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Zita Leeson Weinshienk Edit Profile

Zita Leeson Weinshienk, American Federal judge. Bar: Colorado 1959. Named one of 100 Women in Touch with Our Time Harper's Bazaar Magazine, 1971, Woman of Year, Denver Business and Professional Women, 1969; recipient Women Helping Women award Soroptimist International of Denver, 1983, Hanna G.Solomon award National Council Jewish Women, Denver, 1986.


Weinshienk, Zita Leeson was born on April 3, 1933 in St. Paul. Daughter of Louis and Ada (Dubov) Leeson.


Student, University Colorado, 1953. Bachelor magna cum laude, University Arizona, 1955. Juris Doctor cum laude, Harvard University, 1958.

Fulbright grantee, University Copenhagen, Denmark, 1959. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Loretto Heights College, 1985. Doctor of Laws (honorary), University Denver, 1990.


Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Weinshienk received a B.A. from the University of Arizona in 1955 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1958. She was a Probation counselor, legal advisor and referee to the Denver Juvenile Court from 1959–64, a judge on the Denver Municipal Court in Denver, Colorado from 1964–65, on the Denver County Court from 1965–71, and on the Colorado District Court, Second Judicial District from 1972-79. On June 1, 1979, President Jimmy Carter nominated Weinshienk to a new seat on the United States District Court for the District of Colorado created by 92 Stat.

1629. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 25, 1979, and received her commission the following day. She assumed senior status on April 3, 1998 and retired from service on March 31, 2011.


Precinct committeewoman Denver Democratic Committee, 1963-1964. Board directors Crime Stoppers. Fellow Colorado Bar Foundation, American Bar Foundation.

Member American Bar Association, Denver Bar Association, University Arizona Alumni Association (Distinguished Citizen's award 1994), Colorado Bar Association, National Conference Federal Trial Judges (executive committee, past chair), District Judges' Association of 10th Circuit (past president), Colorado Women's Bar Association (Mary Lathrop award 1995), Federal Judges Association, Denver Crime Stoppers Inc. (board of directors), Denver League of Women Voters, Women's Forum Colorado, Harvard Law School Association, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Order of Coif (honorary Colorado chapter).


Married Hubert Troy Weinshienk, July 8, 1956 (deceased 1983). Children: Edith Blair, Kay Anne, Darcy Jill. Married James N. Schaffner, November 15, 1986.