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Judge Williams, 53, "runs circles around your nominated crew!" (Her nominator blames her exclusion on anti-conservative, anti-Fourth Circuit bias.) Judge Williams was described in the New York Times Magazine as "a tall, slender woman with delicate features and a regal carriage" (in this piece, a thinly veiled attack upon the Fourth Circuit). A "lovely Southern belle," Judge Williams is known around Orangeburg, South Carolina, as "Miss Karen" (despite being married; as her nominator explains, "the first thing one must learn about Orangeburg is that every woman is referred to as Miss"). The well-heeled Miss Karen has a private plane, in case she ever needs to get to Richmond in a hurry, and "a personal shopper, to keep her looking elegant." Judge Williams, a 1992 appointee of President George H.W. Bush, is perhaps most well-known as the author of the Fourth Circuit's opinion, later reversed by the Supreme Court in Dickerson v. United States, holding that Miranda v. Arizona had been overruled by statute.
[She] has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's and while she is presently able to perform her judicial duties, because of the nature of the disease she has elected to retire so any future decisions would not be called into question," said a statement from her Orangeburg office released late this afternoon.