Amalya Lyle Kearse

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Amalya Kearse
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
In office
June 21, 1979 – June 11, 2002
Appointed by Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Seat established
Succeeded by Reena Raggi
Personal details
Born (1937-06-11) June 11, 1937 (age 81)
Vauxhall, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma mater Wellesley College
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Amalya Lyle Kearse (born June 11, 1937)[1] is a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and a world-class bridge player.

Legal career

Kearse was born in Vauxhall, New Jersey.[1] Her father was a postmaster and her mother was a doctor. She attended Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey. A philosophy major and 1959 graduate of Wellesley College, she was the only black woman in her law school class at the University of Michigan Law School. She was an editor of the law review and graduated cum laude in 1962.

She entered private practice in New York City and rose to become a partner in the respected Wall Street firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed. She was an adjunct lecturer at New York University Law School from 1968 to 1969.

Appointed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, she was the first woman and only the second black person (after Thurgood Marshall) on the court.[1] In 1992, she was considered by President Bill Clinton for appointment as United States Attorney General; the job eventually went to Janet Reno. On June 11, 2002, she took senior status.

Bridge career

Kearse is also known as a world-class bridge player. In 1986, playing with longtime partner Jacqui Mitchell, she won the World Women Pairs Championship which earned her the title of World Bridge Federation World Life Master. She is also a seven-time U.S. national champion of the game.



  • Charles H. Goren Award (Personality of the Year) 1980




  • — (1990). Bridge Convention Complete (Revised and Expanded ed.). Louisville, KY: Devyn Press, Inc. p. 1121. ISBN 0-910791-76-7. 

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Goldstein, Tom. "Amalya Lyle Kearse; Woman in the News", The New York Times, June 25, 1979.
  2. "Induction by Year". Hall of Fame. ACBL. Retrieved 2014-12-21.
  3. "Kearse, Amalya". Hall of Fame. ACBL. Retrieved 2014-12-21.

External links

Legal offices
New seat Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Succeeded by
Reena Raggi