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O. Rogeriee Thompson

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O. Rogeriee Thompson
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #6
Station:   Providence, RI
Appointed by:   Barack Obama
Approval vote:   98-0
Active:   3/17/2010 - Current
Preceded by:   Bruce Marshall Selya
Past post:   Rhode Island Superior Court
Past term:   1997-2010
Personal History
Born:   8/8/1951
Hometown:   Anderson, SC
Undergraduate:   Brown U. '73
Law School:   Boston U. Law '76

Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson (born August 8, 1951) is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She was nominated to the court by President Obama in 2009 and confirmed to the court on March 17, 2010. Prior to her appointment, she served on the bench on the Rhode Island Superior Court.[1]

Early life and education

Judge Thompson was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina. She is the descendant of a plantation owner (her great-grandfather) who bought her great-grandmother at a slave auction. The two later raised a family together. [2] She received an A.B. in 1973 from Brown University, and a J.D. in 1976 from Boston University School of Law. [3] Thompson also holds honorary degrees from the University of Rhode Island and Bryant College. [4]

Personal life

Thompson is married to Rhode Island District Court judge William C. Clifton; they have two daughters. [5]

Professional career

Thompson began her legal career as a Reginald Haber Smith Fellow working with Rhode Island Legal Services where she was eventually promoted to the Senior Attorney position for the Family Law Unit. She later entered private practice in Rhode Island, forming a partnership with her sister. During this time she also served as the Assistant City Solicitor for the city of Providence.[3]

Judicial career

Rhode Island District/Superior Court

Thompson joined the Rhode Island District Court in 1988 as the first African American woman to serve on the bench. In 1997 she was elevated from the District Court to the Rhode Island Superior Court. She served at this post until her appointment to the federal bench in 2010. While she served in Rhode Island, Thompson chaired the court's Ad Hoc Task Force on Limited English Speaking Litigants which helped establish the Office of Court Interpreters to aid non-english speakers in understanding the full process of the judicial system.[3] [6]

First Circuit

Thompson was nominated for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit by President Obama on October 6, 2009. [7] She was recommended to the President by Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse who called her "highly qualified". [8] She was nominated to fill the seat vacated by Bruce Marshall Selya which is traditionally held by a Rhode Islander.[9] The rating the Thompson received from the American Bar Association was only "satisfactory". [10]

A hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee occurred on December 1, 2009. [11] The only committee members in attendance for her hearing were Al Franken and Sheldon Whitehouse; none of the Republican members of the committee were present, suggesting that she was a non-controversial nominee. [5] You can find Thompson's Public Questionnaire here and Questions for the Record here.

On January 21, 2010, the Committee voted to move Thompson's nomination to a vote before the full Senate. [12][13] The Senate confirmed her to the court on March 17, 2010 by a vote of 98 - 0. [14][15] Thompson is the first black and the second female judge to serve the First District. [2]

Awards and associations

  • Thompson received the "Women of Excellence Award" in 2006 from the Women's Center of Rhode Island.[16]
  • Thompson is an inductee of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hall of Fame of Providence for 2010. [17]

See also

External links


  1. Judge Thompson Bio from the Federal Judicial Center
  2. 2.0 2.1 Providence Journal "Obama nominates Thompson to First Circuit court", October 6, 2009
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 White House News Release "President Obama Nominates Judge Denny Chin for United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson for United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit", October 6, 2009
  4. Providence Journal "Obama nominates R.I. judge Thompson to federal appeals court bench", October 7, 2009
  5. 5.0 5.1 Providence Journal "R.I. judge’s nomination rolls smoothly through Senate hearing", December 2, 2009
  6. Know Your Courts: Rhode Island Superior Court (page 10)
  7. Jack Reed Press Release "Reed and Whitehouse Announce Recommendation of Justice O. Rogeriee Thompson to the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals and John J. "Jack" McConnell to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island", April 13, 2009
  8. Jack Reed Press Release "Reed and Whitehouse Announce Recommendation of Justice O. Rogeriee Thompson to the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals and John J. "Jack" McConnell to the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island", April 13, 2009
  9. WPRI News "RI judge recommended for federal post", April 13, 2009
  10. Providence Journal "Support for R.I. judge not unanimous", October 25, 2009
  11. Providence Journal "U.S. Senate to receive R.I. Superior Court Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson’s nomination to appeals bench", December 1, 2009
  12. Providence Journal "Senate gets Thompson nomination", January 22, 2010
  13. Providence Journal "Senate panel to vote on Rhode Islander nominated to federal bench", January 21, 2010
  14. The Providence Journal "Senate confirms Thompson for federal bench", March 18, 2010
  15. Projo 7 to 7 News Blog "Update: Senate sends R.I.'s Thompson to appeals court", March 17, 2010
  16. 2006 Women of Excellence Award Recipients
  17. The Providence Journal "Thompson, Gross, Montiero named to MLK Hall of Fame", January 18, 2010
Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Bruce Marshall Selya
First Circuit
Seat #6
Succeeded by:

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