Sol Blatt Jr. earned his stellar reputation not for making big headlines but for his long tenure as a fair, courteous and intelligent federal judge — a standard that all judges should aspire to attain.
Judge Blatt practiced law in his native Barnwell for 25 years before 1971 when he was appointed a U.S. District Court judge in Charleston. He became a chief judge in 1986.
And in 2006, he became the longest-serving federal judge in South Carolina history.
In honor of that distinction the U.S. district judges in South Carolina signed a resolution naming the first-floor courtroom in Charleston’s federal courthouse the Solomon Blatt Jr. Courtroom.
Would that every judge in that courtroom, where he usually presided, could conduct himself as impressively.
Judge Blatt’s father was the prominent speaker of the S.C. House for 33 years. Like his father, Sol Blatt Jr. attained prominence for public service, which he handled with grace and competence.
Mr. Blatt, 94, died Wednesday night at his home in Charleston.
He will be remembered for his remarkable judicial temperament.
Indeed, it was as if the American Bar Association had him in mind when it outlined the tenets of judicial temperament: “compassion, decisiveness, open-mindedness, sensitivity, courtesy, patience, freedom from bias and commitment to equal justice.”