Earl H. Carroll

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Earl Hamblin Carroll (March 26, 1925 – February 3, 2017) was a United States federal judge, for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.


Early life and education[edit]

Born in Tucson, Arizona,[1] Carroll served as an ensign in the United States Navy during World War II, from 1943 to 1946. From 1943 to 1944, Carroll attended the Navy V-12 Program at Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff (now Northern Arizona University). Carroll later attended the University of California, Los Angeles from 1944 to 1945 and Harvard University from 1945 to 1946. He received a B.S. from the University of Arizona in 1948, and an LL.B. from that institution's College of Law in 1951.[2] At the University of Arizona he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and is a Significant Sig.


After law school, Carroll served as a law clerk in the Arizona Supreme Court for one year from 1951 to 1952. He then went to work for the Phoenix law firm of Evans, Hull, Kitchel and Jenckes, where he worked from 1952 until 1980 as an associate, and later, as a partner. During that time, he was special counsel to the city of Tombstone, Arizona from 1962 to 1965.

On June 2, 1980, Carroll was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to a new seat on the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Judge Carroll was sworn in on September 12, 1980. On October 10, 1994, Carroll assumed senior status, opening up a judgeship position for Roslyn Silver, the first woman judge appointed in the District of Arizona.[3] From 1994 to 2008, although on senior status, Carroll maintained a full draw of cases, and one of the heaviest caseloads in the district.

Notable decisions[edit]

On May 7, 1988, the New York Times reported a notable case involving the dismissal of an employee from a small mining company in Eloy, Arizona, following the employee's refusal to attend mandatory religious services. Carroll permanently enjoined the mining company from holding mandatory services at the Eloy plant as an unlawful employment practice in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination in employment based on religion.[4]

Starting in July 2000, the Maricopa County Sheriff's website hosted images broadcast from cameras installed in the Madison Street Jail, which housed only pretrial detainees. A group of pretrial detainees sued Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Sheriff's office arguing that the internet broadcasts violated their rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. Carroll agreed and imposed an injunction. By a vote of 2 to 1, a 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Carroll's injunction, with the majority opinion stating: "We fail to see how turning pretrial detainees into the unwilling objects of the latest reality show serves any... legitimate goals... Inmates are not like animals in a zoo to be filmed and photographed at will...".[5]

In April 2008, Judge Carroll granted in part and denied in part a motion for summary judgment by a group of Latino professors at Maricopa Community College, who had objected to their college's failure to discipline a math professor who distributed emails containing multiple racially charged and politically incorrect statements about immigration.[6] In May 2010, a 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the judge's ruling, holding that academic freedom protected the right of the math professor to speak his mind on controversial issues.[7]

Marriage and children[edit]

Carroll was married to Louise Rowlands since November 1, 1952. The couple has two daughters, Katherine[8] and Margaret. Carroll died on February 3, 2017.[9]


  1. ^ Federal Judicial Center biography.
  2. ^ Carroll bio
  3. ^ Business Law Today: The times, they are . . .Being a woman business lawyer today- eight tales
  4. ^ Arizonan Focus of Fight On Prayer in Workplace - New York Times
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  6. ^ http://preview.maldef.org/news/releases/maricopa_court_040308/
  7. ^ News: Harassment or Free Speech? - Inside Higher Ed
  8. ^ Penn State Law - Katherine C. Pearson
  9. ^ Carroll, Earl. "Earl Carroll Death Notice". www.legacy.com. Retrieved March 26, 2017. 


Legal offices
Preceded by
new seat
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona
Succeeded by
Roslyn O. Silver