Judge Mary Beck Briscoe, Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Judge Mary Beck Briscoe

Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Mary Kathryn Beck Briscoe was born in April 1947 in Council Grove, Kansas.  She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and received a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law. Later she earned a Master of Laws from the University of Virginia School of Law.

She began her career as a legal researcher, then worked for the Interstate Commerce Commission as an attorney-examiner. She was appointed Assistant United States Attorney for Kansas, eventually becoming the Supervising Attorney for the Topeka office. She was appointed to the Kansas Court of Appeals by the governor where she served until her appointment to the Tenth Circuit. For five years, she was the Chief Judge of the Kansas Court of Appeals.

Briscoe was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She was confirmed by the Senate and received her commission in May 1996. She served as chief judge for five years, then assumed senior status in March 2021.

She is married to Charles Arthur Briscoe.

In the News…

A Christian website designer in Colorado cannot refuse her services for same-sex couples, a three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision.

In the majority opinion, Judge Mary Beck Briscoe wrote, “In short, Appellants’ Free Speech and Free Exercise rights are, of course, compelling. But so too is Colorado’s interest in protecting its citizens from the harms of discrimination.”

The decision upheld the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act as constitutional, even though the law compelled the website designer and her company to create speech in ways that violated her deeply-held religious beliefs about marriage. Opponents of the ruling say it represented a major infringement on religious liberty. The case may be taken to the United States Supreme Court.

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Judge Briscoe today? You can let her know at:

The Honorable Mary Beck Briscoe
Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Byron White Court House
1823 Stout Street
Denver, CO 80257


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