Earl Yeakel

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Earl Yeakel
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #2
Station:   Austin, TX
Service:
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   07/29/2003 - Present
Preceded by:   James Nowlin
Past post:   Texas Third District Court of Appeals, Justice
Past term:   1998 - 2003
Personal History
Born:   1945
Hometown:   Oklahoma City, OK
Undergraduate:   U. of Texas, B.A., 1966
Law School:   U. of Texas Law, J.D., 1969
Grad. School:   U. of Virginia Law, LL.M., 2001
Military service:   U.S. Marine Corps 1967 - 1970



Earl Leroy "Lee" Yeakel III is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. He joined the court in 2003 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.[1]

Early life and education

A native Oklahoman, Yeakel earned his bachelor's and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966 and 1969. Yeakel later graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law with his Master of Laws degree in 2001 and also served on active duty on the U.S. Marine Corps from 1967 to 1970 in Vietnam.[1]

Professional career

After law school, Yeakel was a private practice attorney licensed in the State of Texas from 1969 to 1988. Yeakel spent his entire private practice tenure with the Austin based law firm of Clark, Thomas & Winters. In 1988, Yeakel was appointed by then Texas Governor George W. Bush as Chief Justice on the Texas Court of Appeals for the Third District in 1998. Yeakel served in the Texas Court of Appeals from 1998 till his appointment to the federal court in 2003.[2]

Judicial career

Western District of Texas

On the unanimous recommendation of Texas U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, Yeakel was nominated by President George W. Bush on May 1, 2003 to a seat vacated by James Nowlin as Nowlin assumed senior status. Yeakel was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 28, 2003 on a unanimous vote. Yaekel received commission on July 29, 2003.[1]

Notable cases

Parts of Texas abortion law blocked (2013)

  United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
On October 28, 2013, Judge Yeakal prevented parts of a controversial abortion law in Texas from taking effect. (This law was the same one famously filibustered by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis in June 2013.) The provisions requiring doctors performing the procedure to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and regulating use of abortion-inducing drugs were blocked. In the ruling, Judge Yeakel said that requiring doctors to have admitting privileges:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the state in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman’s health.[3]

Governor Rick Perry said that the state will continue to enforce the parts of the law blocked by the ruling as the State appeals to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.[4]

Aspects of the law were not challenged or will still stand following the ruling, including: requiring that women have an extra office visit before undergoing the procedure, a ban on abortions 20 weeks after conception and a requirement that abortion centers meet the specifications of ambulatory surgery centers.[4]

Update

On October 31, 2013, a panel of judges on the Fifth Circuit reinstated most of the provisions previously ruled unconstitutional by Judge Yeakel, with the exception of regulations for abortion-inducing drugs. The ruling issued an emergency stay while the constitutionality of the law was being considered. The stay allowed the law to go into effect on November 1, 2013.[5]

In a statement, Texas Attorney General and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott said:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

This unanimous decision is a vindication of the careful deliberation by the Texas Legislature to craft a law to protect the health and safety of Texas women.[6]

The president of Planned Parenthood Federation of American disagreed with that assessment, stating:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

This restriction clearly violates Texas women’s constitutional rights by drastically reducing access to safe and legal abortion statewide.[7]


Medical/legal contact with patients/arrestees (2010)

  United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
     *Donald McKinley, D.C., et al., v. Greg Abbott, As Attorney General of the State of Texas 1:09-cv-006430LY
Judge Yeakel presided in a case involving a Texas State law on contact between doctors and patients in a medical malpractice challenge. Judge Yaekel ruled that the law, which prohibits doctors from contacting patients within 30 days of an accident or attorneys within one month of an arrest, was unconstitutional. The judge found that the law violated the First Amendment on grounds of freedom of speech.[8]


See also

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
James Nowlin
Western District of Texas
2003–Current
Seat #2
Succeeded by:
NA


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