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Groundbreaking District Court Judge Dead At 66

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Laurie Smith Camp, a longtime Nebraska attorney who became the first woman to serve on the state’s federal district court, died unexpectedly overnight at age 66. John M. Gerrard, the chief judge of Nebraska’s federal district court, said Thursday that Smith Camp died peacefully at her home. The cause of her death wasn’t disclosed. Smith Camp was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush in 2001 and was confirmed unanimously by the Senate. She assumed senior judge status in 2018, meaning she was semi-retired but continued to carry an active caseload. Gerrard says she was an outstanding judge, a gracious mentor and a friend. She is survived by two children.