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Ben Settle

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Ben Settle
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
Title:   Federal Judge
Position:   Seat #4
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   7/2/2007 - Present
Preceded by:   Franklin Burgess
Personal History
Born:   1947
Hometown:   Olympia, WA
Undergraduate:   Claremont McKenna College, B.A., 1969
Law School:   Willamette University College of Law, J.D., 1972
Military service:   U.S. Army, JAG Corps 1973-1976

Benjamin Hale Settle is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. He joined the court in 2007 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.

Early life and education

A native of Washington, Settle graduated from Claremont McKenna College with his bachelor's degree in 1969 and later graduated from the Willamette University College of Law with his juris doctorate degree in 1972. Settle also served as a member of the US Army JAG Corps from 1973 to 1976 on active duty.

Professional career

Settle spent his entire pre-judicial legal career as a private practice attorney licensed in the State of Washington briefly in 1972 and from 1976 to 2007.

Judicial career

Western District of Washington

Settle was nominated by President George W. Bush on Janauary 9, 2007 to a seat vacated by Franklin Burgess as Burgess assumed senior status.[1] Martinez was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 28, 2007 on a unopposed 99-0-1 vote and received commission on July 2, 2007.[2]

Notable cases

NLRB case dismissed (2013)

     United States District Court for the Western District of Washington ((dead link) Hooks v. Kitsap Tenant Support Services Inc., C13-5470 BHS)

On August 13, 2013, Judge Settle dismissed a case against Kitsap Tenant Support Services Inc. The case brought by the National Labor Relations Board(NLRB) was dismissed by the judge on the grounds that the panel did not have a proper quorum. The panel had two members that were appointed President Obama, by way of recess appointment. The problem arrived because these members were appointed incorrectly since the Senate was in session.[3]

R-71 signature release case (2009)

     United States District Court for the Western District of Washington ((dead link) Doe v. Reed, 3:09-cv-05456-BHS)

For more background information on R-71 please see Washington Referendum 71 (2009) on Ballotpedia.

On September 8, 2009, Judge Ben Settle ruled against a challenge from a gay rights groups in Washington. The group asked for the release of petition records signed in favor of R-71, which expanded the legal protections of domestic partners.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name cannot be a simple integer. Use a descriptive title The judge found that the methods the Washington Secretary of State's Office used to check the validity of the signatures were legal.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name cannot be a simple integer. Use a descriptive title

Following the 2010 ruling by the United States Supreme Court in Doe v. Reed that made petition signatures public per Washington's Public Records Act, anti-gay marriage advocates renewed efforts to prevent the names of people who signed the petition from being released. However, on October 17, 2011, Judge Settle ruled on the matter and determined that the signatures could be released. Later that day, Washington State officials released copies of petitions.[4]

Learn more about this story here.

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Franklin Burgess
Western District of Washington
Seat #4
Succeeded by: