Karen J. Williams

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Karen Williams
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
In office
July 1, 2007 – July 8, 2009
Preceded by William Wilkins
Succeeded by William Traxler
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
In office
March 2, 1992 – July 8, 2009
Appointed by George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Robert Chapman
Succeeded by Henry Floyd
Personal details
Born (1951-08-04)August 4, 1951
Orangeburg, South Carolina, U.S.
Died November 2, 2013(2013-11-02) (aged 62)
Orangeburg, South Carolina, U.S.
Alma mater Columbia College, South Carolina
University of South Carolina Law School

Karen Johnson Williams (August 4, 1951 – November 2, 2013) was a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, appointed in 1992 and serving as its Chief Judge from 2007 until her retirement in 2009. Williams was mentioned as a potential nominee to the United States Supreme Court during the administration of George W. Bush.[1][2]

Background[edit]

Born in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Williams received her B.A. from Columbia College in 1972 and a J.D. from the University of South Carolina Law Center in 1980. She was in private practice in Orangeburg, South Carolina from 1980 to 1992.

On January 27, 1992, Williams was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to a seat on the Fourth Circuit vacated by Robert Foster Chapman. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 27, 1992, and received her commission on March 2, 1992. She became chief judge in 2007.

Illness and retirement[edit]

Williams retired suddenly on July 8, 2009 after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.[3] She stated her desire to leave the bench while still able to perform her judicial duties, so that her future decisions would not be questioned because of her illness.[4]

She died on November 2, 2013.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Robert Chapman
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
1992–2007
Succeeded by
Henry Floyd
Preceded by
William Wilkins
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
2007–2009
Succeeded by
William Traxler