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U.S. Senators Capito, Manchin introduce bill to designate Clarksburg Federal Courthouse in honor of Judge Irene M. Keeley

West Virginia Press Association

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Jan. 11, U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), introduced a bill designating the Clarksburg Federal Courthouse as the “Irene M. Keeley United States Courthouse.”

Judge Keeley was the first woman appointed as a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, a position in which she served for over 30 years.

“Judge Keeley devoted her career to the cause of justice and worked honorably as the first female judge for the Northern District of West Virginia,” Ranking Member Capito said. “I thank her for her service and feel that designating the Clarksburg Federal Courthouse in her honor is a fitting tribute for the decades of dedication to her state and country, in addition to being a trailblazer for women across West Virginia. There is no one else more deserving of this recognition and I am proud to introduce this bill to commend her achievements and look forward to shepherding it through the EPW Committee.”

“I have long admired Judge Keeley’s unwavering commitment to the pursuit of justice. As the former Chief Judge and first woman to serve on the bench for the Northern District of West Virginia, her judicial career has been guided by fairness, accountability, and compassion. Judge Keeley’s decades of service make this tribute beyond deserving. I will continue to support efforts to dedicate the Clarksburg Federal Courthouse in her honor knowing that her legacy will inspire the next generation of legal professionals in West Virginia,” said Senator Manchin.


Judge Irene M. Keeley earned her law degree from the West Virginia College of Law in 1980. Following more than a decade in private practice, Judge Keeley was nominated by President George H. W. Bush as Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia in 1992.

On August 11, 1992, Judge Keeley was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent. Judge Keeley served as the district’s court Chief Judge from March 2001 to March 2008. She took inactive senior status on September 30, 2022.

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