HARRISBURG, Pa (WTAJ) – The Commonwealth Court announced on Tuesday, June 28 the passing of retired Judge Johnny J. Butler.

“We are deeply saddened about the passing of our former colleague, Judge Johnny J. Butler. Judge Butler was a wonderful man who will be remembered for his intellect, fortitude and commitment to public service. Our sincerest condolences go out to Judge Butler’s family, friends and colleagues as they grieve this difficult loss.” Commonwealth Court President Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer said.

Judge Butler served on the Commonwealth Court from 2008 until 2011. Before this, he was the Secretary of Labor and Industry in 1995 appointed by then-Governor Tom Ridge. He served there until 2003. 

Judge Butler held several roles at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) including Associate Regional Attorney (1975-79), Philadelphia District Director (1979-95) and Acting General Counsel (1984-87). 

Judge Butler also served as an adjunct professor at Howard and Temple Universities, on the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia African-American Museum, and as an assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the beginning of his career. 

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Majoring in economics and minoring in business, Judge Butler received his bachelor’s degree from Howard University. Later, he earned his law degree from Howard University School of Law. He then received an L.L.M. from Columbia University in 1972.