Thad Heartfield

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Thad Heartfield
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
Assumed office
January 1, 2010
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
In office
2003–2009
Preceded by John H. Hannah, Jr.
Succeeded by David Folsom
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
In office
March 17, 1995 – January 1, 2010
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Robert Manley Parker
Succeeded by James Rodney Gilstrap
Personal details
Born Thad Heartfield
1940 (age 76–77)
Port Arthur, Texas
Education St. Mary's University (B.A.)
St. Mary's University School of Law (J.D.)

Thad Heartfield (born 1940) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Beaumont, Texas.

Education and career[edit]

Heartfield graduated from St. Mary's University, Texas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1962 and received a Juris Doctor from the St. Mary's University School of Law in 1965. He served as an assistant district attorney for Jefferson County, Texas from 1965 to 1966. He was in private practice in Beaumont, Texas from 1966 to 1969 and from 1973 to 1995. He was the city attorney for Beaumont from 1969 to 1973. He was the Director of the Lower Neches Valley Authority of Texas from 1983 to 1994.

Federal judicial service[edit]

Heartfield was nominated to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas by President Bill Clinton on January 11, 1995, confirmed by the United States Senate on March 17, 1995 and received his commission on March 17, 1995. He served as chief judge from 2003 through 2009.[1] He assumed senior status on January 1, 2010.

Notable case[edit]

In 2009, Judge Heartfield presided over Doe v. Silsbee Independent School District.[2] The plaintiff ("H.S.") was a cheerleader who was ordered by her high school to cheer for a football and basketball player named Rakheem Bolton, who she had accused of raping her[3] and who had pleaded guilty to assaulting her.[4] H.S. refused and was kicked off the team. She sued, claiming a violation of her First Amendment right to free speech. Judge Heartfield granted the school district's motion to dismiss.[5] Judge Heartfield's decision was affirmed by Judges Edith Brown Clement, Emilio M. Garza, and Priscilla Owen of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.[6] H.S. was ordered to pay the school $45,000 in legal fees for filing a "frivolous" lawsuit.[3]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Robert Manley Parker
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
1995–2010
Succeeded by
James Rodney Gilstrap
Preceded by
John H. Hannah, Jr.
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
2003–2009
Succeeded by
David Folsom