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Ilana Rovner

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Ilana Rovner
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Title:   Judge
Station:   Chicago, IL
Appointed by:   George H.W. Bush
Active:   8/17/1992-Present
Preceded by:   Harlington Wood
Past post:   Northern District of Illinois
Past term:   1984-1992
Personal History
Born:   1938
Hometown:   Riga, Latvia
Undergraduate:   Bryn Mawr College, 1960
Law School:   Chicago-Kent Law, 1966

Ilana Kara Diamond Rovner is a federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She joined the court in 1992 after being nominated by President George H.W. Bush.[1]


Born in Riga, Latvia, Rovner became a naturalized American citizen on June 6, 1955. Rovner graduated from Bryn Mawr with her bachelor's degree in 1960, and graduated from Chicago-Kent Law with her J.D. degree in 1966.[1]

Professional career

  • 1977-1984: Deputy governor and legal counsel, Office of Governor James R. Thompson, Illinois
  • 1973-1977: Assistant U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Illinois
  • 1976-1977: Chief, Public Protection Unit, U.S. Attorney's Office
  • 1975-1976: Deputy chief, Public Protection Unit, U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

Judicial career

Seventh Circuit

On the recommendation of U.S. Congressman Henry Hyde, Rovner was nominated to the Seventh Circuit by President George Bush on July 2, 1992, to a seat vacated by Judge Harlington Wood. Rovner was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 12, 1992, on unanimous consent of the Senate and received commission on August 17, 1992.[2]

Northern District of Illinois

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Charles Percy, Rovner was nominated to the Northern District of Illinois by President Ronald Reagan on June 19, 1984, to a seat vacated by Judge Joel Flaum. Rovner was confirmed by the Senate on September 12, 1984, and received commission on September 12, 1984. Rovner left the Northern District of Illinois August 17, 1992, due to her appointment to the Seventh Circuit.[1] Rovner was succeeded in this position by David Coar.

Notable cases

Court allows for warrantless entry and seizure (2014)

     Seventh Circuit (Krysta Sutterfield v. City of Milwaukee, et. al., No. 12-2272)

In May 2014, the Seventh Circuit found that Milwaukee Police had the authority to enter Krysta Sutterfield's home without a warrant, due to exigent circumstances. The city claimed that Sutterfield posed harm to herself, following a comment made during a doctor's appointment. To that end, police arrived at Sutterfield's home, questioned her, seized firearms from her home, arrested her, then took her for an emergency mental evaluation. Sutterfield, who insisted she was of sound mental health at the time of the incident, sued on the basis of her Second, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The Seventh Circuit agreed that the police officers were protected under qualified immunity, even if Sutterfield's Fourth Amendment rights were violated. This decision affirmed a ruling by Judge Joseph Stadtmueller, of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.[3]

Union challenge to Wisconsin's labor law defeated in court (2014)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Laborers Local 236, AFL-CIO, et al v. Walker, et al, 13-3193)

On April 18, 2014, a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit, composed of Judges Joel Flaum, Rovner, and Judge Virginia Kendall of the Northern District of Illinois sitting by designation, ruled that Wisconsin's Act 10, a law enacted in 2011 that barred government employers from collectively bargaining with employees' unions over anything save for wages, was constitutionally sound, upholding a lower court opinion from the Western District of Wisconsin.[4]

In the underlying case, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 60 and Laborers Local 236 brought suit against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, alleging violations of their constitutionally protected First Amendment right to the freedom of association, as well as their right to petition the government for redress of grievances. The plaintiffs further alleged violations of their Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection of the laws. Prior to the plaintiffs' appeal, Judge William Conley rebuffed their claims, stating that as public employees of the state, they "remain[ed] free to associate and their unions remain[ed] free to speak; municipal employers are simply not allowed to listen."[4]

In an opinion written by Judge Flaum, the Seventh Circuit affirmed Judge Conley's ruling, commenting that "the line between constitutionality and unconstitutionally is not drawn according to how open a state decisionmaker is to what you have to say."[4]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Joel Flaum
Northern District of Illinois
Succeeded by:
David H. Coar
Preceded by:
Harlington Wood
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by: