Karen L. Henderson
|Karen LeCraft Henderson|
|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit|
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|
June 16, 1986 – July 11, 1990
|Appointed by||Ronald Reagan|
|Preceded by||William Walter Wilkins|
|Succeeded by||Dennis Shedd|
June 11, 1944|
Duke University (B.A.)|
University of North Carolina School of Law (J.D.)
Karen LeCraft Henderson (born July 11, 1944) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and a former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.
Early life, education, and career
Born and raised in Oberlin, Ohio, Henderson received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University in 1966 and a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law 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
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 Judge William Walter Wilkins. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 13, 1986, and received her commission on June 16, 1986. Her service terminated on July 11, 1990, due to elevation to the District of Columbia Circuit.
On May 8, 1990, President George H. W. Bush nominated Henderson to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that had been vacated by the resignation of Kenneth Starr to become Solicitor General of the United States. The Senate confirmed Henderson on June 28, 1990 by unanimous consent, and she received her commission on July 5, 1990.
Religious Freedom Restoration Act
Parker v. District of Columbia
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." 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".
William Walter Wilkins
| Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
| Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit