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Royce Lamberth

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Royce Lamberth
Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Title:   Senior Judge
Station:   D.C.
Appointed by:   Ronald Reagan
Active:   11/13/1987 - 7/15/2013
Chief:   5/1/2008 - 7/15/2013
Preceded by:   Barrington Parker
Succeeded by:   Christopher Reid Cooper
Personal History
Born:   1943
Hometown:   San Antonio, TX
Undergraduate:   U. Texas, Austin '65
Law School:   U. Texas, Austin '67

Royce Lamberth is a federal judge serving on senior status for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He joined the court in 1987 after being nominated by President Ronald Reagan. Lamberth was the Chief Judge of the Court from 2008 until 2013. He assumed senior status in July of 2013.[1]

Early life and education

Born in San Antonio, Texas, Lamberth graduated from the University of Texas with his bachelor's degree in 1965 and his law degree in 1967.[1]

Professional career

Lamberth served as a Judge Advocate U.S. Army Captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps from 1967 to 1974. Lamberth then served as an Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia from 1974 to 1987. Lamberth was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office Civil division from 1974 to 1977 and Assistant Chief of the Civil division from 1977 to 1978 before serving as Chief of the Civil division from 1978 to 1987.[1]

Judicial career

District of Columbia

Lamberth was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia by President Ronald Reagan on March 19, 1987 to a seat vacated by Barrington Parker as Parker assumed senior status. Lamberth was confirmed by the Senate on November 13, 1987 and received commission on November 16, 1987. Lamberth served as the Chief Judge of the Court from 2008 until he assumed senior status.[1]On July 15, 2013, Judge Royce Lamberth assumed senior status for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, where he had served for nearly 26 years.[2]

Notable cases

Stem cell research in U.S. (2009)

     United States District Court for the District of Columbia (James Sherley, et al., v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., 1:09-cv-1575-RCL)

Judge Lamberth was the presiding judge in a lawsuit that was filed to challenge to an Obama Administration executive order to restore federal funding for stem cell research. A coalition of Christian groups sued the National Institutes of Health over the executive order, they claimed it violated federal laws by using federal funds to create or destroy embryos. In the decision, the judge found that the groups had no standing in filing the suit due to the fact that the US Supreme Court ruled that embryos are not persons.[3]

CIA fraud and eavesdropping case (2009)

     United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Richard A. Horn, v. Franklin Huddle, JR., et al., cv-94-1756-RCL)

On July 20, 2009, Judge Lamberth ruled that the Central Intelligence Agency committed fraud in an effort to keep documents to eavesdropping charges a secret.[4] The judge ruled that the CIA must unseal more than 200 documents related to the case. Also, there was no finding of classified information in any of the 200 documents the CIA wanted to remain sealed.[4] The scandal began after former Drug Enforcement Agency agent Richard Horn felt that he was being spied on by his superiors in Myanmar. The CIA requested that the documents remain sealed in order to protect agents in the field.[4]

Dismissal of Hillary Clinton from 'Filegate' suit (2009)

     United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Cara Alexander, et al., v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, et al., 1:96-cv-02123-RCL)

On July 16, 2009, Judge Lamberth dismissed a lawsuit filed in 1996 against former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.[5] The case involved the Clinton White House’s handling of FBI background records when the Clinton Administration was under investigation for firing White House travel office employees.[5] White House staffers under Clinton acknowledged in an affidavit that they sought and received the FBI files of hundreds of prominent Republicans.

The complaint surfaced after President George H.W. Bush took the personnel files after leaving office in 1993.[6] It is a custom for outgoing Presidents to take personnel files with them. When Bill Clinton became President, former Chief of Staff Mack McLarty demanded FBI background checks on everyone working in the White House to reconstruct the personnel files. However, Clinton White House staffers who handled the request failed to purge the names of obvious Republican political appointees of past administrations from the lists sent to the FBI. The Clinton Administration's handling of the FBI records received harsh criticism from Republicans.[6]

Attorneys who continued to pursue the case argued to Judge Lamberth that the case should not be dismissed until Mrs. Clinton was called to testify. Judge Lamberth disagreed, stating: "There was no legal reason that he should require a person who is a busy cabinet secretary at this point to submit to an oral deposition.”[5] The case was dismissed by Judge Lamberth on March 9, 2010.[7] The case was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Barrington Parker
District of Columbia
Succeeded by:

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