Mary Elizabeth Phillips

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Mary Elizabeth Phillips
Beth Phillips US Attorney.JPG
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byDavid Gregory Kays
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
Assumed office
March 22, 2012
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byOrtrie D. Smith
United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri
In office
December 24, 2009 – March 22, 2012
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded byJohn Wood
Succeeded byDavid Ketchmark (Acting)
Personal details
Born1969 (age 49–50)
Kirksville, Missouri
EducationUniversity of Chicago (B.A., M.A.)
University of Missouri School of Law (J.D.)

Mary Elizabeth "Beth" Phillips (born 1969) is the Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Early life and education[edit]

Phillips was born in Kirksville, Missouri in 1969.[1] She received two degrees from University of Chicago, a Bachelor of Arts in 1991 and a Master of Arts in 1992.[2] Phillips then earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1996.[2][3]

U.S. Attorney[edit]

On September 30, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Phillips to serve as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.[4] She was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 24, 2009.[5][3]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On June 7, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Phillips to a seat on United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.[2] She would replace Judge Ortrie D. Smith who took senior status in 2011. She received a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 20, 2011, and her nomination was reported to the floor of the Senate by voice vote on October 13, 2011. On March 6, 2012, the United States Senate confirmed Phillips' nomination in a 95–2 vote.[6] She received her commission on March 22, 2012.[3] She was sworn in on March 23, 2012.[7][3] She became Chief Judge on January 3, 2019.

Notable rulings[edit]

An online NBC News story article that was featured on the MSN homepage, dated Monday, May 19, 2014, by Tracy Connor, stated that Judge Phillips had refused to stop the Wednesday, May 21, 2014 execution of a Missouri prisoner (which would use pentobarbital, likely from an unnamed compounding pharmacy, per Missouri procedure), Russell Bucklew, rejecting in her ruling his argument in a civil rights lawsuit that a rare birth defect (Cavernous hemangioma) which impairs his circulation, among other effects, would make the administration of the drug an unconstitutionally cruel method of lethal injection. The case received increased attention in light of the April 29, 2014 botched lethal injection execution of an Oklahoma inmate, Clayton Lockett, using a three-drug cocktail, making the drugs different from the current case. The judge ruled that other methods of execution that would be feasible for him should have been explored by Bucklew and his team first (it was not stated if other methods were or have been considered). He was convicted of murdering a friend of his ex-girlfriend, and then kidnapping and raping her. His attorneys appealed the ruling,[8] with SCOTUS rejecting Bucklew's argument 5-4.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Woodrow, Stephanie (October 14, 2009). "Meet Beth Phillips". Main Justice. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c The White House: Office of the Press Secretary (June 7, 2011). "President Obama Nominates Four to the United States District Court". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "Phillips, Mary Elizabeth – Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  4. ^ The White House: Office of the Press Secretary (September 30, 2009). "President Obama Nominates Sanford Coats, Beth Phillips and Stephanie Villafuerte to be U.S. Attorneys". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  5. ^ Ramonas, Andrew (December 24, 2009). "Senate Confirms Seven U.S. Attorneys". Main Justice. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2012-08-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips – Western District of Missouri". uscourts.gov. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Judge OKs Execution of Russell Bucklew, Missouri Inmate With Birth Defect". NBC News. Retrieved 23 June 2015.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Ortrie D. Smith
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
2012–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
David Gregory Kays
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
2019–present