The Alabama Middle district is implementing a policy change regarding the juror list and juror profiles that are provided to the parties pre-trial. Currently, these items are made available the Friday afternoon before the trial term begins. Effective immediately, these will now be available on the Read more
Dr. Joe L. Reed
Joe L. Reed
Reed joined a Montgomery County courthouse lunch counter sit-in on February 25, 1960. His participation in the sit-in is linked to the landmark federal court case Dixon v. Alabama, which ruled that public institutions of higher education cannot discipline students without due process.
Born in Evergreen, Conecuh County, Alabama in 1938, Joe Louis Reed graduated from Conecuh County Training School in 1956 and served in the integrated U.S. Army, joining a MASH unit during the Korean War.
When he returned to segregated life in Alabama, he attended Alabama State University, where he served as student body president and worked as a student-worker. However, after he joined a Montgomery County courthouse lunch counter sit-in on February 25, 1960, he was placed on probation before his eventual graduation with a baccalaureate in 1962. His participation in the sit-in is linked to the landmark federal court case Dixon v. Alabama, which ruled that public institutions of higher education cannot discipline students without due process.
Two years after graduation, Reed became executive secretary of the Alabama State Teachers Association. He would soon lead a merger with the then-politically-dormant, all-White Alabama Educational Association, and the two would merge in 1969, leading to a much higher political profile for Reed.
In 1972, Reed was appointed by then-chair of the Alabama Democratic Party (ADP) Robert Smith Vance as vice-chair of minority affairs, a position which he held until 2019. Reed has been depicted as highly influential in the ADP, even though he has never served as chair. Under ADP bylaws and a 1990 consent decree regarding minority representation, Reed, as the ADP's vice-chair of minority affairs, was able to personally select over 30 individual members to the ADP's State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC). His behavior was cited as a reason for several dissenting African-American politicians to form a rival to the ADC, the Alabama New South Coalition, in 1986.
In 1975, Reed won a seat on the newly-formed Montgomery City Council, winning District 3 by 918 votes and becoming one of the first four African-American officeholders in Montgomery since the Reconstruction era. He held his seat on the Council until his defeat in 1999 by Tracy Larkin, by which time he was the last of the original members ever elected to the Council.
Reed served as chairman of the Alabama State University (ASU) Board of Trustees from 1990 until 2008.
He married Mollie Perry-Reed in 1964, and they have three children Irva, Joe, and Steven; Steven served as the Montgomery County Probate Judge, and, in 2019, became the first black mayor for Montgomery ever elected in its 200-year history.