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Daniel Hovland

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Daniel Hovland
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the District of North Dakota
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #2
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   11/26/2002 - Present
Chief:   2002 - 2009
Preceded by:   Patrick Conmy
Personal History
Born:   1954
Hometown:   Moorhead, MN
Undergraduate:   Concordia College, B.A., 1976
Law School:   University of North Dakota School of Law, J.D., 1979

Daniel L. Hovland is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota. Hovland served as the Chief Judge of the Court from 2002 to 2009.[1] He joined the court in 2002 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.

Early life and education

A native of Minnesota, Hovland graduated from Concordia-Minnesota College with his bachelor's degree in 1976. He graduated from the University of North Dakota Law School in 1979.[2]

Professional career

Hovland started his career in 1979 as a law clerk for former North Dakota Supreme Court Justice Ralph Erickstad. In 1980, Hovland joined the North Dakota Attorney General's Office as an Assistant Attorney General. Hovland spent the remainder of his pre-judicial legal career, from 1983 to 2002, in private practice in the state of North Dakota. In addition to his private practice work, Hovland served as the Commissioner of the Bismarck Parks & Recreation District from 1992 to 2002 and also served as a part-time Administrative law judge in the North Dakota Office of Administrative Hearings from 1994 to 2002.[2]

Judicial career

District of North Dakota

On the recommendation of the entire North Dakota Congressional Delegation, Hovland was nominated by President George W. Bush on June 26, 2002 to a seat vacated by Patrick Conmy. Hovland was confirmed by the Senate on November 14, 2002 and received commission on November 26, 2002.[2]\

==Notable cases==

Judge overturns North Dakota 2013 abortion law (2014)

     United States District Court for the District of North Dakota
In April 2014, Judge Hovland struck down the 2013 North Dakota bill that banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which could be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.[3][4] Judge Hovland used the precedent set in the Supreme Court of the United States's decision in Roe v. Wade, stating:
A woman's constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability has been recognized by the United States Supreme Court for more than 40 years. The United States Supreme Court has clearly determined the dispositive issue presented in this lawsuit. This court is not free to impose its own view of the law.


—Daniel Hovland[6]

Judge grants injunction for North Dakota abortion restrictions (2013)

     United States District Court for the District of North Dakota
In July 2013, Judge Hovland prevented a North Dakota law from going into effect, which would not allow abortions after a fetal heartbeat was detected. This often occurs around six weeks into a pregnancy, though guidelines, set by the United States Supreme Court, allow abortions at least until viability outside of the womb is possible, often around twenty-four weeks. In the opinion, Judge Hovland said,
The United States Supreme Court has unequivocally said that no state may deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at a point prior to viability.[7][5]

Judge Hovland also alluded to the state opening up an expensive legal battle to challenge precedent set by the Supreme Court. At the time the bill was signed, Governor Jack Dalrymple referred to it as:

a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade.[8] [5]
The injunction, sought by the Center for Reproductive Rights, will persist until a trial on the merits of the law is conducted.[8]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Patrick Conmy
District of North Dakota
Seat #2
Succeeded by:

North DakotaNorth Dakota Supreme CourtNorth Dakota Court of AppealsNorth Dakota District CourtsNorth Dakota Municipal CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of North DakotaUnited States bankruptcy court, District of North DakotaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eighth CircuitNorth Dakota countiesNorth Dakota judicial newsNorth Dakota judicial electionsJudicial selection in North DakotaNorthDakotaTemplate.jpg