Do you have a photo that could go here? Submit it for this profile by emailing us!
|Current Court Information:|
|United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin|
|Appointed by:||Bill Clinton|
|Active:||7/29/1996 - 10/31/2012|
|Chief:||2009 - 10/31/2012|
|Senior:||10/31/2012 - Present|
|Preceded by:||Terence Evans|
|Past post:||U.S. Bankruptcy Judge|
|Past chief:||1986 - 1995|
|Past term:||1977 - 1995|
|Home State:||Richmond, VA|
|Bachelors:||Davis and Elkins College, B.A., 1969|
|Law School:||Georgetown U. Law Center, J.D., 1972|
Charles N. Clevert, Jr. is an Article III federal judge serving in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He joined the court in 1996 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton.
Early life and education
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Clevert attended Davis and Elkins College, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in 1969. He then earned his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 1972. 
After graduation from Georgetown Law, Clevert worked as an assistant District Attorney in Milwaukee County from 1972 to 1975. In 1975, Clevert joined the U.S. Attorney's Office as the Assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin from 1975-1977. In 1977, he was appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice as an Special Assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois before becoming a bankruptcy court judge in the Eastern District of Wisconsin later that year. Clevert also served as a lecturer at the Wisconsin Law from 1989-1990.
Eastern District of Wisconsin
Clevert served as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin from 1977-1995 and also served as the Chief judge of the Bankruptcy Division of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin from 1986 to 1995.
On recommendation from U.S. Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, Clevert was nominated by President Bill Clinton on December 7, 1995, to a seat vacated by Terence Evans as Evans was elevated to a judgeship on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Clevert was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 17, 1996 on a majority voice vote and receiving commission on July 29, 1996. Clevert served as the court's Chief Judge from September 1, 2009 until he assumed senior status on October 31, 2012.
It has been reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel when previewing the 2009 Milwaukee County Pension scandal trial, that Judge Clevert works long days in his court in which he can sometimes keeps juries into the night for a verdict or late testimony. Clevert is a judge who strictly favors formality in his court, and is especially intolerant of late lawyers and cell phones ringing in his courtroom. On the lighter side, Clevert has been known to also have a quick wit, making occasional humorous remarks from the bench.
A notable case on this page needs to be updated.
Prisoner sex change
Judge Clevert issued a ruling on March 31, 2010, that strikes down a Wisconsin law prohibiting prison inmates from having drugs for gender reassignment therapy.
The case comes after lawsuit filed in 2007 over a Wisconsin state law prohibiting taxpayer dollars to be used for procedures related to gender reassignment therapy in 2005.
The judge found in his ruling that the 2005 state law against gender re-assignment therapy resulted in cruel and unusual punishment which is a violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Wisconsin Attorney General's office is reviewing the ruling before making a decision to appeal the ruling to the Chicago-based Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
- CLICK HERE for a copy of the judge's ruling.
Elmbrook School District graduation
Americans United for Separation of Church and State v. Elmbrook School District
On May 28, 2009, Judge Clevert heard arguments in which the pro church and state separation organization of Americans United for Church and State is suing the Elmbrook School District a suburban Milwaukee school district over allowing Brookfield East and Brookfield Central high schools in having their graduation ceremony held at a mega-church in Brookfield over space constraints at both Brookfield East and Brookfield Central.
During a three hour hearing in front of Judge Clevert, attorneys for the Washington, DC based advocacy group sued the Elmbrook School District in April on behalf of nine unnamed plaintiffs arguing that allowing Brookfield Central and East high schools to hold their graduations in the church amounted to coercing students and their guests to enter a religious facility and government establishment of religion.
Attorney argue that by requiring students to enter a Christian place of worship to attend their graduation ceremonies, school officials are imposing religion on students in a way even more intrusive than school prayer cases that already have been found unconstitutional.
Elmbrook School District's legal team defended the choice of the mega church as a spacious and convenient venue as the church capacity is 3,200, according to court documents. If Judge Clevert rules against the Elmbrook School District, the suburban Milwaukee district does not have alternative plans for graduation. Clevert said he would make a ruling before the scheduled graduation rehearsals at the church in which is scheduled during the week of June 1, 2009.
Alex Luchenitser who serves as senior litigation counsel for Americans United, stressed during his arguments that students and their families must spend their two-hour graduation ceremonies facing a large cross and confronted by other Christian iconography and material in the church. Mr. Luchenitser further explained: "No person should be coerced to enter a religious environment as a price for attending your own graduation."
Attorneys representing the Elmbrook School District rebutted that the district's intentions of using the church was not to host graduation with the intention of promoting religion but because it is more convenient, cost-efficient and accommodating than any secular facilities in the Milwaukee area. "A reasonable person attending one of the high schools' graduation ceremonies would not think the district was promoting religion or linked to the church in any way", Elmbrook School District attorney Lori Lubinsky said.
Judge Clevert on June 2, 2009 issued a ruling against Americans United for Seperation of Church in state ruling that the Elmbrook School District can have graduation at a church. In issuing the ruling, Judge Clevert said: "A ceremony in the church does not necessarily constitute a church ceremony."
Milwaukee County pension trial
Milwaukee County v. Mercer Incorporated
Judge Clevert is the judge in the high-profile federal trial about the infamous Milwaukee County pension scandal that began on May 5, 2009. Milwaukee County is suing Mercer, Inc., for over $100 million in damages. The county is suing Mercer, a consulting firm that specializes in pension benefits, for negligence and fraud for the advice that led to massive losses from the county's pension fund.
The high-stakes trial included testimony from former County Executive Thomas Ament and hinted at the possiblity that current County Executive and 2010 Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker would be testifying.
Officials of the cash-strapped county at the beginning of the trial were hoping not just for a guilty verdict against Mercer, but hoping what Milwaukee County's intentions were a large, financial payoff. Backdrop payments up to the trial have soared up to $144 million, but county experts have estimated the full cost of the pension package could reach $900 million. The backdrop is a lump sum paid out at retirement on top of the monthly benefit which would set precedence in a case that could impact government employee pensions across the nation.
As the first week of the trial began, Judge Clevert has set the tone of the trial by making sure attorneys for both sides of the lawsuit strictly adhere to his courtroom rules. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on May 6, 2009 noted that Milwaukee County attorney Kenneth E. McNeil inserted a bit of argument into his opening statement, counter to Clevert's courtroom protocol:
- "Counsel. This is an opening statement, not argument," Clevert said to the attorney representing the state's largest county tersely with the jury looking on and then give him a few minutes to wrap it up.
After another week of testimony including a videotaped deposition from the late Gary Dobbert who was a former personnel director who played a large part in the pension deal, on May 19, 2009 attorneys for both Milwaukee County and Mercer agreed to a settlement of $45 million damages in the case in which the county would win $32 million after paying reasonable legal fees.
- ↑ Journal-Sentinel, "U.S. judge Stadtmueller not taking new criminal cases", August 23, 2009
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Judge Clevert's Biography from the Federal Judicial Center.
- ↑ "THOMAS" Nomination of Charles Clevert May 9, 2009 (Search for Charles Clevert)
- ↑ "JSOnline" the Key Players in the Pension Trial, May 6, 2009
- ↑ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Sex-change drugs a right, judge says", April 1, 2010
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 "JSOnline" Judge Charles Clevert to rule in Elmbrook graduation case, May 29, 2009
- ↑ "JSOnline" Elmbrook may have graduation ceremony at church, June 2, 2009
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "JS Online" Walker plans to watch and listen in trial, May 4, 2009
- ↑ "JS Online" Blame Game Over County Pension Scandal Trial begins, May 2, 2009
- ↑ "JSOnline" Milwaukee County settles with Mercer, May 19, 2009
|Federal judicial offices|
|Eastern District of Wisconsin
Charles Clevert • Thomas Curran •
|Magistrate judges||Aaron Goodstein • Patricia Gorence • William Callahan • James Sickel • Nancy Joseph •|
|Former Article III judges||
Terence Evans • Andrew Galbraith Miller • Charles Dyer • James Henry Howe • James Graham Jenkins • William Henry Seaman • Joseph Very Quarles • Ferdinand August Geiger • Francis Duffy • Kenneth Grubb • John Reynolds • Robert Tehan • Robert Warren • Myron Gordon •
|Former Chief judges|