On May 1, 2010, Mary Beck Briscoe became the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in anticipation of the impending retirement of former Chief Judge Robert H. Henry. Per the Tenth Circuit website (Court News and Events), Chief Judge Briscoe, whose chambers are in Lawrence, Kansas, "has served on the court since 1995, and served on the Kansas Court of Appeals for the eleven preceding years, the last five as chief judge." Her complete Tenth Circuit bio is here. Other items of note:
Nominated by President Clinton.
Became the first woman to serve as Chief Judge of the Kansas Court of Appeals, and before that, the first woman to serve on that court.
Served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Kansas for ten years, the last two as supervising attorney in the Topeka office. John T. Dauner, Kansan Confirmed to U.S. Appellate Court, Kan. City Star (Mo.), June 1, 1995, at C3 (link not available).
Briscoe: '"I enjoy research and writing . . . . It is a joy to devote all of my efforts to [them]."' Id.
Practiced before the Tenth Circuit herself. Id.
Graduated from the University of Kansas, both college and law school, and inducted into its Women's Hall of Fame. Undergraduate degree was in German and political science.
Earned an LL.M. from the University of Virginia, while serving on the Kansas Court of Appeals. Dauner, supra.
Born 1947 in Council Grove, Kansas.
Grew up on a farm. Dauner, supra.
Graduated from high school in a class of eight; was valedictorian. Id.