Kenneth Ryskamp

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Kenneth Lee Ryskamp (born August 10, 1932) is a Senior Judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Ryskamp earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Calvin College in 1953 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 1956. From 1957 to 1959 he was clerk to Judge Mallory H. Horton of the Florida Third District Court of Appeals.

Professional career[edit]

Ryskamp worked in private legal practice in Miami from 1959 until 1986.

Federal judicial service[edit]

Ryskamp was nominated for appointment as a U.S. district judge on March 13, 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 23, 1986, and received his judicial commission on April 24, 1986. He began duty on May 2, 1986. Ryskamp retired and therefore took senior status on January 1, 2000, and retired from his senior status, on August 31, 2010. After Ryskamp retired from senior status, Ryskamp vacated his seat, which was filled by his replacement Paul Huck, who was Ryskamp's successor on August 31, 2010.[1]

Failed nomination to the Eleventh Circuit[edit]

On April 26, 1990, Judge Ryskamp was nominated to a seat on the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit by George H. W. Bush to replace Judge Paul Roney, who had taken senior status.[2] The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee chose not to proceed with Ryskamp's nomination, in part because of his membership in a private country club, the Riviera Country Club in Coral Gables, Florida, that was said to be discriminatory.[3] Some senators also objected to comments by Ryskamp during a 1987 case that they considered to be insensitive. After the November 1990 elections, Bush renominated Ryskamp to the seat on January 8, 1991, but Ryskamp's nomination continued to be held up in committee by Senate Democrats, and it eventually was defeated in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee by an 8-6, party-line vote on April 12, 1991.[4][5] As a result, his nomination never made it to the Senate floor for a full Senate vote.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ and based on information from the SDFL Court Clerk and his old chambers
  2. ^ "Archives and Research - George Bush Library and Museum". Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Once More, Bench Battles". 25 March 1991. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Lewis, Neil A. (April 12, 1991). "Committee Rejects Bush Nominee To Key Appellate Court in South". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Archives and Research - George Bush Library and Museum". Retrieved 27 May 2015. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Joe Oscar Eaton
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Succeeded by
Paul Huck