Orrin Grimmell Judd

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Orrin Grimmell Judd
Judge of United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
In office
July 17, 1968 – July 7, 1976
Appointed by Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Walter Bruchhausen
Succeeded by Eugene Nickerson
Personal details
Born (1906-09-06)September 6, 1906
Brooklyn, New York
Died July 7, 1976(1976-07-07) (aged 69)
Aspen, Colorado
Spouse(s) Persis Mae Dolloff (m. 1936)

Orrin Grimmell Judd (September 6, 1906 – July 7, 1976) was a lawyer who served for eight years as a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York. He was a lifelong resident of Brooklyn.

Early life[edit]

Judd was born on September 6, 1906, in Brooklyn, New York. He studied at Colgate University, and received an A.B. degree in 1926. After Colgate, he attended Harvard Law School, and obtained an LL.B. degree in 1930.[1]

Law career[edit]

Judd served as the law clerk for Second Circuit Judge Learned Hand in 1930–31.

Judd spent most of his career as an attorney in private practice at the New York City firms of Davies, Auerbach & Cornell and later Goldstein, Judd & Gurfein. He had a varied civil practice, in courts ranging as high as the Court of Appeals of New York and the Supreme Court of the United States.

From 1943 to 1946, Judd served as the Solicitor General of New York State, serving under Governor Thomas E. Dewey. In 1964, he was appointed to fill an unexpired term as Judge of the Surrogate's Court of Kings County (Brooklyn), New York. He served for several months but was defeated in his run for election to a full term.

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Judd to a judgeship on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, filling the seat vacated by Judge Walter Bruchhausen. After receiving Senate confirmation, Judd took office in July 1968 and served as an active judge until his death. During his tenure, Judge Judd oversaw several federal civil rights litigations. The most prominent of these arose from abuses at the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island, involving what Judd described as "inhumane and shocking conditions" at the institution.[2]

Judd's judicial service is best remembered for his order enjoining the United States from engaging in further bombing of Cambodia during the summer of 1973. On July 25, 1973, in the case of Holtzman v. Schlesinger, Judd issued a permanent injunction that prohibited Defense Department officials from "participating in any way in military activities in or over Cambodia or releasing any bombs which may fall in Cambodia."[3] However, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit stayed enforcement of the injunction pending appeal.[4] The matter was then taken to the Supreme Court, where Justice Thurgood Marshall refused to interfere with the Court of Appeals' action, leaving the stay of the injunction in place.[5] Justice William O. Douglas then issued a ruling that sought to reinstate the injunction,[6] but Justice Marshall overrode Douglas's order with the concurrence of all the other Justices.[7] On August 15, 1973, a congressionally mandated cut-off of further funding for the bombing took effect, rendering further litigation moot.


Judd died of a heart attack in July 1976, at the age of 69, while attending a judicial seminar in Aspen, Colorado.[8]

A manuscript collection of his legal and judicial papers is held at the Harvard Law School Library and open for research.[9]


  1. ^ Orrin Grimmell Judd at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved on August 2, 2009.
  2. ^ Jeffrey B. Morris, To Administer Justice on Behalf of All the People: The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York 1965–1990, pp. 45–46 (Federal Bar Council 1992).
  3. ^ Holtzman v. Schlesinger, 361 F. Supp. 544 (E.D.N.Y. 1973).
  4. ^ Holtzman v. Schlesinger, 484 F.2d 1307 (2d Cir. 1973); Morris, pp. 47–48.
  5. ^ Holtzman v. Schlesinger, 414 U.S. 1304 (1973) (Marshall, J., in chambers).
  6. ^ Holtzman v. Schlesinger, 414 U.S. 1316 (1973) (Douglas, J., in chambers).
  7. ^ Holtzman v. Schlesinger, 414 U.S. 1321 (1973) (Marshall, J., in chambers).
  8. ^ Edward Hudson, "Judge Orrin G. Judd Dies, Cited Willowbrook Abuses", New York Times, July 8, 1976.
  9. ^ "Finding aid for the Orrin G. Judd collection at Harvard Law School". Harvard University Library. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Walter Bruchhausen
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
July 17, 1968 – July 7, 1976
Succeeded by
George C. Pratt