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November 27, 2017

Congrats to new US District Judge (and former US Sentencing Commissioner) Dabney Friedrich

78f2e4da92fe9cc57460c45ed33e658d2e3168ee_1376771267As reported here, the "Senate on Monday overwhelmingly confirmed a former Bush White House lawyer who spent the last decade on the U.S. Sentencing Commission to a seat on a Washington, D.C. federal court." Here is more on the new Judge and her sentencing background:

The Senate sent Dabney Friedrich to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with a 97-3 vote on Monday night, with only Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., voting against her.

Friedrich spent three years as associate counsel to former President George W. Bush before he appointed her to the United States Sentencing Commission in December 2006.

As a member of the panel, Friedrich helped craft sentencing guidelines and voted to retroactively apply the guidelines that reduced the disparity in sentences for crimes involving crack and powdered cocaine.

Speaking at the meeting when the commission voted to change the guidelines, Friedrich called the disparity in punishments for the two drugs an “injustice” and said the move would help “restore a greater fairness in sentencing.”

Friedrich told Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in a written response to questions submitted after her nomination hearing that her time on the Sentencing Commission would be an asset to her on the bench. “I believe that my experience as a commissioner provides me with insight into the aims and objectives of the federal sentencing regime that will prove valuable when I confront sentencing decisions,” Friedrich wrote to Durbin in August.

Friedrich worked as a federal prosecutor in both California and Virginia before moving to Congress, where she served as counsel to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Former President Barack Obama renominated Friedrich to the Sentencing Commission in 2010 and she served on the commission until her term expired at the end of last year. Trump nominated Friedrich to the D.C. federal bench in June after Republicans prevented Obama’s choice from taking the seat during the blockade they put up against judicial nominees in the last year of his term.

Interestingly, the US District Court for the District of Columbia now has three former US Sentencing Commissioners among its members as Judge Friedrich now joins Chief Judge Beryl Howell and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on this important court.

November 27, 2017 at 09:25 PM | Permalink


Radicalized at Yale Law School. Crime victims are truly fucked.

Posted by: David Behar | Nov 27, 2017 9:48:44 PM

Another Trump judge. What a coup that the CFPB dispute is in front of another Trump judge, so the 'rat judges can't keep Leandra English ensconced in her position.

By the by, I am sure that there is some sort of federal crime she is committing by trying to be the acting Director when she is not.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 28, 2017 7:43:00 AM

federalist, do you think highly of all of Prez Trump's judicial picks (including Judge Bibas)? Is every "Trump judge" in your view superior to all "'rat judges"?

I ask largely because you have in the past balked at being called a partisan. But this most recent comment reinforces my sense that for you, like for so many, partisan commitments greatly impact perspectives on the law and legal decision-making.

Posted by: Doug B | Nov 28, 2017 9:58:40 AM

Political affiliations, extreme political views, character rigidity, all are swept away by tent seeking. Nothing can withstand money. Roberts stood with Obama. Scalia loosed the prisoners.

Posted by: David Behar | Nov 28, 2017 11:50:12 AM

Prof. Berman, if anything has become clear over the years, it is that Federalist views any judge who reaches a decision different from one he would reach as a "rat" judge.

Posted by: anon1 | Nov 28, 2017 12:16:51 PM

Now Mr. B.

F. is just against "rats." Now, I find that overexclusive especially since they did so much to help us by volunteering for experiments to test our food additives and stuff. But, it isn't partisan or anything.

I wish her well but since "Republicans prevented Obama’s choice from taking the seat during the blockade they put up against judicial nominees in the last year of his term," gather they didn't just do that to help put in charming sentencing policy types in but the usual conservative playbook. On that front, I'm wary.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 28, 2017 12:37:46 PM

I wish her well. I'm wary.

I can't take it anymore.

Posted by: David Behar | Nov 28, 2017 4:15:33 PM

This seems to be a controversial appointment with a political angle too, but now it has happened, let us wish Dabney Friedrich luck and lets hope to see better times under her.

Posted by: Paul Carrillo | Nov 29, 2017 5:42:43 AM

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