Courthouse named for Barack and Michelle Obama's former Harvard professor

 February 20, 2023

The Fresno Bee reported last week that a courthouse in Central California is being named for left-wing academic Charles James Ogletree Jr.

That will no doubt come as welcome news to former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, two figures Ogletree has shared warm memories of. 

Ogletree hailed by House Democratic leader

According to the Bee, Merced County Courthouse will bear Ogletree's name, a move which was welcomed by his brother.

"Despite the fact that he has risen to high levels, he hasn’t forgotten where he came from," Richard Ogletree said on Friday, adding, "He remembers his roots."

"He can receive all kinds of national and international recognition, but for him to be recognized by our hometown, it’s special. It’s just special," Richard Ogletree continued.

The former Harvard School of Law professor was also praised by Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Professor once called the Obamas "exceptionally gifted students"

"Throughout his life and throughout his legal journey, Professor Ogletree has been an incredible force of nature, a dynamic public servant who has advanced the law for social justice, civil rights, civil liberties and tolerance in our society like none other," the Bee quoted Jeffries as saying.

"We thank you, Professor Ogletree, for your life’s work, for your contributions, for the manner in which you inspire all of us to do better and to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice," Jeffries declared.

Charles Ogletree was unavailable for comment, with the Bee noting that he now suffers from Alzheimer's and is being cared for at home.

However, the paper recalled how Ogletree praised the Obamas in 2009 a Merced Sun-Star op-ed, stating that the pair were "exceptionally gifted students" when he taught them at Harvard.

"I met Michelle in 1985 and Barack in 1988, and this journey has had many sweet victories and a few bitter defeats, but nothing will match the joy of being a kid born and raised in Merced finding himself 56 years later serving as a senior adviser and mentor to the President of the United States of America," Ogletree wrote.

Some observers think Michelle Obama could be a force in 2024

For her part, Michelle Obama has largely stepped back from day-to-day political events and focused on issues like health concerns for post-menopausal women.

However, some have suggested that the former first lady could be a powerful force in 2024 should President Joe Biden be unable to seek reelection.

"In fact, if you didn't know any better, if you were visiting this country from a foreign land trying to figure out what's going on in the U.S., you might mistake what Michelle Obama is doing right now for the beginnings of a presidential campaign," Fox News host Tucker Carlson told viewers last month.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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