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James Turk

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James Turk
Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
Title:   Former judge
Position:   Seat #2
Station:   Roanoke, VA
Appointed by:   Richard Nixon
Active:   10/17/1972 - 10/31/2002
Chief:   1973 - 1993
Senior:   11/01/2002 - 07/06/2014
Preceded by:   Hiram Widener
Succeeded by:   Glen Conrad
Personal History
Born:   1923
Hometown:   Roanoke County, VA
Deceased:   07/06/2014
Undergraduate:   Roanoke College, A.B., 1949
Law School:   Washington and Lee U. Law, LL.B., 1952
Military service:   U.S. Army 1943 - 1946

James Turk was a former federal judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Turk was nominated by President Richard Nixon on September 25, 1972, to a seat vacated by Hiram Widener as Widener went on senior status. Turk assumed senior status in 2002, serving in that position until his death on July 6, 2014.[1][2]


A native of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Turk graduated from Roanoke College with his bachelor's degree in 1949 and from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1952. From 1943 to 1946, Turk also served on active duty in the US Army as a Staff Sergeant.[1]

Professional career

Turk was a private practice attorney in the Commonwealth of Virginia from 1952 to 1972 . He also served as a member of the Virginia State Senate as a elected Republican from 1959 to 1972. He served as the minority leader of the Republican Senate Caucus from 1965 to 1972.[1]

Judicial career

Turk was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 12, 1972 on a Senate vote and received commission on October 17, 1972. Turk served as the chief judge of the court from 1973 to 1993 before assuming senior status on November 1, 2002.[1] Turk was succeeded in this position by Glen Conrad.

Notable cases

William A. White case (2009)

     United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia (USA v. WHITE, No. 7:08-CR-00054)

Judge Turk was the presiding judge in the case of William A. White, head of the American National Socialist Workers Party. White was charged with making threats to an administrator of a University of Delaware diversity program. On December 3, 2009, the judge threw out an attempt by White's attorneys to dismiss the case.[3] White was found guilty and sentenced to 30 months in prison.[4] His appeal was denied by the Fourth Circuit Court.[5]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Hiram Widener
Western District of Virginia
Seat #2
Succeeded by:
Glen Conrad