Deborah L. Cook

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Deborah Cook
Deborah Cook Circuit Judge.jpg
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Assumed office
May 7, 2003
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by Alan Norris
Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
In office
January 1, 1995 – May 16, 2003
Preceded by William Sweeney
Succeeded by Terrence O'Donnell
Personal details
Born (1952-02-08) February 8, 1952 (age 67)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Akron

Deborah L. Cook (born February 8, 1952) is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, based in Akron, Ohio.[1]


Cook received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Akron and her Juris Doctor from its law school.[2] She was president of Delta Gamma Sorority and president of her senior class at the University of Akron. She is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership and academic honorary society.

Following graduation from law school until her election to the Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals, Cook was a member of Akron’s oldest law firm, Roderick, Myers & Linton, as well as the firm’s first female partner. She then served four years as a state appellate judge on the District Court of Appeals covering Summit, Wayne, Medina, and Lorain counties. Cook was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in 1994 for a six-year term beginning in 1995. She was re-elected in November 2000 and served until her appointment to the Sixth Circuit in 2003.

Judge Cook chaired the Commission on Public Legal Education, and was a member of the Ohio Courts Futures Commission and the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management. In 1996, the University of Akron presented her with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. She is a past president of the Akron Bar Association Foundation, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and was a member of the Akron Bar Association disciplinary committee from 1981 to 1993. Judge Cook’s past community activities include: Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management; Summit County United Way Board of Trustees; President of Volunteer Center Board of Trustees, Women’s Network Board of Directors and past chair of the Junior Leadership Akron Project. She currently co-chairs Collegescholars, Inc, a mentored scholarship program benefiting disadvantaged Akron students. Judge Cook is noted as being the only woman ever to play on the all-male Sharon Golf Club's course.

Sixth Circuit nomination, confirmation, and tenure

President George W. Bush nominated Cook to the Sixth Circuit on May 9, 2001 to a seat vacated by Judge Alan E. Norris. That nomination, made during the Democratic-controlled 107th Congress, never received a floor vote in the U.S. Senate. Cook was not confirmed until almost two years later. She was confirmed 66–25[3] by the United States Senate on May 5, 2003. Cook was the fourth judge nominated to the Sixth Circuit by Bush and confirmed by the Senate. As a Sixth Circuit Judge, she has authored notable opinions on the Fourth Amendment, [4] Voting Rights,[5] and school free speech.[6]

In 2014 Cook voted to uphold gay marriage bans in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee in a 2-1 ruling. The ruling was the second[7] to uphold gay marriage bans since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 and runs counter to rulings by the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th circuits.[8]

Possible Supreme Court Candidate

Judge Cook was mentioned in 2005 as a possible nominee for the Supreme Court to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. O'Connor was eventually replaced with Samuel Alito, although Cook was mentioned as a possible nominee to the high court had Republican John McCain won the 2008 presidential election.[1][9]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Biskupic, Joan (October 23, 2008). "For divided high court, two potential legacies". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-10-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Justice Deborah L. Cook". Supreme Court of Ohio. State of Ohio. Retrieved August 12, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 108th Congress - 1st Session". Official website of the United States Senate. Retrieved 2006-10-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Suppression Decision Worth a Read". Sixth Circuit Blog.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Tennessee Felony Disenfranchisement Statute Requiring Child Support Payments Upheld". Constitutional Law Prof Blog.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "First Amendment Exception for "Racially Hostile or Contemptuous Speech" — Including Display of the Confederate Flag — in K-12 Public Schools?". Volokh Conspiracy.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Denniston, Lyle. "". SCOTUSblog. Retrieved 2014-11-12. External link in |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Wolf, Richard (7 November 2014). "Gay marriage bans in four states upheld, Supreme Court review likely". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved 7 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Rizo, Chris (2008-10-09). "Washington observers weigh in on potential Supreme Court picks". LegalNewsline.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Alan Norris
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit