Richard G. Kopf
Richard George Kopf
|Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska|
|Assumed office |
December 1, 2011
|Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska|
|Preceded by||William G. Cambridge|
|Succeeded by||Joseph F. Bataillon|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska|
May 26, 1992 – December 1, 2011
|Appointed by||George H. W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Warren Keith Urbom|
|Succeeded by||John M. Gerrard|
|Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska|
Richard George Kopf
1946 (age 72–73)
|Education||Kearney State College (B.A.)|
University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Law (J.D.)
Richard George Kopf (born 1946) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska.
Education and early career
Kopf received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Kearney State College (now the University of Nebraska at Kearney) in 1969, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Law in 1972. He was a law clerk for Judge Donald Roe Ross of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit for two years following law school and then entered private practice in Lexington, Nebraska. In 1984, he served as counsel for the State of Nebraska in the impeachment of the Nebraska Attorney General.
Federal judicial service
Kopf was nominated by President George H. W. Bush on April 7, 1992, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska vacated by Judge Warren Keith Urbom. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 21, 1992, and received commission on May 26, 1992. He served as Chief Judge from 1999 to 2004. He assumed senior status on December 1, 2011.
Kopf has received considerable press coverage for abortion-related decisions, particularly for his 474-page opinion striking down a ban on late-term abortions in Carhart, et al., v. Ashcroft. His decision included the apology "I apologize for the length of this opinion. I am well aware that appellate judges have plenty to do and that long-winded opinions from district judges are seldom helpful.... Nonetheless, I pity the poor appellate judge who has to slog through this thing. I am truly sorry."
In 2007 Kopf dismissed without prejudice a case over the use of the words "rape" and "sexual assault" in a rape trial in Lancaster County, Nebraska. Tory Bowen had filed a lawsuit against Judge Jeffre Cheuvront for violating her right to free speech in a rape trial; Kopf dismissed the suit because Bowen had not shown enough evidence to demonstrate her lawsuit was not frivolous. Cheuvront had barred the words "rape" and "sexual assault" from the trial, but allowed words such as "sexual intercourse" and "intercourse" to be used instead.
Awards and honors
Kopf has served as president and board chair of the historical society for the Eighth Circuit. He served as administrator of the Robert Van Pelt Inn of Court, a legal professional organization, until 2008; the organization gave Kopf its Warren Keith Urbom Mentor Award the same year.
From 2013 to 2015, Kopf maintained a personal blog entitled Hercules and the Umpire: The Role of the Federal Trial Judge. He ended the blog after members of his courthouse staff indicated that the blog was an embarrassment to the court.
- "Kopf, Richard George - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
- "Phi Kappa Tau Hall of Fame". Phi Kappa Tau. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
- "Resolution: Senior Status of the Honorable Richard G. Kopf, United States District Judge, District of Nebraska" (PDF). U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska. Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
- "Nebraska judge finds partial-birth abortion ban unconstitutional". Elizabethton Star. September 9, 2004. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
- Carhart v. Ashcroft, 331 F. Supp. 2d 805, 809-810 (D. Neb. 2004)
- "Judge tosses lawsuit over word 'rape'". USA Today. September 26, 2007. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
- Bowen v. Cheuvront, 516 F. Supp. 2d 1021 (D. Neb. 2007)
- "The Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit". U.S. Courts Library: Eighth Circuit. Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
- Kopf, Richard. "Financial Disclosure Report for Calendar Year 2009" (PDF). Judicial Watch. p. 5. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
- "Warren K. Urbom Mentor Award". The Robert Van Pelt American Inn of Court. American Inns of Court. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
- Kopft, Richard. "Hercules and the Umpire". Hercules and the Umpire. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "Nebraska federal judge ends controversial blog; Will remain on bench - netnebraska.org". netnebraska.org.
- Richard G. Kopf at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- Richard Kopf's Blog: Kopf, Richard George (July 28, 2013). "Hercules and the umpire: The Role of the Federal Trial Judge". Nebraska. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
Warren Keith Urbom
| Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska
John M. Gerrard
William G. Cambridge
| Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska
Joseph F. Bataillon