The Judge William M. Marutani Fellowship
About The Honorable William M. Marutani
The Honorable William M. Marutani, a distinguished member of the judiciary, served both the Asian American community and the community at large for many years.
Born in Washington State, Judge Marutani was a second-generation Japanese American who served six months in an American internment camp following the Pearl Harbor attack in 1942. Later during the war, he served in the U.S. Military Intelligence Service (MIS).
As an attorney, Judge Marutani participated in the civil rights drives in the South and helped organize the 1963 March on Washington for the Japanese American Citizens League ("JACL"). From 1960 to 1970, he also served as a volunteer civil rights lawyer in cases involving the desegregation of schools and the promotion of voter registration drives in Mississippi. In 1967, Judge Marutani appeared on argument in Loving v. Virginia, a seminal case which struck down anti-miscegenation laws in 17 states.
As a jurist, Judge Marutani was the first Asian American judge in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Appointed to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in 1975, Judge Marutani became the first Asian American outside of the Pacific Coast states to preside as a judge of a court of general jurisdiction. Judge Marutani was later elected to a full ten-year term in 1977. During which time, he issued the decision requiring the all-boys Central High School to admit female students in 1983.
Up until his death in 2004, Judge Marutani also served on numerous civic and charitable boards and commissions. Most notably, in 1981 he was appointed to the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians by President Jimmy Carter. The Commission concluded that the internment of Japanese Americans was the unjust result of racism, wartime hysteria and a failure of political leadership.
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Donations to the Judge William M. Marutani Fellowship: can be made to the "Philadelphia: Bar Foundation" (referencing the Marutani Fellowship) and mailed to:
Philadelphia Bar Foundation
1101 Market Street, 11th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2911
For direct donations of marketable securities or any donation related questions, contact Maureen Mingey, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, at (215) 238-6334 or [email protected].