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 District of Utah|
|Appointed by:||George H.W. Bush|
|Active:||9/16/1991 - Present|
|Chief:||1999 - 2006|
|Preceded by:||104 Stat. 5089|
|Home State:||Sandy, UT|
|Undergraduate:||Brigham Young U., B.A., 1973|
|Law School:||Brigham Young U. Law, J.D., 1976|
Early life and education
Benson started his career as a Private practice attorney in the State of Utah from 1976 to 1984. In 1984, Benson moved to Washington, DC and became Lead Counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committie's Constitution Subcommittee from 1984 to 1986. In 1986, Benson became Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah until 1988. During his time with Senator Hatch Benson was Counsel on the Iran-Contra Congressional Investigating Committee which successfully convicted former Army Lt.-Col. Oliver North. In 1988, Benson joined the US Justice Department as an Associate Deputy US Attorney General appointed by former Attorney General Edwin Meese from 1988 to 1989 then moved back to Utah and was appointed by President George H.W. Bush US Attorney for the District of Utah in 1989 until his appointment to the federal bench in 1991.
District of Utah
On the recommendation of Senator Orrin Hatch, Benson was nominated by President George H.W. Bush on May 16, 1991 to a new seat judgeship created by 104 Stat. 5089 which was approved by Congress. Benson was confirmed by the Senate on September 12, 1991 on a Senate vote and received commission on September 16, 1991. Benson served as the chief judge of the Court from 1999 to 2006.
FLDS property trust case
| United States District Court for the District of Utah|
|In 2005 the State of Utah took control of the FLDS Church’s United Effort Plan Trust because of allegations of mismanagement by sect leader Warren Jeffs. Last February, Judge Benson ruled that the State’s takeover was unconstitutional, and violated the group’s First Amendment rights to practice their religion. Benson’s decision April 8 gave back temporary control to the FLDS Church. 
His decision made it the first time since 2005 that the polygamous sect would control the $110 million trust that holds most of the land, homes, and businesses in Colorado City, Arizona and Hilldale, Utah, as well as some Canadian properties.
Third District Judge Denise Lindberg issued an order saying the state would maintain control over the trust, and ordered Bruce Wisan, the man overseeing the trust for the state to resist the federal order. Lindberg told the federal court that returning the control back to the church would “cause irreparable harm to those who, directly or indirectly, have relied on the decisions of the state court over the nearly six years that Judge Lindberg has overseen the trust at issue.”
As a result, Judge Benson ordered Judge Lindberg to appear in his courtroom on April 15. He wanted an explanation of her decision admonishing the trust administrator of the FLDS to not comply with Benson's federal order giving the group temporary control of a property trust.Judge Lindberg refused, leading Judge Benson to threaten to use the U.S. Marshals to haul her into his courtroom.
|Federal judicial offices|
|District of Utah
|Magistrate judges||Paul Warner • Robert Braithwaite • Brooke Wells •|
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|