Damon Keith

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Damon Keith
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Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Title:   Senior Judge
Appointed by:   Jimmy Carter
Active:   10/21/1977-5/1/1995
Senior:   5/1/1995-Present
Preceded by:   Wade Hampton McCree, Jr.
Past post:   Eastern District of Michigan
Past chief:   1975-1977
Past term:   10/12/1967-11/22/1977
Past position:   Seat #4
Personal History
Born:   1922
Hometown:   Detroit, MI
Undergraduate:   West Virginia State College, 1943
Law School:   Howard University School of Law, 1949
Grad. School:   Wayne State University Law School, 1956
Military service:   U.S. Army, 1943-1946

Damon Jerome Keith is a federal appeals judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He joined the court in 1977 after being nominated by President Jimmy Carter. Keith is serving on senior status.[1]


Keith received his B.A. from West Virginia State College in 1943, his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1943 from Howard and his Master of Laws degree from Wayne State in 1956.[1]

Military service

From 1943 to 1946, Keith served in the United States Army.[1]

Professional career

Between 1950 and 1964, Keith was a solo legal practitioner and then joined the firm of Keith, Conyers, Anderson, Brown & Whals in 1964, where he remained until 1967.[1]

Judicial career

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Carl Levin, Keith was nominated by President Jimmy Carter on September 28, 1977, to a seat on the Sixth Circuit vacated by Judge Wade Hampton McCree, Jr. Keith was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 20, 1977, and received commission on October 21, 1977. Keith assumed senior status on May 1, 1995.[1]

Eastern District of Michigan

Keith was nominated to the Eastern District of Michigan by President Lyndon Johnson on September 25, 1967, to a seat vacated by Judge Thomas Thornton. He was confirmed by the Senate on October 12, 1967, and received commission on October 12, 1967. Keith served as the chief judge for the Eastern District of Michigan from 1975 to 1977 before leaving the court on November 22, 1977, due to his appointment to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.[2][1] Keith was succeeded in this position by Judge Patricia Boyle.

Awards and associations

Judge Keith was honored by Wayne State University with a building that is named in his honor. The University presented this honor during a ground-breaking ceremony on May 17, 2010 that named the university's civil rights education center in the his name. Many people viewed Judge Keith as a advocate for civil rights throughout his entire professional career as an attorney and judge.

Keith said during the ceremony: "I hold the words 'equal justice under the law' closely." The judge also stated: "I hope the words 'equal justice under the law' will guide the work done at the Keith Center."[4]

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by:
Thomas Thornton
Eastern District of Michigan
Seat #4
Succeeded by:
Patricia Boyle
Preceded by:
Wade Hampton McCree, Jr.
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by:
Richard Griffin