Judging As I See It with Senior District Judge John L. Kane
Senior U.S. District Court Judge John Kane talks about his forty years on the federal bench—why he became a judge, the drama of the courtroom, and the foibles of trial lawyers.
John L. Kane was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. He received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Colorado in 1958 and his law degree from the University of Denver in 1960. He has taught law and philosophy at graduate and undergraduate levels at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver, and was a visiting lecturer at Trinity College in Dublin.
Before being appointed to the bench, Kane served as Deputy Director of the Peace Corps in Calcutta and as Country Representative in Turkey. He was Colorado’s first Public Defender, and when he entered private practice he specialized in First Amendment law. He has consulted on behalf of the U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. Department of State on human rights and constitutional issues, and traveled extensively on the government’s behalf to lecture and participate in parliamentary conferences in Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Southeast Asia.
Kane has received numerous honors and awards, including the U.S. Information Agency Outstanding Service Award, the Catholic Lawyers Guild St. Thomas More Award, the B’nai Brith Anti-Defamation League Lifetime Achievement Award for Dedication to Civil Rights, the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys Lifetime Judicial Achievement Award, and the Drug Policy Foundation Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in Law. He has written extensively on drug policy, sentencing and plea bargain reform.