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James Robertson

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James Robertson was a federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He joined the court in 1994 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton and served until his retirement on June 1, 2010.[1][2][3]

Early life and education

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Robertson graduated from Princeton with his bachelor's degree in 1959. From 1959 to 1964, Robertson served as a United States Navy Lieutenant. Robertson later graduated from George Washington Law with his J.D. degree in 1965.[1]


Robertson was a private practice attorney in Washington, D.C. from 1965 to 1969 before serving as Chief Counsel of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law from 1969 to 1970. From 1970 to 1972, Robertson was the National Director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law. Robertson was a private practice attorney in Washington, D.C. from 1972 to 1994.[1]

Federal judicial career

Robertson was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia by President Bill Clinton on September 14, 1994 to a seat vacated by George Revercomb. Robertson was confirmed by the Senate on October 7, 1994, and received commission on October 11, 1994.[4] He assumed senior status on December 31, 2008 and continued serving in that capacity until his retirement on June 1, 2010.[1]

Notable cases

Minority farmers case

Judge Robertson is presiding in a case involving Hispanic farmers in the State of Texas. Two Hispanic farmers are suing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) over being denied grant applications after speaking out against discrimination by the USDA. The case could be part of a larger case against the USDA in which Hispanic farmers in other states are seeking legal recourse.[5]

Judicial pay dispute

Robertson is one of eight judges pressing a claim that Congress has violated the Constitution's compensation clause by failing to honor promised judicial salary increases in five separate years. The case was thrown out on October 16, 2009, but the group of judges are appealing it to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.[6]

Guantanamo detainee case

On August 12, 2009, Judge Robertson issued a classified order that Adham Mohammed Ali Awad was legally detained at Guantanamo Bay and asked for the 27 year old man to remain held at the military compound.

Judge Robertson's ruling was the sixth ruling in 2009 that upheld the detention status of a Guantanamo detainee in comparison to twenty eight detainees who were ruled to be unlawfully held. The case is one of many that are either being heard or awaiting court action after President Barack Obama ordered the military detention center shut down by 2010.[7]

External links