Timothy J. Kelly

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Timothy J. Kelly
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Assumed office
September 8, 2017
Appointed byDonald Trump
Preceded byRosemary M. Collyer
Personal details
Timothy James Kelly

1969 (age 49–50)
Glen Cove, New York, U.S.
EducationDuke University (AB)
Georgetown University Law Center (JD)

Timothy James Kelly (born 1969)[1] is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and former chief counsel for national security and senior crime counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee.


Kelly received his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Duke University, and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown Law, where he was a senior associate editor of the American Criminal Law Review. Kelly spent a decade as a federal prosecutor, serving first as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia and then as a trial attorney in the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice's Criminal Division. Kelly also spent several years as a civil litigator at Arnold & Porter. He clerked for Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He also served as the Republican staff director for the Senate's Caucus on International Narcotics Control.[2]

Federal judicial service[edit]

On June 7, 2017, President Trump nominated Kelly to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, to the seat vacated by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, who took senior status on May 18, 2016.[3] A hearing on his nomination before the Senate Judiciary Committee took place on June 28, 2017.[4] On July 13, 2017, his nomination was reported out of committee by voice vote.[5] On September 5, 2017, the United States Senate confirmed his nomination by a vote of 94–2.[6] He received his judicial commission on September 8, 2017.

Notable cases[edit]

Kelly presided over English v. Trump, a lawsuit related to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act and the successor to the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, who had resigned in November 2017 to kick off a run for Governor of Ohio. Before resigning, Cordray appointed Leandra English as his deputy. President Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to serve as acting director. Kelly declined to issue a temporary restraining order and held that Mulvaney could remain as acting director.[7]

Kelly presided over CNN v. Trump, a lawsuit about President Trump's decision to revoke Jim Acosta's White House press credentials, denying him access to the White House grounds. CNN filed a lawsuit in order to challenge this decision and alleged this violated Acosta's first and fifth amendment rights. On November 16, 2018, Kelly ruled that Acosta could return to the White House, pending a trial. On November 19, 2018, CNN dropped the suit.[8]


He has been a member of the Federalist Society since 2009.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Kelly lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two children.[10]


  1. ^ "Kelly, Timothy James". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  2. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Judicial Candidate Nominations - The White House".
  3. ^ "Twelve Nominations Sent to the Senate Today - The White House".
  4. ^ "Nominations - United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary". www.judiciary.senate.gov.
  5. ^ "Results of Executive Business Meeting – July 13, 2017 Senate Judiciary Committee" (PDF).
  6. ^ "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 115th Congress - 1st Session". www.senate.gov.
  7. ^ Merle, Renae (November 26, 2017). "Leandra English, the woman at the center of a White House battle for control of the CFPB, files lawsuit against Trump pick to lead watchdog agency". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  8. ^ "Reporter Jim Acosta's White House credentials temporarily restored after judge grants CNN's motion against Trump administration". Washington Post.
  9. ^ "United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees: Timothy J. Kelly" (PDF).
  10. ^ "District Judge Timothy J. Kelly". Retrieved November 16, 2018.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Rosemary M. Collyer
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia