (R-TX) H.R. 5772 to rename the federal building and courthouse in Amarillo the “J. Marvin Jones Federal Building and Mary Lou Robinson United States Courthouse” was signed by the President on September 18, 2018:
“JudgeRobinsonis a legal pioneer who is universally respected and admired. She has always set high standards for herself and others. Our legal system has benefitted from her hard work,”said Rep. Thornberry. “I am proud to have the names of these two outstanding public servants on our federal building and courthouse in Amarillo, TX.”
This is the first federal courthouse named after a woman within a five-state area.
Thornberry also said, “Attaching Judge Robinson’s name to the federal courthouse in Amarillo is meant to honor her and her remarkable record of service, but it will also encourage and inspire others to follow her example.”
Judge Mary Lou Robinson has been a valued member of the Amarillo community for nearly 70 years. After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, she moved to Amarillo to work in a private practice until she was appointed judge of the County Court in Potter County. From there, she was elected judge of the 108thDistrict Court in Amarillo from 1961-1972. In 1973, she was appointed justice of the Seventh Court of Appeals in Amarillo, making her the first female appellate judge in Texas.She was appointed Chief Justice of that court in 1977 and continued to serve as Chief Justice until her appointment by President Jimmy Carter to the federal bench.
Judge Robinson’s name would join that of J. Marvin Jones. Mr. Jones was born in Cooke County in 1882 and served our country in World War I. He continued to serve our country as a Member of Congress from 1917-1940. Following his role in Congress, he became a judge of the United States Court of Claims in 1945, serving as Chief Judge from 1947-1964. In 1976, he was appointed as senior judge and remained active until his death in Amarillo.