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David B. Sentelle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

David Bryan Sentelle (born February 12, 1943) is a Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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Education and career

Born in Canton, North Carolina, the son of a mill worker, Sentelle grew up in Candler, North Carolina. Sentelle graduated from Enka High School in 1961, where he was a classmate of Thomas A. Furness III, who is the "Grandfather of Virtual Reality." Sentelle received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1965. He received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1968. He was in private practice of law in Asheville, North Carolina from 1968 to 1970. He was an Assistant United States Attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina from 1970 to 1974. He was a Judge on the North Carolina General Courts of Justice in Charlotte from 1974 to 1977. He was a visiting professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1977. He was in private practice of law in Charlotte from 1977 to 1985. He was a visiting professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1991 to 1992.[1]

Federal judicial service

Sentelle was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on July 25, 1985, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina vacated by Judge Woodrow W. Jones. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 16, 1985, and received commission on October 17, 1985. His service was terminated on October 19, 1987, due to elevation to the District of Columbia Circuit.[1]

Sentelle was nominated by President Reagan on February 2, 1987, to a seat vacated by Judge Antonin Scalia. He was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 87 to 0 on September 9, 1987, and received commission on September 11, 1987. He served as Chief Judge from 2008 to 2013.[1] He took senior status on February 12, 2013.[2]

Notable cases

On the D.C. Circuit, Sentelle, along with Judge Laurence Silberman, voted to overturn the convictions of Oliver North and John Poindexter. He also served on the Special Division of the Court which appointed Kenneth Starr under the renewed Independent Counsel statute, replacing Robert B. Fiske, who had been appointed by Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate the allegations against President Bill Clinton with respect to the Whitewater Affair.

In 2007, in Boumediene v. Bush, 375 U.S. App. D.C. 48, Sentelle concurred with Judge Arthur Raymond Randolph, relying on Johnson v. Eisentrager, to uphold the Military Commissions Act of 2006's suspension of habeas corpus for enemy combatants as constitutional. Judge Judith Ann Wilson Rogers dissented. That decision was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.


  • Sentelle, David B. (2002). Judge Dave and the Rainbow People. Green Bag Press, Washington D.C. ISBN 0-9677568-3-9



External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Woodrow W. Jones
Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
Succeeded by
Richard Lesley Voorhees
Preceded by
Antonin Scalia
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Succeeded by
Robert L. Wilkins
Preceded by
Douglas H. Ginsburg
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Succeeded by
Merrick Garland
This page was last edited on 15 August 2018, at 15:42
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