John Rhoades Federal Judicial Center and James M. Carter and Judith N. Keep U.S. Courthouse celebrated during naming ceremony
March 30, 2015
SAN DIEGO – Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, and community leaders gathered to officially name the complex of federal buildings on West Broadway, Front, Union, and West F streets the John Rhoades Federal Judicial Center and the city’s newest federal courthouse the James M. Carter and Judith N. Keep United States Courthouse.
The John Rhoades Federal Judicial Center integrates the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, the Jacob Weinberger U.S. Courthouse and the James M. Carter and Judith N. Keep U.S. Courthouse and the Metropolitan Correctional Center with the surrounding gardens, plazas, water feature and pedestrian paths.
The James M. Carter and Judith N. Keep United States Courthouse officially opened its doors in 2012 to meet the increasing workload of the region’s federal court system while enhancing the downtown business core and adjacent residential communities. The courthouse combines a slender and elegant 16-story tower that rises above a transparent and translucent building base. With six courtrooms and 12 chambers, the 470,000 gross square foot facility houses the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California as well as the U.S. Marshals Service, Clerk of Court, U.S. Pretrial Services, Internal Revenue Service and GSA.
About the honorees:
- Judge John S. Rhoades (1925 - 2007): The Honorable John S. Rhoades was born in 1925 in Havre, Montana. He received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 1948 and a Juris Doctor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1951. He was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and served as a District Judge from 1985-2007. Judge Rhoades led the efforts to save and restore the historic Jacob Weinberger United States Courthouse. Judge Rhoades also served as a Navy pilot during World War II.
- Judge James M. Carter (1904 - 1979): The Honorable James M. Carter was born in 1904 in Santa Barbara, California. He received his bachelor’s degree from Pomona College in 1924 and his Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law in 1927. He was nominated by President Harry S. Truman and served as a District Judge from 1949-1967. Judge Carter urged Congress to create the Southern District of California. He then served as the first District and Chief Judge of the Southern District of California from 1966-1967, and was then appointed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1967.
- Judge Judith N. Keep (1944 - 2004): The Honorable Judith N. Keep was born in 1944 in Omaha, Nebraska. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Scripps College in 1966 and her Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1970. Judge Keep graduated from law school as its valedictorian, at a time when less than 5 percent of lawyers were women. She was the first female staff attorney at Defenders, Inc., where she represented indigent criminal defendants in federal court. She was nominated by President Jimmy Carter and served as a District Judge from 1980-2004. Judge Keep was the first female District Judge and the first female Chief Judge in the Southern District of California.
U.S. Congresswoman Susan Davis comments: "This is a fitting tribute to three legal trailblazers who had an enormous impact on the judicial community in San Diego. It reflects the sense of San Diego’s legal community, which was asked to provide its input on appropriate names for our new federal courthouse."
U.S. Congressman Scott Peters said: “Judges James M. Carter, Judith N. Keep, and John S. Rhoades were leaders committed to justice and public service, and are deserving of today’s honors. San Diego is known for our collaborative culture, and the naming of this Courthouse is another example of it. Without the bipartisan effort from my friends Congresswoman Susan Davis and Congressman Darrell Issa, and the local legal community, this would not have happened.”
U.S. Congressman Juan Vargas said: “It’s a great day for San Diego as we celebrate the life and legacy of some of our most accomplished individuals in the legal community. I am very happy to be present during this memorable Courthouse naming event in the heart of our city. The accomplishments of the three judges we honor today are truly inspirational!”
GSA Acting Administrator Denise Turner Roth said: “It is so fitting that this Judicial Center and Courthouse are named after individuals who were so committed to San Diego. Their legacy can still be felt in the democratic ideals that Judge Rhoades helped protect; the Southern District of California that Judge Carter fought for; or the groundbreaking progress that Judge Keep made for women. Now, at the heart of a renaissance in the community they loved, this courthouse will be a lasting symbol of what they gave back to this City."
Chief Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz commented: "The legal community is so fortunate to be able to celebrate the lives of three outstanding jurists by dedicating the new courthouse and the entire judicial center in their names."
Speakers at the celebration event included: GSA Acting Regional Administrator Samuel Morris, III; Congresswoman Susan Davis; Congressman Darrell Issa; Congressman Scott Peters; Congressman Juan Vargas; GSA Acting Administrator Denise Turner Roth; Chief Judge Emeritus Mary M. Schroeder, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; Brigadier General (retired) Michael I. Neil; Chief Judge Emeritus Clifford Wallace, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; Administrative Presiding Justice Judith McConnell, Fourth Appellate District; and Chief Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California.