William Acker

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William Marsh Acker, Jr. (born October 25, 1927) is a United States federal judge for the District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

Life and career[edit]

Acker was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and served in the United States Army as a private first class from 1946 to 1947. He received a B.A. from Birmingham-Southern College in 1949 and an LL.B. from Yale Law School in 1952. He was an attorney in private practice in Birmingham for thirty years, from 1952 to 1982.

Acker was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on July 22, 1982, to a seat vacated by Frank H. McFadden. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 18, 1982, and received his commission the same day. He assumed senior status on May 31, 1996.

In 2005, Acker announced that he would not take clerks from Yale Law School because of that school's decision to refuse to permit military recruiters on campus.[1]

In 2007, Acker recommended that the U.S. Attorney charge Richard Scruggs and the Scruggs Law Firm with criminal contempt for leaking documents in violation of a court order; in 2008, he accused Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood of conspiring with Scruggs to skirt the court order.[2]

In 2008, Acker held the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act unconstitutional for imposing disproportionate punitive damages on defendants who cause no harm.[3] Acker's decision was overturned in 2009.[4]



  1. ^ Courtney, Jocelyn (February 15, 2005). "Some alumni criticize JAG recruiting ban". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 2009-03-07. [dead link]
  2. ^ Associated Press (June 6, 2008). "Judge: Miss. attorney general conspired with Scruggs". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-03-07. 
  3. ^ Walton, Val (May 31, 2008). "Federal judge tosses out federal credit card law". Birmingham News. 
  4. ^ Franke, Ted (April 13, 2009). "Grimes v. Raves Motion Pictures FACTA decision reversed" Overlawyered


Legal offices
Preceded by
Frank H. McFadden
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
August 18, 1982 - May 31, 1996