Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Fond Farewell to Judge Karen Williams

David Stras

Lost in the extensive media coverage of the Sonia Sotomayor hearings was the retirement of Judge Karen Williams last week, who has served admirably as chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit since 2007. Because the Fourth Circuit is relatively small and very collegial, I had the privilege of getting to know many of the judges on that court during my clerkship with Judge Luttig, including Judge Williams. My impression of Judge Williams is that she was a wonderful judge and public servant, and is a kind person. As some of you may know, she announced her retirement because of early onset Alzheimer's disease, see here. Even though she was of sound mind at the time of retirement, she stepped down so that none of her "future decisions would be called into question." I greatly admire her decision and wish her the very best for the future.

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