James E. Boasberg

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James E. Boasberg
Boasberg J.jpg
Chief Judge of the Alien Terrorist Removal Court
Assumed office
2020
Appointed byJohn Roberts
Preceded byRosemary M. Collyer
Judge of the Alien Terrorist Removal Court
Assumed office
2020
Appointed byJohn Roberts
Preceded byRosemary M. Collyer
Presiding Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Assumed office
January 1, 2020
Appointed byJohn Roberts
Preceded byRosemary M. Collyer
Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Assumed office
May 18, 2014
Appointed byJohn Roberts
Preceded byReggie Walton
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Assumed office
March 17, 2011
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byThomas F. Hogan
Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
In office
September 2002 – March 14, 2011
Appointed byGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byGregory E. Mize
Succeeded byJohn F. McCabe Jr.[1]
Personal details
Born
James Emanuel Boasberg

(1963-02-20) February 20, 1963 (age 57)
San Francisco, California
EducationYale University (B.A.)
Yale Law School (J.D.)
University of Oxford (M.St.)

James Emanuel Boasberg (born February 20, 1963)[2] is a United States District Judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, also serving as the Presiding Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court; and former associate judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Early life and education[edit]

Boasberg was born in San Francisco, California in 1963,[3] to Sarah Margaret (Szold) and Emanuel Boasberg III.[4][5] The family moved to Washington, D.C. when Boasberg's father accepted a position in Sargent Shriver's Office of Economic Opportunity, a Great Society agency responsible for implementing and administering many of Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty programs.[6][7] Boasberg received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University in 1985, where he was a member of Skull and Bones,[8] and a Master of Studies the following year from Oxford University.[9] He then earned his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1990.[9][10]

Clerkship and legal career[edit]

After completing law school, Boasberg served as a law clerk for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for the 1990–91 term.[9] He then went into private practice, working at firms first in San Francisco (1991–94) and then in the District of Columbia (1995–96).[11] In 1996, Boasberg joined the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia where he would spend 5.5 years as a prosecutor, specializing in homicides.[11][10]

Judicial service[edit]

In September 2002, Boasberg became an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where he served in the Civil and Criminal Divisions and the Domestic Violence Branch until his appointment to the federal bench in 2011.[11] During the 111th Congress, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton recommended Boasberg to fill a judicial vacancy on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.[12] On June 17, 2010, President Barack Obama formally nominated Boasberg to the District Court for the District of Columbia.[9] Boasberg was confirmed on March 14, 2011 by a vote of 96 ayes to 0 nays.[13] He received his commission on March 17, 2011.[10]

Appointment to United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court[edit]

On February 7, 2014 Chief Justice John G. Roberts announced that he would appoint Boasberg to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a term starting May 18, 2014 to a seat being vacated by Reggie Walton.[14][15] His term began May 18, 2014.[10] On December 20, 2019, the FISC announced he will replace the Presiding Judge FISC January 1, 2020[16] and elevated to preside. In 2020, he was appointed to the United States Alien Terrorist Removal Court and designated as Chief Judge.

Notable rulings[edit]

Osama Bin Laden photos[edit]

On April 26, 2012, Boasberg ruled that the public had no right to view government photos of a deceased Osama Bin Laden. Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, had filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but were unsuccessful in convincing the Judge that FOIA rights outweighed national-security factors.[17]

Registered tax return preparer regulations[edit]

On January 18, 2013, Boasberg issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing regulations on Registered Tax Return Preparers, which otherwise required tax return preparers to register with the IRS and pass a written test as evidence of competency. Loving v. Internal Revenue Service, No. 12-385 (U.S.D.C. D.C. 1/18/2013).[18] The IRS appealed and in 2014, the Court of Appeals upheld Boasberg's district court decision.[19]

Hillary Clinton emails[edit]

On August 22, 2016, Boasberg ordered the release of over 14,000 emails found in the United States Department of State correspondence of Hillary Clinton by the FBI during an investigation of Clinton's private server.[20] These emails were requested by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, because the FBI has indicated that emails were work-related and not entirely private as Clinton had previously said.[20]

Trump tax returns[edit]

On August 18, 2017, Boasberg dismissed a lawsuit from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which had sued the IRS under FOIA seeking President Donald Trump's personal tax returns from 2010 to the present to be released. Boasberg concluded that because personal tax returns are confidential, they may only be obtained either by permission from Trump himself or if Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation signed off to allow the disclosure.[21]

Medicaid work rules[edit]

On March 27, 2019, Boasberg blocked a work requirement for recipients of Medicaid in Arkansas and Kentucky.[22]

Dakota Access Pipeline[edit]

On March 25, 2020, Boasberg ordered a sweeping new environmental review by the Army Corps of Engineers of the Dakota Access Pipeline.[23]

In a subsequent decision on July 6, 2020, he vacated an easement to cross the Missouri River pending completion of the environmental review and ordered the pipeline to be emptied within 30 days.[24] On August 5, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the ruling regarding the easement; however, the judges vacated the order to empty the pipeline and asked the Army Corps of Engineers to submit a follow-up brief on whether they would allow continued pipeline operation without the easement.[25]

North Atlantic Right Whale[edit]

On April 9, 2020, Boasberg issued an opinion finding that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Endangered Species Act when it issued a Biological Opinion in 2014 allowing for the accidental killings of North Atlantic right whales (of which only about 400 remain as of April 8, 2020) by the American lobster fishery, which consists of seven areas spanning the East Coast from Maine to North Carolina. The whales become entangled in the ropes of the lobster gear.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Boasberg married Elizabeth Leslie Manson in 1991.[4] His brother, Tom Boasberg, succeeded Michael Bennet as Superintendent of Denver Public Schools after Colorado Governor Bill Ritter appointed Bennet to the United States Senate in January 2009.[27][28]

He is an aficionado of William Shakespeare's plays. In February 2018, he played a crown prosecutor in The Trial of Hamlet that was presented at the Shakespeare Theatre Company.[29]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Report of District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission
  2. ^ U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs (2002). Hearing before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, second session, on the nomination of James "Jeb" E. Boasberg to be an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, June 26, 2002 (Volume 107, Issue 561 of S. hrg, United States Congress ed.). Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  3. ^ United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary (January 5, 2011). "Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees: James Emanuel Boasberg" (PDF). Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  4. ^ a b   (August 26, 1991). "Elizabeth Leslie Manson Is Married To J. E. Boasberg in New Hampshire". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2011.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "Sally Boasberg, landscape designer and advocate for District's green spaces, dies at 74 – The Washington Post". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Nancy (January 9, 2009). "Boasberg sole finalist for DPS superintendent job". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 3 March 2009.
  7. ^ Meyer, Jeremy P. (January 21, 2009). "Boosters say Boasberg's the man to lead DPS". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  8. ^ Robbins, Alexandra (July 2004). "Powerful Secrets". Vanity Fair. p. 116.
  9. ^ a b c d The White House: Office of the Press Secretary (June 17, 2010). "President Obama Names Three to United States District Court, 6/17/10". whitehouse.gov. Archived from the original on January 19, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017. Alt URL
  10. ^ a b c d "Boasberg, James Emanuel – Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  11. ^ a b c U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. "Official Biography". Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  12. ^ Palazzolo, Joe (February 8, 2010). "White House Vetting OPR Chief for Federal Judgeship". Main Justice. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  13. ^ "Judicial Nominations and Confirmations: 112th Congress". Archived from the original on 2011-01-08. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  14. ^ "FISA Court Appointments, Potential Reforms, and More from CRS". Secrecy News. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  15. ^ "Two Judges Appointed to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  16. ^ Savage, Charlie (December 20, 2019). "Surveillance Court Orders Review of Actions by Ex-F.B.I. Lawyer". New York Times.
  17. ^ "Federal judge blocks release of bin Laden death photos - CNN.com". cnn.com. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  18. ^ https://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Statement-on-Court-Ruling-Related-to-Return-Preparers (Retrieved 1/25/2013)
  19. ^ Donnelly, Madaline. Meet the Single Mom Who Took On the IRS, Daily Signal, October 9, 2015.
  20. ^ a b Reid, Paula (August 22, 2016). "Judge orders expedited release of 15,000 Hillary Clinton documents found by FBI". CBS News. New York City, New York. Retrieved August 22, 2016. Initially, the State Department attorney would not answer Judge James Boasberg's repeated questions about the number of emails recovered by the FBI. The judge urged the State Department to expedite its review of what is called "Disc 1," which is one of two discs handed over from FBI to the State Department in late July.
  21. ^ Seipel, Brooke (2017-08-18). "Federal court can't force IRS to release Trump's tax returns". TheHill. Retrieved 2017-08-19.
  22. ^ "Federal judge blocks Medicaid work rules in blow to Trump". Associated Press. March 27, 2019.
  23. ^ "Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Wins a Victory in Dakota Access Pipeline Case". March 25, 2020.
  24. ^ "Court Rules Dakota Access Pipeline Must Be Emptied For Now". NPR.org. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  25. ^ Aug 5th 2020 - 6pm, Adam Willis |. "Court issues mixed ruling on DAPL, letting the pipeline stay open during appeal". Jamestown Sun. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  26. ^ "In major ruling for right whales, federal judge rules that regulators violated Endangered Species Act". April 9, 2020.
  27. ^ Meyer, Jeremy P. (January 9, 2009). "Finalist is the face behind recent efforts". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  28. ^ Osher, Christopher N. (January 23, 2009). "Boasberg is unanimous pick for superintendent". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  29. ^ "The Trial of Hamlet". Shakespeare Theatre Company in the District of Columbia. Retrieved March 1, 2018.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas F. Hogan
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
2011–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Reggie Walton
Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
2014–present
Preceded by
Rosemary M. Collyer
Presiding Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
2020–present