Bernard A. Friedman
|Bernard A. Friedman|
|Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan|
January 1, 2009
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan|
April 20, 1988 – January 1, 2009
|Nominated by||Ronald Reagan|
|Preceded by||Robert E. DeMascio|
|Succeeded by||Gershwin A. Drain|
|Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan|
June 16, 2004 – January 1, 2009
|Preceded by||Lawrence P. Zatkoff|
|Succeeded by||Gerald E. Rosen|
September 23, 1943 |
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Alma mater||Michigan State University
Detroit College of Law
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1967-1973|
Bernard A. Friedman (born September 23, 1943) is a federal judge, who, from 2004 to 2009, served as Chief Judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Early life and education
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Friedman received a J.D. from Detroit College of Law in 1968. He was in the United States Army, JAG Corps from 1967 to 1968, reaching the rank of lieutenant. He continued at this rank in the United States Army Reserve JAG Corps from 1968 to 1973.
Friedman was a felony trial attorney of Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, Michigan from 1969 to 1970. He was in private practice in Detroit, Michigan from 1970 to 1974, and in Southfield, Michigan from 1974 to 1982. He was a judge on the 48th District Court, Michigan from 1982 to 1988.
On February 2, 1988, Friedman was nominated by U.S. President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan vacated by Robert Edward DeMascio. Friedman was confirmed by the United States Senate on April 19, 1988, and received his commission on April 20, 1988. He was elevated to the position of chief judge in 2004 and assumed senior status on January 1, 2009.
Overturning Michigan's same-sex marriage ban
On March 21, 2014, Judge Friedman struck down Michigan's constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage. He was the first judge in a series of similar rulings in other states to not issue a stay on his ruling. More than three hundred marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples before the Sixth Circuit Court issued a stay on Friedman's ruling the next day, pending the state's appeal to the Sixth Circuit. The federal government announced it would recognize the marriages that took place during the brief period it was legal.
- Bernard A. Friedman at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.