Seybourn Harris Lynne (born July 25, 1907 in Decatur, Morgan County; died September 10, 2000 in Birmingham) was chief judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama from 1953 to 1973.
Born in Decatur, Lynne received a B.S. from Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1927 and an LL.B. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1930. While studying, he served as a track coach and an assistant football coach at Alabama.
Upon passing the bar, Lynne worked in his father's practice in Decatur from 1930 to 1934, when he was elected to the Morgan County Court. He served in that position from 1934 to 1941. He was then elected as a judge on the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Alabama from 1941 to 1942. He was in the United States Army, JAG Corps during World War II, serving in the Pacific from 1942 to 1946 and winning a Bronze Star.
On December 14, 1945, Lynne was nominated by President Harry S. Truman to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama vacated by Thomas Murphree. Lynne was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 20, 1945, and received his commission on January 3, 1946. He served as chief judge from 1953 to 1973, assuming senior status on January 9, 1973, and serving in that capacity until his death, in 2000.
During his time on the bench, he judged in many important civil rights cases, including the case allowing Vivian Malone Jones and James Hood to enter the University of Alabama, ending desegregation at that institution.1
In 1978 Lynne was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor. In 1995 the Decatur federal building was designated by Congress as the Seybourn H. Lynne Federal Courthouse. Lynne was posthumously inducted into the Alabama Lawyers' Hall of Fame in 2013.
Notable cases heard
- Armstrong v. Birmingham Board of Education
- Baldwin v. Morgan
- Terry v. Elmwood Cemetery
- United States v. Wallace
- Martin, Douglas (September 12, 2000). "Seybourn Lynne, 93; Ruled in Civil Rights Case". New York Times. Accessed June 24, 2016.
- "Seybourn Lynne; Judge Countered Gov. Wallace." (September 13, 2000). Los Angeles Times. Accessed June 24, 2016.
- Seybourn Harris Lynne. (April 19, 2016). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Accessed June 24, 2016.
- Seybourn Harris Lynne at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
|Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama