Judge Kenneth Keller ‘‘K. K.’’ Hall (February 24, 1918-July 8, 1999) was born at Greenview, Boone County. Hall spent 47 years on the state and federal benches.
Hall worked his way through New River State College (now WVU Institute of Technology) at Montgomery and later graduated from the West Virginia University Law School with the help of the GI Bill. During World War II he served on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific and earned 11 battle stars. He practiced law in Madison and was mayor of Madison from 1948 to 1952. By the age of 33, Hall was a circuit judge in West Virginia’s 25th Judicial Circuit, serving from 1952 to 1969.
A Democrat, Hall was sworn in as a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of West Virginia on December 15, 1971, after being appointed by Republican President Richard M. Nixon. He was a controversial judge during his five years in that position, throwing out the state’s outdated abortion laws and granting injunctions against a wildcat coal strike in 1976. He was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, a 15-member tribunal that covers Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, in September 1976 by President Gerald Ford. During his later years on the Fourth Circuit Court, Hall rejected the Citadel’s attempt to ban women and in 1998 argued that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should have the power to regulate tobacco.
Judge K. K. Hall died at his home in Charleston.
This Article was written by Tom D. Miller
Last Revised on November 29, 2012