Commending The Honorable Langston C. McKinney as recipient of the Ruger Award by the Onondaga County Bar Association

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LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION commending The Honorable Langston C. McKinney
upon the occasion of his designation as recipient of the Ruger Award by
the Onondaga County Bar Association

WHEREAS, It is the sense of the State of New York to recognize those
esteemed individuals within our midst whose professional lives, personal
endeavors and dedicated community service are an example and inspiration
to their colleagues, friends, and family; and
WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and fully in accord with its long-
standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to hereby
recognize and congratulate The Honorable Langston C. McKinney upon the
occasion of his designation as recipient of the Ruger Award by the Onon-
daga County Bar Association celebrated at its 140th Annual Dinner held
on Thursday, October 15, 2015; and
WHEREAS, The prestigious Ruger Award was named after the first Presi-
dent of the Onondaga County Bar Association (OCBA), who later served as
Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals; the award is given
to a judicial officer and is reserved for recognition of singularly
outstanding achievement in devotion to the principles of our system of
justice; since the creation of this auspicious award, only seven jurists
have been named recipients; and
WHEREAS, Born in the southern United States, Judge Langston C. McKin-
ney earned his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Howard University in
1965; shortly thereafter, he was recruited to become a scientist in the
Research and Development Division at Carrier Corporation in Syracuse;
WHEREAS, In April of 1966, Judge Langston C. McKinney proudly became a
member of the United States Army; upon his discharge from the military
in 1968, he enrolled in the Syracuse University College of Law; and
WHEREAS, As a first-year law student, Judge Langston C. McKinney
co-founded the Syracuse University chapter of the Law Students Civil
Rights Research Council where he helped establish a new internship
program in which students could earn credit for serving as legal repre-
sentatives for those who are poor; and
WHEREAS, Judge Langston C. McKinney began his professional legal
career at Onondaga County Legal Services, working diligently to provide
free, civil legal assistance to low-income families and individuals in
the Central New York community; and
WHEREAS, In 1971, Langston C. McKinney graduated from the Syracuse
University College of Law, and two years later, joined the Hiscock Legal
Aid Society, holding the position of Senior Staff Attorney; in 1979, he
left to become a co-founder and partner at Maye, McKinney & Melchor, a
general practice law firm in Syracuse, New York; and
WHEREAS, In 1986, Judge Langston C. McKinney was appointed the City of
Syracuse's first African-American City Court Judge by Mayor Tom Young to
replace retiring Mathilde Bersani; the following year, he was elected to
a full 10-year term, and he would go on to win subsequent elections in
1997 and 2007; and
WHEREAS, During his 24 years of service on the Syracuse City Court
bench, Judge Langston C. McKinney upheld his strong belief in the Ameri-
can system of justice and the rule of law upon which it rests, often
expressing that nothing is more essential to good government under the
rule of law than a free and independent judiciary which skillfully
administers justice in a fair and balanced manner; and
WHEREAS, Judge Langston C. McKinney's numerous professional accom-
plishments include the establishment of New York's fourth drug treatment
court in 1995 to provide treatment to defendant drug abusers facing

nonviolent crimes as an alternative to jail; he also advocated for more
minority representation on city juries, and he regularly volunteered
with neighborhood groups, schools, churches, civic and charitable organ-
izations in an effort to make Syracuse, New York, a better place to
live; and
WHEREAS, Judge Langston C. McKinney has served on the Board of Direc-
tors of numerous organizations including the Boys & Girls Club, the
Samaritan Center, the Boy Scouts of America, the Syracuse Community
Health Center, and the Onondaga County Bar Association, as well as the
Everson Museum; he is also a charter member of the New York State Asso-
ciation of Drug Treatment Court Professionals; and
WHEREAS, On December 31, 2010, Judge Langston C. McKinney retired from
the Syracuse City Court bench after more than two decades of distin-
guished service to the people of Syracuse, New York; and
WHEREAS, Even though he is retired, Judge Langston C. McKinney has
remained devoted to the principles of the justice system; he has been
instrumental in the founding of the William Herbert Johnson Bar Associ-
ation of CNY, the very first African-American Bar Association in Ononda-
ga County; he also worked with a focus group to create the Onondaga
County Bar Association's Diversity and Inclusion Committee; and
WHEREAS, Furthermore, Judge Langston C. McKinney has continued to
serve as a mentor to many lawyers, teaching them how they can apply
their knowledge and positions as lawyers to help enrich society; and
WHEREAS, For his outstanding efforts and dedication, Judge Langston C.
McKinney has received many awards, such as the Faith A. Seidenberg Award
from the New York Civil Liberties Union; in addition, the McKinney Manor
housing complex was named after him in recognition of his many years of
advocating for tenant rights as a lawyer; and
WHEREAS, It is the practice of this Legislative Body that those who
enhance the quality of life in their community and have shown a long and
sustained commitment to the maintenance of high standards in their
profession, certainly have earned the recognition and applause of all
the citizens of this great Empire State; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commend The Honorable Langston C. McKinney upon the occasion of his
designation as recipient of the Ruger Award by the Onondaga County Bar
Association; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to The Honorable Langston C. McKinney.


  • 14 / Jan / 2016
  • 21 / Jan / 2016
  • 21 / Jan / 2016

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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