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