Amit Mehta

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Amit Mehta
Mehta A.jpg
Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Assumed office
June 1, 2021
Appointed byJohn Roberts
Preceded byJames E. Boasberg
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Assumed office
December 19, 2014
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byEllen Segal Huvelle
Personal details
Amit Priyavadan Mehta

1971 (age 51–52)
Patan, India
EducationGeorgetown University (BA)
University of Virginia (JD)

Amit Priyavadan Mehta (born 1971) is an American attorney and judge. Since 2014, he has served as district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. In 2021, Mehta became a judge on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Early life and education

Amit Priyavadan Mehta was born in 1971 in Patan, Gujarat, India.[1] At the age of one, Mehta moved with his parents, Priyavadan and Ragini Mehta, to the United States.[2] His mother worked as a laboratory technician, while his father worked as an engineer.[3]

Mehta was raised in Reisterstown, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore.[2] In 1989, Mehta graduated from Franklin High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993 from Georgetown University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. In 1997, Mehta received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, graduating Order of the Coif.

Early career

He served as an associate at the law firm of Latham & Watkins from 1997 to 1998, leaving to clerk for Judge Susan P. Graber of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1998 to 1999. He served as an associate at the law firm of Zuckerman Spaeder, LLP from 1999 to 2002, and then as a staff attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia from 2002 to 2007.

From 2007 to 2014 he rejoined Zuckerman Spaeder, serving as partner from 2010 to 2014. He represented clients in civil and criminal matters before state and federal courts.[4][5][6] While in the private sector, he represented former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn.[7]

Federal judicial service

Judge Mehta in 2015


On July 31, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Mehta to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, to the seat vacated by Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, who took senior status on June 3, 2014.[8] He received a hearing before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary on September 17, 2014.[9] On November 20, 2014 his nomination was reported out of committee by voice vote.[10] On December 13, 2014 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a motion to invoke cloture on the nomination.

On December 16, 2014, Reid withdrew his cloture motion on Mehta's nomination, and the Senate proceeded to vote to confirm Mehta in a voice vote.[11] He received his federal judicial commission on December 19, 2014.[6]


In May 2019, Mehta ruled that accounting firm Mazars had to provide its records of Donald Trump's accounts from before his presidency to the House Oversight Committee in response to their subpoena.[12] In a 41-page opinion, he asserted that Congress has the right to investigate potential illegal behavior by a president, including actions both before and after the president assumed office.[13] The ruling will be appealed by Trump's personal legal team.[13]

In July 2019, Mehta sided with the pharmaceutical firms Merck & Co., Eli Lilly & Co., and Amgen Inc. by blocking a Trump administration rule requiring drugmakers to put prices in television ads, a central part of the president's push to lower the cost of prescription medications. The goal of the rule was to increase transparency; Mehta ruled that requiring big pharmaceutical companies to disclose prices to consumers in television advertisements was something that could be done only by the Department of Health and Human Services if mandated by Congress.[14]

In 2020, Mehta became the presiding judge in the United States v. Google LLC antitrust case.[7] On June 1, 2021, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Mehta to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.[15]

January 6 Capitol attack-related cases

Mehta has presiding over several cases related to the January 6 United States Capitol attack. He has charge of the criminal prosecution of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes for seditious conspiracy.[16] He is also presiding over three civil lawsuits against Trump and multiple associates, in which several members of Congress and two police officers are suing for damages for physical and emotional injuries they allegedly incurred during the attacks.

On February 18, 2022, Mehta issued a lengthy opinion that rejected Trump's claim of "absolute immunity" from lawsuits, finding that his actions were not part of his presidential duties, and that there was plausible evidence to suggest he engaged in a conspiracy with organized groups to use any means, including violence, to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The opinion allows the case to proceed, with the plaintiffs demanding documents, depositions, and other evidence from Trump and members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. Mehta dropped several other co-defendants from the suit, including Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., and Representative Mo Brooks.[17]

Personal life

Mehta has been described as an avid fan of hip hop music.[1] In a 2015 copyright case regarding the similarity of two songs, Mehta noted in a footnote that he was "not a ‘lay person’ when it comes to hip-hop music and lyrics,” and noted he has "listened to hip hop for decades". American rappers Jay-Z, Eminem, Kanye West and Canadian rapper Drake are among his favorite artists.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b Rajghatta, Chidanand (May 21, 2019). "Hip-hop loving Indian-American judge rules against Trump in fight for his financial records". Times of India. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b Maqsood, Zofeen (2019-05-25). "Newsmaker: Amit Mehta, the Indian American judge who ruled against President Trump - The American Bazaar". Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  3. ^ Kulkarni, Bhargavi (2022-11-30). "'One of the Most Intelligent Judges': Defense Attorneys Praise Judge Amit Mehta For Conducting a Fair Seditious Conspiracy Trial". American Kahani. Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  4. ^ "President Obama Nominates Two to Serve on the United States District Courts". 31 July 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2016 – via National Archives.
  5. ^ Official Biography at Zuckerman Spaeder Archived August 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b Amit Mehta at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  7. ^ a b c Arbel, Tali (2021-04-21). "Meet Amit Mehta, the judge for Google's antitrust case". AP NEWS. Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  8. ^ Don. "THE WHITE HOUSE NOMINATIONS SENT TO THE SENATE: Allison Dale Burroughs, Amit Priyavadan Mehta". Media :: Performing Arts News Unabridged. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Meeting – Hearings & Meetings – United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary". 17 September 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Results of Executive Business Meeting – November 20, 2014 United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary" (PDF).
  11. ^ "PN1942 — Amit Priyavadan Mehta — The Judiciary". 16 December 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  12. ^ Polantz, Katelyn (May 20, 2019). "Judge orders Trump accounting firm to hand over records to Congress". CNN.
  13. ^ a b Desiderio, Andrew; Cheney, Kyle (May 20, 2019). "Judge upholds Dem subpoena for Trump financial records". Politico. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  14. ^ Mehta, Amit (July 8, 2019). "MERCK & CO., INC., et al., vs US Dept. HHS" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  16. ^ Hsu, Spencer S. (February 18, 2022). "Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes ordered to be jailed until trial on seditious conspiracy". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  17. ^ Hsu, Spencer S. (February 18, 2022). "U.S. judge rejects Trump claim of 'absolute immunity' from Jan. 6 lawsuits". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 February 2022.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Preceded by Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court