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Debra Ann Livingston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Debra Ann Livingston
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Assumed office
September 1, 2020
Preceded byRobert Katzmann
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Assumed office
May 17, 2007
Appointed byGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byJohn M. Walker, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1959-04-15) April 15, 1959 (age 61)
Waycross, Georgia
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
Harvard Law School (JD)

Debra Ann Livingston (born April 15, 1959) is the Chief United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Early life and education

Livingston was born in Waycross, Georgia, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1980 and a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1984, where she served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review.[1]


Livingston served as a clerk for Judge J. Edward Lumbard of the Second Circuit after graduating. From 1986 to 1991, she was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she handled criminal cases, including the prosecution of Ferdinand Marcos, former president of the Philippines.[2] After working as a legal consultant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Livingston was an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, a New York City law firm. From 1994-2003, she served as Commissioner of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Federal judicial service

Livingston was first nominated to fill former Chief Judge John M. Walker, Jr.'s seat on the Second Circuit on June 28, 2006 by President George W. Bush. That nomination was made during the 109th Congress. However, that Congress adjourned before granting Livingston a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Bush renominated Livingston on January 9, 2007 to the 110th Congress. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on her nomination on April 11, 2007, and approved it on April 25 of that year. The Senate confirmed her nomination on May 9, 2007, by a vote of 91–0,[3] almost one year after she was first nominated. She became Chief Judge on September 1, 2020.

Notable rulings

In December, 2019, Livingston dissented from a federal appeals court ruling ordering that Donald Trump comply with a subpoena and turn over his tax returns to the U.S. House of Representatives. She described the majority opinion as "deeply troubling" and, agreeing with the Trump administration's argument, asserted, "I cannot accept the majority's conclusions that 'this case does not concern separation of powers,' and that there is 'minimal at best' risk of distraction to this and future Presidents from legislative subpoenas of this sort." Livingston said she would send the case back to a lower court and require the House committees to provide more details about the legislative purposes behind their requests before deciding whether the banks must comply.[4]


From 1992 to 1994, Livingston taught criminal procedure and evidence at the University of Michigan Law School.[2] She joined the faculty of Columbia Law School in 1994, and continued to teach there as a Paul J. Kellner Professor of Law following her nomination to the bench. From 2005-2006, she was also the Vice Dean.

She is one of the authors of Comprehensive Criminal Procedure.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Columbia Law School faculty profile". Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2006-11-30.
  2. ^ a b Debra A. Livingston
  3. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 110th Congress - 1st Session". United States Senate. May 9, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
  4. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
John M. Walker, Jr.
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Preceded by
Robert Katzmann
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
This page was last edited on 11 December 2020, at 14:24
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