A controversial reception scheduled to be held at a private Southside club in honor of a newly appointed Virginia federal judge has been canceled. Two statewide organizations had criticized the choice of the club, which they contend discriminates against blacks and Jews.
Judge-designate Jackson L. Kiser of Martinsville, Va., had been scheduled to attend a reception in his honor at the Danville Golf Club next Tuesday. The reception, organized by four Southside bar associations, was set to coincide with Kiser's swearing in.
But some local lawyers invited to the reception, as well as the Virginia chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, objected to the use of the club, claiming that it had admitted no blacks and few, if any, Jews.
Although he had earlier told reporters he was "going to make an effort" to have the reception moved, Kiser, who was recommended for the judgeship by Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) and nominated by President Reagan, issued a brief statement late yesterday asking that the reception be canceled.
"I appreciate very much the thoughtfulness and efforts of those who have planned a reception in my honor," Kiser said. "However, I would not want anyone to be offended or in any way embarrassed . . . . In view of the controversy, I have requested the . . . bar associations to cancel the reception."
Martinsville attorney George Gautch, chairman of the reception committee, said the event is canceled and there are no plans to reschedule it.