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Katherine Forrest

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Katherine Forrest
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #6T
Service:
Appointed by:   Barack Obama
Approval vote:   Voice vote
Active:   10/13/2011 - Present
Preceded by:   Jed Rakoff
Personal History
Born:   1964
Hometown:   New York, NY
Undergraduate:   Wesleyan U., B.A., 1986
Law School:   New York U. Law, J.D., 1990
Katherine Forrest is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She joined the court in 2011 after a nomination from Barack Obama. Prior to nomination, She was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice.[1]

Early life and education

Christensen received a bachelor's from Wesleyan University in 1986 and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law in 1990.[2][3]

Judicial career

Southern District of New York

Nomination Tracker
 Candidate:Katherine Forrest
 Court:Southern District of New York
 Progress:Confirmed 162 days after nomination.
ApprovedANominated:5/4/2011
DefeatedDABA Rating:
ApprovedAQuestionnaire:Questionnaire
DefeatedDHearing:
DefeatedDQFRs:
DefeatedDReported: 
ApprovedAConfirmed:10/13/2011
 Vote:

On May 4, 2011, Obama nominated Dana Christensen to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to a seat vacated by Jed Rakoff.[4] Obama told the press, "These individuals have demonstrated the talent, expertise, and fair-mindedness Americans expect and deserve from their judicial system. I am grateful for their willingness to serve and confident that they will apply the law with the utmost impartiality and integrity."[2]

Forrest's committee hearing was on June 8, 2011 and the committee recommended her to the senate as a whole on July 14, 2011. You can find her Committee Questionnaire available here and her Questions for the Record available here[5]

Forrest was confirmed by a Senate voice vote on October 13, 2011.[6]

Notable cases

National Defense Authorization Act case (2012)

     United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Hedges et al v. Obama et al, 12 Civ. 331)

On September 12, 2012, Judge Forrest stuck down a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 that would have allowed the government to indefinitely detain a "person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces."[7] Forrest ruled the law unconstitutional for violating First Amendment rights to free speech. In May of 2012, she had ordered a temporary injunction against the law; this was her final ruling.

In her 112-page opinion, Forrest explained,

First Amendment rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and cannot be legislated away. This Court rejects the Government’s suggestion that American citizens can be placed in military detention indefinitely, for acts they could not predict might subject them to detention.[8][9]

The judge explained that the law does not specifically define what it means for a person to have "substantially supported" terrorist groups and that, legally, the support of such groups could not justify the detention of a citizen.[8] She noted that, though the executive branch was responsible for national security, the courts were responsible for guarding against such infringements of Constitutional rights.

The plaintiffs' lawyer, Bruce Afran, called the law "a very extraordinary attempt by the government to provide punishment for speech."[8] The U.S. Attorney's office had no comment.[8][10]

See also

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Jed Rakoff
Southern District of New York
2011–Present
Succeeded by:
NA


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