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Judge David McKeague

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Confirmed June 9, 2005

  • Judge David McKeague is a highly regarded federal district court judge with over a decade of experience on the bench.
    • Judge McKeague was appointed to the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan in 1992 after being confirmed by unanimous consent of the Senate.
    • The American Bar Association has rated Judge McKeague "Well Qualified" to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
    • As a district court judge, McKeague has been designated to sit on panels of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on several occasions and has written almost twenty appellate opinions.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which has 16 authorized seats, has 4 vacancies. President Bush has nominated 4 highly qualified individuals from Michigan to fill these vacancies.
    • The seat to which Judge McKeague has been nominated has been deemed a judicial emergency.
  • Judge McKeague has had a distinguished career as a practicing attorney and law professor in addition to his service on the federal bench.
    • Judge McKeague serves as an adjunct professor at Michigan State University, Detroit College of Law and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
    • Prior to his appointment to the federal bench, Judge McKeague practiced law as a partner at the Lansing, Michigan law firm of Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith. He had a diverse practice, handling a variety of matters involving financial transactions and mergers, regulation of public utilities, commercial litigation, and bankruptcy.
    • Judge McKeague received his J.D. in 1971 and his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1968, both from the University of Michigan.
    • Judge McKeague belongs to the State Bar of Michigan and the District of Columbia Bar Association and is a founding Master and President of the American Inns of Court, Michigan State University, Detroit College of Law.
  • Judge McKeague is a life-long resident of the Lansing, Michigan community. He would be the first appointee to the Sixth Circuit from the Lansing or Mid-Michigan area.
  • Judge McKeague is dedicated to improving the law and the administration of justice.
    • Judge McKeague was appointed by Chief Justice Rehnquist to serve on the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Defender Services and is the chair of the Committee’s funding subcommittee.
    • Judge McKeague was also appointed by Chief Justice Rehnquist to the District Judges Education Committee of the Federal Judicial Center, which Judge McKeague chairs.
    • Judge McKeague has led his district to a national reputation for innovation in technology. As Chairman of the Automation Committee of the Western District of Michigan, Judge McKeague instituted a pilot civil electronic filing program, which allows attorneys in all civil cases in his district to file case documents electronically. It is the first such program in Michigan, and only the seventh nationwide. He also serves as Chairman of the ADR Committee of the Western District of Michigan.
    • Judge McKeague is a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation.
  • Judge McKeague has served his state and local community in many voluntary capacities.
    • Judge McKeague served six years in the United States Army Reserve.
    • Judge McKeague served as a member of the National Board of Directors and as Regional Chairman of the University of Michigan Law School Fund.
    • Judge McKeague has served in the community as a member of the boards of directors of Junior Achievement of Mid-Michigan, of Camp Highfields, and of Impression 5 Science Museum. He also sits on the advisory council of Michigan State University’s Wharton Center for the Performing Arts.


Chief Judge Robert Holmes Bell, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

"He’s an excellent choice. He wants to raise the reputation of the 6th Circuit intellectually, and I think he will. He’s not a doctrinaire judge. You can’t say he’s an arch-conservative or he’s a liberal. He’s reasonably pragmatic in his approach to applying the law. He lets the law and the facts take him where they take him." GRAND RAPIDS PRESS, Nov. 9, 2001.

Lori M. Silsbury, Dykema Gossett

"When Judge McKeague has been assigned to one of our client’s cases, I am always confident that the client will receive a fair, considered review of the relevant facts and law. In my opinion, Judge McKeague does not decide cases based on political views or with a predisposition toward a plaintiff or a defendant. He meticulously works through the briefs and arguments . . . and is one of the best prepared Judges that I have had the privilege of appearing before. That dedication to the law is but one demonstration of his professionalism and commitment to deliver justice to all that appear before him." Excerpt from letter to Chairman Hatch, Sept. 26, 2003.

Webb A. Smith, Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith

"Throughout the 31 years, I have known Judge McKeague to be honest, professional and fair. He demands high standards of performance from those who appear in his Court, without regard to the client one represents or the philosophy one espouses. At the same time, he blends wisdom and reality when making his rulings. He treats all litigants and litigators with courtesy and respect. His rulings are well reasoned with due regard for precedent and the law provided by the Legislative Branch of government." Excerpt from letter to Chairman Hatch, Oct. 6, 2003.

Frank Harrison Reynolds, The Reynolds Law Firm

"I am a practicing criminal defense attorney and have been for the majority of my career as an attorney. As I represent clients in the judicial system, I look for fairness, decisiveness, clear legal reasoning and good judicial temperament from the bench. I have been able to observe these qualities in Judge McKeague during jury trials as well as during motions and arguments over the years since his appointment as an Article III District Court Judge." Excerpt from letter to Chairman Hatch, Oct. 8, 2003.

John W. Allen, Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt, & Howlett

"I have practiced law in Michigan and in the Sixth Circuit for over thirty years and have known David McKeague all of that time. He is a person of unquestioned honor and integrity. By his example, all the rest of us may set our compasses, in both our professional and personal lives. . . . Most importantly, Judge McKeague’s judgments are sound, impartial, and prompt. He has consistently demonstrated that he is a hard worker, and a very productive member of the federal judiciary. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit needs judges like David McKeague." Excerpt from letter to Chairman Hatch, Oct. 14, 2003.

James S. Brady, Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey

"I have been a practicing lawyer in the Federal and State Courts for 34 years. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed me United States Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. . . . Judge McKeague would make an outstanding appellate judge. He would bring to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit the experience of a successful practitioner and trial judge. A judge that knows the law, the demands of the trial bench, the competence and professionalism required of the lawyers appearing before him and a passion for justice. In my opinion, Judge McKeague has all the necessary components to be a successful appellate judge." Excerpt from letter to Chairman Hatch, Oct. 15, 2003.

Richard A. Kay, Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt, & Howlett

"By way of background, I have been in practice for 30 years in the Western District of Michigan. . . . Based on my trial experience before Judge McKeague in complex litigation, I found him to be a skilled jurist with the very highest of legal skills. His understanding and application of the law has been superior. His ability to distill complicated matters to their core issues is likewise excellent." Excerpt from letter to Chairman Hatch, Oct. 15, 2003.