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Theodore McKee

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Theodore McKee
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Title:   Chief Judge
Station:   Philadelphia, PA
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   6/9/1994-Present
Chief:   2010-Present
Preceded by:   Leon Higginbotham, Jr.
Personal History
Born:   1947
Hometown:   Rochester, NY
Undergraduate:   SUNY Cortland, 1969
Law School:   Syracuse Law, 1975

Theodore Alexander McKee is the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit based in Philadelphia. He joined the court in 1994 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. McKee became chief judge in 2010, succeeding Anthony Scirica.[1]


McKee graduated from New York-Cortland (SUNY-Cortland) with his bachelor's degree in 1969 and graduated from Syracuse Law with his J.D. degree in 1975.[2]


  • 1984-1994: Judge, Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, Pennsylvania
  • 1983: General counsel, Philadelphia Parking Authority, Pennsylvania
  • 1980-1991: Lecturer, Rutgers Law School
  • 1980-1983: Deputy city solicitor, City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1977-1980: Assistant U.S. attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • 1975-1977: Private practice, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[2]

Federal judicial career

On the recommendation of Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford, McKee was nominated by President Bill Clinton on March 22, 1994, to a seat vacated by Leon Higginbotham, Jr.. McKee was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 8, 1994, on a majority voice vote and received commission on June 9, 1994.[3]

Notable cases

Delaware sports betting case (2009)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (OFC Commissioner of Baseball, et al, v. Jack Markell, et al,, 09-3297)

Judge McKee was part of a three judge panel led by Thomas Hardiman which presided over a case about whether the State of Delaware has legal standing to expand sports betting. The panel ruled on September 1, 2009 that the State of Delaware can offer sports betting on parlays (multiple games), but ruled that betting on individual games including football, basketball, and hockey is illegal under federal law. The ruling from the Third Circuit affirmed Judge Greg Sleet's ruling that Delaware was limited to offering sports betting for multiple games. This is consistent with a 1976 law that outlaws wagering on individual games.[4] Judge Julio Fuentes joined Judges Hardiman and McKee on the three judge panel.[5]


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Aloysius Higginbotham
Third Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by: