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Northern District of Texas

Barbara M.G. Lynn, Chief Judge
Karen Mitchell, Clerk of Court

Texas Legal Legend Mary Lou Robinson: One Step Closer to a Rare Honor

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UPDATE: A bill to rename the Amarillo Federal building and courthouse to honor Judge Mary Lou Robinson, which was introduced in the Senate by Senator Cornyn on July 17, passed the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on August 1. 2018.  Senators Cornyn and Cruz and Congressman Thornberry have released statements praising the Committee’s passage of the bill.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Judge Mary Lou Robinson, who took inactive senior status earlier this year, is one step closer to being honored by the renaming of the federal building in which she served for nearly 40 years.  

The renaming of a federal building is an honor that has been bestowed on very few women in the United States and none in all of GSA Region 7, which encompasses the entire states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.  Congressman Mac Thornberry of Amarillo sponsored legislation in the House to bestow this honor on Judge Robinson.  The bill passed the House on a voice vote on July 16.

Judge Robinson, who has been a judge on state and federal benches for a combined total of more than 63 years, became a lawyer at a time when few women were admitted to law school.  She was a devoted wife to AJ, who had been a World War II prisoner of war, until his death.  She is the mother of three, grandmother, and great grandmother.  

Judge Robinson graduated from both the University of Texas and the University of Texas School of Law.  She was the first female state appellate judge in Texas and the first female state appellate chief judge.  She was only the second female appointed to a federal judgeship in Texas.  She has received many accolades during her illustrious career, including the State Bar of Texas Legal Legends award and the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Excellence.  

The courthouse renaming bill requires Senate action before it can move forward.