Gladys Kessler

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Gladys Kessler
Kessler.jpg
Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Title:   Senior Judge
Station:   D.C.
Service:
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   6/16/1994 - 1/22/2007
Senior:   1/22/2007 - Present
Preceded by:   Michael Boudin
Succeeded by:   Amy B. Jackson
Past post:   Superior Court of the District of Columbia
Past term:   1977-1994
Personal History
Born:   1938
Hometown:   New York, NY
Undergraduate:   Cornell '59
Law School:   Harvard Law '62

Gladys Kessler is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She joined the court in 1994 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. Kessler assumed senior status on January 22, 2007.

Early life and education

Born in New York, New York, Kessler graduated from Cornell University with her bachelor's degree in 1959 and received a Bachelor of Laws degree from Harvard Law School in 1962.[1]

Career

  • 1977-1994: Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia
  • 1981-1985: Presiding Judge of the Family Division, Superior Court of the District of Columbia
  • 1969-1977: Attorney, private practice
  • 1968-1969: Special Assistant to the Director, New York's Board of Education Office of Staff Relations
  • 1966-1968: Legislative Assistant for U.S. Congressman Jonathan Bingham
  • 1964-1966: Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Harrison A. Williams
  • 1962-1964: Appellate Attorney, National Labor Relations Board[1]

Federal judicial career

Kessler was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia by President Bill Clinton on March 22, 1994 to a seat vacated by Michael Boudin. Kessler was confirmed by the Senate on June 15, 1994 on a majority vote and received commission on June 16, 1994.[1] She assumed senior status on January 22, 2007.[1]

Notable cases

Gitmo detainee case: Defense Dept. in contempt of court (2009)

     United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Mohammed Al-Adahi, et al., v. Barack Obama, et al., 05-cv-280-GK)

Judge Kessler ruled on December 10, 2009, that the United States Department of Defense was in contempt of court for failing to videotape the testimony of a detainee held at Guantanamo Bay who is challenging his detention. This comes after the federal government failed to videotape Mohammed Al-Adahi from Cuba via a secure video link to the courtroom in Washington, DC on June 23, 2009. The judge felt that the testimony should be videotaped because: "the public would have an opportunity to observe as much of the testimony as possible," said the judge.[2]

Gitmo detainee ordered released (2009)

     United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Mohammed Al-Adahi, et al., v. Barack H. Obama, et al., cv-05-280-GK)

On August 21, 2009, Judge Kessler ordered the release of Mohammed al-Adahi of Yemen who had been held in Guantanamo Bay since 2002. The judge ordered the release of the Yemeni man due to the lack of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to prove that the man had any allegiances to Al-Qaeda. Allegations of a connection arose after al-Adahi attended a wedding at Osama Bin Laden's house. The judge held that this was insufficient proof, and added that there was no reliable evidence in the record showing the Yemeni was a member of al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Ultimately, Judge Kessley ruled that the allegations were not strong enough to justify al-Adahi's continued detention.[3]

See also

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Michael Boudin
District Court for D.C.
1994–2007
Succeeded by:
Amy B. Jackson


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