Amy Berman Jackson

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Amy Berman Jackson
Amy Berman Jackson.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Assumed office
March 18, 2011
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Gladys Kessler
Personal details
Born (1954-07-22) July 22, 1954 (age 64)
Baltimore, Maryland
Children Matt Jackson[1]
Education Harvard College (A.B.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)

Amy Berman Jackson (born July 22, 1954) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Early life and education[edit]

Jackson was born on July 22, 1954 in Baltimore, Maryland.[2] She received her A.B. cum laude from Harvard College in 1976 and her Juris Doctor cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1979.[3]

Legal career[edit]

After graduating from law school, Jackson served as a law clerk to Judge Harrison L. Winter of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. From 1980 to 1986, Jackson served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia where she received Department of Justice Special Achievement Awards for her work on high-profile murder and sexual assault cases in 1985 and 1986. Between 1986 and 1994, Jackson was an associate and then a partner at Venable, Baetjer, Howard and Civiletti.[4] Starting in the year 2000 and continuing until her appointment as a federal judge, Jackson was a member of Trout Cacheris, PLLC, in Washington, D.C. She specialized in complex litigation, criminal investigations and defense, criminal trials, civil trials, and appeals. In 2009 Jackson represented nine-term Representative for Louisiana's 2nd congressional district William J. Jefferson in his corruption trial. Jackson has served as an expert legal commentator for many news organizations, such as Fox News Channel, CNN, NBC, and MSNBC.[5][3]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On June 17, 2010, President Obama nominated Jackson to fill a vacant seat on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia that was created by the transition to senior status in 2007 by Judge Gladys Kessler.[4] Her nomination lapsed at the end of 2010, but Obama renominated her on January 5, 2011. The United States Senate confirmed Jackson in a 97-0 vote on March 17, 2011.[6] She received her commission the next day.[3]

Selected opinions[edit]

In March 2012, Jackson ruled that the National Labor Relations Board had limited authority to require private businesses to display posters informing workers about labor rights.[7]

Also in March 2012, Jackson overturned a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that revoked a permit for the Spruce 1 mine project in Logan County, West Virginia, on the ground that the EPA did not have power under the Clean Water Act to rescind the permit.[8] That ruling was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in April 2013,[9] and on September 30, 2014, Jackson ruled in the EPA's favor, allowing its veto of the permit to stand.[10]

Jackson presided at the August 2013 sentencing of former U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his wife, Sandi Jackson (who are not related to Judge Jackson). She sentenced the former congressman and his wife, who pleaded guilty misuse of campaign funds, to 30 months and 12 months, respectively.[11]

In December 2013, in the case of Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Sebelius, Jackson ruled against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Washington in its challenge to the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act as applied to its employees.[12] The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies made accommodations for religious organizations, under which such organizations do not have to "provide, pay for, or facilitate access to contraception" if they certify their objection to doing so.[12][13] Jackson rejected the archdiocese's argument that the act of "self-certifying" in itself constitutes a substantial burden on the archdiocese's right to freely exercise religion.[13]

In May 2017, Jackson dismissed a wrongful death suit filed against Hillary Clinton by the parents of two of the Americans killed in the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on the basis of the Westfall Act.[14]

In October 2017, Jackson was assigned to preside over the criminal case that Special Counsel Robert Mueller brought against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election. She accepted their "not guilty" pleas, granted bail, confiscated their passports, and ordered them to be held under house arrest. She also warned defense lawyers not to discuss the case outside of court.[15] On June 15, 2018, after the prosecution accused him of attempted witness tampering, Jackson revoked Manafort's bail and sent him to jail until his upcoming federal trials to prevent him from having contact with people.[16] On February 23, 2018, Gates pleaded guilty to one count of false statements and one count of conspiracy against the United States.[17] The plea bargain included an agreement to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.[18] On September 14, 2018, Manafort pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy against the United States. The plea bargain included an agreement to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.[19]

On April 3, 2018, Jackson sentenced Alex van der Zwaan to one month in prison, a $20,000 fine, and two months of supervised release.[20]


Jackson served on the board of the Washington D.C. Rape Crisis Center and has also been a member of the Parent Steering Committee of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders.[5]


  1. ^ Heil, Emily (7 October 2015). "Washington 'Jeopardy' contestant Matt Jackson is a pop-culture sensation — and the son of a federal judge". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  2. ^ Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, Vol. 17 (Martindale-Hubbell, 2001).
  3. ^ a b c "Jackson, Amy Berman". Federal Judicial Center.
  4. ^ a b "President Obama Names Three to United States District Court, 6/17/10" (Press release). White House Office of the Press Secretary. June 17, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "ATTORNEYS, Amy Berman Jackson". Trout Cacheris PLLC. Archived from the original on 2010-02-04. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
  6. ^ "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 112th Congress - 1st Session".
  7. ^ "Judge Clears Rule on Union Posters at Work". Associated Press. March 3, 2012.
  8. ^ Broder, John M. (March 24, 2012). "Court Reverses E.P.A. on Big Mining Project". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Broder, John M. (April 24, 2013). "Court Backs E.P.A. Veto of Mining Permit". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "EPA wins another round on Spruce Mine veto". The Charleston Gazette. September 30, 2014.
  11. ^ "Jesse Jackson Jr. and Wife Sentenced to Jail Time". Roll Call. August 14, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Judge Rejects Catholic Church Challenge to Obamacare Birth Control Coverage". Bloomberg. 23 December 2013.
  13. ^ a b Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Sebelius, 1:13-cv-01441-ABJ (Dec. 20, 2013).
  14. ^ "Judge dismisses wrongful death suit against Clinton over Benghazi". UPI. May 27, 2017.
  15. ^ Lucas, Ryan (November 2, 2017). "Manafort And Gates To Remain Restricted To Their Homes, Judge Says". NPR. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Manafort Heads to Jail After Judge Faults Witness Tampering". 2018-06-15. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  17. ^ Breuninger, Kevin (2018-02-23). "Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates pleads guilty to lying and conspiracy against the US". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-02-23.
  18. ^ Confessore, Nicholas; Meier, Barry (June 16, 2017). "How the Russia Investigation Entangled a Manafort Protégé". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  19. ^ LaFraniere, Sharon; Vogel, Kenneth (2018-09-14). "Paul Manafort Agrees to Cooperate With Special Counsel; Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  20. ^ Tillman, Zoe (April 3, 2018). "A Lawyer Who Admitted Lying To The Special Counsel's Office Was Just Sentenced To One Month In Jail". Buzzfeed. Retrieved April 3, 2018.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Gladys Kessler
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia