David C. Norton

David Charles Norton (born July 25, 1946) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.

David C. Norton
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
In office
2007–2012
Preceded byJoseph F. Anderson
Succeeded byMargaret B. Seymour
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
Assumed office
July 12, 1990
Appointed byGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded bySolomon Blatt Jr.
Personal details
Born
David Charles Norton

(1946-07-25) July 25, 1946 (age 74)[1]
Washington, D.C.
EducationSewanee: The University of the South (BA)
University of South Carolina School of Law (JD)

Education and careerEdit

Born in Washington, D.C., Norton received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sewanee: The University of the South in 1968 and was in the United States Navy from 1969 to 1972. He then received a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1975, and was in private practice in Charleston, South Carolina until 1977. He was an assistant deputy solicitor for the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Charleston, South Carolina from 1977 to 1980. He was a city attorney of Isle of Palms, South Carolina from 1980 to 1985. He was in private practice in Charleston from 1981 to 1990,[2] and was a partner at the law firm of Holmes & Thomson.[3]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

On April 18, 1990, Norton was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina that was vacated by Judge Solomon Blatt Jr.. Norton was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 28, 1990, and received his commission on July 12, 1990. He served as Chief Judge from 2007 to 2012.[2]

Norton is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Charleston School of Law.[4]

Notable casesEdit

Norton presided over the criminal case of Michael Slager, a police officer who killed Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, in April 2015 after a traffic stop in North Charleston, South Carolina. Scott was fleeing the officer when he was shot five times in the back. Slager pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating Scott's civil rights. Norton sentenced Slager to 20 years' imprisonment, a sentence within the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.[5][6]

In July 2017, Norton found that plaintiffs with mesothelioma still needed to prove defendants specifically caused their diseases, even though every exposure to asbestos is unsafe.[7]

On August 3, 2018, Norton ruled that Charleston cannot require that tour guides pass a history test before being licensed. [8]

On August 17, 2018, Norton ruled the Trump administration did not properly seek public input when it suspended protections designed to thwart waterway pollution. Seen as a win for environmental groups, Norton's ruling allows restrictions on development around certain waterways.[9]

On March 11, 2020, Norton ruled that South Carolina cannot ban the mention of same-sex relationships or other LGBTQ+ topics in sex education classes. Norton ruled that the law discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation, violated the Constitution's equal protection clause, and had no rational relations to any legitimate state interest. Norton's decision will allow schools to include same-sex relationships or other aspects of LGBTQ+ life in sex ed courses but will not require it. [10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hearings Before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, One Hundred First Congress, First Session
  2. ^ a b "Norton, David C." Biographical Directory of Article III Federal Judges, 1789-present. Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ Dave Munday, 'My whole life I wanted to be just like my father', Post & Courier (September 3, 2014).
  4. ^ Board of Advisors, Charleston School of Law (last accessed December 10, 2017).
  5. ^ Stanglin, Doug (December 7, 2017). "Ex-S.C. cop gets 20 years in prison for fatally shooting Walter Scott, an unarmed black man". USA Today.
  6. ^ Alan Blinder (December 7, 2017). "White ex-cop gets 20 years for Walter Scott slaying". New York Times.
  7. ^ Note, Recent Case: District of South Carolina Holds the Every Exposure Theory Insufficient to Demonstrate Specific Causation Even if Legal Conclusions Are Scientifically Sound, 131 Harv. L. Rev. 658 (2017).
  8. ^ https://sclawyersweekly.com/news/2018/08/06/judge-nixes-forcing-charleston-history-test-on-tour-guides/ South Carolina Lawyers Weekly.August 6, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  9. ^ https://sclawyersweekly.com/news/2018/08/17/judge-halts-trump-rule-that-suspended-clean-water-protection/ South Carolina Lawyers Weekly.August 17, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  10. ^ https://www.advocate.com/youth/2020/3/11/anti-lgbtq-sex-ed-law-struck-down-south-carolina-0 Advocate. March 11, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2021.

External linksEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by
Solomon Blatt Jr.
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
1990–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Joseph F. Anderson
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
2007–2012
Succeeded by
Margaret B. Seymour