First African-American woman on 6th Circuit

Sep 7, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has confirmed Bernice Donald as a judge on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Donald will be the first African-American woman confirmed for that court.

Donald has broken through racial barriers throughout her career.  She was the first African-American woman to be elected as a judge in Tennessee, serve on the federal bankruptcy court and sit as a U.S. district judge in her state.

The Cincinnati-based court serves Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

Donald has been a federal judge based in Memphis the past 16 years.  She is the sixth of 10 children raised on a sharecropper's farm in Mississippi.

The vote was 96-2. Voting "no" were Republican Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and David Vitter of Louisiana.