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Judge Bruce S. Jenkins

Chief Judge Robert J. Shelby's Statement about Judge Jenkins' Passing


The United States District Court for the District of Utah mourns the passing of legal lion and beloved public servant United States District Judge Bruce Sterling Jenkins. Judge Jenkins was 96 years old, the court extends our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones. 

In the words of Chief Judge Robert J. Shelby: Much has been written about Judge Jenkins this week, and there is more to say about an unprecedented legacy that spanned 58 years as a federal judge in Utah – including 45 years as a district judge. He was deeply respected and admired by his colleagues here in Utah and throughout the federal judiciary. A lifelong public servant, Judge Jenkins was widely known for his keen intellect and brilliant legal mind. As much as any judge who has graced our bench, he was a principled stalwart for the rule of law. He has for decades been nothing less than a foundational pillar of our court and the Utah legal community he loved. He is irreplaceable.

Years ago, his former law clerk, and current Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Carolyn McHugh recalled the charge he often gave departing law clerks that modestly but characteristically described his view of the duty he believed lawyers and judges owe our communities. It’s apt today that we close with those words. “Okay kids, let’s see if we can do some good.”

A more complete description of his extraordinary life can be found in his Obituary and Biography.

For a period of time, Judge Jenkins' staff will continue to assist with his reassigned cases. Please visit the Directory for his staff's contact information.

Updated: 11/2023