Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis Becomes Michigan's First Black Woman To Serve Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
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Stephanie Dawkins Davis Becomes Michigan’s First Black Woman to Serve Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis 
Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis  (Credit: Kansas Public Schools)

Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis was confirmed last Tuesday to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, making her the first Black woman from Michigan, and the second Black woman in history to be appointed.

According to the Michigan Advance, the Senate voted 49-43 on nominating Davis to join the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has appellate jurisdiction over the federal district courts in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Davis, in a statement, described the promotion as an “honor of my life.”

“My life’s work has been in service of the cause of justice and I will endeavor to faithfully execute this cause.”

The trailblazing judge and former federal prosecutor also made history as the first Black woman to be nominated to the federal bench by former President Trump, The Detroit News reported. She has been a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan since December 2019.

Davis’ new appointment was nominated by President Joe Biden in February.

“Judge Davis will be an outstanding judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Her time at the Eastern District of Michigan has demonstrated her excellent work as a thoughtful and fair judge. Judge Davis has spent her entire career serving the people of Michigan. I know she will continue this work on the Sixth Circuit,” said U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) in a news release.

“Judge Davis is an exemplary legal mind, qualified jurist, and has dedicated her career to serving the people of Michigan,” added Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.)

A 1989 graduate of Wichita State University, Davis graduated Washington University School of Law in St. Louis in 1992. She was an associate at Dickinson, Wright PLLC in Detroit from 1992 to 1997.

Throughout her career, Davis assumed roles such as Assistant United States Attorney from 1997 to 2010; Executive Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan from 2010 to 2015; and Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan from 2016 to 2019.


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