Trump's first black female judge nominee takes oath in Detroit

The Detroit News

President Donald Trump's first black female judicial nominee was sworn in Tuesday as the judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Stephanie Dawkins Davis took her oath of office at about 6 p.m. at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in downtown Detroit by Chief U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood.

Davis was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 19 and Trump signed her commission Tuesday afternoon.

Stephanie Dawkins Davis, left, was sworn in as a federal judge Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, by Chief U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood.

Courtrooms were closed Tuesday because of New Year's Eve, but the court security

staff turned on the lights so the ceremony could be held.

"I am extremely humbled and honored to receive the appointment," Davis said in a statement. "Serving the cause of justice has been my life's work and I appreciate the

trust that has been placed in me. I will diligently apply the law and honor the humanity of all who appear before me."

In a statement, Hood said, "Our court welcomes her with open arms. We are very proud of her work as a magistrate judge and I look forward to working with her as a colleague."

Davis, who will serve at the federal courthouse in Flint, was a federal prosecutor for 18 years.

Davis was appointed a magistrate judge in January 2016 and assigned to the Flint federal courthouse.

One of her most high-profile cases involved arraigning Amor Ftouhi in the 2017 terrorism and stabbing attack at Bishop International Airport. Ftouhi was later convicted and faces up to life in prison.

Davis, a native of Kansas City, started her career in 1992 as a civil defense attorney at the firm Dickinson Wright PLLC before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District in 1997.

Davis, 52, started at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit around the same time as future U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, who appointed Davis as her executive assistant U.S. attorney after taking office in 2010 — a post Davis held through 2015.

Dawkins Davis was the first African-American woman nominated to a federal judgeship since former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Wilhelmina Wright was tapped by President Barack Obama in 2015.