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|Current Court Information:|
|United States District Court for the Southern District of New York|
|Appointed by:||Barack Obama|
|Approval vote:||Voice vote|
|Active:||10/13/2011 - Present|
|Preceded by:||Jed Rakoff|
|Hometown:||New York, NY|
|Undergraduate:||Wesleyan U., B.A., 1986|
|Law School:||New York U. Law, J.D., 1990|
Early life and education
Southern District of New York
|Court:||Southern District of New York|
|Progress:||Confirmed 162 days after nomination.|
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. 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."
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
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." 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.||”|
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. 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." The U.S. Attorney's office had no comment.
- Official FJC Bio of Judge Forrest
- "President Obama Nominates Six Judges to United States District Courts," May 4, 2011
- Biography at FJC
- "Nominations sent to senate," May 4, 2011
- 112th Senate Nomination Materials
- 112th Senate Confirmations
- Huffington Post, "Indefinite Detention Ruling Backed By Civil Liberties Groups," September 13, 2012
- The Blaze/Associated Press, "NY Federal Judge Strikes Down "Indefinite Detention" Provision in NDAA," September 13, 2012
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Reuters, "U.S. judge's rule protects reporters, activists in their Middle East work," September 12, 2012
|Federal judicial offices|
|Southern District of New York
|Vacancy Count by Congress|
|Vacancy Count by Year||Federal Vacancy Warning System: 2009 • Federal Vacancy Warning System: 2010 • Federal Vacancy Warning System: 2011 • Federal Vacancy Warning System: 2012|