E. Riggs’ Death Beglooms Black History Month

During Black History Month we've lost a part of Black history.

The honorable Judge Elizabeth Riggs passed away onTuesday after suffering 7 long years with a rare pancreatic cancer.

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“She handled her illness with dignity and grace,” said Luther Riggs-Zeigen, the eldest of her three sons.

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Riggs became the first Black woman judge in San Diego in 1979. She remained the only Black woman judge until 2001. Superior Court Judge Desirée Bruce-Lyle, who in 2001 became the second Black woman appointed to the local bench, said Riggs mentored a lot of people in the legal community, herself among them.


Loss of any Black judge is a great loss for the Black community but it is especially sad to lose such an outstanding person as Elizabeth Riggs and it is really lamentable that she had to pass away during the Black History Month, the month of celebration and remembrance. We hope that she will serve as a source of dignity and inspiration for many fair judges of color this country so desperately needs.



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