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Thomas Ludington

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Thomas Ludington
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #9
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   6/12/2006 - Present
Preceded by:   Paul Gadola
Personal History
Born:   1953
Hometown:   Midland, MI
Undergraduate:   Albion College, B.A., 1976
Law School:   University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., 1979

Thomas Lamson Ludington is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. He joined the court in 2006 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.

Early life and education

Born in Midland, Michigan, Ludington earned his bachelor's degree from Albion College in 1976, and his Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego Law School in 1979.[1]

Professional career

Ludington worked as a private practice attorney at the law firm of Currie and Kendall, P.C., now known as Currie Kendall, P.C., from 1980 to 1995. In 1995, Ludington was elected to Michigan's 42nd Judicial District Court and served as chief judge until 2006.[1][2]

Judicial career

Eastern District of Michigan

Ludington was nominated to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by President George W. Bush on February 14, 2005, to a seat vacated by Paul Gadola as Gadola assumed senior status. Ludington was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 8, 2006, on a majority voice vote and received commission on June 12, 2006.[3]

Notable cases

Man sentenced for brutal murder of toddler (2014)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (U.S. v. Bennett)

On May 22, 2014, Judge Ludington sentenced Anthony M. Bennett to serve forty years after pleading guilty to a second-degree murder charge in the death of 4-year-old Carnel Chamberlain.[4]

In the underlying case, Bennett babysat Carnel on June 21, 2012, while the toddler's mother was at work. During that time, Bennett punched the child in the head, fracturing his skill, and then burned his body in the home's fireplace. Bennett buried Carnel's body under the porch, and claimed the boy went missing. Carnel's remains were discovered on June 28, 2012.[4] Bennett pleaded guilty in December 2013, where the prosecution reduced his first-degree murder charge to second-degree murder and dropped six other counts against him as part of a plea agreement.[5]

While delivering his sentence, Judge Ludington referred to Bennett's upbringing, which Bennett's attorney described as "abysmal":[4]

"Mr. Bennett is responsible for taking Carnel's life, but other people are responsible for Mr. Bennett's upbringing. If he is a man on today's date without a moral or ethical governor, that's the way he was trained. Nevertheless, Mr. Bennett, is a dangerous man, an unusually dangerous man because he lacks that ethical governor. There is no other way to say it — Carnel's loss is the result of a heinous and barbarous act, period."[6]

While Carnel's relatives were satisfied with the sentence, they called the child's death "senseless."[4]

Central Michigan University discrimination case (2013)

     Eastern District of Michigan (Heike and Brown v. Central Michigan University Board of Trustees, 10-11373-BC)

Judge Ludington dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former women's basketball player at Central Michigan who sued her former head coach after her scholarship was canceled. Brooke Heike, the plaintiff, claimed that she was discriminated against because she wasn't a lesbian, while Coach Sue Guevara asserted that Heike had trouble grasping basic concepts of the game. Ludington found that Guevara and other Athletic Department officials were immune from litigation when acting in their official capacity with the University.[7]

Ludington's decision was appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court agreed with the district court.[8][9]

Arenac County polygraphs (2009)

     Eastern District of Michigan (Kernstock, Lynch and Seder v. County of Arenac, et al., 08-14500-BC)

On July 8, 2009, Judge Ludington dismissed a civil lawsuit against Arenac County, Michigan, stating that the defendants "in their (official) capacities" were immune to civil claims in a polygraph case.[10]

Former Arenac County public officials Kenneth Kernstock, Amy S. Lynch, and Gail A. Seder filed complaints on October 22, 2008, on violations of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The commissioners believed that releasing polygraphs in which they participated was an unlawful invasion of privacy and caused damage to their reputations. They also claimed that there were violations of the Michigan Forensic Polygraph Examiners Act which strictly prohibited the release of polygraph results.[10]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Paul Gadola
Eastern District of Michigan
Seat #9
Succeeded by:

MichiganMichigan Supreme CourtMichigan Court of AppealsMichigan Circuit CourtMichigan District CourtsMichigan Probate CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of MichiganUnited States District Court for the Western District of MichiganUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of MichiganUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of MichiganUnited States Court of Appeals for the Sixth CircuitMichigan countiesMichigan judicial newsMichigan judicial electionsJudicial selection in MichiganMichiganTemplate.jpg