Karen L. Henderson

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Karen Henderson
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Incumbent
Assumed office
July 5, 1990
Appointed by George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Ken Starr
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
In office
June 16, 1986 – July 5, 1990
Appointed by Ronald Reagan
Preceded by William Wilkins
Succeeded by Dennis Shedd
Personal details
Born (1944-06-11) June 11, 1944 (age 70)
Oberlin, Ohio, U.S.
Alma mater Duke University
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Karen LeCraft Henderson (born July 11, 1944) is a United States federal judge who was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in July 1990, by President George H. W. Bush.

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Born and raised in Oberlin, Ohio, Henderson received a B.A. degree from Duke University in 1966 and a J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1969. Henderson then entered private practice in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. From 1973 to 1983, she was with the Office of the South Carolina Attorney General, ultimately in the position of Deputy Attorney General. In 1983, she returned to private practice as a member of the firm of Sinkler, Gibbs & Simons of Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina.

Federal judicial service[edit]

On June 3, 1986, Henderson was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina vacated by William W. Wilkins, Jr. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 13, 1986, and received her commission on June 16, 1986.

On May 8, 1990, President George H. W. Bush nominated Henderson to a seat on the D.C. Circuit that had been vacated by the resignation of Kenneth Starr to become Solicitor General of the United States. The United States Senate confirmed Henderson on June 28, 1990 by unanimous consent, and she received her commission on July 5, 1990.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act[edit]

In 2008, Henderson, ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a statute that applies by its terms to all "persons" did not apply to detainees at Guantánamo.[1]

Parker v. District of Columbia[edit]

In Parker, et al. v. District of Columbia (2007) Henderson authored a dissent in which she wrote "the right of the people to keep and bear arms relates to those Militia whose continued vitality is required to safeguard the individual States."[2] She also wrote that "the Constitution, case law and applicable statutes all establish that the District is not a state within the meaning of the Second Amendment".[3]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
William Wilkins
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
1986–1990
Succeeded by
Dennis Shedd
Preceded by
Ken Starr
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
1990–present
Incumbent