Long-time friends, loved ones, city officials, and judges were on hand last Friday when Chief U.S. Dist. Judge Jon McCalla administered the judicial oath to newly appointed U.S. Dist. Judge John Fowlkes Jr.
After serving five years on the Criminal Court bench, Fowlkes was appointed by President Barack Obama last year and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy left when Judge Bernice Donald was tapped to serve on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Memphis Mayor AC Wharton Jr. joined those gathered in the Memphis City Council chambers Friday afternoon. U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen nominated Fowlkes, submitting his name to the President, once Judge Donald's seat was officially vacated.
Fowlkes, 61, was welcomed to the federal bench by his new colleagues. Among loved ones present were: Michelle Fowlkes, his wife of 40 years; sons, Denari Fowlkes and Andre' Fowlkes; and his 90-year-old father, John Fowlkes Sr.
Flag colors were presented by Boy Scout Troop 34, which included Judge Fowlkes' grandson.