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Andre Davis

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Andre Davis
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Title:   Senior Judge
Service:
Appointed by:   Barack Obama
Active:   11/10/2009-02/28/2014
Senior:   02/28/2014-Present
Preceded by:   Francis Murnaghan
Succeeded by:   Pamela Harris
Past post:   District of Maryland
Past term:   1995-2009
Past position:   Seat #3
Personal History
Born:   1949
Hometown:   Baltimore, MD
Undergraduate:   University of Pennsylvania, 1971
Law School:   University of Maryland Law, 1978

Andre Maurice Davis is an Article III federal judge on senior status for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He was nominated by President Barack Obama and received his commission on November 10, 2009.[1] Davis was officially sworn in on April 30, 2010.[2][3] Andre Davis took senior status on February 28, 2014.[4][5]

Early life and education

A native Marylander, Davis received his bachelor's degree in American history from University of Pennsylvania in 1971. Davis went to Maryland Law where he earned his J.D., graduating cum laude in 1978. While at Maryland Law, Davis served on the Moot Court Board, and as chair of the Honor Board and the Black Law Students Association. Davis was a member of the National Moot Court Team, and was selected as the Best Advocate in the Myerowitz Memorial Moot Court Competition as well as in the Marshall-Wythe Moot Court Competition.[6]

Before entering law school and the legal profession, Davis worked as an Assistant Housing Manager and Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist from 1972 to 1974 with the Housing Authority of Baltimore City.[6]

Professional career

Judicial career

Fourth Circuit

Nomination Tracker
 Candidate:Andre Davis
 Court:Fourth Circuit
 Progress:Confirmed 221 days after nomination.
ApprovedANominated:April 2, 2009
ApprovedAABA Rating:Substantial Majority Well Qualified, Minority Qualified
ApprovedAHearing:April 29, 2009
ApprovedAHearing Transcript:Hearing Transcript
ApprovedAReported:June 4, 2009 
ApprovedAConfirmed:November 9, 2009
 Vote: 72-16

Judge Davis was tapped by President Barack Obama to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on April 2, 2009.[7][8]

On June 4, 2009, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to report favorably on the nomination on a 16-3 vote in committee, and Davis was confirmed 72-16 by the Senate on November 9, 2009. He received his commission on November 10, 2009. Prior to his confirmation, Davis was rated Well Qualified by the American Bar Association.[1][9][10][11] Judge Davis took senior status on February 28, 2014.[4]

Fourth Circuit nominating controversy

Davis was originally nominated to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2000 when President Bill Clinton nominated him to the court to replace Francis Murnaghan. The nomination was a part of President Clinton's effort to integrate the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, as an African-American had never served in that circuit as a federal appeals judge.[12] However, Davis was nominated after July 1, 2000, which was the unofficial start date of the Thurmond Rule, which states that during a presidential election year, no hearings be scheduled. The nomination was therefore returned to President Clinton at the end of his term.

President George W. Bush chose not to renominate Davis to the Fourth Circuit during his administration. Under his administration, President George W. Bush made three unsuccessful attempts to fill the vacancy in the Fourth Circuit, nominating Peter Keisler in the spring of 2001, former Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Claude Allen in 2004, and former Assistant Assistant U.S. Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein in 2007. Those nominations were blocked in part by Maryland U.S. Senators Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski, who claimed that the nominees were not strong enough members of the Maryland legal community.[13]

District of Maryland

Davis was nominated by President Bill Clinton on May 4, 1995, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland vacated by Walter Black. Davis was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 11, 1995, on a majority voice vote and received commission on August 14, 1995.[14]

Notable cases

Corrupt sheriff not entitled to qualified immunity (2013)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Durham v. Jones, et al, 12-2303)

On December 10, 2013, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit, composed of Judges Diana Motz, Roger Gregory, and Senior Judge Andre Davis, found that a Maryland Sheriff Robert Jones, who fired a deputy in retaliation for exercising his First Amendment rights, was not entitled to qualified immunity, and must answer to the $1.1 million jury award established in the federal district trial court.[15]

In the underlying case, James Durham, a deputy sheriff, used physical force and pepper spray in self defense to detain a man attempting to flee from police. Durham was later aggressively interrogated about and pressured to falsify his report by superiors. Durham later did so, but then filed an internal grievance about the incident, only to be demoted. Durham then went to the media to expose the sheriff's office for its unjust behavior. Durham was then fired for "disseminating departmental information," a form of misconduct. He filed suit, and a jury at a federal trial found Jones guilty of retaliation after he fired Durham for exercising a constitutional right, awarding the deputy sheriff $1.1 million in damages.[15]

Jones appealed with claims he should have been granted immunity against the charges, but Judge Davis, writing for the majority, affirmed, stating:[15]

Serious, to say nothing of corrupt, law enforcement misconduct is a substantial concern that must be met with a similarly substantial disruption in the calibration of the controlling balancing test. Given Jones' inability to show at trial how Durham's actions had an adverse impact on the proper functioning of the [Somerset County, Maryland, Sheriff’s Office] in some serious manner, the balance between Durham's rights as a private citizen under the First Amendment and Jones' interest in ensuring an efficient and effective work environment tilts heavily in favor of Durham and his entitlement to enjoy protected speech.[15][16]
Since it is clearly established that an employee's speech about governmental misconduct is constitutionally protected, Jones was not entitled to immunity, and must pay the damages awarded to Durham at the federal jury trial.[15]

See also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Federal Judicial Center, "Biography of Andre Maurice Davis"
  2. Associated Press, "Judge Andre Davis Sworn In To Appeals Court," April 30, 2010 (dead link)
  3. Afro.com, "Federal Fourth Circuit Ct. of Appeals gets Another Black Judge," May 2, 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 WVVA, "US appeals court judge taking senior status," October 4, 2013
  5. United States Courts, "Current Judicial Vacancies," accessed March 3, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 United States District Court for the District of Maryland, "Fourth Circuit Judge Andre M. Davis Bio," accessed April 3, 2014
  7. Associated Press, "Obama taps Judge Andre Davis for federal appeals court," April 2, 2009 (dead link)
  8. White House Press Office, "Press Release: President Obama Announces Judge Gerard Lynch for United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit," April 2, 2009 (dead link)
  9. American Bar Association, "Ratings of the 111th Congress," April 29, 2009
  10. Baltimore Sun, "Senate panel OK's 2 Maryland nominees," June 5, 2009 (dead link)
  11. New York Times, "Senate Vote 342 - On the Nomination Andre M. Davis, of Maryland, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit," November 9, 2009
  12. Find Articles, "White House-Clinton Press Release Nominating Andre Davis," April 14, 2009
  13. New York Times, "Washington Talk; Road to Federal Bench Gets Bumpier in Senate," June 26, 2001
  14. THOMAS, "Presidential Nominations 104th Congress, "Andre M. Davis (USDC, Maryland)," accessed April 3, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Courthouse News Service, "Sheriff On Hook to Pay $1.1 Million Jury Award," December 11, 2013
  16. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Walter Black
District of Maryland
1995–2009
Seat #3
Succeeded by:
Ellen Hollander
Preceded by:
Francis Murnaghan
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
2009–2014
Succeeded by:
Pamela Harris