FROM THE OFFICE OF GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS:
Justice Joseph W. Hatchett passed away on Friday, April 30. Between graduating from Florida A&M University and beginning law school at Howard University, Justice Hatchett served two years as a commissioned officer in the United States Army. He was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor Reubin Askew in 1975, where he became the first African American to serve on Florida’s highest court. Almost four years later, President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, making him the first African American to serve on a federal appeals court in the Deep South. Earlier this year, the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society bestowed on Justice Hatchett its Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognized “his highly distinguished career as a lawyer, his many years of extraordinary contributions to Florida’s Legal System as a highly respected member of the Judiciary, and his lifelong devotion to the improvement of the lives of others.”
As a symbol of respect for the memory of former Florida Supreme Court Justice Joseph W. Hatchett and his service to our State, I hereby direct the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff at the County Courthouse in Leon County, Florida, the City Hall of Tallahassee, Florida, and at the State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida, from sunrise until sunset on Monday, May 10, 2021.