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Catherine Eagles

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Catherine Eagles
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #1
Station:   Greensboro, NC
Appointed by:   Barack Obama
Active:   12/16/2010 - Present
Preceded by:   Norwood Tilley
Past post:   North Carolina Superior Courts, Superior Court Judge
Past term:   1993 - 2010
Personal History
Born:   1958
Hometown:   Memphis, TN
Undergraduate:   Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), 1979
Law School:   National Law Center, George Washington University, 1982

Catherine C. Eagles is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. She was nominated to the court by President President Obama on March 10, 2010, and confirmed by the Senate on December 16, 2010.[1]

Early life and education

Eagles received her B.A. from Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) in 1979.[2] She earned her J.D. from the National Law Center, George Washington University in 1982.[3]

Professional career

  • 2006-2010: Senior Resident Judge

Judicial career

Middle District of North Carolina

Nomination Tracker
 Candidate:Catherine Eagles
 Court:Middle District of North Carolina
 Progress:Confirmed 281 days after nomination.
ApprovedANominated:March 10, 2010
ApprovedAABA Rating:Unanimously Well Qualified
ApprovedAQuestionnaire:(dead link) Questionnaire
ApprovedAHearing:April 16, 2010
ApprovedAQFRs:(dead link) QFRs
ApprovedAReported:May 6, 2010 
ApprovedAConfirmed:December 16, 2010
 Vote: Voice vote

Eagles was one of three recommendations to President Obama from Senator Kay Hagan for a position on the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.[6] On March 10, 2010, Obama nominated Eagles to the Middle District of North Carolina, to fill the seat vacated by Norwood Tilley.[7] Obama said of the nomination, "I am honored to put forward [this] highly qualified candidate for the federal bench."[4]

In a statement Senator Hagan said:

She has a proven record of judicial fairness and my full support. I will be working with my colleagues to ensure a swift confirmation for Judge Eagles.[5][8]

The American Bar Association unanimously rated Eagles Well Qualified.[9]

Judiciary Committee hearing

Eagles's Public Questionnaire Available Here (dead link)
Questions for the Record available here (dead link)

Eagles had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 16, 2010.[10] She was questioned by Senator Jeff Sessions on her whether she was inclined to adhere closely to federal criminal sentencing guidelines. She answered, "I’m used to working with guidelines. It gives framework for sentencing that is extremely helpful and useful, and I agree with my colleagues that I would definitely consult those in the first instance."[11] Senator Dianne Feinstein said to Eagles, "I have no doubt but that you’re going to be confirmed".[11] Eagles was reported by the Committee to the Senate on May 6, 2010.

Notable cases

Ultrasound law struck down as unconstitutional (2014)

On January 17, 2014, Judge Eagles struck down a North Carolina law which required that doctors administer a "narrated ultrasound" to women seeking abortions, regardless of whether the patient had any objections to such a procedure. The underlying case was spurred by the North Carolina legislature's 2011 passage of the Women's Right to Know Act, a law which contained a "speech-and-display provision" that physicians must adhere to. Eagles issued a preliminary injunction against the law's enactment in 2011 after it was constitutionally challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of North Carolina, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America on behalf of physicians and healthcare providers in the state. In her most recent decision, Eagles issued a permanent injunction against North Carolina's enactment of the law, citing various First Amendment and free speech violations. Eagles noted in her decision that "[t]he Supreme Court has never held that a state has the power to compel a healthcare provider to speak, in his or her own voice, the state's ideological message in favor of carrying a pregnancy to term," and that to force doctors to recite state-compelled speech "to women who take steps not to hear it and to women who will be harmed by receiving it” is considered unconstitutional. North Carolina government officials may appeal the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.[12][13][14]

Edwards alleged campaign violations (2012)

Judge Eagles presided over the trial of former presidential candidate and Senator John Edwards. He was accused of misusing funds from his 2008 presidential campaign to hide his mistress and child. A jury in North Carolina found Edwards not guilty on one charge of violating campaign finance law in May 2012. With the jury deadlocked on five other counts, Judge Eagles declared a mistrial and the U.S. Department of Justice eventually dropped its case against Edwards.[15][16]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Norwood Tilley
Middle District of North Carolina
Seat #1
Succeeded by:

North CarolinaSupreme Court of North CarolinaNorth Carolina Court of AppealsNorth Carolina Superior CourtsNorth Carolina District CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of North CarolinaUnited States District Court for the Middle District of North CarolinaUnited States District Court for the Western District of North CarolinaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Fourth CircuitNorth Carolina countiesNorth Carolina judicial newsNorth Carolina judicial electionsJudicial selection in North CarolinaNorthCarolinaTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg