James L. Dennis

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James Dennis
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Assumed office
October 2, 1995
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Charles Clark
Personal details
Born (1936-01-09) January 9, 1936 (age 78)
Monroe, Louisiana, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Louisiana Tech University, Ruston
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
University of Virginia

James L. Dennis (born 1936) is a United States federal judge currently serving on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. His chambers are in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Born in Monroe, Dennis was in the United States Army from 1955 to 1957, then received a Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana Tech University in 1959, a J.D. from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1962, and an LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1984. He was in private practice with the law firm of Hudson, Potts & Bernstein in Monroe, Louisiana from 1962 until 1972. He served as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1968 to 1972. He was succeeded in that position by his fellow Democrat, later Republican, John C. Ensminger, a Monroe businessman.

Dennis became a judge on the Fourth Judicial District Court of Louisiana, based in Monroe, from 1972-1974. He then served on the Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal, Second Circuit, Louisiana from 1974 to 1975, and became an associate justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana from 1975 to 1995.

On January 31, 1995, Dennis was nominated by U.S. President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated by Charles Clark. Dennis was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 28, 1995, and received his commission on October 2, 1995.

Dennis is one of three judges on a panel that will hear the appeal to Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC v. Salazar, a case challenging the U.S. Department of the Interior six month moratorium on exploratory drilling in deep water that was adopted in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the subsequent oil spill. The Fifth Circuit panel denied the government's emergency request to stay the lower court's decision pending appeal.[1]


  1. ^ Pelofsky, Jeremy.; Doggett, Tom. Court refuses stay in deepwater drilling case. Reuters Canada. July 8, 2010.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Charles Clark
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit