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|Current Court Information:|
|United States District Court for the District of Vermont|
|Appointed by:||Bill Clinton|
|Active:||05/25/1995 - 05/29/2009|
|Chief:||1995 - 2002|
|Senior:||06/30/2009 - Present|
|Preceded by:||Franklin Billings|
|Succeeded by:||Christina Reiss|
|Undergraduate:||Yale, B.A., 1963|
|Law School:||U. of Connecticut Law, LL.B., 1968|
|Grad. School:||Georgetown U. Law, L.L.M., 1970|
John Garvan Murtha is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Vermont. He joined the court in 1995 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. He served as Chief Judge between 1995 and 2002, before assuming senior status on June 30, 2009. Prior to his Federal appointment, Murtha was in private practice in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Early life and education
Murtha graduated from Yale with his undergraduate degree in 1963 and later graduated from Connecticut (UConn) Law with his Bachelor of Laws in 1968. Later, he graduated from Georgetown Law with his Master of Laws in 1970.
District of Vermont
Murtha was nominated by President Bill Clinton on June 30, 1995 to a seat vacated by Franklin Billings as Billings assumed senior status. Murtha was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 25, 1995 and received commission on May 26, 1995. Murtha served as the Chief Judge of the District of Vermont from 1995 to 2002.
VT Prison Labor Case (2012)
On August 3, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned the lower court decision and held that a suit could continue which alleged that the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington, Vermont violated the 13th amendment by requiring an individual to work in the laundry room for $0.25 an hour. The suit was filed by Finbar McGarry who alleged that during his time pending trial in the facility, he was forced to work 14 hour shifts, 3 days a week, and was punished with solitary confinement if he refused. He filed the suit a month before his release, requesting $11 million in damages. U.S. District Judge Garvan Murtha threw out the case claiming that McGarry did not prove that the forced work was akin to African American slavery, which the act was originally designed to protect against. The three judge appeals court composed of Robert Katzmann, Richard Wesley and the writing judge Barrington Parker disagreed, writing in their opinion, "The Amendment was intended to prohibit all forms of involuntary labor, not solely to abolish chattel slavery." In addition the court held that McGarry's pretrial status required that the state treat him differently as he was not yet convicted and the charges were later dropped. The case was remanded back to Judge Murtha for further evaluation.
Nuclear plant operation case (2012)
*Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee v. Shumlin 11-cv-99
In January 2012, Vermont's Attorney General, Bill Sorrell, filed a notice of appeal with United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit over its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant decision in January. At issue is the state's authority to determine the safety and economic impact of the plant's continued operation. John Murtha, judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont, found in favor of the company which runs the plant, Entergy.
Though the Vermont State Senate voted to not allow a twenty year extension granted by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal government has jurisdiction over matters of nuclear energy.
In filing the notice, Attorney General Sorrell said, "We have strong arguments to make on appeal. The district court’s decision improperly limits the State’s legitimate role in deciding whether Vermont Yankee should operate in Vermont beyond March 21, 2012."Governor Peter Shumlin agreed with Sorrell's assessment. In a press release, he said that he would continue to work on his administration's authority over the plant. The hearing of appeal was heard on January 15, 2013.
- United States District Court for the District of Vermont
- News: Second Circuit gives go ahead for 13th Amendment Vermont prison lawsuit, August 14, 2012
- News: Vermont appeals nuclear plant decision in Second Circuit, February 29, 2012
- Future Vacancies in the Federal Judiciary
- John Murtha's Biography at the Federal Judicial Center
- Judge Murtha's Biography
- "THOMAS" Nomination of Garvan Murtha May 14, 2009(Search for Garvan Murtha)
- Reuters, "Appeals court reinstates Vermont prison forced labor case," August 3, 2012
- World Nuclear News, "Vermont Yankee wins right to keep generating," January 20, 2012
- Burlington Free Press, "Vermont appeals court ruling on Yankee nuclear plant," February 18, 2012
- Office of the Vermont Governor, Press Release: "Gov. Shumlin's statement on Attorney General's decision to appeal Vermont Yankee," February 18, 2012
- Bloomberg Law, Legal News: "Vermont Fights Ruling It Can't Shut Entergy Nuclear Plant," January 14, 2013
|Federal judicial offices|
|District of Vermont
John Murtha •
|Magistrate judges||John Conroy •|
|Former Article III judges||
Nathaniel Chipman • Samuel Hitchcock • Elijah Paine • Samuel Prentiss • David Allen Smalley • James Oakes • Fred Parker • Hoyt Henry Wheeler • James Loren Martin • Harland Bradley Howe • Franklin Billings • Albert Coffrin • Ernest Gibson • James Holden • James Leamy • Bernard Leddy •
|Former Chief judges|