Marjorie Rendell

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Marjorie Rendell
File:Marjorie Rendell.jpg
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
In office
September 29, 1997 – July 1, 2015
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by William Hutchinson
Succeeded by Vacant
First Lady of Pennsylvania
In office
January 21, 2003 – January 18, 2011
Preceded by Katherine Schweiker
Succeeded by Susan Corbett
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
In office
February 11, 1994 – September 29, 1997
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Louis Bechtle
Succeeded by Seat abolished
Personal details
Born Marjorie Osterlund
1947 (age 70–71)
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Spouse(s) Ed Rendell (1971–2011)
Children Jesse
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Georgetown University
Villanova University

Marjorie ("Midge") Osterlund Rendell (born 1947) is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and a former First Lady of Pennsylvania.[1] In 2003, she was named to the PoliticsPA list of "Pennsylvania's Most Politically Powerful Women".[2]

Personal background

Rendell was born in Wilmington, Delaware.[3] Her father was employed as a DuPont executive and she attended Ursuline Academy.

She married Ed Rendell, a future Governor of Pennsylvania, in 1971. On January 21, 2003, Judge Rendell administered the oath of office to her husband after he won the gubernatorial election in November 2002. During her husband's campaigns for mayor and governor, Rendell was barred by the federal judicial ethics code from publicly campaigning on his behalf, as well as from taking part in some fundraisers. On February 7, 2011, a joint email from the couple announced that they had amicably separated.[4] They have one adult son, Jesse.[5]

Professional background

Private practice

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969 and a Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law in 1973.[3] Afterward, she practiced as an attorney for 20 years as a partner at the Philadelphia firm of Duane, Morris & Heckscher, where she focused her practice on bankruptcy and commercial litigation. She also served as a mediator for the United States District Court.[1]

While in private practice, Judge Rendell experienced sexism originating from both her clients and cohorts. At times, she was called "honey" by her male colleagues and would hide or downplay the existence of her then young son.[6]

U.S. District Court

In 1994, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to serve as a judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.[1]

U.S. Court of Appeals

In 1997, she was once again nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate, this time for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.[1] The circuit court hears cases from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.[7] She assumed senior status on July 1, 2015

In 2008, Judge Rendell served as a part of a three-judge panel that overturned the Federal Communications Commission's indecency fine against CBS related to Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson's infamous 2004 Super Bowl 'wardrobe malfunction'.[8]


In 1993, Rendell founded and managed Avenue of the Arts, Inc., whose purpose was to develop Philadelphia's Broad Street into a world-class artistic venue. She currently serves as one of the members of the board of directors.[9] She is also a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 [1] "Biography of Hon. Marjorie O. Rendell," Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, last accessed Oct. 31, 2010
  2. "Pennsylvania's Most Politically Powerful Women". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2001. Archived from the original on 2004-02-09. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 [2]"History of the Federal Judiciary: Rendell, Marjorie O.," Federal Judicial Center, last accessed Oct. 31, 2010
  4. "Ex-Gov. Rendell Splits With Wife After 40 Years Of Marriage," Philadelphia Daily News, February 7, 2011.
  5. [3] "Midge Rendell: In a class by herself," Daily Pennsylvanian, June 12, 2003
  6. [4]"Federal Judge Marjorie Rendell Tells Penn Law Women about the 'Dark Ages for Women in the Law'," Penn Law News, June 3, 2009
  7. Bull, John M.R. (November 10, 2002). "Rendell's wife couldn't campaign because she's a federal judge". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  8. [5]"Court tosses FCC 'wardrobe malfunction' fine," New York Daily News, July 21st 2008

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Louis Bechtle
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Seat abolished
Preceded by
William Hutchinson
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Katherine Schweiker
First Lady of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Susan Corbett