Cornelia Groefsema Kennedy

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Cornelia Groefsema Kennedy
Cornelia Groefsema Kennedy.png
Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
In office
March 1, 1999 – May 12, 2014
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
In office
September 26, 1979 – March 1, 1999
Appointed byJimmy Carter
Preceded bySeat established by 92 Stat. 1629
Succeeded bySusan Bieke Neilson
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
In office
October 21, 1977 – October 3, 1979
Preceded byDamon Keith
Succeeded byJohn Feikens
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
In office
October 7, 1970 – October 3, 1979
Appointed byRichard Nixon
Preceded byThaddeus M. Machrowicz
Succeeded byHorace Weldon Gilmore
Personal details
Born
Cornelia Groefsema

(1923-08-04)August 4, 1923
Detroit, Michigan
DiedMay 12, 2014(2014-05-12) (aged 90)
Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Michigan (B.A.)
University of Michigan Law School (J.D.)

Cornelia Groefsema Kennedy (née Groefsema; August 4, 1923 – May 12, 2014) was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Education and career[edit]

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Kennedy graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1945 and at the top of her class from the University of Michigan Law School with a Juris Doctor in 1947. After law school, she clerked for Chief Judge Harold Montelle Stephens of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where she was the first woman to clerk on that court. In 1965 Kennedy ran for Wayne County Circuit Court judge and lost by fewer than 100 votes.[1] Kennedy and her sister, Judge Margaret G. Schaeffer, were the first sister judges in the United States. Schaeffer sat on the 47th District Court in Farmington Hills, Michigan from 1974 to 1992.[2] She was in private practice of law in Detroit from 1948 to 1966. She was a judge of the Michigan Circuit Court for the Third Judicial Circuit from 1966 to 1970.[3]

Federal judicial service[edit]

Kennedy was nominated by President Richard Nixon on September 3, 1970, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan vacated by Judge Thaddeus M. Machrowicz. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 6, 1970, and received her commission on October 7, 1970. She served as Chief Judge from 1977 to 1979. Her service was terminated on October 3, 1979, due to elevation to the Sixth Circuit.[3]

Kennedy was nominated by President Jimmy Carter on April 9, 1979, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, to a new seat created by 92 Stat. 1629. She was confirmed by the Senate on September 25, 1979, and received her commission on September 26, 1979.[1] She assumed senior status on March 1, 1999, serving in that status until her death.[3]

Supreme Court consideration[edit]

In 1981 President Ronald Reagan had narrowed his search for Justice Potter Stewart's replacement to Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor as the first woman on the United States Supreme Court, before eventually choosing O'Connor for the vacant seat. Kennedy was also on the shortlist for the seat vacated by the departure of William O. Douglas, which eventually went to John Paul Stevens.[1][3]

Connection Distributing v. Keisler[edit]

Kennedy authored the majority opinion in Connection Distributing Co. v. Keisler, 505 F.3d 545 (6th Cir. 2007), which declared Section 2257 of the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act unconstitutional. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit en banc vacated the decision and upheld Section 2257 in Connection Distributing Co. v. Holder with Kennedy authoring the primary dissent.[1][3]

Personal life[edit]

Groefsema married Charles Stuart Kennedy, Jr.[when?] They had one son, Charles Stuart Kennedy III (born November 8, 1962).[4] Kennedy died at age 90 on May 12, 2014.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Judge Cornelia G. Kennedy: First Lady of the Michigan Judiciary Archived 2012-02-12 at the Wayback Machine., michbar.org; accessed May 14, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Obituary for the Hon. Cornelia Kennedy Archived 2014-05-13 at the Wayback Machine., obitsforlife.com; accessed May 14, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Kennedy, Cornelia Groefsema - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  4. ^ "Obituary: Judge Cornelia Groefsema Kennedy (1923-2014)". Michigan Lawyer's Weekly. May 20, 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Thaddeus M. Machrowicz
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
1970–1979
Succeeded by
Horace Weldon Gilmore
Preceded by
Damon Keith
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
1977–1979
Succeeded by
John Feikens
Preceded by
Seat established by 92 Stat. 1629
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
1979–1999
Succeeded by
Susan Bieke Neilson