It’s not absurd for people to ask if a judge was good or bad. Most judges have made the judiciary system a laughing stock with their one-sided judgments.
Judge Carolyn Dineen is one of the most famous female judges of her time. She was appointed judge of the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit from 1979 to 2013.
Below is a question many people have been asking about her personality.
Is Judge Carolyn Dineen King bad?
Judge King has had some controversial moments like every other human being. But the word “bad” doesn’t appropriately describe her personality.
So, Judge King wasn’t a bad judge. She had an impressive career as a judge and won several prestigious awards for her distinguished service to the United States judiciary system.
Keep reading for more information on Judge King.
When Was Judge Carolyn Dineen King Born?
On January 30, 1938, Carolyn Dineen was born in Syracuse, New York. She’s the daughter of two lawyers, Robert E. Dineen (father) and Carolyn Bareham Dineen (mother).
She graduated summa cum laude from the prestigious Smith College in 1959 and had plans to pursue a Ph.D. degree in philosophy.
Unfortunately, Carolyn Dineen changed her mind about obtaining a Ph.D. and teaching philosophy. Why? She believed working with philosophers wasn’t the best decision for her.
However, abandoning her dream to build a career as a philosopher wasn’t the end of young Carolyn Dineen’s academic aspirations.
She enrolled in Yale Law School, and after signing up for the Department of Justice’s summer honor program, it was easy for young Carolyn Dineen to see where her passion was. Lawyering was her passion.
Carolyn Dineen graduated from Yale Law School in 1962 and decided to move to Houston. She spent ten years working at Fulbright and Jaworski, building a reputation as an outstanding corporate securities lawyer.
How Did Judge Carolyn Dineen King Become A Circuit Judge?
The United States federal court system boasts three primary levels. These include the district courts (the trial courts), circuit courts (the appeal courts), and Supreme Court.
There’s only one Supreme Court, and it’s the highest court in the land. However, there are 94 district courts and 13 circuit courts.
So, how did Judge King become a Circuit Judge? It was simple for Judge King. Her exceptional work at Fulbright positioned her for the role.
In 1979, U.S. President Jimmy Carter formed a Merit Selection Committee that recommended lawyers for appointment into the Fifth Circuit.
The committee approached Judge King, but she had no interest, given her passion as a corporate securities lawyer. She never had any interest in being in a court, and additionally, she was a Republican.
Judge King initially turned down the committee’s offer to become a Circuit judge, but that wasn’t enough to deter President Jimmy Carter.
The then U.S. President wanted a woman and a good lawyer, a quality Judge King possessed. She was later appointed a Fifth Circuit Judge.
It would interest you to know that Judge King’s 26 years on the bench were highly productive. In addition to authoring over 4,400 opinions, she received several awards for her service to humanity and for being an outstanding jurist.
Judge King was the second female to secure an appointment to the Fifth Circuit. In 1999, she became the Fifth Circuit’s Chief Judge and was the first female to hold such a position.
In 2002, she became the first female to chair the U.S. Judicial Conference’s executive committee. And the impact she had as chairman was massive.
Judge King developed a cost-containment strategy that enabled federal courts to function smoothly in the face of shrinking appropriations.
A Handy Tip: Circuit Courts boast multiple judges, and Circuit Judges are appointed for life. The U.S President has the power to nominate candidates for the Circuit Judge positions, but confirmation lies in the hands of the Senate.
Was Judge Carolyn Dineen King Married?
Yes, Judge King has been married twice. Her first marriage was to James D. Randall, which ended in a divorce. She had three sons with her ex-husband.
Judge King later married Judge Reavley, a fellow Circuit Judge. They both met in the Senate hearing room for the first time during their confirmation as Circuit Judges in 1979.
However, both judges didn’t dream of being in a romantic relationship or marriage. They were just colleges that happened to be in the same Circuit Court.
Why Did Judge Thomas Reavley Marry Judge Carolyn Dineen King?
The truth is Judge Reavley never planned to marry Judge King. Florence Reavley, Judge Reavley’s wife of six decades, suggested he marry Judge Carolyn Dineen King.
Florence Reavley’s health was failing at the time, and she only had a few days to live. She summoned her husband and made the following statement.
“When I die, I want you to marry Carolyn King.”
Thomas Reavley, shocked, quickly asked, “Why should I do that?” Florence Reavley’s answer indicated how much she cared about her husband and children’s well-being.
She said she wanted the union of both judges because Carolyn King would take good care of Thomas Reavley. And she doesn’t want Reavley to become a burden to their daughters.
Judge Thomas Reavley thought about his wife’s proposal to marry Judge King, who had three children from her previous marriage, though she was single then. He concluded it was the best decision and went further to propose to Judge King.
Both Circuit Judges tied the knot in 2004. Judge Thomas Reavley passed away in 2020, at age 99.
Facts About Judge Carolyn Dineen King
Judge King was a brilliant, blunt, and dedicated judge. Here are several facts about her you may not know.
#1: Judge Carolyn Dineen King married Judge Reavley at 65.
#2: Judge Carolyn King and Judge Reavley served in the same appellate court as Circuit Judges.
#3: President Jimmy Carter nominated Judge Carolyn Dineen King on April 30, 1979, but the Senate confirmed her on July 12, 1979. She was nominated to the Court of Appeal in the 5th Circuit.
#4: Judge King assumed the senior status in 2013.
#5: Judge King admitted she wasn’t committed to becoming a lawyer when she gained admission into Yale Law School in 1959. She only became addicted to the law after accepting a summer job.
#6: Judge King received the prestigious Edward J. Dewitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award in 2007.
#7: More than half of Judge King’s law clerks since 1979 were women.
#8: Judge Carolyn King was a mother of a lawyer, wife of a lawyer, and daughter of lawyers.
Is Judge Carolyn Dineen King bad? The answer is no. She was a brilliant, blunt, hardworking, and honest judge.
People thought Judge King was bad because of what transpired after she married Judge Reavley, and both shared the same appellate court.
Many people were against having both judges in the same Circuit Court and claimed their relationship would affect their duties as judges. But that wasn’t the case. Judge Reavley and Judge Carolyn King were two of the finest judges the country has ever had.