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Oral history interview with James Robertson [electronic resource], 2013

Creator: Robertson, James, 1938-
Project: Rule of law oral history project
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
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Biographical Note

Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Retired.

Scope and Contents

Born: May 1938, Cleveland, OH. Education: B.A., Princeton University; LL.B. George Washington University. Career: Lieutenant, United States Navy; Lawyer, William Cutler & Pickering; Chief Counsel of Committee Litigation, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Reminiscences: upbringing and early life in Ohio; Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University; Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in the late 1950s; George Washington Law School in the 1960s; first cases at William Cutler & Pickering; 1960s Ku Klux Klan FBI Sting operation; nomination to the District Court of D.C.; personal experience of September 11, 2001 attacks; reaction to Abu Ghraib Prison photographs. Discussions: civil rights cases while working with the Lawyers Committee in Mississippi; nomination proceedings of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Robert H. Bork; process of federal judge appointments; habeas corpus; Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions; reaction to Judge A. Raymond Randolph's "Guantánamo Mess” speech at the Heritage Foundation; detainment of Uighurs at Guantánamo Bay; relationship between Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA] and the Department of Justice; resignation from FISA; reception of Zero Dark Thirty. Cases discussed: Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, (2004); Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, (2006); Boumediene v. Bush, (2008); Rasul v. Bush, (2008); Latif v. Obama, (2012).


Access Conditions

Copyright by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2013. Permission required to cite, quote, and reproduce. Contact repository for information.

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