Retired federal appeals judge Boyce Martin dead at 80

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Longtime 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Boyce F. Martin Jr. has died after battling brain cancer. He was 80.

Martin’s daughter, Mavin H. Martin, said her father died Wednesday at his home in Louisville.

Martin retired in 2013 after 34 years on the Court of Appeals, including chief judge from 1996 to 2003. He was appointed in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter.

The Courier-Journal ( ) reports Martin clashed with conservatives on the 6th Circuit, including Louisville colleague Judge Danny Boggs. The newspaper said Boggs once wrote that Martin and fellow liberals tampered with rules to delay executions of criminals and would issue a stay “based on a hot dog label.”

In one of his most controversial decisions, Martin wrote the opinion in Grutter V. Bollinger, upholding the use of affirmative action at the University of Michigan Law School. The Supreme Court upheld the decision.