Mark W. Bennett
Mark W. Bennett
|Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa|
June 4, 2015 – March 2, 2019
|Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa|
December 31, 1999 – December 30, 2006
|Preceded by||Michael Joseph Melloy|
|Succeeded by||Linda R. Reade|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa|
August 26, 1994 – June 4, 2015
|Appointed by||Bill Clinton|
|Preceded by||Donald Eugene O'Brien|
|Succeeded by||Leonard Terry Strand|
Mark W. Bennett
1950 (age 68–69)
|Education||Gustavus Adolphus College (B.A.)|
Drake University Law School (J.D.)
Mark W. Bennett (born 1950) is a former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.
Education and career
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Bennett received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1972 and a Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School in 1975. He was in private practice in Des Moines, Iowa from 1975 to 1991, also serving as general counsel to the Iowa Civil Liberties Union from 1975 to 1989. He was a supervising attorney at Drake University Law School's Legal Ethics Clinic from 1981 to 1983, and a lecturer in law, teaching trial advocacy, at the University of Iowa College of Law from 1984 to 1985. He was a special prosecutor for the Committee of Professional Ethics and Conduct of the Iowa State Bar in 1987, and an instructor with the Drake University Trial Advocacy Institute from 1987 to 1989.
Federal judicial service
From 1991 to 1994, Bennett was a United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. On June 21, 1994, Bennett was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa vacated by Donald Eugene O'Brien. Bennett was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 9, 1994, and received his commission on August 26, 1994. He served as chief judge from 1999 to 2006, and assumed senior status on June 4, 2015. He retired from active service on March 2, 2019.
In 2007, the divided United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, sitting en banc, reversed Judge Bennett after he refused to apply the 100:1 powder/crack cocaine sentencing disparity. The Eighth Circuit was then reversed by the Supreme Court, which held that District Court judges could categorically reject that ratio.
- "Recent Case: Eighth Circuit Holds That District Court Cannot Reduce Sentence Based on Categorical Disagreement with 100:1 Powder/Crack Cocaine Quantity Ratio" (PDF). Harvard Law Review. 120: 2004. 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- "Spears v. United States". www.oyez.org. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
- Mark W. Bennett at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
Donald Eugene O'Brien
| Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
Leonard Terry Strand
Michael Joseph Melloy
| Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
Linda R. Reade