Susan R. Bolton

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Susan Ritchie Bolton
Susan R. Bolton.jpg
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona
Assumed office
September 1, 2016
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona
In office
October 13, 2000 – September 1, 2016
Appointed byBill Clinton
Preceded byRobert C. Broomfield
Succeeded byDominic W. Lanza
Personal details
Born (1951-09-01) September 1, 1951 (age 68)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
EducationUniversity of Iowa (B.A.)
University of Iowa College of Law (J.D.)

Susan Ritchie Bolton (born September 1, 1951) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bolton received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1973 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1975. She was a law clerk for Judge Laurance T. Wren of the Arizona Court of Appeals from 1975 to 1977. She was then in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona from 1977 to 1989. Bolton served on the Arizona Superior Court for Maricopa County, from 1989 to 2000.

Federal judicial service[edit]

On July 21, 2000, based upon the recommendation of United States Senator Jon Kyl from Arizona,[1] Bolton was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Arizona vacated by Robert C. Broomfield. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 3, 2000, and received her commission on October 13, 2000.[2] She is a registered Independent.[3] Bolton assumed senior status on September 1, 2016.

2010 Arizona immigration law cases[edit]

In July 2010, Bolton heard arguments on three of seven lawsuits related to the Arizona SB 1070 immigration law, including United States v. Arizona.[4][5]

On Wednesday, July 28, 2010, Bolton issued a ruling blocking small portions of SB 1070, writing that "requiring police to check the immigration status of those they arrest or whom they stop and suspect are in the country illegally would overwhelm the federal government's ability to respond, and could mean legal immigrants are wrongly arrested."[6] Judge Bolton wrote: "Federal resources will be taxed and diverted from federal enforcement priorities as a result of the increase in requests for immigration status determination that will flow from Arizona."[6]

On September 5, 2012, Judge Bolton cleared the way for police to carry out the 2010 law's requirement that officers, while enforcing other laws, may question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally. This part of the law has been called the "show me your papers" provision.[7]

On July 31, 2017, Judge Bolton filed her "Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law" holding former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio in criminal contempt of court for violating an injunction.[8] President Trump pardoned Arpaio on August 25, 2017.


  1. ^ "Profile: Who is U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton?". KSAZ-TV. July 8, 2010.
  2. ^ " - Library of Congress".
  3. ^ McCombs, Brady (July 21, 2010). "Judge is known as fair, thorough". Arizona Daily Star.
  4. ^ Fischer, Howard (July 8, 2010). "Federal judge sets date for hearing on SB 1070". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  5. ^ Archibold, Randal C. (July 29, 2010). "Judge Blocks Arizona's Law on Immigrants". The New York Times. p. A1.
  6. ^ a b Stephen Dinan (2010-07-28). "Feds win round 1 against Arizona; Immigration rules blocked". Washington Times.
  7. ^ "Federal judge OKs section of Arizona immigration law allowing police to question status of suspected illegals". FNC. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  8. ^ United States v. Arpaio, Case No. 2:16-cr-01012-SRB Document 210 Filed 07/31/17 (D. Ariz.)

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Robert C. Broomfield
Judge on the United States District Court for the District of Arizona
Succeeded by
Dominic W. Lanza