John Feikens

John F. Feikens (December 3, 1917 – May 15, 2011) was a politician and judge from the U.S. state of Michigan. He was the Senior Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (1986–present). Feikens had the unusual honor of being nominated to the same district court by three presidents.

Feikens was born in Clifton, New Jersey. He later resided in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. He was educated at Calvin College, receiving a B.A. in 1939, followed by a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1941. He practiced law in Detroit from 1942 to 1960 and from 1961 to 1970.

He worked in the priorities and war allocations department of the Detrex Corporation, in Detroit, Michigan from 1942 to 1946. He entered the private practice of law in Detroit in 1946. He was an alternate delegate to the 1952 Republican National Convention, a delegate to the 1956 convention, and an alternate delegate in 1960. He served as chairman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1953 to 1957 and was a member of the Republican National Committee in 1954.

Feikens was first nominated to the bench by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. On October 13, 1960, Feikens received a recess appointment from Eisenhower to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan vacated by Clifford Patrick O'Sullivan. Eisenhower formally nominated Feikens to the position on January 10, 1961, but the United States Senate did not confirm him, due largely to the opposition of Senator McNamara of Michigan. Feikens initial term of service was therefore terminated on September 27, 1961.

He was nominated again by John F. Kennedy, but the president withdrew the nomination. His third and final nomination came from Richard M. Nixon, on October 7, 1970, to a new seat created by 84 Stat. 294. By this time, McNamara had died, and Feikens was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 25, 1970, and received his commission on December 1, 1970. He served as Chief Judge from 1979 to 1986, and became a Senior Judge on March 1, 1986, continuing to serve in that position until his death.

Feikens died May 15, 2011.[1] He was 93.

Professional associations, civic and other activities


  1. Snell, Robert (16 May 2011). "Detroit federal judge John Feikens dies at 93". Associated Press. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Owen Cleary
Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party
Succeeded by
Lawrence Lindemer
Legal offices
Preceded by
Clifford Patrick O'Sullivan
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
October 13, 1960 – September 27, 1961
Succeeded by
Stephen John Roth
Preceded by
Newly created seat
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
December 1, 1970 – March 1, 1986
Succeeded by
Paul V. Gadola
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