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Biden nominates Genesee County Judge Behm for federal bench

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Washington — President Joe Biden on Wednesday nominated Frances Kay Behm of the Genesee County Circuit Court to serve on the federal bench in Michigan's Eastern District. 

Behm, 53, of Grand Blanc has been a judge for the Genesee County Circuit and Probate Courts since 2009, currently assigned to the Family Division. She was appointed by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2009. 

Genesee County Circuit Court Judge F. Kay Behm was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on June 29, 2022.

Behm did a short stint as a solo practitioner from 2008-09. Before that she was at two firms — Winegarden, Haley, Lindholm, & Robertson in Flint from 1997 to 2008 and at Braun Kendrick Finbeiner in Saginaw from 1994 to 1997, according to the White House. She focused mostly on business litigation and probate law, according to MLive.

“She seems very experienced as a state court judge and much of that experience will be helpful in being a district judge in the federal system, especially in terms of civil and criminal procedure and in trying cases in the courtroom," said Carl Tobias, a professor who studies the judicial selection process at the University of Richmond School of Law.

Behm graduated from Albion College in 1991 and got her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1994. 

She chairs the Domestic Relations Committee of the Michigan Probate Judges’ Association, served on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors and is involved with the Junior League of Flint and the YWCA Finance Committee, according to her court biography.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District has three vacancies, including one from Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis who had served a the Flint courthouse. The Senate confirmed Davis last month serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. 

The other vacancies are from judges who took senior status, David Lawson and Denise Page Hood. 

Biden on Wednesday also nominated Delaware Supreme Court Justice Tamika Montgomery-Reeves for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. 

The White House said it's Biden's 20th round of nominees for federal judicial posts, bringing the total announced nominees to 107 since he took office.

mburke@detroitnews.com