Joseph H. McKinley Jr.

Chief Judge, Western District of Kentucky, 1995-

Joseph H. McKinley Jr. is a senior judge for the Western District of Kentucky. McKinley was born in 1954 in Owensboro, Kentucky. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky in 1976 and his law degree from the University of Louisville in 1979. Following law school, practiced law in Owensboro until 1991. During these years, he also served as the commissioner on the Kentucky Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (1982-1990), as assistant county attorney for Daviess County (1985-1987), and as a hearing officer for the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet (1990-1991). McKinley also served as a Judge for Kentucky's Sixth Judicial Circuit for the First Division. In 1995, President Bill Clinton nominated McKinley to serve as a judge for the Western District Court, to a seat vacated by Judge Ronald E. Meredith. The Senate confirmed his nomination on August 11, 1995. After joining the Court, he served as chief judge from 2011 to 2018. He assumed senior status in 2019.

Oral Histories

McKinley, Joseph H., Jr., interview by Anu Kasarabada. June 27, 2018, John G. Heyburn II Initiative for Excellence in the Federal Judiciary Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.