J. Lawrence Irving

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J. Lawrence Irving (born 1935) is a former United States federal judge.

Born in San Diego, California, Irving was in the United States Army from 1954 to 1956. He received a B.S. from the University of Southern California in 1959 and an LL.B. from the University of Southern California Law School in 1963. He was in private practice in San Diego, California from 1963 to 1982.

On July 15, 1982, Irving was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of California vacated by Edward J. Schwartz. Irving was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 28, 1982, and received his commission the same day. Irving served in that capacity until his resignation on December 31, 1990.

Irving claims he retired due to a belief that federal mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines were unconstitutional and immoral. "If I remain on the bench I have no choice but to follow the law," he said. "I just can't, in good conscience, continue to do this".[1]


  1. ^ "Criticizing Sentencing Rules, U.S. Judge Resigns", The New York Times, September 30, 1990.