James V. Selna

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James V. Selna
James V. Selna District Judge.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
Assumed office
March 27, 2003
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by John Spencer Letts
Judge of the Superior Court of Orange County
In office
Personal details
Born James V. Selna
1945 (age 71–72)
San Jose, California
Education Stanford University A.B.
Stanford Law School J.D.

James V. Selna (born 1945) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Born in San Jose, California, Selna received an Artium Baccalaureus degree from Stanford University in 1967 and a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School in 1970. He was a Captain, U.S. Army Reserve from 1967 to 1978. He was in private practice in California from 1970 to 1998. He was a judge on the Superior Court, Orange County, California from 1998 to 2003.

Selna is currently serving as a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Central District of California at the Santa Ana courthouse. Selna was nominated by President George W. Bush on January 29, 2003, to a seat vacated by John Spencer Letts. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 27, 2003, and received his commission the same day.

In April 2010 he was selected to manage the consolidated multidistrict litigation arising from the 2009–2010 Toyota vehicle recalls.


In 2007, Selna was assigned the case of C. F. v. Capistrano Unified School District, in which Chad Farnan, a high school student, alleged that his teacher in an advanced placement European history class, violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution when the teacher made a number of statements in class that the student interpreted as disparaging religion. On May 1, 2009, Selna granted, in part, the now former student's motion for summary judgment, ruling that one statement of the many cited by the student, a comment that creationism was "superstitious nonsense," did violate the Establishment Clause.[1][2] In subsequent proceedings, however, Selna determined that the teacher was protected by qualified immunity and, on September 24, 2009, entered judgment denying the student declaratory, injunctive or monetary relief, and inviting the defendants to apply for recovery of their attorney fees and costs.[3] On August 19, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed his finding of qualified immunity, but, because it found the immunity issue to be dispositive, vacated that portion of the judgment that dealt with the constitutionality of the teacher's comments.[4][5]


  1. ^ Student Wins Suit After Teacher Says Creationism ‘Superstitious Nonsense’
  2. ^ Enemies of Creationism may be Hindering Science Teachers
  3. ^ Judgment at http://ncse.com/webfm_send/1658
  4. ^ C.F. v. Capistrano Unified School Dist.. Text
  5. ^ "Vindication for Corbett". National Center for Science Education. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
John Spencer Letts
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California