Hon. Kenneth Ripple

Hon. Kenneth Ripple

Professor Emeritus of Law

Office: 3112 Eck Hall of Law
Phone: 574-631-5765
Fax: 574-631-4197
Staff Assistant: Alicia Cummins
CV: View

Honorable Kenneth F. Ripple has served as judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since his appointment by President Reagan in 1985. Judge Ripple joined the Law School faculty in 1976 as an associate professor, and became a full professor in 1980. He graduated summa cum laude with an A.B. from Fordham University in 1965, received his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1968 and earned an LL.M. summa cum laude in administrative law and economic regulation from the National Law Center of the George Washington University in 1972.

Before joining the Notre Dame faculty, Ripple held the position of special assistant to the chief justice of the United States (1973-77). He also served as the legal officer of the U.S. Supreme Court (1972-73), as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel of International Business Machines Corporation, and as a branch head for the Judge Advocate General of the Navy.

A member of the Virginia, New York, Indiana and District of Columbia Bars, Ripple has the distinction of serving on the American delegation to the 1980 Anglo-American Judicial Exchange. He is also a member of the American Law Institute and chaired the Advisory Committee on Federal Appellate Rules of Procedure.

He transitioned to emeritus status on July 1, 2023.

Courses Taught

LAW70311, Federal Courts

LAW70312, Federal Courts: Contemporary Problems and Practice

LAW70371, Conflict of Laws

LAW73311, Judicial Process Seminar



Constitutional Litigation (Michie/Bobbs-Merrill 1984). 

Sanctions Imposable for Violations of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, with Robert E. Rodes Jr. and Carol Ann Mooney (Federal Judicial Center 1982). 


Judge Ripple has published several articles and book reviews, including: 

Warren E. Burger in The Yale Biographical Dictionary Of Law 83 (2009). 

Process of Constitutional Decision Making, 25 Valparaiso University Law Review 331 (1991). 

The Judge and the Academic Community, 50 Ohio State Law Journal 1237 (1989). 

Rule 11 in the Constitutional Cases, 63 Notre Dame Law Review 788 (1988). 

The Article III Judiciary in Its Third Century, 34 Loyola Law Review 469 (1988). 

On Becoming a Judge, Federal Bar News & Journal 380 (1987). 

Personal and Career Decisions During the Professional School Years -The Spiritual Dimension, 3 Christian Legal Society Quarterly 20 (1982). 

Article V and the Proposed Constitutional Convention Procedure Bill, 3 Cardozo Law Review 529 (1982). 

The Separate Appendix in Federal Appellate Practice - Necessary Tool or Costly Luxury? with R.A. Ainsworth Jr., 34 Southwestern Law Journal 1159 (1981). 

Volkswagen Corp. V. Woodon: Reflections on the Road Ahead, with M. Murphy, 56 Notre Dame Lawyer 65 (1980). 

The Entanglement Test of the Religion Clauses - A Ten Year Assessment, 27 U.C.L.A. Law Review 1195 (1980). 

Thurgood Marshall and the Forgotten Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, 55 Notre Dame Lawyer 471 (1980). 

The Supreme Court's Workload: Some Thoughts for the Practitioner, 66 American Bar Association Journal 174 (1979). 

State Sovereignty: A Polished but Slippery Crown, 54 Notre Dame Lawyer 745 (1979).

Areas of Expertise

  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Federal Courts
  • Judicial Biography
  • Judicial Process