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Editorial: Laurie Smith Camp leaves an admirable legacy as a jurist and mentor

Editorial: Laurie Smith Camp leaves an admirable legacy as a jurist and mentor

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The law is an immensely important bulwark for our society. It enables justice, safeguards freedom and restrains excessive government action. Federal judges, tasked with interpreting constitutional principles have highly challenging responsibilities. Those judges must sort through complex legal considerations and ponder often delicate and controversial public issues. In translating abstract principles into practical decisions, they must be mindful of how their rulings can have enormous effects on the lives of individuals and the future of businesses and institutions.

2012-03 -- Judge Smith-Camp (copy)

Senior U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp was the first woman appointed as U.S. district judge in Nebraska and before that, the state’s first deputy attorney general in charge of criminal matters. She died Wednesday at 66.

Through her years of service on the federal bench, Senior U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp was widely regarded for handling those responsibilities with professionalism and dedication. She achieved respect across philosophical lines in Nebraska legal and political circles for her sound judgment, leadership and integrity.

The first woman appointed as U.S. district judge in the state, she was a role model and mentor. Her death last week at age 66 came as a shock to many Nebraskans who had watched her notable career, which included her appointment in 1995 as the state’s first female deputy attorney general in charge of criminal matters.

A pioneer for women’s advancement and a respected federal jurist, Laurie Smith Camp leaves a legacy that inspires others to carry forward the professionalism and dedication vital to proper application of the law.

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