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Richard Wesley

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Richard Wesley
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #6
Station:   New York
Service:
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   6/12/2003 - Present
Preceded by:   Pierre Leval
Past post:   New York Court of Appeals
Past term:   1997-2003
Personal History
Born:   1949
Hometown:   Canandaigua, NY
Undergraduate:   SUNY Albany, B.A., 1971
Law School:   Cornell Law, J.D., 1974
Richard C. Wesley (b. 1949) is an Article III Federal Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He joined the Court in 2003 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. Prior to his appointment, Weasley served on the New York Court of Appeals.[1]

Early life and education

Born in Canandaigua, NY in 1949, Wesley graduated from State University New York at Albany (SUNY-Albany} with his bachelor's degree in 1971 and later received his Juris Doctor degree from Cornell University Law School in 1974.[1]

Professional career

Wesley spent a majority of his legal career as a private practice attorney licensed in New York State from 1974 to 1987. Wesley also served as an Assistant Counsel to Minority Leader of the New York State Assembly from 1979 to 1982 before serving as an elected Member of the New York State Assembly from 1983 to 1987. After serving in the New York State Assembly, Wesley was a Justice of the New York Supreme Court for the Seventh Judicial District Court of New York from 1987 to 1994 and later served as Associate Justice for the New York Supreme Court in the Appellate Division of the Fourth Judicial Circuit Division from 1994 to 1996. Wesley served as an Associate judge of the New York Court of Appeals, New York State's highest Judicial branch, from 1997 to 2003.[1]

Judicial career

Second Circuit

Wesley was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by President George W. Bush on March 5, 2003, to a seat vacated by Pierre Leval as Leaval assumed senior status. Wesley was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 11, 2003 on a Senate vote and received commission on June 12, 2003.[2]

Notable cases

Town meeting prayer case (2012)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Galloway and Stephens v. Town of Greece, et al, 10-3635-cv)

The 100,000 resident town of Greece, NY, has violated a constitutional ban against favoring one religion over another, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in what is being deemed a significant test to the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.[3] The decision, issued on the May 17, 2012, stated that by opening nearly every monthly town meeting with Christian-centric prayers, the town was favoring Christianity over other religions.[4]

The meetings in question took place every month between 1999 and 2007, and from January 2009 to June 2010 in the suburb of Rochester, NY. Who was to deliver the invocation was decided each month by a town employee who chose clerics or lay people from a local published guide of churches that did not include any places of worship outside of the Christian denomination. After complaints from two town residents, four of the 12 meetings in 2008 were opened by invocations from other faiths.[3][4]

The suit first brought in 2010, was originally decided in favor of the city of Greece. The lower court ruled that there was no indication that one faith was favored over another, or that the town purposely excluded other faiths. The decision was overturned by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling that "the town's process for selecting prayer-givers virtually ensured a Christian viewpoint.”[3]

[5]

VT Prison Labor Case (2012)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
On Friday, August 3, 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.[6]

See also

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Pierre Leval
Second Circuit
2003–present
Seat #6
Succeeded by:
NA



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