Martin Leach-Cross Feldman
Martin L.C. Feldman
|Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court|
May 19, 2010
|Appointed by||John Roberts|
|Preceded by||George P. Kazen|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana|
October 5, 1983
|Appointed by||Ronald Reagan|
|Preceded by||Jack Murphy Gordon|
|Born||January 1934 (age 80)
St. Louis, Missouri
|Alma mater||Tulane University B.A., 1955
Tulane Law School J.D., 1957
|Religion||Catholicism (converted from Judaism)|
|Service/branch||Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army|
|Years of service||1957-1963|
|Rank||Captain, U.S. Army Reserve|
Martin Leach-Cross Feldman (born January 1934) is a United States federal judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. He was nominated by President Ronald W. Reagan on September 9, 1983, to a seat vacated by Jack M. Gordon. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 4, 1983, and received his commission the following day.
Feldman was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1955, he received a Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana; in 1957, a Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School. He was a United States Army JAG Corps Reserve Captain from 1957 to 1963. Feldman served as a law clerk to John Minor Wisdom, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1957 to 1959. Feldman had a private practice in New Orleans from 1959 to 1983. Feldman was a Louisiana delegate to the 1972 Republican National Convention, which met in Miami Beach, Florida, to re-nominate the Nixon-Agnew ticket, which subsequently won the electoral votes of forty-nine states. He was among seventy-one Jewish delegates and alternates to the convention.
Upholding Louisiana Marriage Amendment
On September 3, 2014, Judge Feldman issued an opinion upholding Louisiana's ban of same-sex marriage. He was the first federal judge to uphold a state prohibition against same-sex marriage since the United States Supreme Court struck down in 2013 the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. Feldman said that the state has a legitimate interest in upholding the state's 2004 amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman that was approved by 78% of voters. Judge Feldman stated, "marriage is a legitimate concern of state law and policy, and that it may be rightly regulated because of what for centuries has been its role."
Feldman also equated the recognintion of marriage without regard to sex to incest, writing that he was concerned that recognizing marriage without regard to the sex of the members of the couple would lead to a slippery slope that would eventually require courts to recognize polygamy and incest.
For example, must the states permit or recognize a marriage between an aunt and niece? Aunt and nephew? Brother/brother? Father and child? May minors marry? Must marriage be limited to only two people? What about a transgender spouse? Is such a union same-gender or male-female? All such unions would undeniably be equally committed to love and caring for one another, just like the plaintiffs.—Judge Feldman, Robicheaux v. Caldwell ruling
Lawyers for the plaintiffs immediately announced plans to appeal the ruling.
Deep water drilling
On June 22, 2010, Judge Feldman issued a preliminary injunction blocking a six month moratorium on deep-water offshore drilling in Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC v. Salazar. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs indicated that the Obama administration intended to immediately appeal the decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Feldman's 2008 financial disclosure report indicates that in that year, he owned stock in Transocean (worth under $15,000), the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon rig, as well as in other oil companies which would be affected by the moratorium. A federal judge is required to consider recusal when he owns shares in one of the parties in the case before him, however none of the companies listed in Feldman's 2008 disclosure were directly involved in the action against Salazar.
Judge Feldman's 2009 financial disclosure report indicates that he had financial investments in multiple BlackRock funds, each valued under $15000, much like the prior year. Although Blackrock was said to be the largest holder of BP stock, it's not clear that any of these funds held stock in BP. Feldman held stock in Exxon-Mobil during the hearing on the drilling moratorium and from June 8 to June 21, he issued several orders related to the moratorium case. On June 22, at the "opening of the stock market", he reportedly sold his Exxon-Mobil stock. Hours later, he issued his ruling lifting the moratorium.
As of the June 9, 2010 amended complaint, Transocean, Black Rock, BP and Exxon-Mobil were not plaintiffs in the action.
- "Martin L C Feldman". Federal Directory (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). Bethesda, Maryland: Carroll Publishing. 2011. Gale Document Number: GALE|K2415007763. Retrieved 2013-12-30. Biography in Context. (subscription required)
- "71 Jewish Delegates, Alternates Toil at Republican Convention". jta.org. August 23, 1972. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Shiffman, John; Cooke, Kristina (2013-06-21). "The judges who preside over America's secret court". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
Twelve of the 14 judges who have served this year on the most secret court in America are Republicans and half are former prosecutors.
- Bell, Kyle (September 3, 2014). "Louisiana Judge Upholds Gay Marriage Ban Citing Laws Against Incest". South Bend Voice.
- Savage, Charlie (June 22, 2010). "Judge Blocks Deep-Water Drilling Moratorium". The New York Times.
- Feldman, Martin L. C. (May 14, 2009). "Financial disclosure report for calendar year 2008" (PDF). p. 5. Archived from the original on 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2013-12-30. line 19
- Roosevelt, Margot (June 22, 2010). "Gulf oil spill: New Orleans judge held energy-related stocks". Los Angeles Times.
- Feldman, Martin L. C. (June 3, 2010). "Financial disclosure report for calendar year 2009". p. 6. Retrieved 2013-12-30. lines 44-45
- Mufson, Steven; Stephens, Joe (June 26, 2010). "Judge in drilling case held stock in oil company affected by moratorium". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- "FIRST SUPPLEMENTAL AND AMENDED COMPLAINT against Robert Abbey, Minerals Management Service, Kenneth Lee Salazar and United States Department of the Interior filed by Hornbeck Offshore Services, L for Hornbeck Offshore Services, L.L.C. v. Salazar et al". Justia Dockets & Filings. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
- Martin Leach-Cross Feldman at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- Martin Feldman, 2009 Financial Disclosure Report
- Martin Feldman, 2008 Financial Disclosure Report