Note: Judgepedia will be read-only from 9pm CST on February 25-March 9 while Judgepedia is merged into Ballotpedia.
Starting on March 9, all Judgepedia content will be contained on For status updates, visit

Ken Ripple

From Judgepedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ken Ripple
Placeholder image.png
Do you have a photo that could go here? Submit it for this profile by emailing us!
Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Title:   Senior Judge
Appointed by:   Ronald Reagan
Active:   5/10/1985-9/1/2008
Senior:   9/1/2008-Present
Personal History
Born:   1943
Hometown:   Pittsburgh, PA
Undergraduate:   Fordham University, 1965
Law School:   University of Virginia Law, 1968
Grad. School:   George Washington University Law, 1972
Military service:   Navy Reserves

Kenneth Francis Ripple is a federal appeals judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He joined the court in 1985 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan. He is serving on senior status.[1]


Ripple graduated from Fordham University with his bachelor's degree in 1965 and later obtained his J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School in 1968. He obtained an LL.M degree from George Washington University School of Law in 1972.[1]

Military service

Ripple served on active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1972.[1]

Professional career

Ripple was an attorney at IBM in its Corporate office of general counsel in 1968. Ripple also served in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Judge Advocate General Corps. Ripple was a Legal Officer at the Supreme Court of the United States from 1972 to 1973, and Special Assistant to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Warren Burger, from 1973 to 1977. Ripple was a private practice attorney in Washington, D.C. until 1985, and served on the Advisory Committee on Federal Appellate Rules from 1978 to 1985. Ripple has continued to serve as a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame Law School since 1977.[1]

Judicial career

On the recommendation of Congressman Henry Hyde, Ripple was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by President Ronald Reagan on April 1, 1985, to a new seat created by 98 Stat. 333, 346. Ripple was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 3, 1985, and received commission on May 10, 1985. He assumed senior status on September 1, 2008.[1]

Notable cases

Wisconsin law degrees and the WI bar (2009)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Christopher L. Wiesmueller, v. John Kosobucki, et al., 07-c-2601)

In July 2009, Judge Richard Posner reauthorized a class-action lawsuit over the diploma-privilege clause given to graduates of Wisconsin and Marquette Law. Judge Posner's decision to reauthorize the case raised questions about Wisconsin's practice of admitting new graduates from Marquette and Wisconsin Law to the bar without taking a bar exam. The law stated that graduates of accredited law schools in states other than Wisconsin that want to practice law in the state have to pass the Wisconsin bar exam or have practiced law for five years in another state.[2]

The plaintiffs, who are graduates of Oklahoma City Law, argued Wisconsin's policy violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution by discriminating against graduates of out-of-state law schools. The plaintiffs claimed that Wisconsin should extend diploma privilege to graduates of other law schools. The lawsuit named the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners and the Wisconsin Supreme Court as defendants.

The case was first filed in 2007 in the Western District of Wisconsin. Senior judge John C. Shabaz dismissed the case. Judge Shabaz said: "Diploma privilege does not discriminate because everyone who did not graduate from a Wisconsin law school has to take the bar." Judge Shabaz in his ruling mentioned state residents and non-residents alike.[2]

Fellow judges Diane Wood and Ken Ripple also served with Judge Posner on the panel. The panel ordered the case to be re-heard by the Western District of Wisconsin.[2]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
NA - new seat
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by:
David Hamilton