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William Fletcher

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William Fletcher
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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:   10/9/1998 - Present
Preceded by:   William Albert Norris
Personal History
Born:   1945
Hometown:   Philadelphia, PA
Undergraduate:   Harvard University 1968
Law School:   Yale Law School 1975
Grad. School:   Oxford University 1970

William A. Fletcher is a federal judge with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. He joined the court in 1998 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton.

Early life and education

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Fletcher received a B.A. from Harvard University in 1968 and another from Merton College, Oxford University in 1970 as a Rhodes Scholar. He earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 1975. Fletcher served as a U.S. Navy Lieutenant from 1970 to 1972.[1]

Professional career

Fletcher began his legal career first as a Law clerk for former federal judge Stanley Weigel in the Northern District of California from 1975 to 1976, and then for Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, William Brennan in the Supreme Court of the United States from 1976 to 1977. Fletcher served as Professor of Law at Cal-Berkeley Law from 1977 to 1998.[1]

Judicial career

On the recommendation of U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstien and Barbara Boxer, Fletcher was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by President Bill Clinton on January 7, 1997, to a seat vacated by William Albert Norris. Fletcher was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 8, 1998 on a Senate vote and received commission on October 9, 1998.[2]

Notable cases

Medi-Cal case: CA illegally attempts to cut doctors' fees (2009)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Independent Living Center of Southern California, Inc., et al., v. David Maxwell-Jolly, Director of the Dept. of Health Care Services, State of California, 2:08-cv-03315-CAS-MAS)

Judge Fletcher was part of a three-judge panel which wrote the majority panel opinion in a lawsuit involving withholding of retroactive reimbursement payments to providers of Medi-Cal. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.[3] Judge Fletcher, along with judges Stephen Reinhardt and Milan Smith--who wrote the opinion--ruled unanimously to uphold an injunction against cuts in the reimbursement payments to providers. The judges ruled that California's budget crisis does not justify the 10% reduction in payments to providers.[3]

The court's ruling held that California cannot withhold $1.1 billion a year in payments to doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other healthcare providers. The lawsuit came in response to a bill passed by the California Legislature in 2008 which reduced compensation to providers of Medi-Cal by 10%, or about $1.1 billion.[3] The state is facing a major budget crisis that has forced many state programs like Medi-Cal to make deep budget cuts.[3]

The judges opined that driving away providers from the already-shrinking group, while allowing the system to keep taking state-funded patients endangers their ability to get treatment.[3]

The underlying suit was brought in 2008 when healthcare providers who care for seven million Californians on Medi-Cal sued the Department of Health Care Services after the law took effect on July 1, 2008.[3]

Central District of California Judge Christina Snyder ruled against the fee reductions on August 18, 2008, but also ruled that the California Constitution shielded the state from having to make retroactive payments for the period spanning the effective date of the cuts, and up until her August 18th order.[4]

As a result of the Ninth Circuit's ruling, the State of California must pay providers $55.8 million dollars in retroactive reimbursements that were withheld weeks before Judge Snyder granted the original injunction. An official for the California Department of finance told the Los Angeles Times that the ruling would not affect the $26.3-billion state budget deficit because the state hadn't counted on the 10% savings from the Medi-Cal reimbursement changes.[3]

See also


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
William Albert Norris
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by:

CaliforniaCalifornia Supreme CourtCalifornia Courts of AppealCalifornia Superior CourtsUnited States District Court for the Central District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Northern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of CaliforniaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitCalifornia countiesCalifornia judicial newsCalifornia judicial electionsJudicial selection in CaliforniaCaliforniaTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg