Donald Molloy

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Donald Molloy
Donald W Molloy.JPG
Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the District of Montana
Title:   Senior Judge
Position:   Seat #1
Service:
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   8/1/1996 - 8/16/2011
Chief:   2001 - 2008
Senior:   8/16/2011 - Present
Preceded by:   Paul Hatfield
Succeeded by:   Dana Christensen
Personal History
Born:   1946
Hometown:   Butte, MT
Undergraduate:   University of Montana, B.A., 1968
Law School:   University of Montana School of Law, J.D., 1976
Military service:   U.S. Navy 1968 - 1973 Naval Aviation

Donald W. Molloy is an Article III federal judge serving on senior status for the United States District Court for the District of Montana. He joined the court in 1996 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. Molloy assumed senior status on August 16 2011.

Early life and education

Born in Butte, Montana, Molloy graduated from the University of Montana with his bachelor's degree in 1968 and his J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law with in 1976.

Molloy served in the U.S. Navy in Naval Aviation from 1968 to 1973.[1]

Professional career

Molloy was a law clerk for former federal judge James Battin in the United States District Court for the District of Montana from 1976 to 1978. Molloy was a private practice attorney in Montana from 1978 to 1995.[1]

Judicial career

District of Montana

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Max Baucus, Molloy was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Montana by President Bill Clinton on December 21, 1995 to a seat vacated by Paul Hatfield as Hatfield assumed senior status. Molloy was confirmed by the Senate on July 18, 1996 on a majority vote and received commission on August 1, 1996. Molloy served as the Chief Judge of the court from 2001 to 2008.[2] Molloy assumed senior status on August 16 2011. Molloy was succeeded in this position by Dana Christensen.

Notable cases

Another challenge to the status of gray wolves (2011)

     United States District Court for the District of Montana
Almost one year later, Molloy again ruled on the issue. An environmental group challenged the action of Congress to remove endangered species protection, since it was attached to the 2011 budget. The group contended that a change had to be made to the Endangered Species Act. Malloy, while disagreeing with the method of Congress, found that the body's action was constitutional.[3]

Property re-appraisal case (2010)

     United States District Court for the District of Montana (PATTY LOVAAS v. BRAD JOHNSON, 08-153-M-DWM-JCL)

Judge Molloy threw out a case involving Patty Lovaas, a Missoula accountant, who sued the Montana Governor and Montana State Treasurer over claimed abuse of the Montana Constitution in assessing property. The judge dismissed the case after finding that Montana's law to resolve property assessments does allow for a prompt resolution process. The accountant in the case plans to re-file the case in state court.[4]


Wolf hunting season (2009)

     United States District Court for the District of Montana
Judge Molloy was the presiding judge in a case to determine whether the State of Montana could allow wolf hunting to happen during the 2009 season. Despite Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer's desire to allow wolf hunting to happen, due to the increase in the wolf population, animal protection organizations pressed the judge to not allow wolf hunting and to keep wolves on the endangered species list.[5] A hearing was held on August 31, 2009 to determine if a wolf hunting season should happen in Montana and in nearby Idaho, but no ruling was issued. This prompted officials in Montana and Idaho to start their hunting seasons. Licenses for wolf hunting for the 2009 season have already been sold in Montana and state officials continued to press their case for a wolf hunt as Montana's season started on September 15, 2009.[6]


On September 9, 2009, Judge Molloy ruled that wolf hunting season in Montana could begin on September 15, 2009. As part of the judge's ruling, it set precedent for the State of Idaho to start their wolf hunting season in 2009. The judge's ruling dismissed claims by environmentalists against a wolf hunt, stating that if thirty percent of wolf population is hunted one year that the same percentage of new species will be in the wolf population the next.[7] On August 5, 2010, Judge Molloy ruled that the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) erred in separating the wolf populations of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, which led to wolves in Idaho and Montana being removed from the endangered species list and being hunted. His decision effectively ended sanctioned wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho.[8]

See also

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Paul Hatfield
District of Montana
1996–2011
Seat #1
Succeeded by:
Dana Christensen


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