FORA.tv Speaker - Ransey Cole

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Biography

Chief Judge R. Guy Cole Jr., A72, was nominated by President Clinton and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1995 to a federal judgeship on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which hears all federal appeals from the States of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Judge Cole continued in active service from January 1996 until August 2014, when he assumed the role of Chief Judge for the Sixth Circuit-becoming the first African American to hold that position since the court's formation in 1869. During his 20 years on the bench, Judge Cole has authored hundreds of legal opinions, including landmark decisions on civil rights, criminal procedure, and the scope of the First Amendment. Prior to joining the Sixth Circuit, Judge Cole served as an attorney in private practice at the Columbus law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, where he became the first African-American partner; as a litigator for the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.; and as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Ohio. Judge Cole credits his parents and his upbringing in the "Dynamite Hill" area of Birmingham, Alabama, during the height of the civil rights movement for his decision to become a lawyer and judge. Witnessing the violence and depravity that sometimes befall mankind if left unchecked gave Judge Cole a lifelong and indomitable commitment to the principles of equality and justice for all. In addition to his judicial responsibilities, Judge Cole gives back to the community by serving as an adjunct professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and on the governing boards of several philanthropic organizations in central Ohio. Judge Cole lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his family and enjoys his time both on (and off) the bench.


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