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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Roger Gregory
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Assumed office
July 8, 2016
Preceded byWilliam Byrd Traxler Jr.
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Assumed office
December 27, 2000
Appointed byBill Clinton (Recess)
George W. Bush (Commission)
Preceded bySeat established by 104 Stat. 5089
Personal details
Born (1953-07-17) July 17, 1953 (age 67)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
EducationVirginia State University (BA)
University of Michigan (JD)

Roger L. Gregory (born July 17, 1953) is the Chief United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.


Gregory was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but grew up in Petersburg, Virginia.[1] He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude from Virginia State University in 1975 and his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in 1978. He worked as an associate for Butzel Long and Hunton & Williams from 1978 until 1982. He co-founded the Richmond, Virginia law firm of Wilder & Gregory in 1982 with L. Douglas Wilder (the first African-American to be elected governor in the United States), and became the chair of its litigation section in 1985.[1] Gregory is also a member of several fraternal organizations, including Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and Sigma Pi Phi fraternity.

Federal judicial service

On June 30, 2000, President Bill Clinton nominated Gregory to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that had been vacant for close to a decade since it had been created (the Senate had never acted on Clinton's previous nominee to that seat, J. Rich Leonard).[2] After the Senate declined to take up Gregory's nomination, and the 2000 presidential election was already over, Clinton installed Gregory on the Fourth Circuit on December 27, 2000, via a recess appointment, which would have lasted only until the end of the 2001 Congressional session. However, he was renominated by newly elected President George W. Bush on May 9, 2001.

The Senate confirmed Gregory on July 20, 2001, in a 93–1 vote, with Trent Lott of Mississippi casting the lone dissenting vote because he objected to Clinton's use of his recess appointment power.[3] Gregory was the first judge nominated to the Fourth Circuit by Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate and is the first black judge to serve on the Fourth Circuit.[4]

Gregory became Chief Judge on July 8, 2016.[5]

Notable opinions

On July 28, 2014, Judge Gregory joined the majority opinion with Henry Franklin Floyd in Bostic v. Schaefer that declared Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. This decision led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Virginia as well as all other states throughout the Fourth Circuit.

On May 25, 2017, Judge Gregory wrote for the majority when the en banc circuit upheld a lower court's injunction blocking the President's travel ban by a vote of 10-3 in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump.[6][7]

In October 2017, Gregory dissented when the panel majority found that the Bladensburg Peace Cross memorial from World War I now violated the Constitution's Establishment Clause, and he wrote another dissent when the circuit denied rehearing en banc.[8][9][10] The circuit's judgement was then reversed by the Supreme Court of the United States in American Legion v. American Humanist Association (2019).[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b Porter, Mike (2006-05-05). "VCU Lauds the Hon. Roger L. Gregory for Public Service". Virginia Commonwealth University. Retrieved 2008-11-15.
  2. ^ "Pres. Nom. 1129". 106th Cong. (2000).
  3. ^ "Pres. Nom. 402". 107th Cong. (2001).
  4. ^ Mitchell, Alison (21 July 2001). "Senators Confirm 3 Judges, Including Once-Stalled Black". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Judge Roger L. Gregory will become the next chief judge of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals". The Associated Press. Daily Reporter. July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  6. ^ Adam Liptak (26 May 2017). "Appeals Court Will Not Reinstate Trump's Revised Travel Ban". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  7. ^ "United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit" (PDF).
  8. ^ Am. Humanist Ass’n v. Md.-Nat’l Capital Park & Planning Comm’n, 874 F.3d 195 (4th Cir. 2017).
  9. ^ Am. Humanist Ass’n v. Md.-Nat’l Capital Park & Planning Comm’n, 891 F.3d 117 (4th Cir. 2018) (mem.).
  10. ^ Note, Recent Case: En Banc Fourth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Holding that Cross-Shaped World War I Memorial Violates Establishment Clause, 132 Harv. L. Rev. 1353 (2019).
  11. ^ Note, The Supreme Court, 2018 Term — Leading Cases, 133 Harv. L. Rev. 262 (2019)

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Seat established by 104 Stat. 5089
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Preceded by
William Byrd Traxler Jr.
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
This page was last edited on 3 April 2021, at 22:16
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