Paul V. Niemeyer

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Paul Victor Niemeyer
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Assumed office
August 7, 1990
Appointed by George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Harrison Lee Winter
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
In office
February 22, 1988 – August 10, 1990
Appointed by Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Frank Albert Kaufman
Succeeded by Benson Everett Legg
Personal details
Born Paul Victor Niemeyer
(1941-04-05) April 5, 1941 (age 76)
Princeton, New Jersey
Education Kenyon College (A.B.)
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Notre Dame Law School (J.D.)

Paul Victor Niemeyer (born April 5, 1941) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and a former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

Education and career[edit]

Niemeyer was born in Princeton, New Jersey. He attended Kenyon College (Artium Baccalaureus, 1962), where he played on the school's baseball team. He then studied at the University of Munich, before pursuing his legal education at Notre Dame Law School (Juris Doctor, 1966). Niemeyer was admitted to the Maryland bar and practiced commercial law at Piper & Marbury (now DLA Piper) in Baltimore, Maryland from 1966 to 1988. In 1984, Niemeyer co-authored the Maryland Rules Commentary,[1] a treatise on the rules of procedure in the Maryland state courts. From 1973 to 1988, he was a member of the Maryland Court of Appeals Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure.[2] In 2006, Niemeyer published A Path Remembered: The Lives of Gerhart & Lucie Niemeyer.[3] Niemeyer's father, Gerhart Niemeyer (1907–1997),[4] was a political philosopher and professor of government at the University of Notre Dame. Niemeyer is married and has three sons.[5]

Niemeyer's father was a conservative political philosopher and friend of William F. Buckley, Jr. Upon Hitler's rise, in 1933, Niemeyer's father left Germany for Spain and then the US. Niemeyer, like his father, studied at the University of Munich. The New York Times obituary of 29 June 1997, states that Niemeyer's father: "wrote that fascism, communism and other such modern mass movements were the legacy of disoriented philosophers. He said their ideas corroded the cultural mettle of a society and spawned ideologies with a limited view of humanity."[6][5]

Judiciary[edit]

Niemeyer was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on September 11, 1987 to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, to fill the seat vacated by Judge Frank Albert Kaufman. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 19, 1988, and received his commission on February 22, 1988. Niemeyer served on the district court until he commenced service on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on August 10, 1990.[5]

Niemeyer was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit by President George H. W. Bush on May 11, 1990, to fill the seat vacated by Judge Harrison Lee Winter. Niemeyer was confirmed with the unanimous consent of the United States Senate on August 3, 1990, and received his commission on August 7, 1990. In 1993, Niemeyer became a member of the Advisory Committee on Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. He served as chair of the committee from 1996 through 2000. Niemeyer is a member of the American Law Institute and has taught Appellate Practice at Duke Law School. His chambers are located in Baltimore.[5]

Notable cases[edit]

On 28 July 2014, Niemeyer dissented from a 4th Circuit ruling that struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. In his dissent, he argued that under a rational basis test Virginia's ban should be deemed constitutional.[7]

On 19 April 2016, Niemeyer dissented in part from a 4th Circuit ruling (G. G. v. Gloucester County School Board) in an appeal from the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at Newport News where the majority of the 4th Circuit panel reversed the district court's dismissal of a transgender boy's claims under Title IX. Niemeyer's dissent states: "This unprecedented holding overrules custom, culture, and the very demands inherent in human nature for privacy and safety"; "More particularly, it also misconstrues the clear language of Title IX and its regulations"; and "And finally, it reaches an unworkable and illogical result".[8] The Majority rejected Niemeyer's assertions, concluding that "the record is devoid of any evidence tending to show that [the plaintiff's] use of the boys’ restroom creates a safety issue."[8] Further, the Majority rejected Niemeyer's "suggestion that . . . the enforcement of separate restroom facilities [would be] impossible because it 'would require schools to assume gender identity based on appearances, social expectations, or explicit declarations of identity.' Accepting [such a] position would equally require the school to assume 'biological sex' based on 'appearances, social expectations, or explicit declarations of [biological sex].' Certainly, no one is suggesting mandatory verification of the 'correct' genitalia before admittance to a restroom. The Department [of Justices]’s vision of sex-segregated restrooms which takes account of gender identity presents no greater 'impossibility of enforcement' problem than does the [dissent's] 'biological gender' vision of sex-segregated restrooms."[8]

On May 25, 2017, Judge Niemeyer wrote a dissent when the en banc circuit upheld a lower court's injunction against the President's travel ban by a vote of 10-3 in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Frank Albert Kaufman
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
1988–1990
Succeeded by
Benson Everett Legg
Preceded by
Harrison Lee Winter
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
1990–present
Incumbent