Richard Allen Griffin

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Richard Allen Griffin
Richard Allen Griffin.jpg
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Assumed office
June 10, 2005
Appointed byGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byDamon Keith
Personal details
Richard Allen Griffin

(1952-04-15) April 15, 1952 (age 67)
Traverse City, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationWestern Michigan University (B.A.)
University of Michigan Law School (J.D.)

Richard Allen Griffin (born April 15, 1952) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Previously, he was a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Griffin was first nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit by President George W. Bush on June 26, 2002, to a seat vacated by Judge Damon Keith as Keith assumed senior status. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 9, 2005, and received commission on June 10, 2005.[1]


Griffin, born in Traverse City, Michigan, is the son of former United States Senator Robert P. Griffin. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Western Michigan University in 1971 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in 1977.

Beginning in 1989, he served as a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals (Third District). During part of that time his father was a Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.

Sixth Circuit nomination and confirmation[edit]

On June 26, 2002, Bush nominated Griffin to a Michigan seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated by Damon Keith, who had taken senior status in 1995. Previously, on November 8, 2001, President Bush had nominated Henry Saad, David W. McKeague and Susan Bieke Neilson to three other Michigan seats on the Sixth Circuit. During the Democratic-controlled 107th Congress, all four nominations were stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee by then chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT. In its assessment of his nomination, the Independent Judiciary project of the liberal group Alliance for Justice described Griffin as a "deeply conservative jurist".

In the 2002 midterm congressional elections, the Republicans regained control of the Senate. During the new 108th Congress, Senator Orrin Hatch, R-UT, the new Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee began to process the previously blocked four nominees. In March 2003, Michigan's two Democratic senators, Carl Levin (who defeated Griffin's father, Robert P. Griffin, in his bid for re-election in 1978) and Debbie Stabenow announced that they would blue-slip all Bush judicial nominees from Michigan because Bush refused to renominate Helene White and Kathleen McCree Lewis, two Michigan nominees to the Sixth Circuit whose nominations the Senate Republicans had refused to process during President Bill Clinton's second term. Helene White at the time was married to Levin's cousin.[2]

Contrary to Levin's and Stabenow's wishes, Hatch gave Saad, McKeague and Griffin committee hearings, and passed the three nominees out of committee. Furious, Levin and Stabenow convinced their caucus to filibuster the three in order to prevent them from having confirmation votes.

Senate Republicans increased their numbers in the 109th Congress. Tensions between the Republicans and Democrats rose dramatically as the Republicans, unable to end debate through cloture, sought to break the filibusters of ten Bush court of appeals nominees (including Saad, McKeague and Griffin) by using the nuclear option. In order to defuse the volatile situation, fourteen moderate Republican and Democratic senators called the Gang of 14 joined together to forge an agreement to guarantee certain filibustered nominations up or down votes. Henry Saad and William Myers, however, were expressly excluded from the guarantee.

As part of the Gang of 14 Deal, Griffin was eventually confirmed on June 9, 2005, by a vote of 95-0.[3] In the end, both Levin and Stabenow voted in favor of his confirmation. McKeague was confirmed on the same day. Griffin was the sixth judge nominated to the Sixth Circuit by Bush and confirmed by the Senate.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Richard Griffin". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 1st Session".

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Damon Keith
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit