Jennifer B. Coffman

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Jennifer B. Coffman
Jennifer Coffman.jpg
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
In office
2007–2012
Preceded by Joseph Martin Hood
Succeeded by Karen K. Caldwell
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
In office
October 1, 1993 – January 8, 2013
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Eugene E. Siler, Jr.
Personal details
Born 1948 (age 68–69)
Union City, Tennessee
Education University of Kentucky B.A., M.S.
University of Kentucky College of Law J.D.

Jennifer B. Coffman (born 1948) is a former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.

Education and career[edit]

Born in Union City, Tennessee, Coffman received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky in 1969, a Master of Science from the same institution in 1971, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1978. She was in private practice in Lexington, Kentucky from 1977 to 1993, also teaching as an adjunct instructor at the University of Kentucky College of Law from 1979 to 1981.

Federal judicial service[edit]

On August 6, 1993, Coffman was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a joint appointment to both the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, on which she has served as the Chief Judge since 2007, and also for the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, both vacated by Eugene E. Siler, Jr.. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 30, 1993, and received her commission on October 1, 1993. She simultaneously served a 2011 to 2018 term on the secret FISA Court until retiring early, effective on January 8, 2013, from both courts.[1] She was the first female judge appointed to the Federal courts in Kentucky.[2]

Notable observation[edit]

In 2013, following the gay rights decisions in Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, Kentucky circuit court Judge Tim Philpot wrote an Op-Ed titled "Rulings do not change Ky. law on gay marriage."[3] Coffman wrote an Op-Ed in response, highly critical of Philpot's judgement in writing the piece and declaring that he had risked his judicial integrity and concluded that "Philpot might have foreclosed his ability to sit on any case involving gay marriage because his comments raise a question of bias on the topic of sexual orientation."[4] Coffman also criticised Philpot for dismissing principles of judicial interpretation as "boring and technical" and for ridiculing judicial review with his observation that then-Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California Vaughn Walker's declaration that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional was: "One trial judge trumped every voter in California."[3][2] – and for gratuitously mentioning Walker's sexuality.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Joseph Martin Hood
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
2007–2012
Succeeded by
Karen K. Caldwell
Preceded by
Eugene E. Siler, Jr.
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky

1993–2013
Vacant