A judge in Wisconsin died this week and is set to leave behind a legacy of judicial opinions, court rulings and policy decisions.
Judge Michael Flyntn was born in 1947 in Milwaukee.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1951 and graduated magna cum laude from the same school in 1955.
He joined the Milwaukee County Court of Appeals in 1955, and served as the county’s first black justice for more than 40 years.
He served as Milwaukee County District Judge from 1990 to 2000, and he was confirmed by the Wisconsin Senate for a sixth term in 2008.
In 2010, he became the first judge in the nation to have a court order for a transgender inmate to use the bathroom of their gender identity.
The ruling led to a change in the law that has allowed transgender people to use public restrooms, locker rooms and other facilities that match their gender identities.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Flynts name came up as a potential Republican presidential candidate, with some questioning his integrity, competence and leadership ability.
But his life has been marked by some of the most important decisions of his lifetime.
In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the National Labor Relations Board, ruling that state workers could not be fired for refusing to bargain with their employers over collective bargaining rights.
He was a staunch supporter of the ruling and worked on the case for two years.
In 2004, he sided with President George W. Bush over a lawsuit brought by several California employers that claimed the federal government had unlawfully forced them to pay workers for taking a break from work and to pay overtime.
In 2010 he was the lone justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court to vote against a case challenging the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s right to unionize.
He authored a majority opinion in a 2003 case that upheld Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage.
But he was critical of Wisconsin lawmakers’ failure to repeal the state’s same-day voter registration law, which he said was discriminatory.
In 2013, he voted against a law allowing Milwaukee County residents to sue cities and towns that discriminate against them based on sexual orientation or gender identity, a decision that many interpreted as a victory for same-gender marriage.
Flynt also wrote a dissent in the Supreme Supreme Court case of a Wisconsin law allowing people to file civil lawsuits against the government if they believe that the government violated their civil rights.
At the time, he wrote, “The Constitution gives the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, and to be free from unreasonable encroachments on their privacy.”
He died at his home in Racine on Tuesday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.