A proposal to rename the Erie County Family Court building in honor of late State Supreme Court Justice Vincent E. Doyle Jr. deserves support. The honor would be a fitting tribute to a man who was highly regarded by the judicial community and who worked so hard to win county construction of the $33 million, seven-story Family Court building.
The Western New York Coalition of Blacks in the Courts ignited the cause during the 17th annual courthouse celebration of the late Martin Luther King Jr. King, the slain civil rights leader, stood for equality. So did Doyle, who died at age 73 last October.
The judge was an outstanding jurist and court administrator who gave people of all colors and backgrounds a chance to prove themselves. That point was made by City Court Judge James A.W. McLeod who, in 1974, was hired by Doyle. McLeod became only the second minority hired by a major local law firm. In a fitting tribute, McLeod talked about Doyle's strong belief in equality, to the extent that he quit a local social and athletic club when it refused entry to minorities. As McLeod said, Doyle's opinion of the club's refusal to allow a black acquaintence was, "if it's not good enough for him, it's not good enough for me."
Indeed, that was an outward demonstration of the principles by which he lived, and it speaks to the strength of the man's character. Doyle had a good name in the community; it belongs on the Family Court building.