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Mercy Medallion



Judge Damon J. Keith serves on the bench of the United Sates Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. A native Detroiter, Judge Keith grew up on Detroit’s West Side and attended Northwestern High school. He attended college and earned his Bachelor’s Degree from West Virginia Sate College, his Bachelor of Law Degree from Howard University Law School and Master of Law degree from Wayne State University School of Law. He has received numerous honorary Doctor of Law degrees from various colleges and universities in Michigan and across the United States.

As a federal district court judge in Michigan from 1966-77, he ordered the Pontiac Schools desegregated, mediated in favor of hiring and promoting blacks and other minorities in the Detroit Police Department; ordered the acceptance of girls in coeducational sports by Michigan schools and in 1971 issued s famous wiretap ruling that curbed the right of the attorney general to wiretap without a court order.

Judge Keith was one of six Detroit Lawyers invited by President John Kennedy to discuss the role of lawyers in the civil rights movement. In past years he served as the first vice president of the local NAACP and was chairman of the Civil Right Commission. He served on the Ethics Advisory Panel by appointment of Chief Justice Warren Burger. He has served on the Wayne Country Board of Supervisors, the Detroit Housing Commission, and the Mayor’s Health Advisory Committee.

Judge Keith’s present involvements include committee membership with Detroit YMCA, the Detroit Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Detroit Arts Commission and the United Negro College Fund. He is a deacon at the Tabernacle Baptist Church. Judge Keith has served as a trustee of the Interlochen Art Academy and the Cranbrook School. He has also served on the University of Notre Dame Law School Advisory Council and the Visiting Committee of Wayne State University Law School.
Judge Keith has many published articles and opinions and has received numerous honors and special awards including an award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Justice given by the Optimist Club of Central Detroit, Judge of the Year Award, Distinguished Alumnus Award from Wayne State University and the Spingarn Medal of the NACCP, an award given annually to the outstanding black American of the year.  
Award was presented at the Works of Mercy Dinner, 1984.

Mercy College of Detroit

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