WASHINGTON, DC- Today, President Obama nominated Judge Bernice Bouie Donald for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Judge Donald currently serves as a United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee.
“Judge Donald has shown an outstanding commitment to public service throughout her career and as a District Judge in Tennessee,” President Obama said. “I am proud to nominate her today for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals and I am confident she will serve the American people with distinction.”
Judge Bernice Bouie Donald: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Judge Bernice Bouie Donald is a distinguished jurist with over 28 years of judicial experience. For the past 15 years, she has served as a United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee.
Judge Donald was born and raised in Desoto County, Mississippi. In the 1960s, Judge Donald was one of the first students to integrate Olive Branch High School. In 1974, she graduated from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) and in 1979 she received her law degree from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at Memphis State University.
After graduating from law school, Judge Donald worked briefly as a sole practitioner before accepting a position as a staff attorney at Memphis Area Legal Services, where she provided legal assistance to low-income individuals. In 1981, she joined the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office. In 1982, Judge 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. In 1988, 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.
Judge Donald currently serves as the Secretary of the American Bar Association.