|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|
|Preceded by||John H. Hannah, Jr.|
|Succeeded by||David Folsom|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas|
March 17, 1995 – January 1, 2010
|Appointed by||Bill Clinton|
|Preceded by||Robert Manley Parker|
|Succeeded by||James Rodney Gilstrap|
1940 (age 77–78)
Port Arthur, Texas
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
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
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. He assumed senior status on January 1, 2010.
In 2009, Judge Heartfield presided over Doe v. Silsbee Independent School District. 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 and who had pleaded guilty to assaulting her. 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. Judge Heartfield's decision was affirmed by Judges Edith Brown Clement, Emilio M. Garza, and Priscilla Owen of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. H.S. was ordered to pay the school $45,000 in legal fees for filing a "frivolous" lawsuit.
- "Heartfield, Thad - Federal Judicial Center".
- "Doe v. Silsbee Independent School District, Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, appendix B" (PDF).
- "Cheerleader must compensate school that told her to clap 'rapist'". 4 May 2011.
- Former high school football star pleads guilty to assault in cheerleader case
- "2011 02 22 CheerAppeal Petition for Certiorari".
- "Doe v. Silsbee Independent School District, Opinion of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals" (PDF).
Robert Manley Parker
| Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
James Rodney Gilstrap
John H. Hannah, Jr.
| Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
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