Stewart Dalzell

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Stewart Richard Dalzell (born September 18, 1943) is a former judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


Born in Hackensack, New Jersey, Dalzell graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business in 1965 and received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1969. Judge Dalzell was a financial analyst for the National Broadcasting Company in New York from 1965 to 1966, and was a visiting lecturer in law at Wharton from 1969 to 1970.

From 1970 to 1991 Judge Dalzell was a lawyer in private practice in Philadelphia at the law firm Drinker, Biddle & Reath. In 1971 he served as treasurer for the unsuccessful mayoral campaign of longtime friend W. Thatcher Longstreth, and later was involved in the controversy concerning Philadelphia's Home Rule Charter, which mayor Frank Rizzo sought (unsuccessfully) to amend to allow him to seek an additional term in office. In 1976, Dalzell served as the treasurer for the successful campaign of John Heinz for the U. S. Senate.[1]

In 1991 President George H. W. Bush appointed (and the United States Senate confirmed) Dalzell to become a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to a new seat created by 104 Stat. 5089. Dalzell received his commission on September 16, 1991. He assumed senior status on October 31, 2013. Dalzell retired on December 31, 2016.

Judge Dalzell's decision finding the anti-indecency provisions of the Communications Decency Act violated the First Amendment was ultimately upheld by nine justices of the United States Supreme Court (although in a majority and concurring opinion) in Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union.

In 1997 Judge Dalzell freed Lisa Michelle Lambert citing prosecutorial misconduct during her trial for the 1991 murder of Laurie Show, but his ruling was overturned by a federal appeals panel. Lambert was recalled to prison ten months later and was found guilty of the charge again. She has remained in prison since.[2]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hoffman, Jan (December 27, 1997). "Judging Juatice". New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2015. 

See also[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
new seat
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Jerry Pappert