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Aleta Trauger

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Aleta Trauger
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #3
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   10/22/1998 - Present
Preceded by:   John Nixon
Personal History
Born:   1945
Hometown:   Denver, CO
Undergraduate:   Cornell College, B.A., 1968
Law School:   Vanderbilt U., M.A.T., 1972
Grad. School:   Vanderbilt U. Law School, J.D., 1976

Aleta Arthur Trauger is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. She joined the court in 1998 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton.

Early life and education

Trauger received an undergraduate degree from Cornell College in 1968, a master's degree in 1972, and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1976.[1]

Professional career

Judicial career

Middle District of Tennessee

In 1993, Trauger was appointed to serve as a Bankruptcy Judge for the United States bankruptcy court, Middle District of Tennessee.[1]

Trauger was nominated to serve on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee by President Bill Clinton on September 22, 1998, to a seat vacated by John Nixon. Trauger was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 21, 1998, on a Senate vote and received commission on October 22, 1998.[2]

Awards and associations

  • American Board of Trial Advocates Trial Judge of the Year, 2012[3]

Notable cases

Challenge to Tennessee's laws against recognition of same-sex marriage (2014)

     United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee (Tanco, et al v. Haslam, et al, 3:13-cv-01159)

On March 14, 2014, Judge Trauger ruled that Tennessee must recognize the same-sex marriages of three couples who were legally married out-of-state, issuing an injunction against the state's ban on such recognition in favor of only those three couples.[4] In the underlying case, the plaintiff couples challenged Tennessee's Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment approved by 81.3 percent of voters in 2006.[5] The plaintiffs did not challenge the state's constitutional amendment in its totality, but rather focused on its refusal to recognize same-sex marriages legally consummated in other states. In her opinion, Judge Trauger noted that the state's anti-recognition laws failed to pass constitutional muster, writing:
At this point, all signs indicate that, in the eyes of the United States Constitution, the plaintiffs’ marriages will be placed on an equal footing with those of heterosexual couples and that proscriptions against same-sex marriage will soon become a footnote in the annals of American history.[4][6][7]
On March 18, 2014, Tennessee's attorney general filed an appeal with the Sixth Circuit, requesting that Judge Trauger's decision be stayed pending the case's resolution in the court system.[8][9]

Hold on arresting Occupy movement protesters in Nashville (2011)

     United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee (Occupy Nashville et al v. Haslam et al, 3:2011cv01037)

On October 31, 2011, Judge Trauger issued a hold on new rules imposed by the state that were being used to arrest protesters in the "Occupy Nashville" protest. The judge's order was the response to a request by the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee to block a curfew put into effect by Governor Bill Haslam the week prior. After the curfew was enacted, police used it to arrest individuals of the Occupy movement who were protesting at the Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville. The state reportedly did not fight the order and Hedy Weinberg, executive director at the ACLU of Tennessee, responded to the order by saying, "The state conceded that the temporary restraining order should be issued and we hope that this is the first step (that) the state is recommitting itself to safeguarding -- not thwarting -- public political expression."

The temporary hold on the law remained in place for 21 days, until a hearing could be held. Prior to that hearing, Governor Haslam asked that all charges against the protestors be dropped and expunged from their records.[10][11]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
John Nixon
Middle District of Tennessee
Seat #3
Succeeded by:

TennesseeUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of TennesseeUnited States District Court for the Middle District of TennesseeUnited States District Court for the Western District of TennesseeUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of TennesseeUnited States bankruptcy court, Middle District of TennesseeUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of TennesseeUnited States Court of Appeals for the Sixth CircuitTennessee Supreme CourtTennessee Court of AppealsTennessee Court of Criminal AppealsTennessee Circuit CourtTennessee Chancery CourtsTennessee Criminal CourtTennessee Probate CourtTennessee General Sessions CourtTennessee Juvenile CourtTennessee Municipal CourtTennessee countiesTennessee judicial newsTennessee judicial electionsJudicial selection in TennesseeTennesseeTemplate.jpg