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Carolyn Dineen King

Carolyn Dineen King
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
In office
July 13, 1979 – December 31, 2013
Appointed by Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Seat established
Succeeded by Vacant
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
In office
January 16, 1999 – January 30, 2006
Preceded by Henry Politz
Succeeded by Edith Jones
Personal details
Born (1938-01-30) January 30, 1938
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Smith College
Yale Law School

Carolyn Dineen King (born January 30, 1938, Syracuse, New York)[1] is a Senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Her chambers are in Houston, Texas.


  • Education and legal practice 1
  • Judicial experience 2
  • Honors and awards 3
  • Notable activities 4
  • Personal information 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Education and legal practice

Judge King graduated summa cum laude from Smith College in 1959, and earned a law degree from Yale Law School in 1962.

After the United States Attorney's office in Houston denied her a position as an Assistant United States Attorney (she believes it was because she was a woman[2]), she joined Fulbright & Jaworski as a corporate and securities lawyer. From 1962 to 1979, she was in private practice in Houston.

Judicial experience

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the Fifth Circuit, where she has written over 4400 opinions. In 1999, King became the first woman to serve as Chief Judge of the Fifth Circuit, a position that she held until 2006.

In 2002, at the request of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, she became the first woman to chair the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Judge King assumed senior status on December 31, 2013.

Honors and awards

In 2007, Judge King received the Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award from the American Judicature Society.[3] King is also a 1997 recipient of the Smith College Medal[4] and the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Award.[5]

Notable activities

King was elected to the American Law Institute in 1985 and was elected to the ALI Council in 1991. She served as ALI's Treasurer from May 2010 to May 2013.[6]

Personal information

Judge King served under the name "Carolyn Dineen Randall" from 1979 to 1988. She is married to senior Fifth Circuit Judge Thomas Morrow Reavley.

Judge King is widely considered to be a political and judicial moderate.[7]


  1. ^ Oral History of Carolyn Dineen King
  2. ^ Id.
  3. ^ Judge Carolyn Dineen King Honored with Devitt Award
  4. ^ Smith College Medal - List of Recipients
  5. ^ ABA Margaret Brent Award - List of Past Honorees
  6. ^ American Law Institute - Council bios - Carolyn Dineen King
  7. ^ Death Sentences in Texas Cases Try Supreme Court's Patience, The New York Times.

External links

Legal offices
New seat Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Preceded by
Henry Politz
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Succeeded by
Edith Jones
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