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Judge Donald Nominated for Court of Appeals

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Special to the NNPA from the Tri-State Defender –

President Barack Obama last week announced his nomination of Judge Bernice Donald for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Donald, who serves as federal bankruptcy judge in Memphis, has a history of trailblazing.

In 1982, Donald was elected to serve as a judge on the Court of General Sessions in Shelby County, making her the first female African-American judge in the history of Tennessee. Six years later, she became the first female African-American federal bankruptcy judge in the nation when she was appointed to that position by the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Congressman Steve Cohen said he congratulated Donald on the nomination during a call last week. “I’ve known Judge Donald for over 30 years, including when she presented cases before me as an attorney during my brief tenure as Shelby County General Sessions Court Judge in 1980. I’ve known her to be fair, honest and just,” said Cohen. “As I told her when we spoke today, she has served Memphis proud.”

Judge Donald will now face the confirmation process in the U.S. Senate.

Donald received both her undergraduate degree and her J.D. from the University of Memphis. Her broad range of legal experience also includes private practice and the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office.

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