Judith Keep

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Judith Nelsen Keep
JudgeJudithNelsenKeep.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California
In office
June 30, 1980 – September 14, 2004
Appointed by Jimmy Carter
Preceded by New seat
Succeeded by Janis Lynn Sammartino
Personal details
Born (1944-03-24)March 24, 1944
Omaha, Nebraska
Died September 14, 2004(2004-09-14) (aged 60)
San Diego, California
Spouse(s) Russell L. Block
Alma mater Scripps College (B.A.)
University of San Diego School of Law (J.D.)

Judith Nelsen Keep (March 24, 1944 – September 14, 2004) was a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

Early life and education[edit]

Born March 24, 1944, Omaha, Nebraska, young Judith Keep went to college in California. In 1966, she received her B.A. degree in Humanities and Literature from Scripps College in Claremont, California. After graduation, she moved to San Diego and taught English at the Bishop's School in La Jolla. She then enrolled at the University of San Diego School of Law, where she received her J.D. degree in 1970, graduating summa cum laude.

Professional career[edit]

After her graduation from law school, Keep served as a Municipal Court Judge in San Diego from 1976 to 1980, in private practice from 1973 to 1976, and as a staff attorney for Defenders, Inc. from 1971 to 1973. In the 1970s, Keep organized a casual group with other female attorneys called the Old Girls Club.[1]

Federal judicial service[edit]

Nominated to the bench of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California of California by President Jimmy Carter, Judge Keep became a federal judge in 1980.[2]

Judge Keep was the first female federal judge in her district and later became its first female chief, serving from 1991 to 1998. Keep chaired the Conference of Chief District Judges in 1997.[3]

As a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States (JCUS), Judge Keep represented the Ninth Circuit District Judges at the JCUS from 1999 to 2002. She also was appointed by Chief Justice William Rehnquist to the Defender Services Committee of the JCUS in 1998 and served through 2004. Her court handled many drug and immigrant smuggling cases.

Judge Keep made a significant contribution to court governance as a member of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit for eight years. She first represented the chief district judges from 1994 to 1997. Her service to the council continued as president of the District Judges Association from 1997 to 1999, and then as the district judges’ representative to the JCUS from 1999 to 2002.

Other service to the Ninth Circuit included chairing the Task Force on Judicial Wellness,[4] which paved the way for groundbreaking efforts to promote health and wellness among judges, and the Federal Court Study Committee.[5]

Death[edit]

Judge Keep died of cancer on September 14, 2004.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anne Krueger, "First female federal judge in S.D. called inspirational" San Diego Union-Tribune, September 15, 2004. Accessed December 26, 2007
  2. ^ "Keep, Judith Nelsen", Biographical Dictionary of Federal Judges, Accessed August 17, 2009
  3. ^ "Fellow Judges Mourn Passing of Judge Judith Keep", Office of the Circuit Executive Information Office, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, September 15. 2004. Accessed December 26, 2007
  4. ^ OCE Public Information Office, "Fellow Judges Mourn The Passing of Judge Judith Keep", September 15, 2004.
  5. ^ Anne Krueger, "First female federal judge in S.D. called inspirational" San Diego Union-Tribune, September 15, 2004. Accessed December 26, 2007