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Misconduct Report: November 2014

Jane Roth

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Jane Roth
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Title:   Senior Judge
Station:   Philadelphia, PA
Service:
Appointed by:   George H.W. Bush
Active:   07/02/1991 - 05/31/2006
Senior:   05/31/2006 - Present
Preceded by:   Collins Seitz
Succeeded by:   Kent Jordan
Past post:   District of Delaware
Past term:   1985-1991
Past position:   Seat #1
Personal History
Born:   1935
Hometown:   Philadelphia, PA
Undergraduate:   Smith College '56
Law School:   Harvard Law '65
Jane Richards Roth (b. 1935) is a federal appeals judge with the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. She joined the court in 1991 after being nominated by President George H.W. Bush. Roth is serving on senior status.[1]

Early life and education

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Roth graduated from Smith College with her bachelor's degree in 1956. Roth served in the Foreign Service for the United States Department of State as a Typist and Administrative Assistant from 1956 to 1962, and was stationed in Tehran, Iran, from 1957 to 1959, in Salisbury, Rhodesia, in 1960, and in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, from 1960 to 1962. Roth received her bachelor's of Laws degree, LL.B, from Harvard Law School in 1965.[1]

Professional career

Roth was a private practice attorney in the State of Delaware from 1965 to 1985.[1]

Judicial career

Third Circuit Court of Appeals

On the recommendation of Delaware U.S. Senator William Roth, Jr., Roth was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by President George H.W. Bush on May 16, 1991, to a seat vacated by Collins Seitz. Roth was confirmed on the unanimous consent of the U.S. Senate on June 27, 1991, and received commission on July 2, 1991.[2]

District of Delaware

On the recommendation of Delaware U.S. Senator William Roth, Jr., Roth was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Delaware by President Ronald Reagan on October 16, 1985, to a seat vacated by Walter Stapleton as Stapleton was appointed to serve on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Roth was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 1, 1985, and received commission on November 4, 1985. Roth left the District of Delaware on July 22, 1991, due to her appointment to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.[1]

Notable cases

Dismissal of suit over mandatory retirement age for PA judges affirmed (2014)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Lerner, at al v. Corbett, et al, 13-4184)

On April 29, 2014, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit composed of Senior Judge Roth and Judges Thomas Ambro and Kent Jordan, upheld a decision rendered by Judge John E. Jones, III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania to dismiss a suit brought by group of Pennsylvania judges challenging the state's retirement age law.[3]


In the underlying case, the plaintiff judges alleged that their forced retirement at the age of 70 was based on preconceived notions of senior citizens’ deteriorating cognitive abilities, relying heavily on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Judge Jones found those arguments "unconvincing," further noting that the plaintiffs did not have a due process claim as they did not have a constitutionally protected property interest in continued judicial employment.[3]


In an opinion written by Judge Ambro, the plaintiff judges' claims were again rebuked, with Ambro stating that their Fourteenth Amendment rights had not been violated. Judge Ambro further noted that the plaintiffs' claims that opinions reached in the United States v. Windsor and Shelby County v. Holder cases before the Supreme Court of the United States served as intervening authority failed as a matter of law, as controlling precedent already existed.[3]

FBI's racial profiling records kept under wraps (2013)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (ACLU of New Jersey v. FBI, DOJ, 12-4345)

On October 23, 2013, in a precedential opinion, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit, composed of Judge D. Brooks Smith and Senior Judges Roth and Dolores Sloviter, found that documents requested by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU) from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request were properly withheld. In the underlying case, the ACLU filed a FOIA request seeking access to records concerning the "FBI's use of ethnic and racial data" in its "limited racial and ethnic profiling" as authorized by the 9/11 Commission's final report. The FBI identified 782 pages of documents related to the ACLU's request, but released only 312 pages, citing 186 pages as duplicative and 284 pages as exempt from disclosure. The ALCU filed suit in May 2011, seeking access to all of the documents identified by the FBI. Citing several exemptions to FOIA rules, the FBI filed a motion for summary judgment. This prompted the ACLU to file a cross-motion for summary judgment, requesting that presiding Judge Esther Salas of the District of New Jersey review the documents privately. The ACLU further requested that Salas use a "Glomar-like" procedure in chambers. Judge Salas refused, and granted the FBI's motion for summary judgment. The ACLU filed an appeal. Writing for three-judge panel of the Third Circuit, Judge Smith rejected the ACLU's "novel [Glomarization] proposal," and stated that "ample evidence" was available in support of Judge Salas's decision. Smith further noted that it would be "hard to imagine how the FBI could provide a more detailed justification for withholding information under this exemption without compromising the very information it sought to protect."[4][5]

See also

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Walter Stapleton
District of Delaware
1985–1991
Seat #1
Succeeded by:
Sue Robinson
Preceded by:
Collins Seitz
Third Circuit Court of Appeals
1991–present
Succeeded by:
Kent Jordan