Marsha Berzon

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Marsha Berzon
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Title:   Judge
Station:   San Francisco, CA
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   3/16/2000 - Present
Preceded by:   John Noonan
Personal History
Born:   1945
Hometown:   Cincinnati, OH
Undergraduate:   Radcliffe College '66
Law School:   University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law '73

Marsha Siegel Berzon (b. 1945) is a federal appeals judge with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. She joined the court in 2000 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton.

Early life and education

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Berzon graduated from Radcliffe College with her bachelor's degree in 1966 and later received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law in 1973.[1]

Professional career

Judicial career

Berzon was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President Bill Clinton on January 26, 1999, to a seat vacated by John Noonan. Berzon was confirmed by the Senate on March 9, 2000 on a Senate vote and received commission on March 16, 2000.[2]

Notable cases

Dismissal of jurors over sexual orientation is barred (2014)

  United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
     *GlaxoSmithKline v. Abbott Laboratories 11-17357
On January 21, 2014, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit, comprised of Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Berzon, and Senior Judge Mary Schroeder, ruled that peremptory strikes made by attorneys during jury selection may not be based on a juror's sexual orientation. In the underlying suit, an antitrust dispute between drug companies GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Abbott Laboratories (Abbott) over the pricing of HIV medication, on appeal from a decision previously made by Chief Judge Claudia Wilken of the Northern District of California, an attorney for Abbott used a peremptory strike to bar a gay man's service on the jury, seemingly due only to his sexual orientation. GSK's attorney raised a Batson challenge, meaning opposing counsel needed to provide a nondiscriminatory reason for the requested juror strike. Before this case, Batson challenges had only applied to race and gender. Wilken allowed Abbott's strike to stand, and after a jury verdict was issued, GSK appealed, claiming that a new trial was warranted due to Abbott's unconstitutionally permitted peremptory strike based on sexual orientation. Writing for the majority of the three-judge panel, Reinhardt concluded that Batson was applicable, because "permitting a strike based on sexual orientation would send the false message that gays and lesbians could not be trusted to reason fairly on issues of great import to the community or the nation." He further commented that "[t]o allow peremptory strikes because of assumptions based on sexual orientation is to revoke this civic responsibility, demeaning the dignity of the individual and threatening the impartiality of the judicial system."[3][4]

Court upholds striking of Planned Parenthood defunding law (2013)

  United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Judge Berzon was the opinion writing judge on a three judge panel, that included Jay Bybee and Consuelo B. Marshall, that affirmed a ruling by U.S. District Judge Neil Wake. Wake ruled that an Arizona law, that defunded Planned Parenthood, was in violation of the Medicaid Act. In her opinion Judge Berzon wrote,

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

The Arizona law violates this requirement by precluding Medicaid patients from using medical providers concededly qualified to perform family planning services to patients in Arizona generally, solely on the basis that those providers separately perform privately funded, legal abortions.[5]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
John Noonan
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by:

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