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  McKeown, M. Margaret
NameM. Margaret McKeown
San Diego, California , United States
Born May 11, 1951 (70 years)
Last ModifedScott³
Mar 14, 2010 03:07pm
InfoMary Margaret McKeown, usually styled as M. Margaret McKeown (born May 11, 1951) is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and is based in San Diego, California. McKeown, a native of Casper, Wyoming, has served on the Ninth Circuit since her confirmation in 1998. McKeown has been noted by some as a possible future United States Supreme Court nominee.

McKeown graduated from Kelly Walsh High School in Casper in 1969. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wyoming in 1972, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and her juris doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 1975. She has also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Georgetown and studied at the University of Madrid. Judge McKeown is an adjunct professor at the University of Washington Law School and at the University of San Diego School of Law. She is best known in academia for her work in intellectual property law.

McKeown was the first female partner with the law firm of Perkins Coie in Seattle, Washington, and Washington, D.C., representing clients like Boeing, Nintendo and Citicorp during her time at the firm, from 1975 until 1998.

Judge McKeown also served in the White House as a White House fellow under President Jimmy Carter, working as a special assistant to the United States Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus from 1980 until 1981.

Judge McKeown was nominated for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President Bill Clinton on March 29, 1996 and then renominated by Clinton on January 7, 1997. McKeown was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 27, 1998 by a vote of 80-11. She is currently duty stationed in San Diego, California. Judge McKeown is on the Board of the Federal Judges Association.

Family: Husband Peter F. Cowhey is the Dean of the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at University of California at San Diego. Daughter Megan, who speaks Chinese and Japanese, is studying linguistics at the University of Chicago. McKeown’s sister, Pat Nagel, lives in Casper.


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  03/27/1998 Ninth Circuit Court Judge Won 87.91% (+75.82%)