Thomas L. Ambro

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Thomas Ambro
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Assumed office
February 16, 2000
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Walter Stapleton
Personal details
Born 1949 (age 64–65)
Cambridge, Ohio, U.S.
Alma mater Georgetown University
Georgetown University Law Center

Thomas L. Ambro (born 1949 in Cambridge, Ohio) is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Education and legal career[edit]

Judge Ambro received both his B.A. (1971) and J.D. (1975) from Georgetown University. After law school, he clerked for Chief Justice Daniel L. Hermann of the Supreme Court of Delaware. He was in private practice in Wilmington, Delaware from 1976–2000, where he was a force behind Delaware's rise as a preferred venue for large Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Before being elevated to the bench, he headed the bankruptcy practice at Richards, Layton, and Finger. Judge Ambro is a past Chair of the Section of Business Law of the American Bar Association and past Editor of The Business Lawyer. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Inns of Court.

Judicial Service[edit]

Ambro was appointed to the Third Circuit by President Bill Clinton on September 29, 1999, to fill a seat vacated by Walter King Stapleton. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 10, 2000, by a 96-2 vote and received his commission on February 16, 2000.

Judge Ambro's well-known opinions include United States v. Gunter, 462 F.3d 247 (3d Cir. 2006) (holding that district courts may consider whether the federal Sentencing Guidelines's differential between crack and cocaine is rational when imposing sentences); In re Owens Corning, 419 F.3d 195 (3d Cir. 2005) (clarifying when a bankruptcy court may substantively consolidate affiliated entities); and Forum for Academic & Institutional Rights v. Rumsfeld, 390 F.3d 219 (3d Cir. 2004) (holding that law schools have a First Amendment right to refuse to allow the military to recruit on campus without their institutions losing federal funding), rev'd 547 U.S. 47 (2006).

His dissenting opinions in Abu-Jamal v. Horn, 520 F.3d 272 (3d Cir. 2008) and in In re Philadelphia Newspapers, 599 F.3d 298 (3d Cir. 2010) have also been influential.


Legal offices
Preceded by
Walter Stapleton
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit