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Gerard Lynch

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Gerard Lynch
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #8
Station:   New York
Appointed by:   Barack Obama
Approval vote:   94-3
Active:   9/17/2009-Present
Preceded by:   Chester Straub
Past post:   Southern District of New York
Past term:   2000-2009
Past position:   Seat #4T
Personal History
Born:   1951
Hometown:   Brooklyn, NY
Undergraduate:   Columbia University, 1972
Law School:   Columbia Law School, 1975

Gerard E. Lynch is a federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He was the first federal circuit court judge nominated by President Obama to be confirmed. He joined the court in 2009. Prior to his confirmation, Lynch served as a judge on the Southern District of New York. He joined the district court in 2000 after an appointment from Bill Clinton. At the time of his appointment, he was a private practice attorney in New York City.[1]

Early life and education

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1951 Judge Lynch earned his B.S. from Columbia College-New York in 1972 and his J.D. from Columbia Law in 1975.[1]

Professional career

Judicial career

Second Circuit Court of Appeals

Nomination Tracker
 Candidate:Gerard Lynch
 Court:Second Circuit Court of Appeals
 Progress:Confirmed 168 days after nomination.
ApprovedANominated:April 2, 2009
ApprovedAABA Rating:Unanimously Well Qualified
ApprovedAQuestionnaire:(dead link) Questionnaire
ApprovedAHearing:May 12, 2009
ApprovedAQFRs:(dead link) QFRs
ApprovedAReported:June 11, 2009 
ApprovedAConfirmed:September 17, 2009
 Vote: 94-3

Lynch was nominated by President Barack Obama for a judgeship in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on April 2, 2009. Lynch was nominated for the seat made vacant when Chester Straub went on senior status.[2] Lynch received a rating of "Unanimously Well Qualified" from the American Bar Association.[3]

Lynch had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 12, 2009. The Committee voted to forward his nomination to the full Senate on June 11, 2009, and his nomination was confirmed on September 17, 2009.[3] You can find Lynch's Public Questionnaire available here (dead link), and his Questions for the Record available here (dead link).

Lynch was confirmed by the Senate with a 94-3 vote on September 17, 2009.[4]

Southern District of New York

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Lynch was nominated to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by Bill Clinton on February 28, 2000, to a seat vacated by John Sprizzo. Lynch was confirmed by the Senate on May 24, 2000, on a super majority 63-36-1 vote and received commission on May 25, 2000.[5] Lynch was succeeded in this position by Paul A. Engelmayer.

Notable cases

Apple's challenge to e-book antitrust monitor (2014)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (U.S. v. Apple, Inc., 1:12-cv-02826-DLC)

On January 21, 2014, Judge Raymond Joseph Lohier, Jr. granted a temporary stay as to the work performed by Michael Bromwich, the court-appointed monitor in the Apple e-book antitrust case. The stay was to remain in effect until a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit was available to decide whether Bromwich should be removed as monitor. In the underlying case, Judge Denise Cote found in July 2013 that Apple conspired with online publishers to fix the prices of e-books. She appointed Bromwich to oversee and monitor the company’s compliance with federal antitrust laws in October 2013. In an earlier motion filed by Apple, the company claimed that Cote’s appointment of a monitor in a civil antitrust case was unprecedented. Attorneys for Apple contested Bromwich’s hourly fee of $1,100, alleging that because of the “extremely broad powers” Cote conferred upon him, he was able to overreach in his investigations such that they bordered on interfering with the company’s daily operations. Cote denied Apple’s request to remove Bromwich as monitor just days before Lohier issued the temporary stay. In his ruling, Lohier noted that Apple’s request for Bromwich’s permanent ouster would be heard “as soon as possible” by an appellate panel. Lohier's order is available here.[6][7]


On February 10, 2014, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit composed of Judge Gerard Lynch and Senior Judges Pierre Leval and Guido Calabresi rejected Judge Lohier's stay and restored Michael Bromwich's ability to perform his duties as Apple's e-book antitrust monitor, with the understanding that Apple may pursue a further appeal to remove Bromwich from his position. In the order, the judicial panel noted that according to the government, Judge Cote's initial order was to be "interpreted narrowly." As a result, Lynch, Leval, and Calabresi agreed that as antitrust monitor, Bromwich was only to "assess the appropriateness of the compliance programs adopted by Apple and the means used to communicate those those programs to its personnel." The Second Circuit panel went on to limit Bromwich's authority, empowering him to "demand only documents relevant to his authorized responsibility . . . and to interview Apple directors, officers and employees only on subjects relevant to that responsibility."[8][9][10]

NY City smoking deterrent posters (2012)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (94th St. Grocery v. N.Y.C. Bd. of Health, 11-91-cv)

On July 10, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the decision of Judge Jed Rakoff, ruling that federal regulations preempted a city ordinance that required cigarette distributors to post gruesome photos of cigarette-related illnesses at the point of sale. The court held that the 1965 Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act preempted the local law, thus rendering the local ordinance unconstitutional. Philip Morris USA alongside two other manufacturers, two major retailers, and two trade unions challenged this city law in federal court. Despite admitting the risks of smoking, Rakoff agreed with the cigarette producers, stating in his opinion, "Even merchants of morbidity are entitled to the full protection of the law." The Second Circuit concurred, though they believed that the city could launch its own anti-smoking campaign using the images, but could not require retailers to do it. The case was heard by Judges Peter Hall, Gerard Lynch, and Denny Chin, with Chin writing the opinion of the court.[11][12]

Town meeting prayer case (2012)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Galloway and Stephens v. Town of Greece, et al, 10-3635-cv)

The 100,000-resident town of Greece, New York, violated a constitutional ban against favoring one religion over another, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in what was deemed a significant test to the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.[13] The decision, issued on the May 17, 2012, stated that by opening nearly every monthly town meeting with Christian-centric prayers, the town was favoring Christianity over other religions.[14]

The meetings in question took place every month between 1999 and 2007, and from January 2009 to June 2010 in the suburb of Rochester, New York. Who was to deliver the invocation was decided each month by a town employee who chose clerics or laypeople from a local published guide of churches that did not include any places of worship outside of the Christian denomination. After complaints from two town residents, four of the 12 meetings in 2008 were opened by invocations from other faiths.[13][14]

The suit, first brought in 2010, was originally decided in favor of the City of Greece. The lower court ruled that there was no indication that one faith was favored over another, or that the town purposely excluded other faiths. The decision was overturned by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that "the town's process for selecting prayer-givers virtually ensured a Christian viewpoint.”[13][15]

The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States in 2013.[16]

Hiram Monserrate case (2010)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Monserrate v. New York State Senate, 599 F. 3d 148)

District Judge William Pauley denied a request by former New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate to stop a decision made by the New York Senate to expel him on February 9, 2010.[17]

Monserrate was expelled after being convicted of domestic violence towards his girlfriend, which is considered a misdemeanor.[17]

The case was appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, but the appellate court judges, Gerard Lynch, Dennis Jacobs, and Jane Restani, ruled that the district court "did not abuse its discretion in determining that the Monserrate Appellants failed to establish a likelihood of success on the merits of any of the claims they press on appeal. We thus need not reach any of the other arguments advanced by the parties. For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the district court's denial of the preliminary injunction."[18]

Lil' Kim perjury trial (2006)

     Southern District of New York
Lynch presided over the perjury trial of rap artist Lil' Kim in 2005. He sentenced her to a year and a day in jail.[19]

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Federal Judicial Center, "Biography of Gerard E. Lynch"
  2. White House Press Release, "President Obama Announces Judge Gerard Lynch for United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit," April 2, 2009
  3. 3.0 3.1 United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, "Judicial Nomination Materials: 111th Congress," accessed February 17, 2014 (dead link)
  4. Blog of Legal Times, "Obama Gets First Win Among Circuit Nominees," September 17, 2009
  5. THOMAS, "Nomination of Gerard Lynch," accessed February 17, 2014 (Search for Gerard Lynch)
  6. New York Times, "Apple Wins Temporary Stay on Court Monitor," January 21, 2014
  7. New York Times, "Secretive Apple Squirms in Gaze of U.S. Monitor," January 13, 2014
  8. Star Tribune, "Federal appeals panel in NY restores Apple monitor but spells out limits to his authority," February 10, 2014 (dead link)
  9. Reuters, "Apple loses latest bid to block e-books antitrust monitor," February 10, 2014
  10. New York Times, "Court Rejects Apple Appeal in E-Book Case," February 10, 2014
  11. MyFoxDC, "New York can't scare smokers with graphic images, court ruled," July 12, 2012
  12. 94th St. Grocery v. N.Y.C. Bd. of Health, 685 F.3d 174 (2d Cir. 2012)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Associated Press, "Court rules NY town's prayer violated Constitution," May 18, 2012 (dead link)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Fox News, "Court rules NY town's prayer violated Constitution," May 17, 2012
  15. 13 WHAM, "Federal Appellate Court Overturns Ruling on Prayer at Greece Town Board Meetings," May 17, 2012
  16., "Town of Greece v. Galloway," accessed August 15, 2013
  17. 17.0 17.1 New York Daily News, "Denied! Federal judge rejected Sen. Hiram Monserrate's plea to stay in office," February 19, 2010
  18. Monserrate v. New York State Senate, 599 F. 3d 148 (2d Cir. 2010)
  19. ABC News, "Rapper Lil' Kim Gets 366 Days for Perjury," February 14, 2006
Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
John Sprizzo
Southern District of New York
Succeeded by:
Paul A. Engelmayer
Preceded by:
Chester Straub
Second Circuit
Seat #8
Succeeded by:

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