Lewis Thornton Babcock

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Lewis Thornton Babcock (born April 4, 1943) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. and former judge of the Colorado Court of Appeals. Babcock received a B.A. from the University of Denver in 1965 and a J.D. from University of Denver Law School in 1968, and was in private practice in Rocky Ford from then until 1976. While in private practice, he was city attorney for Las Animas, Colorado from 1969 to 1974 and Rocky Ford from 1970 to 1976; he was also an assistant district attorney in La Junta, Colorado. In 1976, he became a district judge in Colorado's 16th Judicial District in La Junta, and chief judge of the district in 1978. He became a judge in the Colorado Court of Appeals in 1983. He received an LL.M. from the University of Virginia Law School in 1988.

Babcock was nominated to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan on June 23, 1988, to a seat vacated by John L. Kane, confirmed by the United States Senate on October 14, 1988, and received his commission on October 17, 1988. He assumed senior status on his 65th birthday on April 4, 2008.

Among Judge Babcock's notable cases were civil lawsuits over the Columbine High School massacre,[1] and Lane v. Owens, a 2003 decision to enjoin enforcement of a Colorado law requiring students and teachers to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.[2] Judge Babcock also upheld the constitutionality of Colorado's ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.[3]

Other cases include Golan v. Gonzales, in which he held that the copyright provisions of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act did not violate the United States Constitution.[4]


  1. ^ Reuters (November 27, 2001). "Judge dismisses all but one Columbine lawsuit". CNN. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  2. ^ "Judge Rules Against Pledge of Allegiance". Fox News. August 20, 2003. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  3. ^ "Judge snuffs challenge to smoking ban". Rocky Mountain News. October 20, 2006. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  4. ^ Golan v. Gonzales, 2005 WL 914754 (D.Colo.)


Legal offices
Preceded by
John L. Kane
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado
October 17, 1988 – April 4, 2008
Succeeded by
Philip A. Brimmer