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Vanessa Bryant

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Vanessa Bryant
Vanessa Lynne Bryant.JPG
Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #8
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   4/2/2007 - Present
Preceded by:   Dominic Squatrito
Past post:   Connecticut Superior Court
Past term:   1998-2007
Personal History
Born:   1954
Hometown:   Queens, NY
Undergraduate:   Howard University, B.A., 1975
Law School:   University of Connecticut School of Law, J.D., 1978

Vanessa Lynne Bryant (b.1954) is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. Bryant joined the court in April 2007 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. At the time of her appointment, Bryant was a judge on the Connecticut Superior Court.

Early life and education

Born in Queens, New York, Bryant graduated from Howard University with her bachelor's degree in 1975 and later graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Law with her Juris Doctor degree in 1978.[1]

Professional career

Bryant was a private practice attorney in Connecticut from 1978 to 1981 and again from 1992 to 1998. Bryant also served as legal counsel for a few of Connecticut's largest companies, including Aetna Life & Casualty Company from 1981 to 1989 and Shawmut Bank from 1989 to 1990. From 1990 to 1992, Bryant was Vice President & General Counsel for the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority before serving as a superior court judge in the Connecticut Superior Court from 1998 to 2007.[1]

Judicial career

District of Connecticut

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, Bryant was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut by President George W. Bush on January 9, 2007, to a seat vacated by Dominic Squatrito. Bryant was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 28, 2007 on a majority vote and received her commission on April 2, 2007.[2]

Notable cases

Defense of Marriage Act ruling (2012)

     United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Pedersen et al v. Office of Personnel Management et al, 3:10 cv 01750)

In July 2012, Judge Bryant ruled that the federal government's Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. The basis for the ruling was equal protection under the law guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment, which is treated in a similar way to the commonly-invoked Fourteenth Amendment. In a massive opinion which compiled language from a myriad of court cases, Bryant addressed aspects of federal discrimination, standing to sue, federal benefits, and more. One interesting aspect of the case is that the government was represented by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, since the Obama administration earlier stated it will no longer defend the law.[3][4]

The full opinion can be accessed at this link: United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, Pedersen et al v. Office of Personnel Management et al.

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Dominic Squatrito
District of Connecticut
Seat #8
Succeeded by:

Connecticut Supreme CourtConnecticut Appellate CourtConnecticut Superior CourtConnecticut Probate CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of ConnecticutUnited States Court of Appeals for the Second CircuitConnecticut countiesConnecticut judicial newsConnecticut judicial electionsJudicial selection in ConnecticutConnecticutConnecticutTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg