The Honorable Casey Rodgers
Chief U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Florida
Judge Rodgers was appointed to her position as a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Florida by President George W. Bush in 2003. She was the first woman appointed in the district’s history. Since 2011, she has diligently served as Chief Judge.
I was a political science major in the pre-law program at UWF, and the legal research and writing courses helped tremendously. I went into law school with a leg up thanks to UWF.
How do you balance following the letter of the law versus what you personally consider right and wrong?
At times, judges are required to make decisions that may be at odds with their personal views. Judges understand this when they take their oath of office, and they understand the Rule of Law will stand firmly for everyone only so long as it is applied neutrally to everyone.
Was being a judge always the goal?
Becoming a judge was not a goal of mine, but I developed great respect for the federal judicial system. When a magistrate judge position became available on our court in 2002, I decided to apply. After serving in that position for 18 months and finding I enjoyed deciding cases and resolving disputes more than arguing them, I applied for a district judge position held by my mentor District Judge Lacey Collier.
How did your studies at UWF prepare you for the California Western School of Law and ultimately your career?
I could not have been better prepared for law school. Professor Robert Anderson was my faculty advisor. His constitutional law class taught me how to begin to think like a law student and prepared me for the massive volume of reading I would experience in law school.