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Deanell Reece Tacha

Lawyer, Federal Judge. Born 1946, Goodland, Kansas.

Deanell Reece Tacha received a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas in 1968, and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1971. Tacha was a White House Fellow in 1971 and 1972 and was in the private practice of law in Washington, D. C., and Concordia, Kansas, from 1974 to 1977.  She was the director of the Douglas County Legal Aid Clinic from 1974 to 1977 and was on the faculty and an administrator at the University of Kansas from 1978 to 1985.

Judge Tacha was named to the U. S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1985, after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan.  She served as chief judge from 2001 to 2008.  She has served as the national president of the American Inns of Courts and has held many high positions in the American Bar Association.  In 2008 she received the 26th Annual Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award from the American Judicature Society.  Judge Tacha was the first woman to become a federal judge for Kansas.  She was named the Native Sons and Daughters' Kansan of the Year in 2010.

Entry: Tacha, Deanell Reece

Author: G. Joseph Pierron

Author information: Judge Pierron serves on the Kansas Court of Appeals and has an interest in Kansas history.

Date Created: March 2012

Date Modified: August 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.