Joe L. Heaton

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Joe L. Heaton
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
Assumed office
November 25, 2015
Preceded by Vicki Miles-LaGrange
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
Assumed office
December 10, 2001
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by Ralph Gordon Thompson
Personal details
Born Joe L. Heaton
1951 (age 66–67)
Alva, Oklahoma
Political party Republican
Education Northwestern Oklahoma State University (B.A.)
University of Oklahoma College of Law (J.D.)

Joe L. Heaton (born 1951), is the Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Education and career[edit]

Born in Alva, Oklahoma, Heaton received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in 1973 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1976. He was a Legislative assistant to United States Senator Dewey F. Bartlett from 1976 to 1977. He was in private practice in Oklahoma City, from 1977 to 1992 and from 1993 to 1996, also serving as an adjunct instructor at the University of Central Oklahoma from 1980 to 1981 and from 1992 to 1993. Then he was elected as a Republican to serve in the Oklahoma House of Representatives as a state representative in 1984, and was re-elected three times, serving from 1985 to 1993. Next, Heaton was a special Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma from 1992 to 1993. Following that, he was a First Assistant United States Attorney of the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma from 1996 to 2001.

District court service[edit]

On September 4, 2001, Heaton was nominated by President George W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma vacated by Ralph Gordon Thompson. Heaton was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 6, 2001, and received his commission on December 10, 2001. He became Chief Judge on November 25, 2015.

Notable case[edit]

In November 2012, Heaton ruled against Hobby Lobby in its bid not to be forced to provide emergency contraception to its employees. On July 19, 2013, he granted the company a preliminary injunction, barring HHS from enforcing the contraception mandate against Hobby Lobby and its affiliate Mardel Christian Bookstores.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stempel, Jonathan (2013-07-19). "Hobby Lobby wins a stay against birth control mandate". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 

Sources[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Ralph Gordon Thompson
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
2001–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Vicki Miles-LaGrange
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
2015–present