Davies, Judge Ronald Class of 1922 - Federal Judge, Attorney

Ronald Davies, a 1922 graduate of Grand Forks Central High School, went on to receive a Bachelors Degree from the University of North Dakota in 1927.  Davies attended law school at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., graduating with a Juris Doctorate in the spring of 1930.  He returned to Grand Forks to begin his legal career and in 1932 was elected to serve as a Municipal Judge for the city.  Davies law career was interrupted in 1942 when he enlisted in the United States Army, serving as a 1st Lieutenant during World War II.  In 1946 Ronald Davies returned home to Grand Forks where he worked as a UND Law Professor and served as a part-time Executive Director of the North Dakota Bar Association. 

In 1955, Davies was appointed U.S. District Judge for the District of North Dakota by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and in 1957 he was temporarily re-assigned to assist the Arkansas District Court in alleviating the backlog of cases caused by the retirement of one of the federal district judges from that area.  That same year, Davies ordered a preliminary injunction (court order) against the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubas, barring him from using the Arkansas National Guard to block nine black students from attending Little Rock’s Central High School.  Five days later, the Little Rock Nine were escorted by the 101st airborne division of the U.S. Army into Little Rock’s Central High School to attend classes.   The New York Times called Judge Davies ruling the “landmark decision on racial integration in our nation.”

Judge Davies has been the recipient of many lifetime achievement awards including the Outstanding Georgetown Law School Alumnus Award in 1958, the University of North Dakota Alumni Association’s Sioux Award in 1979, and the State of North Dakota Roughrider Award in 1987.